Colleges, Universities & Online Colleges in the City of Madison

Updated September 9, 2022 • 1 Min Read

Madison, the State Capital of Wisconsin, is home to 240,000 residents who work and study in what is affectionately called “Mad City”. This vibrant community plays host to 6,000 acres of parkland, 65 craft breweries, 15,000 acres of lakes, and a bustling medical center with physicians that performed the first-ever human heart transplant. Dotted with commercial and arts centers, connected by bicycle trails, and mill centers, Madison values higher education. According to the U.S. Census, more than 53 percent of Madison residents over the age of 25 have completed at least a bachelor's degree. The city's rich artistic culture, resplendent lakefront setting, and growing health and biotech sectors make Mad City a destination of choice for students and workers alike.

Colleges in Madison

Madison is home to the state's flagship public university, the University of Wisconsin. The university offers 132 undergraduate majors, 149 master's degree programs, and 120 doctoral programs serving a total enrollment of 43,275 students. It also is home to schools of law, medicine/public health, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.

Dominican Catholic liberal arts school Edgewood College is also located in Madison. Edgewood College offers 60 academic majors and 40 minors that lead to certificates, undergraduate, and post-graduate degrees across the arts and sciences.

Madison-based students can also choose among two-year, community colleges as well as private technical schools. Madison Area Technical College, a two-year public college, offers degrees, certificates and diplomas in 144 career fields. It leads all colleges in preparing students for transfer to the University of Wisconsin.

Also at the two-year level, The University of Wisconsin Colleges provides an option for more than 14,000 freshman/sophomore students across a network of 13 campuses and online education programs.

Here's a look at colleges in Madison:

University of Wisconsin-MadisonPublicFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in. Post-graduate and certificates.
Madison Area Technical CollegePublicPart-time two-year, associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates.
Edgewood CollegeNot for Profit (Private)Full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in. Post-graduate and certificates.
Bellarmine UniversityNot for Profit (Private)Full-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in.
University of Wisconsin CollegesPublicPart-time two-year, associate degrees, technical diplomas and certificates.

Top Industries, Careers, and Employers

Forbes Magazine reports that the cost of living in Madison is nearly three percent higher than the national average, with residents earning a $58,144 median annual income. The median home price in Madison is $208,500. The projected annual job growth rate, according to Forbes, is 1.3 percent. The two top employers in Madison are the state government and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rounding out the top five are the U.S. Government, American Family Insurance, and Madison Metropolitan School District.

Organizations including The Small Business Development Center and City of Madison Office of Business Resources are spearheading redevelopment and business incentive programs to encourage start-ups and attract new businesses through selected zones with sub-market interest rates on real estate loans. Companies including Oscar Mayer, the Rayovac Corporation, and Promega Corporation already have corporate headquarters in the city. Madison is also home to more than 30 insurance companies and 120 banks.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the leading 2013 Madison employment sectors as:

  • Government, 86,600 workers
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, 56,900 workers
  • Professional and Business Services, 43,000 workers
  • Education, 41,500 workers
  • Leisure and Hospitality, 29,000 workers

For the first half of 2014, The BLS has identified the following four economic sectors to receive the highest percentages of occupational growth:

  • Professional and Business services
  • Education and Health services
  • Mining and Logging
  • Construction

Colleges & Universities in Madison


University of Wisconsin-Madison46,756$8,592Public
Madison Area Technical College24,550$3,356Public
Edgewood College3,949$22,850Not For Profit (Private)


University of Wisconsin Colleges18,975$4,503Public

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