Spanning nearly 100 square miles, Milwaukee has 25 institutions of higher education, including two-year community colleges, technical schools and four-year public and private universities. Milwaukee’s colleges offer online and hybrid courses and programs, as well as personalized, competency-based degree options. Students can choose from a myriad of subjects, some of which mirror dominant local industries such as design, health care, education and technology.
Higher Education in Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) is the city’s foremost public research university. Awarding bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, UWM offers 188 academic programs from 14 colleges and schools, including the School of Education, College of Health Sciences and Lubar School of Business. UWM also boasts dozens of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, as well as pre-professional programs in law, dentistry, veterinary medicine and more. One of UWM’s standout programs is the UW Flexible Option, a personalized degree program that allows students to work at their own pace and earn a degree based on competency rather than credit hours.
The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is a private four-year university offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, nursing, business and mathematics. Students can select from 14 undergraduate engineering majors and three graduate engineering programs. The associate to bachelor’s degree transfer program gives students with an associate degree in electrical engineering the chance to earn a bachelor’s degree in two years. MSOE reports a low student-to-faculty ratio and high job-placement rate.
Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is a two-year public college with 170 academic programs. Degree and certificate programs at MATC range from two-year associate degree programs in business and registered nursing to one-year technical programs in medical coding and pharmacy technology. The school’s focus on technical education is reflected in its numerous on-campus training labs, including a dental hygiene clinic and a restaurant operated by culinary arts students.
Colleges and Universities in Milwaukee
|University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee||Four-Year, Public||Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||Four-Year, Private||Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees|
|Columbia College of Nursing||Four-Year, Private||Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing|
|Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design||Four-Year, Private||Bachelor’s Degrees in Communication Technologies, Visual and Performing Arts and Architecture|
|Marquette University||Four-Year, Private||Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees|
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||Two-Year, Public||Certificates and Associate Degrees|
|Cardinal Stritch University||Four-Year, Private||Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees|
|Alverno College||Four-Year, Private||Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees|
|Medical College of Wisconsin||Four-Year, Private||Post-Bachelor’s Certificates, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees|
|Mount Mary College||Four-Year, Private, Catholic, Women’s Institution||Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees|
|Wisconsin Lutheran College||Four-Year, Private||Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees|
Choices for Online Studies in Milwaukee
UWM Online has 180 online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In the hybrid programs, students take online courses and travel to the campus to receive hands-on training and to utilize facilities and other learning opportunities. Students in the hybrid program may also participate in internships and complete a practicum, depending on the program. UWM’s fully online programs include undergraduate degree programs in art history, communication, history, nursing and other subjects.
Offered through the School of Business, MATC’s 19 online programs include technical diploma programs and associate degree programs in accounting, advertising management, sales management, transportation and more. While the majority of the curriculum can be completed online, some programs may require on-campus meetings and proctored exams.
Cardinal Stritch University offers 14 online undergraduate and graduate programs in business, education, health and professional development. The online education programs include master’s degree programs in instructional technology and educational leadership, as well as an educator license renewal program and a master's program that prepares graduates to seek state special education certification.
Major Careers and Employers
Financial services and health care are among Milwaukee’s top industries, with health care systems and hospitals employing more than 50,000 out of the city's nearly 600,000 residents. Manufacturing remains Wisconsin’s biggest industry, and Milwaukee produces everything from engines, electrical equipment and household products to domestic beers and motorcycles.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of residents in the Milwaukee area are employed in education and health services; manufacturing; and trade, transportation and utilities. Additionally, a significant amount of Milwaukee’s employment opportunities are in leisure and hospitality, government and financial services. The top paying careers in Milwaukee include:
- Computer and Mathematics
- Health Care
- Business and Financial Operations
- Architecture and Engineering
- Life, Physical and Social Sciences
Milwaukee’s leading employers range from mobile technologies companies and casinos to supermarkets and retail stores. The largest employers are as follows:
|Aurora Health Care||21,100|
|Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare||12,000|
|Froedert & Community Health||8,600|
|GE Healthcare Technologies||6,000|
|Columbia-St. Mary’s Health||5,400|
|Medical College of Wisconsin||5,200|
|ProHealth Care Inc.||5,000|
Financial firms and institutions of higher education also rank high on the list, with more than 17,000 residents employed at banks and colleges. At least 25 Milwaukee companies employ more than 2,000 workers. The diverse economy incorporates some interesting blends of expertise, such as health care educators and tech designers of health care products.
Colleges & Universities in Milwaukee
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES IN MILWAUKEE
|University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee||36,123||$7,669||Public|
|Marquette University||12,529||$31,400||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Cardinal Stritch University||10,980||$22,720||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Alverno College||3,111||$20,544||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||2,850||$30,990||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Mount Mary College||2,348||$22,540||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Medical College of Wisconsin||1,380||N/A||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Wisconsin Lutheran College||983||$22,680||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design||707||$26,990||Not For Profit (Private)|
COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS IN MILWAUKEE
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||28,458||$3,356||Public|