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

Institution Type Programs
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:

  • Management
  • Computer and Mathematics
  • Legal
  • 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:

Employer Employees
Aurora Health Care 21,100
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare 12,000
Froedert & Community Health 8,600
Kohl’s Corp. 7,700
Roundy’s Supermarket 6,800
GE Healthcare Technologies 6,000
Quad/Graphics Inc. 5,600
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

Online Colleges in Milwaukee