Liberal Arts Schools in Milwaukee with Degree Overviews

The Milwaukee area has four schools classified as liberal arts colleges. To find out about this type of institution and figure out which one is right for you, read about the degrees and requirements at three schools located within 15 miles of the city's center.

Milwaukee Liberal Arts Programs

U.S. News & World Report describes liberal arts colleges as schools where half of the students earn degrees in the liberal arts and where undergraduate education is highlighted. In this article, the program options at three Milwaukee-area schools are covered. Also included is a table of stats on each college, as well as some info on a fourth school choice available.

  • Wisconsin Lutheran College is about seven miles from central Milwaukee, and its small student population is made up of undergraduates.
  • Another choice is Alverno College, one of the largest Catholic women's colleges in the country. It offers a skill- and ability-based curriculum. The campus is situated roughly 10 miles from downtown Milwaukee.
  • Located around 11 miles from Milwaukee's downtown area, Mount Mary College offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The school is a Catholic institution for women.

Comparison of Schools

The profiled colleges are all private institutions with similar tuition costs for undergraduate students. To discover some of the differences, such as in the area of acceptance and graduation rates, check out this table.

Wisconsin Lutheran College Alverno College Mount Mary College
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 1,179* 2,389* 1,385*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $27,040 for all undergraduates* $25,660 for all undergraduates* $26,760 for all undergraduates *
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014) 100%* 100%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 64%* 65%* 35%*
Retention Rate (2014) 70% for full-time students* 74% for full-time students* 78% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 61%* 36%* 49%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Wisconsin Lutheran College

Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) has a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, and its undergraduate classes average 16 students. Wisconsin Lutheran College offers humanities programs in fields like English, Spanish, history, and theatre, among other choices. The school also offers degrees in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and other natural sciences. The school's programs emphasize the development of leadership and critical thinking skills while teaching these skills in a Christian environment. Students may be able to apply AP or CLEP credits to degree requirements.

Undergraduate Degrees in the Liberal Arts

WLC offers undergraduate degree programs conferring Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. Students can combine these degree programs with pre-professional studies like pre-law, pre-med, or pre-vet, among other options. However, some of these pre-professional programs are limited to certain majors, so applicants interested in this option might consider talking to an advisor.

Students at WLC typically earn 128 credits for a bachelor's degree. Students don't declare a major until after the first year of study (or until earning 32 credits if attending part time). Many of WLC's fields of study may also be selected as minors. Some of these minors have been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, allowing students to use them as preparation for teaching at the middle or secondary school level.

Graduate Degrees in the Liberal Arts

The graduate program at WLC confers a Master of Arts with specializations in high performance instruction, leadership and innovation, instructional technology, science instruction and transition to teaching. This program may be taken on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. The on-campus classes usually meet once a week. Students may select concentrations in science instruction, leadership and innovation, instructional technology, or high performance instruction.

Alverno College

The School of Arts & Sciences at Alverno College provides its students with a very broad educational experience, requiring liberal arts majors to not only fulfill classroom-based education requirements, but also demonstrate acquired skills based on the school's skill-based curriculum. All liberal arts majors complete some kind of practicum in their coursework, though it may vary in form, from a psychology internship to a semester-long professional practice seminar for communication & technology students. The school offers most of the general education courses all students must pass, regardless of major. Fields of study offered to students at Alverno College include psychology, mathematics, music, English, and Chinese.

Undergraduate Degrees in the Liberal Arts

Alverno confers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees to its undergraduate students. The first two years of liberal arts programs are spent on general education classes; more specialized coursework is completed in the latter two years of the 4-year degree time frame.

Graduate Degree in the Liberal Arts

Four graduate programs are offered for liberal arts students attending Alverno College, including a Master of Arts in Education. The Master of Science in Community Psychology program focuses on the importance of the community in effectively preventing and treating mental illness. It includes a track for aspiring Licensed Professional Counselors. Graduates are able to administer the SCID-I or SCID-II as master's-level clinicians. The college also offers a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Nursing.

Mount Mary College

Mount Mary College (MMC) is a Catholic women's college affiliated with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The undergraduate curriculum is based on integrating faith and reason in the classroom with the goal of helping students develop socially and spiritually. The school also emphasizes a mission of social justice in its curriculum. In addition to the fields of study mentioned in the table, other options include graphic design, justice, chemistry, and accounting.

Undergraduate Degrees in the Liberal Arts

Undergraduate students must complete 128 credits to earn their degrees at MMC, and students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better to graduate. Admission to a specific major typically occurs at the end of the student's first year at the school. To prepare students for future employment, many majors require off-campus experiences, like clinical work, fieldwork, student teaching, or internships. Bachelor's degree programs confer Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

Graduate Degrees in the Liberal Arts

Graduate degree options include a master's degree and doctorate in art therapy, as well as master's degrees in education, English, occupational therapy, counseling, dietetics and business administration. Credit requirements to earn these degrees may vary; students are advised to check with the school for further information.

Other School Options

Carthage College, located about 38 miles from Milwaukee in Kenosha, offers bachelor's and master's degrees. This Lutheran Church-affiliated college offers programs in actuarial science, meteorology, public relations, and astronomy, among other fields of study.

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