History of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was founded in 1909 as the La Crosse Normal School.  Today, it is one of the 13 four-year campuses in the University of Wisconsin System.  Originally known for its nationally recognized physical education program, UW-La Crosse now offers 85 undergraduate programs in 30 disciplines, and 21 graduate programs and emphases in eight disciplines.

The compact 119-acre campus located in a residential section of La Crosse provides a vibrant place to live and learn.  Enrollment has grown from 176 when the doors opened to more than 9,000.  Statewide, freshman credentials are second only to UW-Madison, and showed the most improvement in ACT scores and class rank during the past decade, according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.  The campus embraces diversity, a commitment that has increased minority and international students, faculty and staff.  Students take part in an array of organizations and community service.  Intercollegiate teams compete in 19 sports and have produced 21 national championships since 1990.

The university offers much to the region - cultural events, regional and national conferences, prominent speakers, applied research, professionals with varying expertise, a large workforce, and numerous faculty, staff and student community volunteers.  UW-La Crosse works cooperatively with the city's other higher education institutions and area elementary and secondary schools.  Also, the university led development of a consortium among the city's higher education institutions and major health care organizations to bring cutting-edge health care to the region, along with a state-of-the-art health research and education facility.

For more than 90 years UW-La Crosse has been the prominent intellectual engine that educates a high quality workforce for the region.  The university remains proud of its regional heritage and looks forward to retaining its prominence in the area's economic vitality.

Information provided by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse University Relations Office.