UW-L is a public institution of higher education. In 1909 La Crosse Normal School opened its doors as a teacher training school. It became a state teachers college in 1927, a state college in 1951, and a state university in 1964. In 1971 the university became part of the University of Wisconsin System.

UW-L has nearly 10,000 students, with approximately 1,500 graduate students. The university offers over 85 undergraduate programs in many disciplines, plus a wide array of minors, emphases and other programs. There are nearly 350 full-time faculty and instructional academic staff, 73 percent of whom hold terminal degrees.

The average ACT score of the 2010 freshman class was 24.7, second highest in the UW System. Seventy-two percent of the new freshmen ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class. The first-to-second year retention rate is nearly 86 percent. There are many opportunities for students to participate in and benefit from grant funding awarded to faculty and staff annually.

Upon graduation, nearly 96 percent of bachelor’s degree graduates in the job market found full- or part-time employment within six months of graduation in 2009-10. (Most recent data available).

The 118-acre campus has 31 buildings, including 21 used for instruction, academic support, and administrative purposes; 10 residence halls and three student centers. UW-L consistently ranks in the top 3 institutions in the U.S. News & World Reports Midwest rankings (no.2 in 2011). It’s also ranked number 43 on the list of the nation’s 100 best value public colleges by Kiplinger’s Magazine (2011).