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Nearly one-third of the Badger State's population aged 25 years or older holds an undergraduate degree.

Home to one of the largest public institutions of higher education in the country, Wisconsin boasts an extensive network of two- and four-year state universities. Wisconsin also provides educational opportunities at private colleges and 16 technical colleges.

In Wisconsin, online schooling spans disciplines and institutions. Online undergraduate programs offered through the University of Wisconsin System allow students to collaborate across campuses and schools, including programs in business administration, information science and technology, and nursing. There are also 23 private colleges in Wisconsin that offer online academic programs.

Earning a bachelor's degree in Wisconsin prepares graduates to pursue careers in the state's top fields, including business, digital technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. This guide provides information about the best online colleges in Wisconsin, detailing the types of available programs, common professional pathways, and salary data in the state.

The Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin

#1 Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • Milwaukee, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has online programming that ranks favorably among similar opportunities. Those who enroll at the public institution remotely have four online degrees to choose from at both graduate and undergraduate levels. The school has a proven track record in online education and a reputation for strong academics, making it a popular choice for distance learners.

Online learners can also work with academic and career services professionals located at the Milwaukee campus. Online offerings by academic advisors and career-planning events like virtual job fairs help degree-seekers plan for success. Internships are available to help students gain hands-on experience. A degree with full accreditation is awarded to all enrollees upon completing their program.

Ask the school directly for more information about online degree options and how to apply.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 9,733

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Online Master's Programs: 1

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 2%

Admission Rate: 77%

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,091
Out-of-state
$19,661
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,543
Out-of-state
$23,775
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
25,731
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

  • La Crosse, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Anyone interested in pursuing a degree online should consider University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The public school's seven online programs consist of both undergraduate and graduate offerings. Distance learners appreciate the way the school brings its reputation for academic success to its online programming.

Online learners can also work with academic and career services professionals located at the La Crosse campus. Career services programs such as academic advising and virtual job fairs help degree-seekers achieve their professional goals. The school also facilitates internship opportunities that help students gain real-world experience. Those who complete all program requirements receive an accredited degree upon graduation.

School representatives can provide additional information about application and program specifics.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,129

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Online Master's Programs: 5

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 10%

Admission Rate: 73%

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,585
Out-of-state
$16,404
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,651
Out-of-state
$18,637
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
10,623
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

  • Green Bay, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a popular choice among those seeking a degree online. The seven online programs offered by this public institution consist of both undergraduate and graduate offerings. Distance learners benefit from the school's track record in online education and its strong academic reputation.

The school hosts academic and career service specialists at its Green Bay campus, which online learners can also take advantage of. Programs like academic advising and virtual job fairs help degree-seekers plan for their academic and professional futures. The internship program that the school offers helps many students prepare for their future careers. The program grants graduates an accredited degree upon completion.

Prospective applicants can get more information about online programs and application requirements from the school directly.

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,503

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Online Master's Programs: 4

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 12%

Admission Rate: 85%

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,298
Out-of-state
$14,516
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,996
Out-of-state
$17,551
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
8,766
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

  • Kenosha, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Wisconsin-Parkside is a popular choice among those seeking a degree online. Five remote programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level are available at this public institution. Distance learners benefit from the school's track record in online education and its strong academic reputation.

From its Kenosha campus, the school supports online learners with academic and career services. Programs like academic advising and virtual job fairs help degree-seekers plan for their academic and professional futures. The school's internship program gives students a chance to gain hands-on field experience. Graduates receive a fully accredited degree upon completing their program.

Prospective students can get more information about online programs and application requirements from the school directly.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 2,055

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Online Master's Programs: 3

Percent of Programs Offered Online: 7%

Admission Rate: 66%

Accepts Transfer Credits: Data not available

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,298
Out-of-state
$14,568
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,028
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
4,388
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Wisconsin Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in Wisconsin based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

Employment in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's major industries include healthcare, manufacturing, and digital technology, which coincide with many of the top-paying careers in the state.

Major cities like Madison host large technology employers, but Wisconsin also offers regional career pathways in more rural areas. Resources like the Wisconomy website and the skill explorer, both provided by the Department of Workforce Development, allow students to make informed choices about their employment options.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), unemployment numbers in Wisconsin are on the decline. In December 2020, unemployment in Wisconsin was 4% — significantly lower than August 2020's 6% rate.

As employment opportunities expand, individuals can also benefit from the lower-than-average cost of living in Wisconsin. Wisconsin's cost of living index is just 90.9, as compared to the national standard of 100. The state's lowest cost of living expenses relative to the national average include housing and transportation.

The following data details the highest-paying roles employing more than 5,000 individuals in Wisconsin. Salary information applies specifically to Wisconsin, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.

Highest-Paying Careers in Wisconsin
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
Physicians $246,060 4% Doctoral degree
Chief Executives $159,500 4% Bachelor's degree
Sales Managers $139,230 4% Bachelor's degree
Financial Managers $138,420 15% Bachelor's degree
Pharmacists $134,090 -3% Doctoral degree
General and Operations Managers $131,220 6% Bachelor's degree
Lawyers $129,440 4% Doctoral degree
Source:BLS

The following data reflects the highest-paying roles employing more than 10,000 professionals in Wisconsin. Salary figures apply specifically to Wisconsin, while job growth data refers to the United States.

Most Common. Highest-Paying Careers in Wisconsin
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
General and Operations Managers $131,220 6% Bachelor's Degree
Software Developers $92,560 22% Bachelor's Degree
Management Analysts $88,500 11% Bachelor's Degree
Computer Systems Analysts $84,340 7% Bachelor's Degree
Mechanical Engineers $80,650 4% Bachelor's Degree
Source:BLS

Wisconsin Online Schooling: Associate and Graduate Degrees

Online colleges in Wisconsin offer undergraduate and graduate degrees that mirror their on-campus counterparts. For example, University of Wisconsin (UW) offers an associate of arts and sciences degree as both a traditional program and a flexible online option.

Through one of the technical colleges in Wisconsin, students can earn an online associate degree in accounting, early childhood education, and marketing. These programs lead to careers as accounting assistants, teaching aids, and marketing associates. Meanwhile, online associate of arts and sciences degrees build foundational knowledge for students aiming to enter the workforce or continue to bachelor's programs.

Online graduate degrees offered through Wisconsin's extension program unite institutions throughout the state, offering pathways in fields like study management, healthcare, and information technology. These lead to careers in business administration, healthcare management, and cybersecurity.

The UW online system provides online graduate degrees in nearly 60 disciplines. For example, students can pursue online master's degrees in business administration from three UW institutions, or they can earn online education and engineering master's degrees from six UW schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online College Cheaper in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin offers online degrees to both in-state and out-of-state students. Some schools offer flat-rate tuition for online learners, keeping costs lower for out-of-state students than they would be if those students studied on campus

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Degree in Wisconsin?

Online degrees in Wisconsin vary in length. Students can earn associate degrees in two years or less. Online bachelor's degrees include roughly four years of coursework, while graduate programs can span 2-10 years.

What Is the Most Popular Degree in Wisconsin?

According to a UW report, the top online major in Wisconsin is business. Education, biology, health sciences, and communication arts round out the top five majors for students enrolled online with UW.

Portrait of Melissa Sartore

Melissa Sartore

Melissa Sartore holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her BA and MA in history are from Western Illinois University. A medievalist by training, she has published on outlawry in medieval England with additional publications on outlaws in popular culture and across geographic and historical boundaries.


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