2016-17 Catalog

Publication date June 2016

About UW-La Crosse

UW-La Crosse: a profile

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse continues to position itself among the country's elite public universities. The university is the state's top-ranked public or private higher education institution by the US News & World Report for master's degree institutions and has been ranked among the top four Midwestern public institutions for more than a decade. UWL is also listed annually among Kiplinger's Top 100 Best Values, and has been on its national list of the "25 Best College Values Under $30,000 a Year."  UWL is one of only 23 colleges nationwide recognized by U.S.News & World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings (2016) for stellar undergraduate research and creative projects

The student body of around 10,500 from 44 states and 27 countries is impressive. The retention rate is an outstanding 85 percent. The six-year graduation rate for students beginning in fall 2009 was 69 percent, well above the national average. Around 20 percent of students study abroad.

UWL offers 94 undergraduate programs in 30 disciplines and 26 graduate programs and emphases. Students learn directly from professors, not assistants. An 18:1 student-faculty ratio means small classes. Students learn directly from professors - including the Wisconsin Professor of the Year, an honor UWL faculty have earned four times in the last five years. 

The university is organized into three academic colleges and two schools: the College of Business Administration, College of Science and Health, College of Liberal Studies, the School of Arts and Communication (housed within the College of Liberal Studies), and the School of Education, Professional and Continuing Education. Teacher education is a campus wide commitment. Descriptions of the departments and programs within the colleges as well as general information, college curriculum requirements, and any requirements that apply to specific colleges can be found in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs or through UWL's Academics page. Descriptions of pre-professional programs are included in the College of Science and Health. Wisconsin teacher licensure information is included in the School of Education, Professional and Continuing Education section.

The university's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Eagles, compete in 19 sports, predominately in the NCAA Division III, and as of Dec. 31, 2015, have earned 67 national titles, 33 since 2001. The university is proud of the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, a $16.6 million athletic complex completed in 2009 and funded entirely by private donations. The site is home to the annual WIAA State High School Track and Field Championships and has hosted the NCAA Division III National Track and Field Championships numerous times.

The campus lies in a residential section of the city of La Crosse (population 52,000, metro 133,665). La Crosse is a major point of interest on the Great River Road that winds north and south through 10 states along the Mississippi River. The city is nestled on the east bank of the river below towering 500-foot bluffs separated by steep-walled ravines known as coulees. See more about the city and area at La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

UWL offers much to western Wisconsin by hosting cultural events, regional and national conferences, and prominent speakers. UWL works cooperatively with other area education and medical institutions to foster cutting-edge health care in the region, as well as a state-of-the-art health research and education facility.

The university's history dates back to 1909 when the 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. The university became part of the University of Wisconsin System in 1971. Discover more at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Freedom of thought and expression

The faculty and administration of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse believe that it is the task of the university to make people safe for ideas, not to make ideas safe for people. Beyond formal lectures and laboratory experiences, the University provides opportunities for the presentation of diverse views to stimulate thought and discussion in the University community. It is the responsibility of the University to strive, over a period of time, to attain a diversified presentation of ideas by people who are engaged in research and social dialogue. Thus, the University seeks to increase student exposure to the ever-expanding world of ideas. In a democratic society we can do no less. The appearance of any particular speaker on campus implies neither approval nor disapproval by the administration or the faculty of what that speaker says.

Civil rights

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is totally committed to providing equal education and employment opportunity regardless of race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, or veteran status. Pursuant to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance by way of grant, contract or loan. Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin is prohibited. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability. Equal educational opportunity includes: admission, recruitment, extracurricular programs and activities, housing facilities, access to course offerings, counseling and testing, financial assistance, employment, health and insurance services, and athletics. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is unlawful and contrary to the fundamental standards of a university community. All grievances, questions or requests for information should be referred to the Office of Affirmative Action, 131 Graff Main Hall. 

Accommodation of religious beliefs

It is the policy of the Board of Regents that students’ sincerely held religious beliefs shall be reasonably accommodated with respect to all examinations and other academic requirements. Pursuant to UWS 22, the claim of a religious conflict should be accepted at face value, and any student with a conflict between an academic requirement and any religious observance must be given an alternative means of meeting the academic requirement. The student must notify the instructor within the first three weeks of class (within the first week of summer session and short courses) of the specific days/dates for which the student will request relief. Instructors may schedule a make-up examination or other academic requirement before or after the regularly scheduled examination or other academic requirement. Complaints may be filed with the Director of Affirmative Action.

Accessibility for individuals with disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Ongoing efforts are being made to ensure that facilities and programs are accessible to all students with disabilities. All students must identify and present documentation (no older than three years) of their disabilities to the Disability Resources Services office in order to receive ongoing accommodations.

Direct student services to those with physical, sensory or learning disabilities/ADHD include, but are not limited to: classroom note takers, tutors, class preregistration, taped textbooks, academic advising, individual/group counseling and equipment loan. Specific requests for assistance or information should be directed to the coordinator of the ACCESS Center, 165 Murphy Library. 

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