Higher Education

The eight-county Madison Region is home to four University of Wisconsin campuses, four private 4+ year colleges, and four technical college systems. The Region’s higher education institutions enroll approximately 83,000 students annually and conferred more than 24,000 certificates and degrees in the 2018-2019 school year. 

With talent development at the core, these institutions are driven by a passion for education as well as a desire to build a labor force that facilitates economic development within Madison. The Region attracts professionals and retains Madison talent by breeding creativity and innovation, providing lifelong learning opportunities, and supporting business development and changing industries through targeted training.

The flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin educates approximately 44,000 students from over 130 countries each year and awards the highest number of doctorate degrees in the nation. For more than 30 years, UW-Madison has consistently ranked among the top ten universities for research & development, totaling over $1.3 billion in research investment in 2019. The university ranked 6th in patents issued among worldwide universities in 2013, stemming from the 2,000 researchers housed in more than 200 research centers on campus. Commercialization of this research led to the launch of more than 400 new businesses statewide and 42,855 new jobs. UW-Madison is truly a powerful economic engine with an annual economic impact of more than $10 billion statewide.

UW-Whitewater has one of the largest business schools in the U.S. and the most extensive graduate business program in the state. In 2018-2019, enrollment topped 12,000 from approximately 40 states and 40 countries. UW-Whitewater fosters research and entrepreneurship at the Whitewater University Technology Park, which houses the Whitewater Innovation Center — a collaborative space designated for business development.

The University of Wisconsin System’s regional two-year colleges — University of Wisconsin-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at Rock County — offer certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs in several fields. Both schools offer online courses and an easy pathway into the university’s four-year system.

Wisconsin’s oldest college and a top liberal arts school, Beloit College encourages hands-on learning experiences. It provides opportunities for students to pursue research and fieldwork with potential employers before graduation. Edgewood College in Madison delivers traditional degree programming, accelerated continuing education programs, and online classes for working adults. Employers and students in the Madison Region also benefit from specialized private institutions such as Herzing University and Maranatha Baptist University.

The Madison Region includes all portions of four technical college districts — Madison College, Blackhawk Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College — that offer students flexible options and the ability to transfer to UW-System schools. These highly responsive institutions are vital in shaping curricula that adapt and evolve to meet the needs of our advancing industries.

Educating a combined total of 18,000+ students each year in our Region, our technical colleges provide the skills and training needed to fill positions along with all levels of the labor force pipeline. Graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System boasted a 93 percent placement rate in 2019. Among alumni, 93 percent stay and live in the state, with 70% of those working within their technical college’s district.

The Madison Region’s educational system prepares well-educated workers with the skills needed for the changing technological landscape. The result is a bright, driven labor force that embodies a globally recognized, Midwestern work ethic.