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Degree Programs Available Through the University of Wisconsin System Online

University of Wisconsin System Online appears in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges Online.

The University of Wisconsin System Online allows students to enroll in programs to earn associate’s, bachelor’s and graduate degrees online. Three different associate’s degree programs are available for students who want to transfer and work on a bachelor’s degree later and those who want to go to work in a specific field. They can choose between a business administration program and one with an emphasis on arts and sciences classes. While business administration majors take finance and other business courses, those in the second program take Planet Earth, College Writing I and II, Principles of Microeconomics and General Psychology.

More than 50 programs are available from different campuses for online students seeking a bachelor’s degree. The individually designed major gives students more freedom. They’ll work with online advisors to ensure they meet the requirements to get their degrees, but they can take science, education, math and history classes as well as courses from other disciplines. The special education program is available from two different campuses and includes courses on curriculum design and teaching fundamentals. Some of the other majors available for online bachelor’s students include:

  • Liberal arts
  • Marketing and business education
  • Health information technology
  • Economics
  • Elementary education
  • Business administration
  • Nursing

Through the multiple programs available online for graduate students, the system allows them to get the advanced training they need in certain fields. The data science major is a collaborative program created by six different campuses in the system. Students can take classes on any of those campuses in addition to their online classes. The health care administration, health and wellness, and sustainable management programs are also collaborative efforts. Training and human resource development, student affairs administration in higher education, operations and supply chain management, conservation biology and community and organizational leadership are some of the other graduate programs available online.

The UW Flexible Option refers to a series of programs that allow students to set the pace at which they’ll learn. Faculty members will oversee the student’s work and decide when the student can progress to the next course or level in the program. Business administration, business and technical communications, diagnostic imaging, information science and technology, health sciences, project management, nursing, and substance abuse disorder are the programs available in a flexible format. The University of Wisconsin System Online also offers certificates in advanced GIS, autism spectrum disorders, human resource management, instructional design, and other subjects.

About the University of Wisconsin System Online

The University of Wisconsin System Online refers to all branches of the university system that offer classes online. Established in 1848, the University of Wisconsin is one of the country’s largest public school systems with an enrollment of more than 170,000 students. The campuses that are part of the system operated independently for many years before coming together in 1971. Most of those campuses use the UW abbreviation followed by the city where the campus sits such as UW Madison, which is the flagship campus in the system and the largest.

Known as UW Colleges Online for many years, the system opened in 1998 and initially offered only associate’s degree programs. It also allowed students attending another campus to take classes online and transfer their credits back to the university. Since becoming part of the main system, it adopted the name University of Wisconsin System Online, though some also call it UW Online. Unlike other online schools that offer classes from just one college or university, this system allows students to enroll in all of the degree programs available online from all UW campuses.

University of Wisconsin System Online Accreditation Details

The University of Wisconsin System Online has the same accreditation held by all the other campuses in this system. That includes regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the specialty accreditation that applies to specific degree programs. The business and education programs available online are just a few that have accreditation. Due to regional accreditation, the online campus can grant financial aid packages for students.

University of Wisconsin System Online Application Requirements

Each branch of the UW System that has an application that student needs to complete when they apply. Incoming undergrads need to take high school classes that prepare them for university work, including English, social studies, science and math courses such as Algebra 1 and 2. They need to apply via the application for that campus and select the online program from those available. Students must pay an application fee and make sure that the university receives their transcripts. They may need to submit a test score also.

Graduate students will also need to apply via an online application and select a program from a list on the application. They must provide official transcripts to show that they have bachelor’s degrees and that they maintained a grade point average of at least 3.0. Some programs may ask for samples of the student’s past work to view his or her research skills and writing talents as well as a GRE score and letters of recommendation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The UW System charges undergrads in both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs $238 per credit hour if they live in Wisconsin. Though the university offers a discount for Minnesota residents taking on-campus classes, those students pay the same rate as all other nonresidents for their online courses, which is $285.60 per credit hour. An administration fee of $25 is due each semester too and applied to all student accounts. Graduate students may pay more than $20,000 a year for full-time online enrollment.

Getting financial aid is easy for students who use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Available on October first, it uses the students’ incomes from the last year or their parents’ incomes based on their ages and other factors. Online undergrads qualify for grants from the federal government and the state of Wisconsin, but they can also get loans from the federal government and some of the institutional scholarships offered by UW. There are loans and special financial aid programs available for graduate students. To get financial aid for any of the online degree programs, students must use the code from the school that offers the programs they want to study through the University of Wisconsin System Online.