A Visit to UW Platteville

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By Sue Luse


UW-Plattville has a long rich history dating back to 1866. It’s situated in Platteville, Wisconsin, population 11,200. It’s an hour from Madison and 20 minutes from Dubuque, Iowa. There are malls and a Target nearby. Platteville is home of the world’s largest “M” – iconic symbol of the mining tradition. It is located on the Platte Mound four miles northeast of the city of Platteville. The university and the community join together for events such as Homecoming and other activities down historic Main street. Free shuttles are available every hour for students.

  • Total enrollment is approximately 8600
  • 1640 freshman
  • Classes do not use TAs
  • All professors have to have 10 office hours
  • Largest lecture has 100 students
  • Small class sizes
  • Only 1% are from MN
  • 80% are in-state
  • 77% retention


There are three colleges:

  • College of BILSA – Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture
  • College of EMS – Engineering, Mathematics and Science
  • College of LAE – Liberal Arts and Education

UW-Platteville offers 41 majors.

Engineering, physics and software are considered the most difficult. Freshman engineering students will explore all avenues of engineering. Industrial engineering require less math and science – more hands on. Career path could be project engineers.

Criminal Justice and Forensics Investigation are popular degrees.  UW-Platteville has a CSI crime scene investigation house. It is a research facility where students do “pig digs.” They use pigs that die of natural causes to study and investigate decomposing bodies. They even dress up the pigs. There are also cadaver labs. Students do get jobs such as fingerprint techs for the FBI. Target Corp hired criminal justice majors for loss prevention. There are career opportunities beyond law enforcement for Criminal Justice and Forensics Investigation majors.

Experiential and hands-on learning are emphasized at UW-Platteville.There are many opportunities to do undergrad research. Sixty-five percent do inter nships and paid co-ops – highest of any UW system.

Text books are included with tuition. Students must take a one credit “Intro to College” course. There are lots of academic support to help students succeed.

Campus Life

  • Two brand new dorms
  • Freshman and sophomores must live on campus
  • Most students stay on campus
  • New athletic center
  • Greenhouse – grows fresh produce used in dining hall
  • Two engineering buildings
  • Only serves Starbucks coffee
  • Greeks are a little more low key, not as popular
  • Lots of student clubs, including Tug of War club
  • 60% involved in choir
  • Band, marching band very popular.
  • Division 3 Hockey is a club sport
  • Ski hills at Dubuque
  • Sledding on sofas down hills
  • The engineers had a fun sense of humor
  • Lots of school spirit


  • Students must take a math and English placement test
  • Should take math senior year to do well on placement test to graduate in 4 years
  • Two years of high school language will waive language
  • Needs a math ACT of 22 for engineering placement
  • Top half of class or ACT of 22
  • Holistic review
  • Has other paths for admission
  • Average ACT – 23.5
  • Writing test not required.
  • Rolling admissions
  • Enrichment statement
  • Received 4500 applications
  • Apply early especially for scholarships by Oct 1 – could hear back in two weeks.

Financial Aid

  • Tuition – approximately $15,000
  • 74% get aid

UW-Platteville engineering graduates are sought after by companies because of the school’s hands-on approach to teaching engineering. Professors are available to meet with prospective students.

Overlaps – UW Madison, Lacrosse, Lora’s, Iowa State, UW River Falls, AG, Stout for Engineering. Platteville and Madison are best for engineering

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