The start of Viterbo University can be traced back to 1890 and the St. Rose Normal School which was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration as a school to prepare Sisters to be teachers in elementary schools. It wasn’t until 1923 that collegiate courses were introduced and the school began taking steps to develop a regular four-year college program. The school formally became St. Rose Junior College by the 1931-1932 academic year and was approved by the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 1937, the growing college made plans for a new building and the name of the school changed to Viterbo College. By 1939, after further development of the school, the college was approved as a 4-year degree granting institution for the preparation of teachers for elementary schools. The school held its first commencement exercises in 1940 and graduates from the program were certified by the State Department of Public Instruction.
In 1943 the first Lay women were admitted to the college, which increased the diversity as well as helped the college to grow. In the 1950s the school expanded their program in Liberal Arts as well as in the preparation of teachers for secondary schools. In 1952 the program received approval from the University of Wisconsin Committee on College Accreditation. Viterbo attained accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1954 and was re-confirmed in 1979. The college became co-ed in 1970 when the first men were admitted to the school.
On September 4 of 2000, Viterbo formally became Viterbo University. In 2013, the first doctoral program was introduced to the programs offered at Viterbo University, the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
About La Crosse, Wisconsin
While visiting the area or going to school at Viterbo University, you may want to know what else is going on in the local area. One of the suggested places to visit in La Crosse is Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Motherhouse. It would be even more interesting for students or potential students, as the founding of the school was by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. There are a few local places to take in the scenery, like Riverside Park, Goose Island County Park or Grandad Bluff if you are into nature. Beer enthusiasts can enjoy checking out the Turtle Stack Brewery, and if cars are more your thing, there is the Dahl Auto Museum. It should be easy to find things to do around La Crosse during any downtime you might experience.
Academics at Viterbo University
There is a large variety of majors offered at Viterbo for students to choose from, or if they begin taking core classes, they can study as undeclared. The selection of majors is:
Accounting Degree Completion – Online
Art (Studio Art)
Associate of Arts/Science – Online
Broad Field Social Studies
BSN Completion – Daytime/Online
Creative Media Design (graphic design, visual communication, digital media, etc.)
Health Care Management – Online
Health Care and Wellness Management
Management and Leadership
Management Information Systems – Online
Music Performance (Piano, Piano Pedagogy, Voice, Vocal Pedagogy)
Nutrition and Dietetics
Organizational Management – Evening/Online
Professional Studies – Online
Sport Management and Leadership
Sport Science and Leadership
Substance Abuse Counseling – Evening
How Students Feel
A recent survey of 355 students attending Viterbo asked them to rate the school and their experience there on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being Excellent, 3 Average, and 1 Terrible. The majority of students, 321 to be exact, ranked the school average or higher. Students were also asked for comments along with their survey and many students new to the school were surprised at how easy the school made it for them to settle in at Viterbo University. Others commented on how knowledgeable and friendly the professors and staff are. Another student mentioned how valuable the workforce views a degree from Viterbo and how important that was to them. In fact, 78% of students are confident that they will be able to find employment after graduation.
Viterbo University is accredited/approved by:
American Chemical Society
Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Council on Social Work Education
Higher Learning Commission
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
National Association of Schools of Music
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Wisconsin State Board of Nursing
Core Values: Contemplation, Hospitality, Stewardship, Integrity, and Service.
Mission: “The Viterbo University community prepares students for faithful service and ethical leadership.”