First founded in 1890 as St. Rose Normal School to prepare religious sisters for elementary school teaching, Viterbo University is now a comprehensive private four-year Roman Catholic liberal arts institution. Each year, Viterbo enrolls more than 2,100 undergraduates and 800 post-graduates in five academic colleges. Men were allowed to enter the co-educational college starting in 1970. Viterbo University is located on a small urban campus in La Crosse, Wisconsin, along the majestic bluffs of the Mississippi River. Viterbo is well-known for being just one of 22 members of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU) in America. The student-faculty ratio at Viterbo is 12:1 to provide direct, personalized education.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, Viterbo University is ranked as the 104th best regional college in the Midwest for 2015. Due to Viterbo's Franciscan values-based education and strong emphasis on service learning, the university has been named to the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. GI Jobs magazine named Viterbo among the top 15 percent of "Military Friendly Schools" in the United States. Forbes magazine has ranked La Crosse as the 43rd best city nationwide for quality higher education. Viterbo University's athletic department was also recognized by the NAIA Champions of Character program. Overall job placement rates for Viterbo graduates has exceeded 96 percent too.
Viterbo University Accreditation Details
Viterbo University meets the high academic standards of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). This is one of six regional accrediting bodies approved by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Viterbo is licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI). Viterbo University has membership in the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). Academic departments have also pursued 10 discipline-specific accreditations from leading associations. For instance, counseling degrees are given the stamp of approval from the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Viterbo University Application Requirements
With a selective acceptance rate of 70 percent, Viterbo University holds high admissions criteria that incoming applicants must exceed. First-year freshmen must have satisfactorily completed an approved high school diploma or GED certificate. 16 units of college preparatory courses, including four units of English, three units of math, three units of natural science, three units of history, and three units of electives, is mandatory. AP and IB classes are viewed favorably. Incoming freshmen should have ranked in the top 50 percentile on the ACT or SAT score. Admitted Viterbo students have an average secondary school GPA of 3.3.
Undergraduate transfers are accepted from other regionally accredited colleges. Transfer students must be in good academic standing and eligible for reenrollment at their previously attended institution. Possessing a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.75 is required. If transfers have less than 24 credit hours, they'll be required to submit ACT or SAT scores like first-year freshmen. Easy transfer options are available for graduates from Madison Area Technical College, North Central Technical College, Rochester Community Technical College, Southeast Technical College-Minnesota, and Western Technical College. International students will be required to submit TOEFL scores of at least 500 paper-based or 61 Internet-based.
Interested students who embody Viterbo's core values of "Contemplation, Hospitality, Integrity, Stewardship, and Service" can apply for admissions by submitting:
- Completed online application form
- Official high school and/or college transcripts
- Score reports for the ACT (4662) or SAT (1878)
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- One-page personal statement essay
- Two to three letters of recommendation
- $25 non-refundable application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Viterbo University ranks as one of the most affordable private universities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa. Full-time undergraduate students pursuing 12 to 18 credits can expect to pay $12,180 per semester. Multiplied by two semesters this would equal $24,360 in tuition each academic year. Students are also responsible for paying a $95 student activity fee and $250 technology fee each semester. With tuition and fees, full-time undergraduates must budget for $25,050 annually. Online learners at Viterbo will save considerably on the average room and board cost of $8,260 though. Books, supplies, and course fees aren't included.
85 percent of undergraduate students attending Viterbo University obtain some form of financial assistance. In fact, over $4.9 million in institutional aid was awarded in Fall 2014. Borrowing money via Direct loans, Perkins loans, PLUS loans, and private alternative loans is possible, but the funds must be paid back with interest. Certain qualified students may receive the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state undergraduates could be eligible for the WPGC Grant, Wisconsin Higher Education Grant, or Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available for students living on or near campus. Awards are also abundant, including the ROTC Scholarship, Transfer Scholarship, and Professional Diversity Scholarship.
Online Degree(s) Available
Through Viterbo's Center for Adult Learning, non-traditional students can receive a flexible online education from a fully accredited Catholic institution. Online learners can currently select from eight fully online and four hybrid degree programs. Viterbo University students will benefit from 24/7 Moodle technical support, tutoring, and academic advising. Aspiring counselors could receive the following degree online:
B.S. in Substance Abuse Counseling
As a hybrid online degree completion program, the B.S. in Substance Abuse Counseling at Viterbo is designed for undergraduate transfers with a two-year associate's degree in human services or counseling. Students are trained on the effective intervention techniques for addressing the profound impact of alcohol and drug abuse or dependence. The curriculum is structured to present all substance abuse counseling theories and evidence-based practices. It's ideal for students interested in pursuing careers in counseling, psychology, healthcare, human services, criminal justice, or Christian ministry.
The majority of coursework is delivered online, but the B.S. degree does require a one-week summer residency conclusion on the La Crosse campus. Major courses will build upon the general education of an associate's degree to develop mastery in medical terminology, addiction counseling, pharmacology, human development, mental health assessment, crisis intervention, healthcare ethics, group therapy, and child psychology. The program is endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Licensing and Regulations for satisfying the 360 education hours required to become an AODA Substance Abuse Counselor.
Graduate students may also be interested in pursuing the CACREP-accredited Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program at Viterbo University.