Cardinal Stritch University (CSU) is a private Roman Catholic university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1937 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi as a training center for nuns. Today, Stritch is the largest Franciscan institution of higher education in North America, with nearly 7,000 students of which about 3,000 are undergraduates and 4,000 are graduate students.
There are branch campuses in Kenosha, Madison, and the towns of Eden Prairie and Rochester in Minnesota. The university administrates multiple outreach programs throughout the state of Wisconsin as well. In 2009, the school opened the City Center redevelopment project in central Milwaukee, establishing an inner-city presence.
The university’s motto, Ut probetis potiora (“To value the better things”), comes from the Bible, Philippians 1:10, and appropriately reflects the religious nature of the institution.
Associate degrees are awarded in the arts and sciences; bachelor’s degrees in arts, fine arts, music, and science; master’s degrees in arts, business administration, education, and music; and doctorates in education and philosophy. Academics are organized into four colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Management, College of Education and Leadership, and the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing. Academics are personal and intimate, with a faculty student ratio of 17:1 and an average class size of 14. Online learning is also an option here, with many degrees offered in Business, Education, and Health.
Students have many opportunities to study abroad. Those majoring or minoring in foreign language are required to undergo immersion experiences abroad. They may choose from semester programs, full-year programs, service immersion programs, academically intensive short-term programs, and teach abroad programs. The University maintains exchange partnerships with several universities around the world, including University of Cumbria in Lancaster, England; University of Chester in Chester, England; Østfold University College in Halden, Norway; Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, and Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The school has the distinction of having been named Wisconsin’s first “All-Steinway School” by Steinway & Sons since the music department features all Steinway & Sons pianos.
Admissions are moderately competitive. Prospective students are expected to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above from an accredited high school, or a GED score of 250 or higher, as well as a composite score of 20 or higher on the ACT or 940 or higher on the SAT. Students who have been out of high school for more than one year do not need to submit standardized test scores, but must instead complete the ASSET Placement Test before being admitted. The university administrates the ASSET free of charge.
Prospective students for the Associate of Science in Nursing (A.D.N.) degree program in the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing have additional admissions requirements. Incoming nursing students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher from an accredited high school, have a composite score of 20 or higher on the ACT or 940 or higher on the SAT. They must also rank in the top 50% of their high school graduating class, have achieved certification as a Nursing Assistant (CNA) prior to application, and have taken the NLN Pre-Admission Exam for Registered Nurses (NLN PAX RN) and have achieved benchmark scores.
Over 80% of undergraduate students receive financial aid here. On average, half of student tuition is paid by grants and scholarships. In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in Wisconsin, the school offers several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships, including:
- Honors Scholarship
- Franciscan Heritage Scholarship
- Serra and St. Bonaventure Scholarships
- School of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship
- Lilly Religious Scholars Vocation Program Scholarship
- Timothy M. Dolan Scholarship
- Legacy Scholarship
- International Student Scholarship
- Music Performance Scholarship
- Flahive Athletic Scholarship
Student Financial Aid Details
Residing on Campus
Stritch has two residence halls on campus, Clare Hall and Assisi Hall. Assisi Hall is a primarily first- and second-year residence, offering a variety of living arrangements, including 2, 3, and 4-bed open concept rooms and suites. No two rooms are exactly alike. All students share common bathrooms. Assisi Hall offers cable television, in-room high-speed Internet, full kitchens, 24-hour desk service, a fitness room, a game and television lounge, conference rooms, and computer lounges. Clare Hall offers single and double rooms with common bathrooms. The residence features cable television, in-room high speed Internet, kitchens, a quiet women’s floor, a late-night pizza bar, bike storage, kitchens, student lounges, a computer lounge, a fitness room, and a games longue. The university also owns two off-campus apartment facilities, mostly inhabited by upperclassmen and graduate students.
Campus ministry is a key element in student life here. According to the university literature, “Campus Ministry strives to affirm justice, protect equality and is committed to the open acceptance and sharing of cultural and religious diversity.” Students of all faiths are warmly welcome to participate.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Wolves compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Men’s sports include cross country, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and baseball. Women’s sports include cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball.
There are also intramural leagues and a spirit squad for students to join and to help cheer on the Wolves!
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.