Choose Academics

 With five colleges, 80 majors, small class sizes, expert faculty, endless opportunities abound at Winona State University.

So much excellence in one place. So many possibilities to explore.

Study Abroad

WSU offers over 100 study abroad programs in 43 countries such as Mexico, Italy, China, Kenya, India, Scotland and so many more.

Study abroad programs can fit alongside your chosen major program or you can use the opportunity to tackle general education requirements

It’s up to you whether you want a semester-long program or a shorter faculty-led program offered during semester breaks.

Wherever and whenever you go, you will learn so much from a study abroad experience including:
• Gaining insights into different cultures
• The ability to communicate and collaborate with a diverse groups of people
• Global networking to build friendships and connections
• Increased flexibility, adaptability, confidence, and independence as a result of navigating unfamiliar situations

Army ROTC

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a leadership course that develops college students into Army Officers.

You will learn and develop a variety of valuable skills including critical thinking, time management, organization, public speaking, and discipline.

Students who complete the course will be commissioned as Officers into the Active Duty Army, Army National Guard, or Army Reserves.

 

If I join as a freshman, do I have to serve in the Military?

No, students can try out the ROTC program for 2 full years without any military service obligation. Credits from the course will also count as elective credits regardless of how many semesters you participate.

 

Can I earn a scholarship through ROTC?

Yes, qualified individuals who are willing to sign a contract for a service commitment can earn a variety of scholarships that provide full tuition coverage, book stipends, and housing benefits each semester.

If you want to learn more about ROTC, contact rotc@uwlax.edu.

Hand-written checklist item that says "Apply to WSU!" which is crossed off.

College of Business

WSU’s College of Business offers innovative, high-value business programs that intellectually engage and challenge its students, consistently leading to a high level of student and graduate success.

Underscoring that success is the fact that the College holds AACSB accreditation – a designation shared by less than 5% of the world’s business schools and just 50 undergraduate-only institutions.

What makes it stand apart?

The College is built on the framework of supportive professors and real-life experiential learning opportunities, which lays the groundwork for its students to not only succeed, but to create their more.

Across its seven undergraduate majors and ten minors, the College of Business equips its students for lifelong success in the global community.

Hand-written checklist item that says "Apply to WSU!" which is crossed off.

College of Education

WSU holds the honor of preparing teachers for over 150 years as this was the first school for teacher training west of the Mississippi.

You’ll be prepared to teach in today’s schools with clinical experiences that start early in the program and continue through your last semester. In these real-world settings, pre-service teachers grow by gaining more and more responsibility.

According to our 2020 “Transition to Teaching Survey” of recent graduates, 97.25% of respondents received a job offer for a teaching position.

Learn more about the 27 undergraduate licensure programs in the WSU College of Education.

Contact Megan Simonson at megan.simonson@winona.edu and request more info today!

Hand-written checklist item that says "Apply to WSU!" which is crossed off.

College of Liberal Arts

The WSU College of Liberal Arts is home to 21 departments and programs in the fine and performing arts and social sciences.

This gives you a choice among 38 majors and minors so you can design a degree that lets you be you.

The Value of a Liberal Arts Degree

The value of arts and cultural production in America in 2017 was $877.8 billion, amounting to 4.5% of gross domestic product.

The arts contribute more to the national economy than the construction, transportation and warehousing, travel and tourism, mining, utilities, and agriculture industries.

Find Scholarships

As a Liberal Arts major, you can apply for both college-specific and program-specific scholarships, in addition to general WSU financial aid.

See all Liberal Arts scholarships.

Earn Your Degree Fast

Since 2014, Liberal Arts majors have completed their degrees on average within 8 semesters or less!

And because many Liberal Arts courses also meet General Education requirements, students often complete additional majors or minors in four years.

Enjoy the Experiences

We emphasize Academics, Arts, and Community within and outside the classroom.

You have options for many service-learning, study away, internship, and other hands-on learning opportunities.

We are ready to answer any questions you have at cla@winona.edu!

Take a Look at a Few Liberal Arts Programs

Art & Design

Build your creativity, develop your design skills and practice critical-thinking and problem-solving with a degree in Art & Design.

Choose from majors in Studio Arts, Graphic Design, I-Design and Art Education to set yourself up for a variety of careers in marketing, education, fine arts and more.

In addition to studio and classroom instruction, you will a changing series of exhibitions in the Paul Watkins Gallery and the Weber Gallery, and by presentations from visiting artists and guest lecturers.

Plus, you can get involved in a student clubs like Art Club and AIGA Club to find your fellow creators on campus.

These clubs take trips to major art centers in cities like Washington D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison and Indianapolis.

Communication Studies

Communication Studies offers three majors where you’ll learn how to analyze and practice communication as well as understand communication strategies and theories.

With the Leadership & Advocacy option or Organizational and Corporate Communication option, you’ll focus on effective communication in those specific contexts.

With the Communication Studies General option, you have the flexibility to choose courses that match your career interests.

You’ll also apply what you’re learning in class through internships. Many students take internships on campus or at local businesses and community organizations—even online social media marketing internships.

Since 2015, 96% of Communication Studies graduates have found degree-relevant work or continued their education.

These alumni go on to develop successful careers as communication specialists, social media content creators, school counselors, victims’ advocates, pastors, video producers, entrepreneurs, human resource managers and hall directors in student services.

English & Film Studies

Do you love to read, write, or talk about books?

Do you love to watch, make, or write about films?

Do you love studying language, or tutoring others in language and writing?

Do you hope to become an English teacher, in the US or abroad?

If so, the WSU English & Film Studies Departments are the places for you!

We offer a variety of majors and minors to prepare students for a broad range of careers.

Students have many opportunities to learn outside the classroom, as well by:

  • working with visiting writers as part of the Great River Reading Series and Common Book Project
  • earning course credit on faculty-led Travel Study programs
  • curating a film series on campus, and interning with local community and non-profit organizations

History & Legal Studies

The Department of History and Legal Studies provides students with critical skills sought by employers including:

  • The ability to grasp complicated problems or issues
  • Master information retrieval systems including libraries, periodicals and Internet
  • Plan and execute research
  • Organize ideas in the verbal and written forms
  • Develop an open mind to new ideas and approaches, a critical eye and ear, and disciplined work habits

With the support of faculty who think of themselves as a community of professional historians, in this program you will experience:

  • student organizations and honor societies
  • undergraduate research and presentation opportunities
  • collaboration with local and regional museums
  • many guest speakers on campus

Our graduates are employed in a wide range of occupations including law, education, banking and insurance, public history, non-profit organizations, management, sales and marketing.

Mass Communication

A major in Mass Communication will give you the practical skills and expertise needed to launch your career in:

Phelps Hall will be your workspace.

Use a modern TV studio, our own KQAL radio station, an audio lab, high-end workstations, photo studio, darkroom and a wide range of photography and video equipment for checkout.

Our faculty and staff members will help you with equipment, internships and extracurricular activities.

You will work closely with real clients in real situations on real campaigns, publications and productions.

We will challenge you, support your learning and give you tools for creativity.

You can expect personal advising, practical experiences, portfolio-worthy projects and a new network of friends, mentors and colleagues.

Music

The goal of the WSU Department of Music is to encourage musical education and enrich the cultural life of the community at large through musical experiences.

As a music major at WSU, you will experience:

  • degree programs that foster creativity, artistic and technical skill development
  • opportunities for independent learning and critical thinking
  • building your understanding and respect for multiple perspectives
  • general education courses that introduce students to new musical experiences
  • a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts

You’ll also benefit from workshops, presentations and seminars and then contribute your performances to the cultural environment of Southeastern Minnesota.

Spanish

Did you know that Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the US? And the Hispanic population is expected to double by 2050.

If you want to set yourself apart from other job seekers, earning a degree in Spanish is the way to go. WSU offers a Spanish Major (Bachelor of Arts), a Spanish teaching major BS (Teaching) Major, and a Spanish Minor.

Many students double-major with Spanish as employers are looking to hire people who can speak Spanish in nearly every profession from healthcare to finance, legal fields and journalism.

Our programs emphasize speaking from the first day of class. The goal is to build fluency and accuracy while you learn about current events, cultural nuances, and historical context.

As you progress in the curriculum, you’ll learn more about Hispanic cultures and literatures while developing language proficiency.

Theatre & Dance

Develop your unique artistic voice and performing talents. Learn the history and theory of theatre and dance disciplines.

When you major or minor in Theatre, you’ll focus on foundational skills in acting, directing and design. Dance minors study movement techniques, improvisation and composition.

In the WSU Theatre & Dance program, you’ll experience:

  • Opportunities to be onstage or backstage your first semester
  • Small class sizes and the chance to work one on one with professors
  • 6-8 mainstage and studio productions per year
  • Participation in The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and American College Dance Association, attending yearly festivals to compete and celebrate the art of theatre and dance

WSU Theatre & Dance is an Accredited Institutional Member of National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

With a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies, you will explore and analyze three fields:

  • Women’s Studies: explores the lived experiences of women
  • Gender Studies: highlights the social construction of masculinities and femininities
  • Sexuality Studies: focuses on sexual behaviors, expressions, identities, and politics

You’ll learn how these fields intersect and understand how personal and global forces compound and transform issues of sex, gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and ability.

Students will:

  • Critically examine those things that they have been told are “common sense” or “natural”
  • De-center dominant social, political and historical narratives
  • Understand their responsibilities and rights as citizens in local and global contexts
  • Recognize and access community networks when working for social change
Hand-written checklist item that says "Apply to WSU!" which is crossed off.

College of Nursing & Health Sciences

 

Winona State has a rich history and distinguished reputation in the field of nursing.

Over the years, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences has extended that reputation of excellence into the related fields of Health, Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences (including Public Health and Athletic Training), Recreational Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation, and Social Work.

The College’s educational environment offers students access to state-of-the art facilities, participation in an array of clinical settings, and various opportunities to do research in their field.

This is all built into programs that are designed to graduate caring, ethical, competent and progressive professionals who are sensitive to diversity and prepared to work with individuals through all states of health and wellness.

 

Take a Look at a Few Nursing & Health Sciences Programs

Health, Exercise & Rehabilitative Sciences

Are you passionate about health and science?

The Department of Health, Exercise, and Rehabilitative Sciences (HERS) prepares students for excellence and service in a variety of health career fields with majors and minors in:

  • Athletic Training
  • Exercise Science & Clinical Exercise Science
  • Movement Science
  • Public Health, including Epidemiology, Nutrition, Health Administration & Community Health
  • School Health

Social Work

The WSU Social Work Department offers social work programs on both Winona and Rochester campuses.

In 2018, 96% of the Bachelor of Social Work alumni reported either having a job in the field or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduation.

During alumni focus groups, everyone praised the social work program in preparing them for working in the field and said they are proud to be WSU BSW alumni.

Recreation, Tourism, & Therapeutic Recreation

With nearly 210 Recreation studies programs across the nation, WSU’s RTTR program was ranked 13th for best value bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation, and leisure.

In this program, you’ll learn how to plan and facilitate recreation activities, lead groups of people, and even the business side of running a recreation/tourism center.

Every RTTR student is required to have an internship so they can experience what it’s like to be an employee in a real-life workplace.

Students have interned at a variety of places in health care settings, parks and recreation departments, and private tourism businesses both in Minnesota and across the country.

Nursing

The WSU Department of Nursing has been providing high quality nursing education in southeast Minnesota for more than 50 years. Our faculty have a caring, ethical and accountable approach that has led to a 96% job placement rate for our graduates!

With the Pre-Licensure Nursing Program, you can earn a traditional 4-year BS in Nursing and obtain licensure as a registered nurse.

This program has hands-on clinical experiences to prepare future nurses to pass their boards and enter the workforce.

Pre-Licensure Program Highlights

  • High NCLEX Pass Rates: WSU nursing graduates consistently pass the NCLEX exam at rates equal to or above the national average
  • Clinical Partners: WSU partners with many healthcare providers in the region, including Mayo Clinic Rochester, to provide hands-on clinical experiences
  • Simulation Lab: In the simulation lab, you’ll have a unique learning environment to collaborate with other nursing students and your faculty mentors

Hear from Current Students & Alumni

A group of students stand on a bridge over Lake Winona to conduct scientific testing.

College of Science & Engineering

College of Science & Engineering

The College of Science and Engineering is committed to furthering advances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by inspiring the next generation of innovators and teachers, and by promoting research and scholarship across STEM disciplines.

Hands-on learning is critical for science and engineering fields.

This is why students get out in the field often, have access to impressive equipment and lab spaces, as well as opportunities to do real research alongside faculty members – the type of experiences typically reserved for graduate students at larger institutions.

 

Take a Look at a Few Science & Engineering Programs

Biology

A biology degree lays the foundation for many exciting career opportunities such as:

  • medical doctor
  • dentist
  • veterinarian
  • pharmacist
  • biology teacher
  • conservation biologist
  • research scientist

We’re lucky that WSU is located in the Driftless Region– a great place to learn and play outdoors. This means students can conduct research on Mississippi river ecosystem at our Large River Studies Center.

In addition to learning about our natural world, you will develop problem solving, critical thinking, and research skills as a biology major at WSU.

In the Biology program, you will experience:

  • Participating in an authentic research experience with a faculty mentor
  • Collaboration with local health care clinic to perform hands-on clinical research
  • Working with state-of-the-art research facilities with instrumentation in laboratory courses and individual research projects
  • Joining active student clubs to support career goals
  • Taking internships with local governmental agencies

Chemistry

The WSU Chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society and students can choose to major in:

  • chemistry
  • biochemistry
  • chemistry teaching
  • physical science teaching
  • environmental science

Each of these programs leads to a Bachelor of Science degree, which will prepare you to enter the job market or go on to graduate study in chemistry and related areas.

You will have opportunities to conduct hands-on research with top-notch lab equipment, and you’ll be able to get know your faculty thanks to small class sizes.

It’s no wonder that for the past 3 years, over 90% of graduates in Chemistry or Biochemistry have been placed in careers or graduate schools.

Computer Science

Graduates from the WSU Computer Science program have consistently been placed in leading companies in and around the region.

They get good jobs with competitive salaries at businesses like IBM, Mayo Clinic, Google and Amazon.

Employers commend our students on their skills and have expressed their satisfaction on our curriculum and programs.

In the Computer Science program, you’ll gain practical experiences and internship opportunities with the Software Testing and Development Lab.

Geoscience

Imagine the possibilities of a career in Geoscience! As a Geoscience graduate you could:

  • solve environmental problems as a consultant in both industry and government
  • restore streams and clean up polluted waters and soil
  • practice environmental law and write for newspapers and magazines
  • discover and manage our planet’s mineral and energy resources
  • work to address the challenges and impacts of a changing climate
  • teach in our elementary schools, high schools and colleges
  • work in museums and national parks
  • explore other planets
  • help local farmers manage soils and agricultural runoff
  • identify and mitigate potential natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and floods
  • use data from Earth’s past to understand its future
  • study the evolution of life and our planet

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

Major and minor options in the Geoscience program include:

  • Geoscience (must combine with another major or a minor)
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Earth Science Teaching
  • Geoscience (Minor)
  • Geospatial information science (Minor)

Want to see where your imagination can take you? Contact Dr. Candace Kairies-Beatty at ckairiesbeatty@winona.edu.

Math & Statistics

Do you enjoy puzzles and strategy games?

Do you like to use data to make sense of the world around you?

Do you get excited about graphs?

Are you are a persistent problem-solver who often asks why?

Then you should join the Math & Stats department at WSU.

You can major in Math, Statistics, Data Science and Math Education and pursue a wide variety of careers in education, government, and business.

Fun fact: WSU created the first undergraduate program in Data Science in the upper Midwest.

Our graduates have been hired at Google, IBM, Mayo Clinic, and even the Minnesota Wild.

Others have gone on to attend top mathematics, statistics and biostatistics graduate programs across the nation including

  • University of Minnesota
  • Iowa State University
  • NC State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Washington-Seattle.

Behind all the success of our graduates, are the professors who are supportive and understanding. Also, the class sizes are small making it easy to get to know other students in your classes.

Composite Material Engineering

Do you ever wonder:

  • What types of materials are going to be used in automobiles in order to achieve 54.5 mpg by the year 2025?
  • What types of materials are allowing the major airplane manufacturers to achieve significant fuel savings?
  • What types of materials are found in the blades used on the wind turbines producing all that wind power now providing energy across the globe?

The answer is composite materials.

If you’re interested in learning how to design, fabricate, and test products made of composite materials, then a degree in Composite Materials Engineering will set you off on your future career.

The WSU CME program has:

  • Nearly 100% placement with starting salaries in the range of $60K-$70K
  • Hands-on curriculum using state-of-the art equipment
  • Opportunities for scholarships, internships, and study abroad
  • National accreditation by EAC of ABET

Physics & Engineering

When you join the WSU Physics & Engineering program, you can expect a hands-on experience that balances theory with application– where you practice what you’ve learned with equipment that engineers use in the lab and office.

You’ll build close relationships with faculty, students and mentors in the field as you use what you’ve learned to design solutions to engineering problems throughout your undergraduate career.

All students complete a research project with a faculty member. A few recent projects include:

• building electronics devices to control a 2.3m radio telescope
• building a GHz radar that can be used for ranging
• analysis of observation data from a telescope array in Peru
• programming of a self-balancing robot

You can choose from three physics majors and two general engineering majors that are designed to fit local opportunities in electronics and manufacturing companies such as Benchmark Electronics, Medtronic, IBM, and Watlow Controls.

Some students go on to graduate school, not just in physics though. We’ve had students be successful in graduate programs in civil engineering, computer science, and one recent alum just passed the bar exam to be licensed attorney.

The rigorous thinking and problem solving that you practiced for four years in a physics major prepares you for just about any career in science.