Academic Programs

General Education ProgramSpecial Academic Programs 
Cooperative Program with UW-La Crosse
ROTCAdult Student ProgramsCredit for Prior Learning
Graduate ProgramsAcademic Support ServicesCatalog Main Page
The development of the whole person is the goal of the university experience for each student at Viterbo University. This development occurs chiefly through an academic program conducted in a meaningful, growth-filled, Catholic, Franciscan environment. 
The academic program of Viterbo University is designed to provide a quality education in the  liberal arts or career-oriented professional or pre-professional program based in the liberal arts. A liberal arts foundation focused on the growth of the total person intellectually, culturally, and personally is provided through the General Education curriculum. 

In conjunction with the General Education Program, students select a major field of study, and often a minor. The majors and minors are organized by Schools, each headed by a Dean who provides administrative and programmatic oversight. The Schools and their respective subject areas are listed below. 
Computer Information Systems 
Computer Information Systems Education 
Health Care Administration 
Human Resource Development 
Organizational Management 

Multimedia Studies 

Fine Arts 
Art Education 
Art - Studio 
Arts Administration 
Graphic Design 
Music - Church 
Music Education 
Music Pedagogy 
Music Performance 
Music Theatre 
Theatre Arts 

Letters & Sciences 
Criminal Justice 
Environmental Studies 
Experiential Learning Internships 
Foreign Languages 
Global Study 
Liberal Studies 
Multicultural Studies 
Nutrition & Dietetics 
Political Science 
Religious Studies 
Social Work 
Special Studies 
Women’s Studies 


Students at Viterbo may enroll in selected courses and programs of study at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as a result of an inter-institutional cooperative agreement. Through the program, students of both institutions have access to broader educational opportunities, and resources of the institutions can be utilized more fully. 

Under this cooperative agreement a full-time student may take selected courses, on a space available basis, at UW-La Crosse as part of his/her program during the academic year. The selected courses should be courses that are not offered at the home institution, and are an integral part of the student’s academic program. The approval of the student’s academic advisor is required. Credits earned through this cooperative program are considered to be transfer hours and are not calculated into the student’s grade point average at Viterbo. The written authorization of the Registrar is required prior to a student’s enrollment in any course at UW-La Crosse through this cooperative program. Interested students should obtain further information from the Registrar. 

A cross-enrollment agreement exists between Viterbo University and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to make both the Army ROTC basic and advanced course available to qualified Viterbo students who desire to earn appointments as commissioned officers in the United States Army. Six hours of military science credit is directly transferable to the 128 credit hour degree requirements; an additional six hours of military science may count toward degree requirements contingent upon approval of the student’s advisor, the Registrar, and Academic Vice President. 


Viterbo provides a variety of opportunities for adult students to pursue academic study. Full and part-time adult students who are interested in pursuing a degree should contact the Director of Extended Learning at 608-796-3087 or 1-800-VITERBO if they wish more information about the following options or assistance with admission. 

The degree completion programs are designed specifically for adults having work experience and having earned an associate’s degree or approximately 60 hours of college credit. 

The Advance Program  
Through the Advance Program adults employed full-time in business-related settings can work toward earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management by attending classes just one evening per week. The courses comprising the Organizational Management major are taught in a concentrated accelerated format over a 19-month period. Additional coursework may be required to complete the degree, depending on each student’s individual academic background. Viterbo University has also developed a series of time-shortened business and general education courses, called “Fast Track,” to assist adult learners in finishing degree requirements expeditiously. To enter the Advance Program an applicant must be 25 years of age or older and have earned about 60 semester hours of college credit. For further information, please refer to the School of Business section. 

RN to BSN Program  
 The RN to BSN Program is designed for working Registered Nurses who hold associates degrees or are graduates of diploma programs. Applicants to the program must have a current license to practice nursing; two years (at least part-time) of work experience as an RN in a health care facility is required prior to beginning the portfolio nursing courses. Students take courses one day a week on the La Crosse campus or at one of several sites conveniently located throughout Wisconsin. The requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree can be completed in approximately three years, including summers. For further information, please refer to the School of Nursing section. 


Adult students may be able to receive credit towards a university degree for prior learning and experience in a variety of ways. 

Credit by Examination 
Viterbo participates in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Only the CLEP subject examinations are considered for college credit. Students are eligible to receive credit in the subject areas of biology, business, chemistry, composition, computer science, English literature, history, mathematics, psychology, and sociology, no matter when, where, or how their knowledge has been acquired. The examinations are administered twice a year to currently enrolled students and to incoming students who enroll the subsequent semester. Interested persons should contact the Registrar’s Office for more information. 

An adult student who wishes to receive college credit for prior learning and feels he/she has significant college-relevant learning from lifetime/work experience creditable toward a college degree can become involved in this program. A limit of 30 semester hours may be earned by portfolio. To be eligible for this program, students must be over 25 years of age and have at least two years of work experience. 
To participate in the Credit for Prior Learning program you must: 

  • Enroll concurrently to establish current student status for award of credit. 
  • Enroll in a non-credit portfolio workshop. 
  • Construct a portfolio containing lifetime/work learning that you feel may be applicable to college credit and course objectives. 
  • Submit portfolio to the academic departments involved and pay portfolio fees (See Tuition and Fees section). 
  • Academic departments will review the portfolio and upon successful completion, credit award will be made. 
Students who would like to know more about Credit for Prior Learning are encouraged to contact the Office of Extended Learning. 

Credit for Military Training 
Viterbo University will grant credit for education experiences earned from and awarded by an accredited college or university while serving in the armed forces. Credits earned through ACE recommended courses and DANTES examination may be acceptable for up to 16 semester hours of transfer credit. Viterbo University reserves the right to make such determinatinos. 

Viterbo offers two graduate programs, one a Master of Arts degree in Education and the other a Master of Science in Nursing. Each of these programs has its own description of requirements and courses. For further information on these programs, students may contact the Director of the Graduate School in Nursing (608-796-3688) or the Director of the Graduate School in Education (608-796-3093). 

In addition, a limited number of graduate courses (500-699) are offered in other disciplines. The transfer of graduate credits earned at Viterbo may or may not be accepted toward a master’s degree if transferred to another institution pending the approval of the institution to which the student is transferring. 


While the ultimate outcome of the university is to see students graduate, there is the recognition that learning is a process which varies for each individual. The college is committed to providing the support and service which allows each student to achieve their potential and reach the goal. Experience shows that encouragment from peers, instructors, other university personnel, and family all contribute to success. Viterbo provides the following services in the academic area which should contribute to the retention and graduation of its students. 

The Learning Center 
The mission of the Learning Center is to provide services and assistance to students in the development of skills necessary for effective performance in and positive adjustment to the learning environment of the university. Developmental courses in reading, writing and math are offered in addition to a study skills course and workshops. Tutoring is offered in all academic courses at no additional cost and special accommodations are available to students with diagnosed disabilities. 

Academic Advising  
At Viterbo, academic advising is a decision making process through which students, aided by advisors, realize the maximum educational benefits available to them by better understanding themselves and learning how to use the resources of an educational institution to meet their own educational needs and aspirations. 
Each student is assigned an academic advisor, who is generally a faculty member in the student’s major department, by the Assistant Academic Vice President. Students are strongly urged to meet with their academic advisor periodically throughout the semester and are expected to consult with their advisor in making any major decisions regarding their academic program or career plans. It is the responsibility of the student to collaborate with his/her advisor and be informed about course placements based on entry test information and the prerequisite requirements established by academic departments.