Where in Wisconsin can I go to school for Herpetology?

One question that is very frequently asked, particularly by graduating high school seniors, or even by those earlier in their high school or middle school careers, is: “Which schools can I go to for herpetology (the scientific branch of study of reptiles and amphibians, or “herptiles”), or to just learn more about and gain experience in a formal educational institution with these animals? There are numerous fields and branches of science that deal with herpetology (whether directly or indirectly) including general biology, ecology/wildlife ecology, bio-chemistry, environmental education, genetics, animal physiology, and others, and each school or institution will differ in their program and course offerings. It is always best recommended to meet and consult with your assigned academic advisor in order to best pave the way for your specific program and institutional needs or requirements overall.

There are also of course many well known and recognized schools from across the country, and even throughout the world in which one can consider attending to formally study herpetology. However, this article’s scope will be to serve as a resource for those inquiring about herpetology options with particular institutions in Wisconsin due to location, financial considerations, or possibly other factors. Some institutions may be better options to attend than others, and those specialty schools that do not offer any relevant degrees, courses, or programs (such as medical schools, media institutes, etc.) have obviously been excluded from this article. With this said, here are relevant universities in WI and notes/details as to whether each one would be a suitable choice for aspiring herpetologists (note that program and course offerings may be subject to change; therefore it is also recommended to check out the websites of any institutions of interest for the most current and up to date information where available).

University of Wisconsin Colleges: Two year, Liberal Arts institutions from throughout Wisconsin offering guaranteed transfer programs/options to four year institutions. All have general biology and zoology courses, but not advanced courses such as herpetology and others.

UW-Platteville, Baraboo/Sauk County (West Baraboo, WI)*Has new Conservation and Herpetology Lab

UW-Eau Claire, Barron County (Rice Lake, WI)

UW-Oshkosh, Fon du Lac (Fon du Lac, WI)

UW-Oshkosh, Fox Valley (Menasha, WI)

UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus (Manitowoc, WI)

UW-Stevens Point at Wausau (Wausau, WI)

UW-Green Bay, Marinette Campus (Marinette, WI)

UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield (Marshfield, WI)

UW-Platteville, Richland (Richland Center, WI)

UW-Whitewater at Rock County (Janesville, WI)

UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus (Sheboygan, WI)

UW-Milwaukee at Washington County (West Bend, WI)

UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha (Waukesha, WI)

University of Wisconsin System: A system of public universities throughout the state of Wisconsin, and one of the largest public higher education institutions in the U.S. offering many different two to four year (and beyond) programs, including sciences. More in depth herpetology courses and focuses are offered at select UW System campuses (noted below).

UW-Eau Claire (Eau Claire, WI): Offers biology programs, but no emphasis or offerings on herpetology.

UW-Green Bay (Green Bay, WI): Offers animal biology, biology for educators, cell/molecular, and ecology/conservation focuses, but no offerings in herpetology.

UW-LaCrosse (LaCrosse, WI): Offers a variety of biology concentrations, but no herpetology offerings.

UW-Madison (Madison, WI): The state of Wisconsin’s largest pest-secondary, higher education institution offering a variety of biology, science, and zoology courses and programs, but no specific herpetology offerings. *Recommended pick for Veterinary sciences.

UW-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI): Offers standard biological sciences emphases, but no emphasis on herpetology.

UW-Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI): No specific herpetology major or emphasis, but does have emphasis on secondary education, liberal arts, ecology, and organismal biology emphasis.

UW-Parkside (Kenosha, WI): No specific herpetology offerings.

UW-Platteville (Platteville, WI): No specific course offerings in herpetology, but does have some herpetology focus/interest. Emphases include general biology, zoology, secondary education, and ecology. *Recommended choice.

UW-River Falls (River Falls, WI): Offers Companion Animal Science, field biology, and other biology programs. Check to see if field herpetology course is offered, and if so, this is a recommended pick.

UW-Stevens Point (Stevens Point): Offers a variety of biology, conservation, and natural resource majors and programs. Has herpetology course offering and additional opportunities in herpetology. *Recommended pick.

UW-Stout (Menomonie, WI): Offers programs in applied science, conservation biology, and environmental science, but no specific herpetology course offerings.

UW-Superior (Superior, WI): Offers Ecology, Aquatic Biology, and Fishery Science focus, but none on herpetology.

UW-Whitewater (Whitewater, WI): Offers biology major with variety of emphases, but none specifically on herpetology.

Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS): The Wisconsin Technical College System, or WTCS, is a system of 16 technical colleges and universities throughout Wisconsin that offer primarily two year Associate’s degrees and short term, or one to two year technical diplomas or degrees. Basic science and biology courses may be offered at several campuses, and courses/credits are transferable to other four year institutions. Many may also have smaller, regional centers, but only the main campuses are listed here.

Blackhawk Technical College (Locations in Janesville, WI, Beloit, WI, and Monroe, WI): Has Agribusiness and Laboratory Technician programs.

Chippewa Valley Technical College (Locations in Eau Claire, WI, Chippewa Falls, WI, Menomonie, WI, Neillsville, WI, and River Falls, WI): Offers Agribusiness programs.

Fox Valley Technical College (Locations in Appleton, WI, and Oshkosh, WI): General Education an, Agriculture, and Natural Resources programs available.

Gateway Technical College (Locations in Kenosha, WI, Racine, WI, and Elkhorn, WI): Offers Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources, and Veterinary degrees and diplomas. *Recommended technical college for veterinary offerings.

Lakeshore Technical College (Located in Cleveland, WI): Agriculture/Agribusiness programs.

Madison College (Locations in Madison, WI, Reedsburg, WI, Watertown, WI, Fort Atkinson, WI, and Portage, WI): Madison, WI Truax campus offers Agriculture, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Veterinary programs. *Truax campus a Recommended choice for Veterinary programs.

Mid-State Technical College (Locations in Adams, WI, Marshfield, WI, Stevens Point, WI, and Wisconsin Rapids, WI): No relevant programs.

Milwaukee Area Technical College (Locations in Milwaukee, WI, Oak Creek, WI, West Allis, WI, and Mequon, WI): Liberal Arts and Sciences program.

Moraine Park Technical College (Locations in Beaver Dam, WI, Fon du Lac, WI, and West Bend, WI): Agribusiness/Agriculture programs.

Nicolet Area Technical College (Locations in Rhinelander, WI, and Minocqua, WI): Programs in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Transfer programs.

North-Central Technical College (Locations in Antigo, WI, Medford, WI, Merrill, WI, Wausau, WI, Phillips, WI, Spencer, WI, and Wittenberg, WI): Agriculture and Veterinary Science programs available.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Locations in Green Bay, WI, Sturgeon Bay, WI, and Marinette, WI): Liberal Arts and Science, and Laboratory Technology programs.

Southwest Technical College (Locations in Fennimore, WI): Liberal Arts & Sciences, Agribusiness, Livestock, Animal Science programs.

Waukesha County Technical College (Pewaukee, WI): No relevant programs.

Western Technical College (Locations in Viroqua, WI, Mauston, WI, Tomah, WI, Sparta, WI, Independence, WI, Black River Falls, WI, and LaCrosse, WI): Liberal Arts and Sciences, Agriculture/Agribusiness programs.

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (Rice Lake, WI, New Richmond, WI, Ashland, WI, and Superior, WI): Liberal Arts Associate’s of Science program.

Private/Non-Profit/Other Institutions:

Alverno College (Milwaukee, WI): Private, Roman Catholic four year Liberal Arts school with biology degree in Arts & Sciences.

Beloit College (Beloit, WI): Private Liberal Arts college.

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Broadview University (Locations in Madison and Online)Has Veterinary Technician program, but check on campus location for availability and offerings. *Recommended Choice for Veterinary fields.

Cardinal Stritch University (Locations in Brookfield, WI, and Madison, WI): Offers Bachelors of Arts in Biology/Natural Sciences.

Carroll University (Waukesha, WI): Private, Liberal Arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA. Offers Animal Behavior, Biology, Pre-Veterinary, Environmental Science/Natural Resources, and Freshwater Sciences programs. *Recommended choice.

Carthage College (Kenosha, WI): Private, Liberal Arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Concordia University (Mequon, WI): Private, Liberal Arts university affiliated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). Offers Bachelors Degree in Biology.

Edgewood College (Madison, WI): Private, Co-educational Roman Catholic Liberal Arts college.

Lakeland College (Howards Grove, WI): Private, Liberal Arts college affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

Lawrence University (Appleton, WI): Private Liberal Arts university.

Maranatha Baptist University (Watertown, WI): Private, Fundamental Baptist university.

Marian University (Fon du Lac, WI): Private, Roman Catholic Liberal Arts university.

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI): Private, Co-educational Catholic university.

Mount Mary University (Milwaukee, WI): Private, Nonprofit Catholic Liberal Arts university.

Northland College (Ashland, WI): Private, Liberal Arts college with focus on environment and sustainability. *Recommended Choice.

Ripon College (Ripon, WI): Private Liberal Arts college with offerings in Biology and Environmental Sciences.

Silver Lake College (Manitowoc, WI): Private, Liberal Arts/Four Year Catholic university.

St. Norbert University (De Pere WI): Private, Catholic Liberal Arts College.

Viterbo University (La Crosse WI):Private, Co-Educational Roman Catholic and Franciscan Liberal Arts University. 

Wisconsin Lutheran College (Milwaukee, WI): Private, Liberal Arts College affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.