Harman Patil (Editor)

Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Academic staff

Undergraduate tuition and fees
36,270 USD (2016)

+1 414-277-7300


John Walz

2,810 (Fall 2016)

Acceptance rate
68.6% (2014)

Roscoe Raider

Milwaukee School of Engineering

1025 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202, USA

Concordia University Wisconsin, Alverno College, Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical, Wisconsin Lutheran College


Milwaukee school of engineering project day

The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is a private university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The university has one of the smallest campuses in Milwaukee, at only 22 acres (0.089 km2). An enrollment of than 2,810 makes it the smallest Master's university in Wisconsin. As of Fall 2016 the university has a total of 135 faculty, of which roughly half are full-time.


Through the 8 academic departments the university offers 17 bachelor's degrees in majors, 13 of those being in engineering. Despite being undergraduate focused, the university also offers 11 master's degrees. The academic calendar functions on a quarter system year-round, with four ten week terms: fall, winter, spring, and summer, although the majority of the students do not attend the summer quarter. MSOE is known for its unique track system, which outlines the courses a student should take in order to graduate.

MSOE fields 19 varsity teams known as the "Raiders" and most teams play in the NCAA Division III as part of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC).

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Milwaukee School of Engineering was founded in 1903 by Oscar Werwath and initially called the School of Engineering. Werwath's goal was to meet the needs of the work force for the growing engineering field. Werwath was the first person to plan an American educational institution based on an applications-oriented curriculum. The first classes began in the fall of 1903 at Rheude's Business College. By fall, 1905, the enrollment reached almost 100, exceeding the capacity of the business college. The school was subsequently moved to a new building with help from Wewath's colleague, Louis Allis. In spring, 1906, the school graduated its first class, enrolling about 200 students that fall.

In 1911 the school relocated to the Stroh building, just south of downtown Milwaukee. That same year the School of Engineering offered its first degree in electrical engineering. During this time Werwath recruited school sponsors from companies around Milwaukee, including Allen Bradley. This resulted in a cooperative program where students could be employed at local businesses to help pay for their tuition. In 1912 the School of Engineering initiated its first student publication, electroforce, and in 1913 the school gained its first fraternity, Phi Delta Omega. Also in 1912 Wisconsin provided official recognition to the School of Engineering, granting its programs a state license in both vocational training and engineering education. On March 17, 1917, an official charter was given to the School of Engineering to grant the bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. This day is now celebrated every year on campus with school-sponsored and student-led events. The School of Engineering also approved the first units of Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and Student Army Training Corps (SATC).

By 1920, the School of Engineering consisted of four specific programs focused around electricity. Werwath developed a new curriculum "to equip the student in college-level engineering standards needed for the degree award combined with parallel hands-on training." At the same time the academic calendar called the "quarter system" was implemented. This allowed for students to graduate with collegiate engineering degrees in 3 years, or 4 if they chose not to take the summer quarter. In the summer of 1919 52 Bachelor's degree graduates as well as 11 faculty were offered admission to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Enrollment surpassed 1,200 in 1928, the school's 25th anniversary.

During the Great Depression when enrollment dropped, the school created a student financial fund for disadvantaged students. By 1933 enrollment had recovered to previous levels. On July 13, 1932, the School of Engineering was restructured through a charter revision and renamed "Milwaukee School of Engineering". This allowed the formation of the Board of Regents, a group of industrial and community leaders to oversee management of the school. One of the first major actions of the board was to purchase the German-English Academy building. In 1935 the board established the Industrial Research Institute, where students and faculty could partner with nearby industries for work.

MSOE received the official seal of approval from the Society for the Promotion of Engineering in 1943, as part of recognition for educational achievements. The following year, MSOE also became a charter member of the National Council of Technical Schools. For the first time, the university started accepting females into its program in order to replace males who were drafted into World War II. Following the end of the war enrollment swelled in 1946 and 1947 due to the GI Bill of Rights allowing returning service personnel to pursue a college education. By 1947 over 90% of the students were veterans. On March 20, 1948 Oscar Werwath died and his sons, Karl Werwath and Heinz Werwath became president and treasurer, respectively.

Obtaining full institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (NCA) began in 1950, and approval of accreditation was granted in 1971. By the time of the school's 50th anniversary in 1953, enrollemnt reached 2,300 students from 48 states and 30 foreign countries. With the beginning of the Space Race as well as emphasis on technological education, many classes at MSOE upgraded their technology and their programs. The school partnered with WISN-TV and WISN (AM) to create programming centered around science and promoting their school.

MSOE's logo was designed by industrial engineer Brooks Stevens's firm for the school's 1978 diamond jubilee.


  • Oscar Werwath, 1903-1948
  • Karl Werwath, 1948-1977
  • Robert Spitzer, 1977-1991
  • Hermann Viets, 1991-2015
  • John Walz, 2016–present
  • Academics

    The curricula at MSOE are centered on engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. MSOE's primary focus is on undergraduate education, where it has 8 academic departments and offers 17 majors. MSOE mainly offers ABET-accredited bachelor of science degree to undergraduate students, as well as a bachelor of arts in technical communication. MSOE also has 11 post-graduate master's programs. As of 2016, MSOE had 133 full-time faculty members and 124, 78% of whom hold a doctoral degree. Professors teach all courses; teaching assistants are not used. The student to faculty ratio is 16:1.

    Academic programs

    MSOE has full-time bachelor of science programs in engineering: architectural, biomedical, biomolecular, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical, software, a freshman-to-master's degree in civil engineering. A part-time engineering degree is also offered. MSOE's Rader School of Business offers degrees in business management, international business, and management information systems. Additional four-year undergraduate programs are nursing, construction management, technical communication, and actuarial science. Two-year transfer programs leading to B.S. degrees are offered in electrical engineering, engineering and management.

    MSOE confers master's degrees in engineering, MBA in educational leadership, MBA in STEM Leadership engineering management, medical informatics, perfusion, architectural engineering, civil engineering, construction and business management, marketing and export management, and new product management.

    In 2016 MSOE had a four-year graduation rate of 44%.


    Undergraduate admission is described by US News & World Report as "more selective". Princeton Review gave the university an admissions selectivity rating of 86. For the 2014-15 academic year the university received over 2,000 applications; 1,511 were accepted, resulting in a 62.5% acceptance rate. The admitted students’ academic profile showed 75% were in the top 50% of their high school class, SAT scores of 620 in critical reading, 650 in math. The average composite ACT score was around 28.

    Study-abroad programs

    MSOE has study-abroad exchange agreements with five universities: the Fachhochschule Lübeck in Germany; the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague Czech Republic; the Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy; Manipal Institute of Technology, in India; and Lille Catholic University in Lille, France. All courses are taught in English.


    MSOE is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The architectural engineering, biomolecular engineering, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology, engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering technology, and software engineering programs are accredited by The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The construction management is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). The master of science in perfusion is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).


    The 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranked MSOE 11th among regional universities in the Midwest and 10th among undergraduate engineering programs. In 2016 MSOE was listed among Princeton Review's 159 best Midwestern colleges. In 2016, Forbes ranked MSOE #481 on its list of America's top colleges.

    Board of Regents

    Along with the president, Milwaukee School of Engineering is led by a Board of Regents composed of a chairman and 50 representatives from businesses, industries, education, and the government. The Board of Regents governs and makes major decisions through several standing committees, such as the executive committee and the business and industrial advisory committee.

    The MSOE Guarantee

    The Milwaukee School of Engineering operates on a four-quarter system year-round, with its academic terms lasting ten weeks each. Most of the programs use a track system that outlines what courses students should take and pass for each term in order to graduate in four years. Freshmen usually take four courses per term and upperclassmen five. The MSOE Guarantee states that for a student starting and staying on track, all classes needed for graduation will be available when they need them so that they may graduate in four years.


    MSOE's campus, which occupies 22 acres (0.089 km2) in the East Town neighborhood of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is spread over several blocks. MSOE has one of the smallest campuses in Wisconsin; only the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) has a smaller campus (2 acres (0.0081 km2)).

    The buildings on campus vary with age, with most being built in the mid-20th century. The oldest building on campus is the Alumni Partnership Center (formerly the Valentin Blatz Brewing Company Office Building), built in 1890 and the newest being the Kern Center, built in 2004. Several of the buildings on campus use the iconic Cream City brick, which is used in many other buildings in Milwaukee.

    Academic facilities

    Allen Bradley Hall of Science was acquired and renovated in 1958, formerly a parking garage. Allen-Bradley provided much of the funding and equipment for the building and was thus obtained the naming rights. It houses electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering, as well as the physics and chemistry departments. The Fred Loock Engineering Center was opened in 1967, and was designed by Fitzhugh Scott. It is an extension of the Allen Bradley Hall of Science. The building houses several laboratories and classrooms for use of many engineering departments.

    The only major library on campus is the The Walter Schroeder Library. Dedicated in 1980 by Gerald Ford, the library is named after Wisconsin magnate Walter Schroeder and has the mathematics as well as the electrical engineering and computer science faculty offices.

    Most of the administration buildings are located in Student Life and Campus Center, which was acquired from Blatz Brewery in 1987. The department of civil and architectural engineering and construction management (CAECM) have their faculty offices here as well. Recently added was the Ruehlow Nursing Complex, a multimillion-dollar upgrade for the School of Nursing. Many student resources such as the bookstore, a marketplace, and the student union called the "Great Room" are also here.

    Rosenberg Hall, home to MSOE's Rader School of Business, was dedicated in 2003. Funds for the project were provided by alumnus Kenneth Rosenberg and his wife Doris. The hall contains classrooms, labs and faculty offices and the Milwaukee U.S. Export Assistance Center.

    In 2006, MSOE acquired the former Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and renovated it for use as The Grohmann Museum to house the Man at Work: The Eckhart G. Grohmann Collection, classrooms, and faculty offices for the humanities and psychology departments.

    Athletic facilities

    In 2004, MSOE's 210,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) Kern Center was completed, adding a hockey arena, basketball arena, fitness center, running track, and field house to its campus. MSOE's Kern Center houses many of the sports teams' facilities, as well as offering recreational areas for students, faculty and alumni. The Kern Center also has classrooms, and houses the physical and mental wellness centers.

    In 2013, MSOE completed construction on a new athletic field and parking complex called Pamela and Harmann Viets Field. The athletic field was built on top of an in-ground parking facility immediately north of the Kern Center.

    Residence halls

    Undergraduates may live in one of four residence halls, but incoming freshman may live only in Roy W. Johnson Hall (RWJ) or Margaret Loock Residence Hall (MLH). Roy W. Johnson Hall and Margaret Loock Residence Hall were constructed in 1967, and are traditional residence halls; while Regents Hall and Grohmann Tower are arranged apartment style.

    Meals are served by Food Services Incorporated, which operates three dining facilities in the dormitories and the campus center.


    MSOE's 21 athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III. MSOE competes in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) for most sports, including seven women's sports. Men's ice hockey competes in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA), men's lacrosse in the Midwest Lacrosse Conference (MLC), men's volleyball in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League (MCVL), and wrestling in the Northern Wrestling Association (NWA). Men's rowing is not sponsored by the NCAA, so MSOE competes against all collegiate teams. MSOE also has club and intramural sports, including a dance team and a stunt team.

    The school colors are red and white, and the mascot is a raider named "Roscoe".

    Notable alumni

  • James I. Finley (1968, EE), Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology.
  • Carl Kiekhaefer (c. 1925, no degree), former owner of Mercury Marine, NASCAR team owner.
  • Joseph J. Rencis (1980, Architectural and Building Construction Engineering Technology (ABCET)), ASME Fellow.
  • Harout O. Sanasarian (1961, no degree) Wisconsin State Assemblyman
  • Larry A. Schotz (1973, EET), inventor of the car radio adapter for CD players and founder of LS Research.
  • Norman Sussman, Wisconsin State Senator
  • References

    Milwaukee School of Engineering Wikipedia

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