The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is a four-year public university that is part of the University of Wisconsin System.  It was created by an act of the Wisconsin legislature in 1965 combining two-year UW centers in Kenosha and Racine.  Parkside was created in July 1968 when the University of Wisconsin combined two-year UW centers in Kenosha and Racine.  Ground broke for the new campus in the Village of Somers, Kenosha County, in November 1967 and Parkside accepted its first on-site students in the fall of 1969.  The first students graduated from Parkside in June, 1970.  Since then, more than 21,000 students have earned degrees.


The campus consists of 700 acres, is located in the Village of Somers, and has hundreds of acres of restored prairies, mature oak and maple forests and nature trails located on Pike Creek.  It is a complex of modern buildings, the originals constructed between 1967 and 1976.  The low profile design helps the campus complex blend in with it natural surroundings.


University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Village of Somers, Kenosha County
©2013 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  All Rights Reserved.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus in the spring season
©2013 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  All Rights Reserved.

Economic Impact

  • 4,500 undergraduate students
  • 125 graduate students
  • 1,000 students live on campus
  • Students with Wisconsin residency – 92%
  • 115 full-time faculty, 97% with terminal degree
  • 60 instructional academic staff, 24% with terminal degree
  • Total budget – $100 million
  • Recent renovations and expansion to the Sports & Activity Center were completed in September 2000, the Student Center was completed in January 2008, the newly constructed Pike River Suites completed in September 2010 and the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities was completed in January 2012.

Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Photo Courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Bedford Concert Hall, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Photo Courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Parkside


Arts & Entertainment

The incredible new Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities, fondly known as “The Rita,” is the center of attention.  The Visiting Artist Series features national and international performances.  Click here for more information on the events taking place in The Rita this season.


Photo Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside



The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Athletics Department is committed to a balanced student-athlete experience that develops future leaders and active community members. As the only NCAA Division II member in the state of Wisconsin, the university strives to live the “Life in the Balance” philosophy by promoting academic excellence, athletic success, and community engagement to ensure personal growth and development.  Browse UW-Parkside Ranger Athletics information here.


Photo Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside


Personal Enrichment

Part of the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is to educate and engage individuals and organizations by offering professional development, personal enrichment, and community-based learning experiences. The dynamic Mini-Course program offers non-credit classes that range in length from one to six weekly sessions. Well over 100 Mini-Courses feature subjects from career development, computers, finance and retirement, to arts, language, culture and food. Registration is open for these courses.


Adventures in Life Long Learning (ALL)

ALL provides educational, creative, and social opportunities through lectures, classes, focus groups, days trips, and special events.  More information here.


Student Center

Planning a special event? The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Student Center offers conference and ballroom reservations as well as catering. Whether you are planning a large banquet or a small conference, the experienced staff provides personalized service and superior cuisine. From informal meeting breaks to lavish celebrations, your event will be a success. Browse here for information about the Student Center.


Sports and Activity Center

Along with the Rangers athletics programs, UW-Parkside has a number of fitness amenities available to the community. The Sports & Activity Center, or SAC, includes an indoor track, dance studio, three full size basketball courts, four tennis courts, six volleyball or badminton courts and a six-lane 200 meter track capable of hosting indoor track and field meets. The SAC also features state-of-the-art fitness facilities with 31 pieces of cardio-respiratory equipment, 30 pieces of resistance equipment, and more than 40 pieces of fitness equipment including treadmills, elliptical machines and exercise bicycles. The SAC offers a 25 yard, eight lane swimming pool with a one-meter diving board. The pool is popular for lap swimming, recreational activities and swimming instruction. Children’s swimming lessons, one of the more popular programs, are offered throughout the year. For more information on UW-Parkside’s fitness facilities, programs and facility memberships browse Parkside’s Sports & Activity Center page here.


Frisbee Golf, Anna Maria Williams Nature Trail, and Cross Country Trails

Situated on nearly 700 acres of pristine woodland with access to an additional 300 acres in Petrifying springs Park, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside provides the community with free access to its Frisbee golf course, the Anna Maria Williams Nature Trail, and several Cross Country Trails.