Baccalaureate Level / Bachelor's Degree
The UW Graduate School requires a bachelor's or comparable undergraduate degree for admission to any graduate program. Undergraduate degrees must be complete before the start of the Secondary Program classes in Summer 1. You may submit your application with courses in-progress, and you may be accepted as early as November 15. However, all offers of admission are provisional until final undergraduate grades are reviewed and your degree is confirmed.
Your undergraduate degree must be in a field of study relevant to the licensable area. In some cases, life experiences in the content area may augment or count in place of necessary course work. Each certification area has its own criteria. Please select a subject area from the tab above to learn more about specific prerequisites.
The Program does not require printed (official) transcripts when you first apply. The admissions evaluation will be done using transcript data electronically submitted. Applicants who accept an offer of admission to the Program, however, will need to submit an official transcript to document courses taken and grades earned prior to admission.
If the Baccalaureate degree is still in-progress at the time of admission selection, a second official transcript will need to be submitted to document the degree once it is conferred. UW-Madison Graduate School policy allows the degree conferral to be documented after the Program classes have begun.
GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 or Better
The UW Graduate School admits students based on the GPA earned over the last 60 credits of the Bachelor’s Degree. The minimum, 60-credit GPA is 3.0. However, the Secondary Education Program may request a GPA waiver for an applicant whose qualitative factors are felt to be strong. If your GPA seems likely to be under 3.0, you might wish to communicate with the Secondary Education Program Coordinator about your circumstances.
The Graduate School's GPA evaluation normally will not include additional courses taken beyond the completion of the Bachelor’s Degree. In certain cases, an advanced degree might have relevance. If you have a degree beyond the bachelor's (or courses toward such a degree), please list the details in your application. The Program may consider these in determining your eligibility for admission.
Prerequisite Courses and Experiences
Several specific courses are required for admission to the Program. Be sure to read the prerequisite information for your subject area listed in the tab above.
All of the pre-requisite course work is in the content area. No education courses are required. However, we encourage undergraduate students to complete the Education Certificate at the UW-Madison or explore the field of education at your university.
It is also beneficial for applicants to have some experience working with adolescents or populations that include speakers of languages other than English.
GRE Scores (and TOEFL for foreign students)
General GRE scores are required for all applicants. (We do not need subject specific GRE exams.) Applicants should instruct the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) provider to send scores to UW-Madison. The GRE Institution Code for UW-Madison is 1846.
The GRE may be completed after the UW Graduate School online application is submitted. Upon delivery of scores, the UW Graduate School will match them to the online application. Scores must be submitted prior to October 15th. Plan ahead to complete the GRE (allowing for scoring and transmittal time) prior to the Program application deadline: October 15th for priority status.
No minimum score is required. However, the GRE scores can be used to meet the state's licensing requirement for basic skills assessment in communication (minimum scores for this are 150 Verbal and 145 Math). Please refer to the Wisconsin DPI website for the most current information.
The GRE must be completed not more than ten years prior to applying to be valid. EXCEPTION: Applicants may submit scores older than 5 years. However, applicants admitted to the Program will have to submit scores from a recently completed standard academic skills test (i.e., PRAXIS1) to document current basic academic skills prior to beginning course work.
TOEFL Scores: Applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must arrange to have Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores sent to UW-Madison. Refer to English Proficiency on the Graduate School Admission Requirements page.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required.
Ideally letters should come from a respected individual (such as a professor, an academic advisor, a supervisor, or an educational professional) who knows you well enough to address the following qualities: leadership skills, maturity, responsibility, working with diverse populations, skill in communicating, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. It is beneficial if your recommender can also comment on the depth and breadth of your experience working with adolescents and why you show potential for success in the field of secondary education.
The UW-Madison Graduate School online application allows applicants to give contact information for individuals to whom the Graduate School would then email instructions for submitting online recommendations directly to the Graduate School.
Statement of Purpose/Reasons for Graduate Study
The statement of purpose should communicate your reasons for wanting to become a Secondary Education teacher.
You should also use it to introduce yourself to program faculty, highlighting experiences, related skills, and personal attributes which make you an exceptional candidate for the Secondary Education Program.
As the statement of purpose is one of the most important components of the application, you should carefully read, revise, and edit it prior to submission. It may be wise to seek assistance from external resources. See the link to the UW Graduate School's advice on writing the Statement of Purpose. UW-Madison students may wish to contact the UW-Madison Writing Center for additional help.
A resume upload via the UW-Madison Graduate School supplemental application is required. This should include your professional and academic experience, as well as any other information you believe is pertinent. No specific format is required. The resume should not exceed two pages in length.
The Graduate School makes the final admission decision based on the Secondary Education Program recommendation.
When to Apply for the Next Cohort
Each year in June the application process opens for the next year (each cohort begins the following June). The admission process remains open until May 15th of the following year or until a subject area fills. Check the website blog to see updates on availability.
The DEADLINE for completing applications for priority review is October 15th of each year. (See Application Timeline for details.)
Your application is "complete" when all Graduate School fees have been paid, GRE (TOEFL) scored and transcripts received, all required fields on the Graduate School application completed, and supplemental materials (including the content-domain survey and short-answer response) received by Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The UW-Madison Graduate School Online Application (with Supplement) must be submitted on or before October 15 for priority status.
Monitor Your Application
When you apply you will create a Log-In and Password that will let you access your online student center to check arrival/ verification of online application components.
Notification of Application Status
Priority Applicants will be notified in writing no later than December 15th of their status for admission in June the following year. All offers of admission are provisional until all bachelor's level grades are final and documented (if the bachelor's degree was pending at the time of application) and until criminal background investigation results are reviewed. If, after a student has been offered admission, the final transcript review or the results of the criminal background check indicate that a student did not satisfy all the eligibility criteria, the offer of admission will be rescinded. Students should be aware that under these or similar ineligibility conditions the offer of admission could be rescinded.
Starting the Program
Once you accept a position in the program, you will also be asked to take the PRAXIS II exam in the subject area you are pursuing. Program participants must meet the State of Wisconsin’s minimum scores for this exam. Multiple attempts are allowed. (See the subject-area prerequisites pages for details.)
*Students accepted into this program are not permitted to accept teaching assistantships, project assistantships, research assistantships, or any other appointments that would provide a tuition waiver.
*Also, students cannot enroll (or be currently enrolled) in other graduate programs nor take courses outside the prescribed curriculum.
Contact Joey Lubasi, UW Secondary Education Program Coordinator at email@example.com or phone 608-263-3404.