Master's K12 Leadership Program (prior to fall 2012)

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Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
253 Education Building
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MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-3106
Fax: 608/265-3135

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Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. —John Cotton Dana

Master of Science Degree

K12 Leadership with Principal Certification (36 credits)

Effective January 2010-August 2012
(see K12 Master's Cohort requirements after August 2012)

The following minimal requirements (36 credits) will satisfy the M.S. degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis and meet the requirements for K12 principal certification. 

Prior to or during the semester in which students are completing the 10th semester hour of coursework, each student and advisor will prepare, submit, and obtain Department Chair approval for a master’s degree program plan.  The program plan form can be downloaded from the Department website forms page.


Course Title


I.  Professional Socialization

(complete all 4 classes)

ELPA 702  Introduction to Elementary and Secondary Education Administration

ELPA 848  Professional Development and Organizational Learning

ELPA 735  Student Services and Diversity in Elementary/Secondary Education

ELPA 770  School Community Relations

12 credits

II.  Professional Socialization – Instructional Leadership

(complete all 2 classes)

ELPA 725  Research Methods and Procedures in Educational Administration

ELPA 845  The School Principalship


6 credits

III.  InstructionalLeadership – Integrative Leadership

(complete all 3 classes)

ELPA 840  Legal Aspects of Elementary and Secondary Education

ELPA 847  Instructional Leadership and School Improvement

ELPA 830  Financing Elementary and Secondary Education

9 credits

IV.  Integrative Capstone

Field Experience

ELPA 700 Field Experience – class and 150 hours in the field

3 credits

V.  Supporting Courses


ELPA 703  Evaluating and Supporting Quality Classroom Teaching (or C&I 830 Theory and Design of Curriculum OR C&I 662 Elementary School Curriculum OR other approved curricular course


At least one (1) courses including three (3) graduate credits of supporting coursework selected from courses outside the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. 

6 credits

Satisfactory completion of the approved M.S. program shall be certified by the Student Services Coordinator prior to completing the portfolio requirement.

Occasional exceptions to the minimum M.S. program requirements may be made by the Department upon request by the student and major professor through the Department Chair.

K-12 Leadership Students Seeking Administrative Certification and/or a Master’s Degree

In accordance with PI 34, the Department has created a portfolio requirement for all certification students. Beginning September 1, 2004, students seeking certification as Principal, Director of Instruction, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services, or Superintendent, will be able to take part in the processes leading to the successful completion and presentation of their own portfolio. Each portfolio is comprised of five components: four dimensions of leadership, and a professional vision statement. Students will create exhibits for the components that will help to demonstrate their leadership proficiency in each of the dimensions that coincide with the Department’s mission and vision. 

All students seeking University endorsement for initial licensure as a K-12 administrator from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction must complete a portfolio based on Wisconsin State standards for administrators. 


A minimum of thirty (30) graduate credits (Master's only), (36) with principal certification must be completed in the Master of Science (M.S.) program with an overall GGPA of at least 3.00.  The student must maintain a minimum overall 3.00 GGPA in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis courses at all times.

The M.S. degree program must be completed within five (5) years from the date of admission to the program.  Failure to complete the program in 5 years will result in the student being declared "inactive."  Students declared "inactive" will be ineligible to continue until a new graduate program has been approved by the Department and any new or different program or examination requirements then in effect have been met.

Students declared "inactive" for three (3) years may be dropped from the M.S. program.  Students who have been dropped must seek readmission to a specific degree program in the Department and meet all existing admission, program, and examination requirements.


No more than six (6) graduate credits in other than educational administration courses may be transferred to the M.S. program in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

No more than nine (9) graduate credits in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis courses may be transferred from other universities to the M.S. program in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Graduate School regulations state that a master’s degree candidate must complete a minimum of 16 graduate level credits*on the Madison campus in order for the degree to be considered a Madison degree.

All transfer credits must have been taken in accredited graduate level programs.

Additional Department OF Public Instruction Requirements For Initial Education Administrative License

  • Master’s degree or an approved equivalent in Education Administration (PI 34.32)
  • Eligible to hold teacher, counselor, school psychologist, or social worker licenses in the State of Wisconsin.
  • Three years successful experience at the elementary/middle/secondary level, or three years successful experience as a school counselor, psychologist, or social worker which included 540 hours of classroom teaching experience.
  • Completion of the human relations requirement of PI4.11.
  • Undergraduate or graduate course in human growth and development including child psychology, early adolescent psychology, or adolescent psychology. (Ed Psych 301, 303, 320, 321, 502, 520, 521, or 701)

(From Department of Public Instruction FAQ website  

25)  Q:  Can a teacher who holds an Initial Educator License and who completes an approved principal program apply for and be issued an Initial Educator License as a principal?

A:  No. The educator would first have to complete all requirements to advance his/her non-renewable Initial Educator License for teaching to the professional educator license stage. If an Initial Educator License was issued in an administrative category to an educator who still was licensed at the initial educator stage as a teacher, there is no assurance that the educator would complete requirements for advancement to the professional educator stage as a teacher. The educator would therefore no longer be eligible for the administrator license since eligibility for a teaching license is a prerequisite.



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