Admission Requirements

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Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
UW-Madison
253 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

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

Email: elpa@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
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A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions. —Anonymous

 

​  Application Deadlines 

  Application Process

  Admission Decisions  

In keeping with the department's mission and strategic plan, admissions will be based on a holistic view of each candidate with special attention to the potential for success in the desired program of study evidenced in the documentation provided. ​

The applicant must meet both the Department's and the Graduate   School's criteria for admission. Admission to the Department is the first step and does not guarantee admission to the Graduate School. Exceptions to the Graduate School's requirement of at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average are limited. The Department will obtain your application from the Graduate School.  There is one application fee paid to the Graduate School.

  • Watch your application status page through MyUW for missing checklist items or additional information.
  • Any requests for information or changes in your status during the program’s review will be noted on the page.
  • If you have questions regarding the status of your application during this time, contact the program director. 
         
 

  APPLICATION DEADLINES    



PhD (domestic and international)
 
 
Application Deadline
December 1 each year 
Summer or
Fall Admission (no spring admission) 
Completed Applications Considered in February 



UW-MADISON 
K12 LEADERSHIP MASTER'S  PROGRAM (domestic Only)
 

Next Application Deadline
March 1  - Summer Admission Only
New Cohort Begins
Summer 2017
Completed Applications Considered in April



UW-WHITEWATER/UW-MADISON
COOPERATIVE PROGRAM  
K12 LEADERSHIP MASTER'S PROGRAM (domestic only)
 

On-going application deadlines. Fall applicants considered in:
January
March
April
May
July

Spring applicants considered in: 
October
November
December​

Summer applicants considered in:
January
March
April
May 
Also requires admission at UW-Whitewater as a special student.  



MASTER'S Program 
HIGHER, POSTSECONDARY AND CONTINUING EDUCATION STRAND
AND
EDUCATIONAL POLICY STRAND

(DATES DO NOT APPLY TO K12 LEADERSHIP MASTER'S PROGRAM)
 

  DOMESTIC APPLICANTS

FALL ADMISSION​ 
APPLICATION WINDOW          
December 1 - July 1​

SPRING ADMISSION

APPLICATION WINDOW
July 2 - November 30

SUMMER ADMISSION

APPLICATION WINDOW
December 1 - May 1


Fall applicants considered in:
January
March
April
May
July

Spring applicants considered in: 
October
November
December​

Summer applicants considered in:
January
March
April
May 

  INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

SUMMER OR FALL ADMISSION
APPLICATION WINDOW
April 1 - December 1

FALL ADMISSION ONLY
APPLICATION WINDOW
December 2 - March 1

FALL ADMISSION ONLY
APPLICATION WINDOW
March 2 - ​March 31 
Applications considered in:
January (of the following year)
March
April



Global Higher Education Master's Program

  DOMESTIC APPLICANTS

FALL ADMISSION ONLY

APPLICATION WINDOW
July 1 - December 1
Applications that are complete are considered in
January (of next year)
APPLICATION WINDOW
December 2 - March 1
Applications that are complete are considered in 
March
APPLICATION WINDOW
March 2 - July 1

Applications that are complete are considered in
July

G​lobal Higher Education Master's program 

  INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

FALL ADMISSION ONLY​

APPLICATION WINDOW
April 1 - December 1
Applications that are complete are considered in
January (of next year)
APPLICATION WINDOW
December 2 - March 1
Applications that are complete are considered in
March
APPLICATION WINDOW
March 2 - ​March 31
Applications that are complete are considered in
April



Educational Specialist Certificate program 
AND
Certification Only 
(domestic only)
 

FALL ADMISSION​ 
APPLICATION WINDOW                 December 1 - July 1​

SPRING ADMISSION
APPLICATION WINDOW
July 2 - November 30

SUMMER ADMISSION
APPLICATION WINDOW
December 1 - May 1
Applications that are complete are considered for fall admission in
January
March
April
May
July 

Applications that are complete are considered for spring admission in
October
November
December

Applications that are complete are considered for summer admission in
January
March
May 


 

  ADMISSION DECISIONS  

A favorable vote of the Department faculty is required for the Department to recommend admission to the Graduate School. Upon admission, a member of the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis will be assigned to serve as your initial advisor. Because of the volume of applications received by the department, qualified students must sometimes be denied admission. Those denied admission are welcome to reapply during the next admissions cycle.​

 

Current UW-Madison Graduate Students:  If you have attended Graduate School at UW-Madison without a break of one or more semesters (not including the summer semester), STOP! You may only need to fill out a change of major form. Click here for the change of major form 

REENTRY

If you are a Re-Entry student you must apply on online! Click here for re-entry information.
You are a Re-Entry student if you were once enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison and wish to resume studies after an absence of one or more terms (not including summer).  

An application fee of $75 is required when completing a reentry application.



  APPLICATION      

For domestic and international applicants, all materials must be received by the application deadline, not postmarked by the deadline.​ Incomplete applications will not be considered. ​

Application instructions.

  • On the application under SUPPLEMENTARY APPLICATION, indicate which strand within the Department for are applying to:
    K12 Leadership
    Higher, Postsecondary and Continuing Education
    Educational Policy

 

THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS MUST BE UPLOADED TO YOUR APPLICATION. 

DO NOT ​SEND ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTS.  

  • essay (reason for study)  
  • unofficial transcripts
  • resume/CV
  • letters of recommendation (if not submitted electronically) 
  • supporting documentation (if required)

None of the above documents will be accepted via mail or email.

Supporting Documentation

Applicants who earned an UGPA below 3.25 or a GGPA below 3.5 or a GRE score below 1100 points (old format) or 305 (new format) (verbal and quantitative combined score) should provide additional explanation/documentation to support his/her admission (e.g. an explanation as to why scores do not accurately reflect potential, documentation of high potential for leadership, relevant experiences that affect their abilities to serve in leadership roles).
( File size limit: 6 MB )
Allowed file types include: Adobe PDF




  "REASON FOR STUDY" ESSAY  

Each applicant must submit a "Reasons for Study" essay. (As you prepare your responses, we invite you to review the information on our web site[http://www.education.wisc.edu/elpa], to review the program literature, to talk with our alumni and current students, and to interact with members of the faculty and staff.)

  • There are three strands within the department.  At the top of your essay indicate the strand you are applying to:
    K12 Leadership
    Higher, Postsecondary and Continuing Education
    Educational Policy

  Master's Degree applicants, Educational Specialist Certificate applicants, and certification applicants should address the following questions in an essay that does not exceed two pages (single or double spaced).  

  • Your area of interest (task or functional area of administration)
  • Your career goals (i.e., why the applicant is interested in pursuing a degree in educational administration)
  • Your professional objectives and how the UW-Madison program will contribute toward the applicant's role as a school/institution leader (If seeking certification, be sure to explicitly state what certification or certifications are being sought.)

    Applicants applying to the Masters in K-12 Leadership Cohort 

    with a focus on Social Justice Leadership should address the following questions not the questions listed above.

  • If you have been nominated by your school district to apply to this program, name of nominating school district: 
    Contact person/e-mail who would be familiar with your nomination:
    name/email 
  • Describe evidence in your educational practice of your commitment to addressing equity/social justice issues and a desire to lead with a focus on eliminating inequities.
  • Describe evidence of your instructional excellence with a range of diverse learners.
  • Describe evidence of leadership excellence related to equity and diversity.
  • Is there anything else you would like us to know about why you would be an excellent candidate for this program focused on social justice?

   Doctoral applicants should address the following questions in an essay that does not exceed three pages (single or double spaced).

  • What are your primary career goals and professional gaps you have identified as important for your intellectual and professional advancement over the next 5-10 years?
  • In what ways will these professional gaps be addressed through a doctoral program at UW-Madison?
  • Describe at least one research topic and/or project you plan to work on during your doctoral program.
  • As you will note, we are interested in developing and maintaining a diverse and engaged learning community. Please identify any unique or special contributions you will bring to this community. 

"Strong" essay is characterized by:

  • A clear, thorough, well-organized essay that expresses ideas in a detailed and engaging manner.
  • Addresses all components of the instructions.
  • Paragraphs signal the divisions of thought and sentences flow with ideas in a logical sequence.
  • No (or very few) noticeable errors in composition.
  • The articulation of clear scholarly interests that are consistent with the department's mission and that may expand knowledge within the field.

A "Satisfactory" essay is characterized by:

  • A detailed, well-organized essay.
  • Addresses all components of the instructions.
  • Paragraphs signal the major divisions of thought and sequence.
  • Few errors in composition.
  • The articulation of scholarly interests that are consistent with the department's mission.

A "Weak" essay is characterized by:

  • A well-organized but insufficiently detailed essay.
  • Addresses some, but not all, of the components of the instructions.
  • Paragraphs do not contain main topics.
  • A distracting number of errors in composition or spelling (i.e. > 2-3 per page).
  • No articulation of scholarly interests.
 


  TRANSCRIPTS  --  DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTS

Upload copies of unofficial transcripts to application.  You will need to send official transcripts should you be recommended for admission to our program. International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation.

Transcripts are analyzed to determine both undergraduate and graduate grade point averages (UGPA and GGPA). In addition, transcripts are examined to determine past academic concentrations, the pattern of courses taken, and the trend of grades received. No GPA renders an applicant automatically admissible or inadmissible. However, applicants who have a UGPA below 3.25 or a GGPA below 3.5 must submit a supporting document (see supporting documents). 

 

  LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION       

We require recommendations from three (3) people who are qualified to evaluate the academic and professional competence of the applicant.  When completing your online application to the Graduate School, you will submit the names and emails of those you wish to submit letters of recommendation for you.  The recommendations will then be submitted electronically.  



  GRE SCORES

GRE scores should be submitted to institution code 1846.

Required for Ph.D. and Educational Specialist Certificate, not Master's.  
GRE scores must be received by the application deadlines. 

No GRE score renders an applicant automatically admissible or inadmissible. Candidates should be aware that the GRE web site indicates that the average combined verbal and quantitative combined score for those entering the field of educational administration is approximately 1100 points (maximum possible 1600) for those who completed the GRE prior to August 2011, and 305 (maximum possible 340) points for those taking the revised GRE beginning in August 2011. Applicants who score below 1100 points (old format) and 305 (revised format) must submit supporting documentation (see below).



  SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION      

Upload (if required) to application.

Applicants who earned an UGPA below 3.25 or a GGPA below 3.5 or a GRE score below 1100 points (old format) or 305 (new format)  (verbal and quantitative combined score) should provide additional explanation/documentation to support his/her admission (e.g. an explanation as to why scores do not accurately reflect potential, documentation of high potential for leadership, relevant experiences that affect their abilities to serve in leadership roles).

 

 

 INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS           


  English Proficiency Requirements 
All electronic test scores should be submitted to institution code 1846. 


  International Student Visa Information 


​  International Applicant Financial Information  

International applicants are required to have adequate financial resources to cover expenses for the duration of their studies at UW-Madison. Do not send any financial statements to the program.  The Graduate School will request the documents through your online status check page. 

Proof of funding

  • Proof of funding is requested and verified by the Graduate School.  Funding sources may be the program, applicant, government, employer, individual, or a combination of these.
  • Additional information will be requested through your online status check page.

Verify

  • Financial documentation is received, verified, and approved by the Graduate School. 
  • Admission is finalized.
  • After processing, the formal admission letter and visa documents are sent to the student.

Documents for visa appointment

  • The Graduate School only pays for documents to be sent by US Airmail. Delivery takes four to five weeks.  Information about other shipping options will be sent via email when the I-20 documents are ready.
  • Refer to your individual status check page for details on your visa documents.

Follow online status check page

 

   Re-entry Instructions

   Tuition 

 

 

Revised January 2016
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