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I am interested in graduate school. What do I do first?
Obtain information regarding the Graduate School and its admission and application process. Obtain information on the department requirements.
I already have a master’s degree. Who do I contact to have my previous course work evaluated to determine what course work would be accepted in your PhD program?
Contact Shari Smith at 608-263-2701 or email Shari Smith.
I want to be certified as an administrator. If I receive an MS or a PhD, will I automatically have K-12 Leadership Certification?
Not necessarily. Administrator certification requires specific coursework not necessarily taken to receive an MS or a PhD. Feel free to review the requirements for K-12 administrator certifications or the Educational Specialist Certificate.
What are the procedural and academic requirements for admission into the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis program?
Procedural Requirements: All programs require the submission of an online application form submitted to the Graduate School and an application fee paid directly to the Graduate School. The department will obtain the application from the Graduate School and recommend students for admission. The department does not require a separate application form. Please review the department admission requirements and application process.
I have done graduate work at another school. Will those credits transfer?
All transcripts will need to be reviewed before transfer credits are accepted. Students seeking K-12 leadership administrator certification from this department must take a minimum of six credits at UW–Madison.
Students seeking the MS degree must complete a minimum of 16 (of 30 total) credits from UW–Madison.
Students seeking the PhD degree must take at least 39 (of 75 total) credits from UW–Madison.
Students seeking the Educational Specialist Certificate must take at least 24 (of 60 total) graduate credits from UW–Madison.
I have enrolled as a special student. How many credits will transfer?
A maximum of six credits of coursework taken as a special student will be accepted toward either certification or a degree program as long as the minimum credit requirements listed above are met. If special student credits exceed six, they may have to be converted to graduate-level credits with the student paying the difference in tuition. The Graduate School allows for 15 credits of special student course work be accepted toward a degree, however, conversion of these credits from special to graduate will be required.
What is considered full-time and part-time status?
The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-12 graduate-level credits (300 and above; no audits or pass/fail) during the fall and spring semesters and 4-8 graduate credits during the eight-week summer session. A student who has dissertator status is considered full-time with 3 graduate-level credits.
Can I schedule a tour of the department?
Contact the Student Services Coordinator: email Shari Smith or call 608-263-2701 for an advising appointment and options for meeting with faculty, sitting in on classes, and touring the campus. If you wish to arrange your own tour, contact Campus and Visitor Relations.
What time of day are classes offered?
During the academic year, fall and spring, the majority of courses are offered in the evening from 4:40-7:10 or 7:15-9:45. Occasionally courses are offered on weekends. During the summer session, most courses are offered in the day.
Are new students grouped together in a cohort, or am I free to take whatever classes I choose?
Our K-12 master’s is a cohort that begins each summer. The Global Higher Education master’s is a cohort begins each fall. The Wisconsin Idea Executive PhD is a cohort. For all other programs students meet with their advisor and develop a program plan. Advisors will assist in selecting the appropriate course work.
How many credits should I take each semester?
Full-time/part-time Status: The Graduate School considers full-time enrollment to be 8-12 graduate-level credits (300 and above; no audits or pass/fail) during the fall and spring semesters and 4-8 graduate credits during the eight-week summer session. A student who has dissertator status is considered full-time with 3 graduate-level credits.
How do I find out about funding?
The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis supports several PhD students with graduate assistantships, however, in most cases funding is not offered along with offers for admission. Many full-time PhD and master’s students seek assistantships in other areas on campus.
I am an international student. Where can I find information regarding opportunities, options, and assistance?
Online information can be found at the International Student and Scholar Services website. The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis does not provide financial support to first year international students and funding after the first year is very limited. International applicants are required to have sufficient funds to cover their expenses completely while attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The university’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is mandatory for international students and their dependents living in the U.S.
Who will be my academic advisor?
Students are assigned an initial advisor by the department.
How long do I have to complete a degree?
The MS 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 complete their degree until a new graduate program has been approved by the department and any new or different program requirements then in effect have been met. Students declared “inactive” for three (3) years may be dropped from the MS program. Students who have been dropped must seek readmission to a specific degree program in the department and meet all existing admission and program requirements.
The PhD Program Preliminary Examination must be passed within seven (7) years from the date of admission to the program. The dissertation must be satisfactorily completed within five (5) years of passing the Preliminary Examination. The Graduate School requires that after completion of the Preliminary Examination and all program requirements the student enroll for at least three (3) graduate credits each semester as a “dissertator” until completion of the final oral examination. Any student who fails to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree will be declared “inactive.” Students declared “inactive” will be ineligible for any final examination or degree in the department. “Inactive” students must have a new graduate program approved and must meet the new program and examination requirements in effect at that time.
Students declared “inactive” for three years may be dropped from the PhD program. Students who have been dropped must seek readmission and meet all existing admission, program, and examination requirements.
I am a student looking for an internship. Are there such opportunities?
Field experiencesfor higher education or educational policy students are arranged in consultation with a faculty advisor. Students in K-12 Leadership cohorts complete a practicum as part of their degree/certification requirements.
May I complete my dissertation elsewhere?
To receive a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from UW–Madison, you must complete and deposit your dissertation at UW–Madison.
Am I able to take a semester off from my studies and return to the department without reapplying?
Yes. Well in advance of the semester you intend to enroll in class, a new application to the Graduate School and an application fee will be required.