Application Process & Deadlines

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Main Office

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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Education: a debt due from present to future generations. —George Peabody
 
APPLICATION DEADLINES AND APPLICATION PROCESS

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.

Admissions 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.

                           Application Deadlines by Program



Ph.D. 

Deadline:December 1
Domestic and International
Admission for following summer or fall
No spring admission
Admission decisions made in February

Wisconsin Idea Executive Ph.D. Cohort

Domestic Only
​Applications currently closed
Anticipated start date for next cohort is
Fall 2021 with an application deadline of December 1, 2020.

Educational Specialist Certificate Program

Multiple Admission Deadlines
Domestic Only
Deadlines:
fall - last application deadline July 1
​spring - last application deadline December 1
summer - last application deadline April 1


Master's K12 Leadership ​Cohort                

SUMMER ADMISSION ONLY

Domestic Applicants Only
Application Deadline:April 1
​Admission Decisions by May 1
New Cohort Begins Every Summer


Global Higher Education Master's Program  

FALL ADMISSION ONLY

Domestic Applicant Deadlines
Rolling Admissions
Apply July 2 - July 1 (entire year)
International Applicant Deadlines
Rolling Admissions
​Apply April 2 - April 1 (entire year)


Wisconsin Idea Principal Preparation          
Master's Cohort

SUMMER ADMISSION ONLY

Domestic Applicants Only
Application Deadline:April 1
Admission Decisions by May 1
New Cohort Begins Every Summer

 

Master's
Higher Education Strand
and
Educational Policy Strand

Domestic Applicant Deadlines
Rolling Admissions
Last application deadline ​fall - July 1
Last application deadline spring - December 1
Last application deadline summer - April 1

International Applicant Deadlines

Rolling Admissions
Last application deadline ​fall - April 1



Special Student Admission

Office of Adult Career and Special Students ​           
Non-degree seeking applicants.  

     


Application Process

Apply Using Graduate School Application  APPLY


Program Selection

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 program within the Department for are applying to:
  • PhD K12 Leadership
  • PhD Higher Education
  • PhD Educational Policy Analysis and Evaluation (Policy)
  • PhD Wisconsin Idea Executive Program
  • Master's K12 Leadership
  • Master's Higher Education
  • Masters's Educational Policy Analysis and Evaluation (Policy)
  • Master's Global Higher Education
  • Master's UW-Whitewater Cooperative Program
  • Master's Wisconsin Idea Principal Preparation Program
  • Educational Specialist Certificate Program

Documents to Upload to your Online Application

  • essay (reason for study)
  • unofficial transcripts
  • resume/CV
  • letters of recommendation (submitted electronically)
  • supporting documentation (if required)

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

Attach Essay Statement to Application (see items to address below)

The following provides information regarding what to ​address in your essay based upon the program applying to. Each applicant must submit a "Reasons for Study" essay. As you prepare your responses, we invite you to review the information on our website to review the program literature, to talk with our alumni and current students, and to interact with members of the faculty and staff.

Master's K12 Leadership Cohort and Wisconsin Idea Principal Preparation Program

  • Applicants should address the following in their essay.

    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.

Master's UW-Whitewater Cooperative Program

Applicants should address the following in their essay.

The essay should 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.

Master's Higher Education, Educational Policy Analysis and Evaluation, or Educational Specialist Certificate

Applicants should address the following in their essay.

The essay should 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.

Master’s Degree in Global Higher Education Cohort Program

Applicants should address the following in their essay.

  • Clearly identify Global Higher Education as your area of interest
  • Explain why you are interested in a master's degree focusing on Global Higher Education. What are your career goals? Tell us what kind of educational and/or international experiences may have inspired you to pursue a Master's degree in the field of international higher education.
  • What are your expectations from the Global Higher Education program? How will this program contribute to your professional objectives?
  • What can you contribute to the program and other cohort students, (such as your experiences, your ​knowledge in global, international higher education)?

Attention: You don't have to try to imitate the American style of a "Statement of Purpose" if this is not a common genre in your culture as we respect and celebrate the cultural diversities brought by applicants and students from around the world.

Ph.D. (Doctoral) Applicants

Applicants should address the following in their essay.

Each applicant must submit a "Reasons for Study" essay. As you prepare your responses, we invite you to review the information on our website to review the program literature, to talk with our alumni and current students, and to interact with members of the faculty and staff.  Ph.D. applicants should address the following 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 andthat 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 intereststhat areconsistent 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 ​be contacted by the Graduate School should you be recommended for admission to our program and at that time, office transcripts will be requested.  International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. DO NOT SEND TRANSCRIPTS UNTIL ADMISSION IS CONSIDERED AND YOU ARE NOTIFIED OF YOUR ADMISSION STATUS BY THE GRADUATE SCHOOL.

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

Required for Ph.D. ​NOT Master's 

GRE SCORES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO INSTITUTION CODE 1846.
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).

Additional Information International Applicants

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

International Student Visa Information 

International Applicant Financial Information  
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