University of Wisconsin–Madison

Program Pre-requisites for admission

All candidates for the Secondary Content/ESL Teacher Certification Program must demonstrate the following criteria

  1. Relevant undergraduate degree
  2. Coursework or experience that spans the necessary content domains
  3. 3.0 GPA or above, or passing an approved content examination

1) Undergraduate Degree

Applicants need to have (or have completed by June) a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international institution with a major or a minor in one or more of an area associated with the certification area.

  • English
    • English
    • Comparative Literature
    • Linguistics
    • Theater & Drama
    • Other areas available upon review- (e.g. Media Studies, Journalism, Gender Studies, Social Sciences)

    Email a statement and a copy of your transcript to sj Miller, sj.miller@wisc.edu

  • Mathematics
    • Mathematics, Applied Mathematics
    • Statistics
    • Accounting
    • Actuarial Science
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering

    Wide variety of degrees accepted. Must have studied algebraic reasoning, geometric reasoning and statistics

  • Science
    • Biology or other Life Science-related major
    • Environmental Science
    • Geology or other Geoscience
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • or some other Natural Science or Science-related degree

    If you do not have one of these degrees, and believe you have a special case for consideration, including significant professional experience, or comparable university courses, you may send an email to Professor John Rudolph explaining your situation.

  • Social Studies
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Geography
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • or some other Social Science-related degree

    If you do not have one of the listed degrees, and believe you have a special case for consideration, including significant professional experience or comparable university courses, you may send an email to Dr Thomas Owenby, owenby@wisc.edu explaining your situation.

Non-US Graduates: For specific information about comparable degrees in your country, and which academic documents are required, refer to this link

2) Content Domains

Prior to admission applicants must demonstrate competency in the content domains associated with the standards in their content area of choice.  This may be demonstrated through coursework or significant life experiences.

  • English

    The 3 required areas of competency include:

    Language

    • Applying language to fit a variety of audiences and purposes
    • Study of the structure or history of language, typically found in linguistics
    • Exploring the interrelatedness of language arts, including:
      • reading, writing, speaking, listening, creating and responding to media

    Writing/Composition

    • Writing as a recursive thinking process (e.g., pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and presenting)
    • Writing, speaking and creating media for a variety of audiences and purposes

    Literature

    • Literature is broken into genres and connects to the world around
    • The breadth of literary exposure includes culturally-rich and diverse representative works of major writers that span Classic, Contemporary, and Futuristic genres from the United States to around the world
  • Math

    Prior to admission, all applicants must demonstrate competency in the following general areas:

    • Calculus
    • Linear Algebra
    • Modern Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Combinatorics/ Probability
    • History/ Philosophy of Mathematics
    • Statistics

    More information about the secondary Math degree for UW-Madison students- here

  • Science

    Prior to admission, all applicants must demonstrate competency in the following general areas:

    • Structure and Properties of Matter
    • Chemical Reactions
    • Forces and Interactions
    • Energy
    • Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation

    For content competencies within each of the certification areas, please refer to the information on the Science webpage

  • Social Studies

    Applicants must demonstrate competency in one or more of the following areas . (Please refer to the Social Studies page for specific content requirements)

    Economics

    Geography

    History

    Political Science

    Psychology

    Sociology

3) GPA and required exams

Applicants must demonstrate academic and content competency through coursework, examination or a portfolio of evidence.

  • For admission to Graduate School, a minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required.
    • If this benchmark is not met, the program may request special approval for a candidates
    • It may be necessary for the candidate to take a standardized test such as the GRE or ACT or SAT.
  • To be eligible for certification, candidates must have a GPA of 3.0 or above within their content area.
    • If this benchmark is not met,
      • the student would need to pass a content exam, or
      • prepare a portfolio of evidence showing their competency in the content domains

 

GPA Calculator- click here to access web tool from UW cross-campus advising

English Proficiency

  1. Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. TOEFL scores must be submitted electronically via ETS. IELTS scores can be submitted electronically or by paper.  Our office address is UW-Madison Graduate School, Office of Admissions, 232 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706.  Your score will not be accepted if it is more than two years old from the start of your admission term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. The language of instruction at the college or university level and how recent the language instruction was taken are the determining factors in meeting this requirement.
  2. Showing adequate instructional verbal skills are also required for non-native English speakers.  Passing a verbal interview with the secondary education ESL team will also be required.

    Applicants may be exempt if:
  • English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate institution; or
  • you have earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment; or
  • you have completed at least two full-time semesters of graded coursework, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction. Completion of graded coursework cannot be more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.
  • An exemption is contingent on the Secondary Program’s discretion

Please use this link to access a list for specific information about English proficiency requirements from various countries:  UW Graduate School Requirements page