grad-educationalleadershippolicy

The mission of the department is to create, evaluate, exchange, and apply knowledge about leadership, learning, and organizational performance to prepare scholars and scholar practitioners who cultivate equity and educational opportunity in a diverse and changing world.

Many varied educational constituencies need to be able to analyze and to inform debate on educational issues, and to lead and develop learning communities that meet the diverse learning needs of students and society. We believe effective educational leadership in any institution embodies three core values: inquiry, equity and reflection.

Graduates and recipients of the department's instruction are expected to reflect the knowledge, skills, and personal qualities that will be successful in promoting, producing, and improving learning and increasing public trust in educational institutions.

In keeping with this mission, the department has three specialties or emphases:
Higher, Postsecondary, and Continuing Education, focused on the effective administration of postsecondary institutions, including higher education leadership, student affairs administration, and athletic administration. 
K–12 leadership, emphasizing the effective administration of primary and secondary institutions. 
Educational Policy, stressing effective formation and analysis of policies governing the administration of all educational institutions.

Students in each specialty will focus their course work within the emphasis, although students are encouraged to learn about other areas as well.

Admission to the department is based, in part, on the following criteria: undergraduate GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, GPA on 9 or more graduate credits, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (required only for Ph.D.), three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to judge the applicant's academic and professional competence, resume, transcripts, and a "reasons for study" essay.

For information regarding admissions criteria, deadlines and the application process, see Admissions on the department website.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements 

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes Yes No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 75 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 51 out of 75 credits must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements Doctoral students must complete a doctoral minor. Minor coursework is completed in areas that serve to enhance the major coursework.

Required Courses

Ph.D. students begin with the same foundational course before pursuing one of three different strands, or tracks (K-12 Leadership; Higher, Postsecondary and Continuing Education; or Educational Policy). They pick courses from the following list in consultation with their advisor.

Introduction to the Field
ELPA 810 Doctoral Inquiry in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis3
ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education3
ELPA 702 Introduction to Educational Leadership3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
Core Knowledge
Organizations and Planning (select one course)
ELPA/​INTER-HE  730 Program Development in Continuing Education3
ELPA 860 Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education3
ELPA/​URB R PL  875 Theory and Practice of Educational Planning3
Program and Instructional Leadership and Management (select one course)
ELPA 715 Governance and Administration of Colleges and Universities3
ELPA 845 School-Level Leadership3
ELPA 847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity3
Politics, Policy and Finance (select one course)
ELPA 831 Financing Postsecondary Education3
ELPA 840 Public School Law3
ELPA 841 Legal Aspects of Higher Education3
ELPA 870 The Politics of Education3
ELPA/​ED POL  872 Educational Policy Research Design and Implementation3
Learning and Diversity
ELPA 735 Leadership for Equity and Diversity3
ELPA 736 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education3
ELPA/​CURRIC  746 The Adult Learner: Implications for Curriculum and Instruction3
ELPA 848 Professional Development and Organizational Learning3
ELPA 880 Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities3
ELPA 887 Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education3
Program Depth
Organizations and Planning
Planning for Quality and Productivity Improvement
ELPA/​INTER-HE  826 Evaluation for Administrative Decision Making in Education3
ELPA/​URB R PL  875 Theory and Practice of Educational Planning3
OTM 770 Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement4
Organizational Analysis
ELPA 860 Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education3
ELPA 950 Seminar-Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education3
SOC 632 Sociology of Organizations3-4
Program and Instructional Leadership and Management
ELPA 715 Governance and Administration of Colleges and Universities3
ELPA 785 Staff Personnel Systems in Education3
ELPA 845 School-Level Leadership3
ELPA 846 The School Superintendency3
ELPA 847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity3
ELPA 848 Professional Development and Organizational Learning3
ELPA 863 Race, Class and Educational Inequality3
ELPA 915 Seminar: College and University Administration3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
Politics, Policy and Finance
Politics and Policy
ELPA/​INTER-HE  770 Community, Opportunity, and Justice3
ELPA 870 The Politics of Education3
ELPA/​ED POL  872 Educational Policy Research Design and Implementation3
ELPA 965 Seminar in the Politics of Education3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
ED POL 600 Problems in Educational Policy1-3
ED POL/​ELPA/​PUB AFFR  765 Issues in Educational Policy Analysis3
PUB AFFR 869 Workshop in Public Affairs3
PUB AFFR/​POLI SCI  871 Public Program Evaluation3
PUB AFFR/​POLI SCI/​URB R PL  874 Policy-Making Process3
PUB AFFR 974 Topics in Public Affairs3
Finance
ELPA 831 Financing Postsecondary Education3
ELPA 960 Seminar in Educational Finance3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
ECON 711 Economic Theory-Microeconomics Sequence3
ECON 712 Economic Theory-Macroeconomics Sequence3
ECON 741 Theory of Public Finance and Fiscal Policy3
ECON 742 Theory of Public Finance and Fiscal Policy3
PUB AFFR 880 Microeconomic Policy Analysis3
PUB AFFR/​A A E/​ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  881 Benefit-Cost Analysis3
PUB AFFR/​POLI SCI/​URB R PL  890 Federal Budget and Tax Policy and Administration3
PUB AFFR 891 State and Local Government Finance3
Legal
ELPA 840 Public School Law3
ELPA 841 Legal Aspects of Higher Education3
ELPA 842 Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services3
Learning and Diversity
K-12
ELPA 703 Evaluating and Supporting Quality Classroom Teaching3
ELPA 735 Leadership for Equity and Diversity3
ELPA/​RP & SE  835 Leadership for Inclusive Schooling3
ELPA 848 Professional Development and Organizational Learning3
ELPA 863 Race, Class and Educational Inequality3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
CURRIC 662 Elementary School Curriculum3
CURRIC 704 Curriculum Planning3
ED PSYCH 795 Introduction to Learning Sciences I3
Higher Education
ELPA 736 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education3
ELPA 880 Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities3
ELPA 881 Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century3
ELPA 882 Minority-Serving Institutions of Higher Education3
ELPA 883 Perspectives on College Student Identity and Development3
ELPA 887 Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education3
ELPA 888 Assessment in Higher Education3
ELPA 915 Seminar: College and University Administration3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
K-12 and Higher Education
ELPA/​CURRIC  746 The Adult Learner: Implications for Curriculum and Instruction3
ELPA/​INTER-HE  742 Facilitating Learning for Adults3
ELPA 817 Reflective Practice in Higher, Postsecondary and Continuing Education3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
ED PSYCH/​CURRIC  708 The Study of Teaching3
Electives
Students may take any five courses inside or outside of the Department, to provide depth or breadth to program focus. Students are reminded that their programs must include at least 39 credits taken from Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. Note that electives are separate from minor/supporting coursework.
Minor/Supporting Coursework12
Research Methods and Design
Statistical Methods
ELPA/​ED PSYCH  822 Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education3
ELPA/​ED PSYCH  827 Surveys and Other Quantitative Data Collection Strategies3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
ED PSYCH 760 Statistical Methods Applied to Education I3
ED PSYCH 761 Statistical Methods Applied to Education II3
SOC/​C&E SOC  360 Statistics for Sociologists I4
SOC/​C&E SOC  361 Statistics for Sociologists II3
STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods3
STAT 302 Accelerated Introduction to Statistical Methods3
Or equivalent
Quantitative Methods
ELPA 824 Field Research Designs & Methodologies in Educational Administratn3
ELPA 940 Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership1-3
ED POL/​C&E SOC/​SOC  755 Methods of Qualitative Research3
CURRIC/​COUN PSY/​ED POL/​ED PSYCH/​ELPA/​RP & SE  719 Introduction to Qualitative Research3
CURRIC 718 Introduction to Narrative Inquiry3
ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​CURRIC/​ED POL/​ELPA/​RP & SE  788 Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods I3
ED PSYCH/​COUN PSY/​CURRIC/​ED POL/​ELPA/​RP & SE  789 Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods II3
CURRIC 975 General Seminar2-3
And other appropriate courses.
Research Design
ELPA 825 Advanced Research Methods in Educational Administration3
Research/Thesis
Students are required to complete a minimum of nine credits of research/thesis and/or independent reading. While nine credits is the minimum required, there is no maximum.
ELPA 990 Research or Thesis1-12
ELPA 999 Independent Reading1-3
Or equivalent in other departments.

Named Options (Sub-Majors)

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 36 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison special student. If necessary to meet the Graduate School minimum graduate credit requirements for the degree, special student coursework may have to be converted to graduate credits.  Once converted, students are assessed the difference in tuition between special and graduate tuition.  Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements. More information here.

Probation

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies. An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor.

To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Other

Funding is not offered along with offers for admission.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. Articulates research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge, or practice within the field of study.

2. Formulates ideas, concepts, designs, and/or techniques beyond the current boundaries of knowledge within the field of study.

3. Creates research or scholarship that makes a substantive contribution.

4. Demonstrates breadth within their learning experiences.

5. Advances contributions to society in the field of study or field of practice.

6. Communicates complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner.

7. Fosters ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty: Professor Julie Mead (chair); Professors Borman, Camburn, Capper, Conrad, Diamond, Halverson, Jackson, Kelley, Miller, Underwood; Associate Professors Hillman, Wang, Winkle-Wagner; Assistant Professors Goff; Clinical Professors Crim, Rainwater; Faculty Associate King