school-of-music

The music education major consists of two certification programs; General and Instrumental Music, and General and Vocal Music. Students choose one of the program tracks and will, upon completion, receive licenses to teach in two areas at the Early Childhood through Adolescence level. Music Education is a program offered jointly by the School of Music and the School of Education. The Bachelor of Music: Education degree is conferred by the College of Letters & Science; teacher certification is earned through the School of Education.

The music education program was recently revised to:

  • Award certification in two areas. Each graduate will receive certification in general music and also in vocal or instrumental music, thus increasing job marketability and better reflecting the current needs of K–12 schools. Graduates are certified to teach in elementary and secondary schools.
  • Explore the relationships between popular culture and music education. Graduates will be prepared to teach multiple forms of musical literacy, not just the traditional band, orchestra and choral curriculum.
  • Expand the number of musical styles studied in the curriculum. Students also participate in group performances that reflect the diverse array of musical activities in today's schools.
  • Offer an introductory music education class to sophomores prior to admission into the program.
  • Provide instruction and experiences so that graduates can teach in culturally responsive ways.
  • Increase performance collaboration between students in the instrumental and vocal tracks.
  • Create a more interdisciplinary program by requiring all music education students to complete a core set of courses.

Although these programs are designed with the goal of preparing teachers to work in K–12 schools, the programs also provide a good preparation for individuals seeking careers in continuing education or music education-related fields.

The student's primary performance area should be consistent with the chosen certification program. One or more additional performance areas may be required. Prospective music education majors must audition and be accepted into any additional performance areas at the music major level (200 level) of performance study prior to beginning the methods and practicum sequence. The School of Music cannot guarantee admission to additional performance areas, nor can it guarantee that appropriate substitute course work will be available. The School of Music expects students admitted to its programs to complete all subsequent performance study at UW–Madison.

Students interested in music education should consult with the major advisor as soon as possible and at least once a semester while completing the program.

Admission Into the School of Music

To become a candidate for a School of Music degree, a student must first be accepted by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and by the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office, 3561H Mosse Humanities. These are the specific steps for applying to the UW–Madison School of Music:

  • Review the information available on the School of Music website.  Any questions may be directed to the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office.
  • Request an audition date by submitting a completed School of Music application.
  • Students who expect to need financial assistance should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • Prepare the appropriate repertoire and materials for the audition.
  • Request that official transcripts be sent to the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office from all high schools and colleges attended. Request written recommendations from two people who can attest to the applicant's musical background and ability.
  • Come to the campus for an audition, which includes a ten- to twenty-minute performance audition, music theory and piano placement examinations, and an introduction to School of Music faculty, students, and facilities.

Transfer Students

Students who have earned more than 24 course credits at another college or university follow the same application and audition procedures described above. Upon acceptance by UW–Madison and the School of Music, credits for music courses taken at another institution are interpreted by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment simply as elective music credits. These course credits, as they appear on the transcript(s), will be reviewed during a conference with the advisor upon enrolling at UW–Madison. Transfer credit for music courses will be reviewed only after all placement and proficiency examinations in theory and piano have been taken at UW–Madison and syllabi for academic music courses have been submitted.

Reentering the School of Music

Students who were previously enrolled in the School of Music and UW–Madison who desire to reenter to seek an undergraduate degree should apply for reentry to both the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office. An audition will be required in most cases.

International Students

Students from foreign countries who seek admission to the university and the School of Music should contact International Student Services in addition to the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Special Students

Persons who are interested in courses offered by the School of Music but who are not working toward a UW–Madison degree should contact the Division of Continuing Studies, 21 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53715; 608/263-6960. Enrollment is limited in music courses, and priority is given to UW–Madison undergraduate degree candidates.

Applying to the Music Education Program

During the second year in the core music curriculum, each student will sign up for an audition/interview with the music education faculty. The audition includes, but is not limited to, performance, sight-singing, and keyboard harmonization components. Minimum admission eligibility GPA requirements are:

  • 2.5 in music theory and history courses
    MUSIC 121
    MUSIC 171
    Musica Practica 1
    and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1
    4
    MUSIC 122
    MUSIC 172
    Musica Practica 2
    and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2
    4
    MUSIC 221
    MUSIC 271
    Musica Practica 3
    and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3
    4
    MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
    MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
  • 3.0 in all music courses
  • 2.75 cumulative (all courses)

The number of students admitted to the music education program is contingent upon available space; enrollment limits may be necessary to ensure that students have reasonable and timely access to required School of Music courses.

Students who successfully pass the audition/interview process and are offered admission must complete the following steps to complete their admission into the program:

  • Submit a teacher certification program application with the School of Education. Include the completed program application form(s), transcripts, and all other related application materials specified on the School of Education's Apply to a Program page.
  • Complete the Basic Skills Requirement. All prospective teacher education students must submit test scores to the School of Education to be eligible for professional program admission. Students may use their ACT, SAT, or GRE scores, or they may take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (formerly the Praxis I/PPST). These tests meet Wisconsin's basic skills test requirement for prospective teachers. For more information see the document Academic Tests for Prospective Teachers.
  • Submit a major declaration form to the School of Music. Students admitted into the music education certification program will thereafter enroll jointly with the School of Music (College of Letters and Science) and the School of Education.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Breadth and Depth Requirements, Bachelor of Music (B.M.): Education 

Certain requirements of the College of Letters & Science are required for all undergraduate degrees. They include:

1. All students must take one 3-credit course that satisfies the L&S ethnic studies requirement.

2. General Education Requirements (Communication Parts A and B, Quantitative Reasoning Parts A and B, Natural Science, Humanities/Literature/Arts, Social Studies, Ethnic Studies) must be met either by testing or by taking the appropriate course work.

3. All students must fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses that count toward this requirement are:

Music courses:

MUSIC 40 Wind Ensemble1
MUSIC 41 Concert Band1
MUSIC 50 Concert Choir1
MUSIC 52 Women's Chorus1
MUSIC 53 Choral Union1
MUSIC 55 Masters' Singers1
MUSIC 56 Chorale1
MUSIC 58 Madrigal Singers1
MUSIC 61 Chamber Orchestra1
MUSIC 62 University Symphony Orchestra1
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 33
MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 43
MUSIC 256 University Opera1-2
MUSIC 262 Jazz Ensemble1
MUSIC 265 Ensemble-Woodwind1
MUSIC 266 Black Music Ensemble1
MUSIC 267 Ensemble-Brass1
MUSIC 268 Ensemble-Percussion1
MUSIC 269 Ensemble-String1
MUSIC 270 Ensemble-Guitar1
MUSIC 271 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 31
MUSIC 272 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 41
MUSIC 273 Contemporary Chamber Ensemble1
MUSIC 319 Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States3
MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 332 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 340 Pedagogy1-2
MUSIC 345 Practicum in String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 361 Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups1
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  400 Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  401 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  404 Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion3
MUSIC 411 Survey of Music in the Middle Ages3
MUSIC 412 Survey of Music in the Renaissance3
MUSIC 413 Survey of Music in the Baroque Era3
MUSIC 414 Survey of Music in the Classic Era3
MUSIC 415 Survey of Music in the Romantic Era3
MUSIC 416 Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century3
MUSIC 419 Music in the United States3
MUSIC 461 Collegium Musicum1
MUSIC 467 Language Diction for Singing I2
MUSIC 468 Language Diction for Singing II2
MUSIC 497 Special Topics in Music1-3
MUSIC 499 Directed Study1-3
MUSIC 500 Seminar in Global Popular Music3
MUSIC 502 Figured Bass and Basso Continuo3
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  509 Seminar in Afro-American Music History and Criticism3
MUSIC 511 Historical Performance Practices3
MUSIC 513 Survey of Opera3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  515 Proseminar in Ethnomusicology3
MUSIC 523 Orchestration I3
MUSIC 524 Orchestration II3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  535 American Folk and Vernacular Music3
MUSIC/​ANTHRO/​FOLKLORE/​THEATRE  539 The Folklore of Festivals and Celebrations3
MUSIC 540 Advanced Pedagogy2
MUSIC 541 Seminar in Choral Literature2
MUSIC 542 Choral Literature and Performance Practices of Today2
MUSIC 543 Advanced String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 544 Advanced String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 545 Practicum in Advanced String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 546 String Literature2
MUSIC 548 Piano Pedagogy II3
MUSIC 550 Percussion Literature2
MUSIC 551 Class Piano Pedagogy3
MUSIC 553 Advanced Conducting Seminar2
MUSIC 554 Advanced Conducting2
MUSIC 556 University Opera1-2
MUSIC 557 Opera Workshop2
MUSIC 558 Madrigal Singers1
MUSIC 559 Graduate Choral Union1
MUSIC 560 Practicum in Advanced Studio Teaching-Piano1
MUSIC 561 Advanced Ensemble-Piano1
MUSIC 562 Jazz Ensemble1
MUSIC 565 Advanced Ensemble-Woodwind1
MUSIC 567 Advanced Ensemble-Brass1
MUSIC 568 Advanced Ensemble-Percussion1
MUSIC 569 Advanced Ensemble-String1
MUSIC 570 University Symphony Orchestra1
MUSIC 571 Chamber Orchestra1
MUSIC 572 Advanced Ensemble-Classical Guitar1
MUSIC 573 Contemporary Chamber Ensemble1
MUSIC 574 Wind Ensemble1
MUSIC 576 Concert Band1
MUSIC 577 Chorale1
MUSIC 578 Concert Choir1
MUSIC 579 Masters Singers1
MUSIC 59 University Chorus1
MUSIC 591 Organ Literature and Design2
MUSIC 60 All-University String Orchestra1
MUSIC/​L I S  619 Music Research Methods and Materials3
MUSIC 620 Proseminar in Musicology3
MUSIC 621 Renaissance Polyphony3
MUSIC 622 Baroque Counterpoint3
MUSIC 623 Form and Analysis2-3
MUSIC 624 Form and Analysis II2-3
MUSIC 681 Senior Honors Thesis3
MUSIC 682 Senior Honors Thesis3

Music Performance:

MUS PERF 342 Piano Accompanying Lab1
MUS PERF 347 Third Year Composition3
MUS PERF 348 Third Year Composition3
MUS PERF 401 Advanced Piano2-4
MUS PERF 402 Advanced Harpsichord2-4
MUS PERF 403 Advanced Organ2-4
MUS PERF 405 Advanced Voice2-4
MUS PERF 407 Advanced Flute2-4
MUS PERF 409 Advanced Oboe2-4
MUS PERF 411 Advanced Clarinet2-4
MUS PERF 413 Advanced Saxophone2-4
MUS PERF 415 Advanced Bassoon2-4
MUS PERF 417 Advanced Horn2-4
MUS PERF 419 Advanced Trumpet2-4
MUS PERF 421 Advanced Trombone2-4
MUS PERF 423 Advanced Euphonium2-4
MUS PERF 425 Advanced Tuba2-4
MUS PERF 427 Advanced Percussion2-4
MUS PERF 431 Advanced Violin2-4
MUS PERF 433 Advanced Viola2-4
MUS PERF 435 Advanced Cello2-4
MUS PERF 437 Advanced String Bass2-4
MUS PERF 439 Advanced Harp2-4
MUS PERF 440 Advanced Guitar2-4
MUS PERF 447 Fourth Year Composition3
MUS PERF 448 Fourth Year Composition3
MUS PERF 457 Jazz Composition and Arranging3
MUS PERF 458 Jazz Composition and Arranging3
MUS PERF 499 Senior Recital2
MUS PERF 501 Masters Level-Piano4
MUS PERF 503 Masters Level-Organ4
MUS PERF 505 Masters Level-Voice4
MUS PERF 507 Masters Level-Flute4
MUS PERF 509 Masters Level-Oboe4
MUS PERF 511 Masters Level-Clarinet4
MUS PERF 513 Masters Level-Saxophone4
MUS PERF 515 Masters Level-Bassoon4
MUS PERF 517 Masters Level-Horn4
MUS PERF 519 Masters Level-Trumpet4
MUS PERF 521 Masters Level-Trombone4
MUS PERF 523 Masters Level-Euphonium4
MUS PERF 525 Masters Level-Tuba4
MUS PERF 527 Masters Level-Percussion4
MUS PERF 531 Masters Level-Violin4
MUS PERF 532 Advanced Conducting3-4
MUS PERF 533 Masters Level-Viola4
MUS PERF 535 Masters Level-Cello4
MUS PERF 540 Masters Level-Guitar4
MUS PERF 542 Advanced Accompanying2-3
MUS PERF 547 Masters Level Composition3
MUS PERF 548 Masters Level Composition3
MUS PERF 561 Organ Improvisation and Liturgy2
MUS PERF 562 Organ Improvisation and Liturgy2

School of Education Liberal Studies Requirements

Music education students complete the School of Education's liberal studies (i.e., breadth) requirements. A limited number of music, art and dance credits may be applied toward this 40-credit requirement.

Choosing a Music Education Track

The music education major consists of two certification program tracks, each leading to certification at both the elementary and secondary levels. Students choose to complete the certification program in either General and Instrumental Music or General and Vocal Music. The Bachelor of Music: Education degree requires a minimum of 130 credits.

Requirements for the Major: General and Instrumental Certification Track

Music Core

Performance Study
Major Instrument
Select one of the following:14-22
Band or orchestral instrument through three semesters (400 level)
Piano or Guitar through three semesters (400 level) and four semesters of band or orchestral instrument
Music Theory
MUSIC 121
MUSIC 171
Musica Practica 1
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 122
MUSIC 172
Musica Practica 2
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 221
MUSIC 271
Musica Practica 3
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 222
MUSIC 272
Musica Practica 4
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 4
4
Amer-European Music History
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
Select one of the following:3
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Global Music Cultures
Select 5 credits from the following:5
Introduction to Music Cultures of the World
Black Music (1920-Present): Rhythm Section and Combos
Black Music (1920-Present): Vocalist/Trombone/Misc Instrumental
Black Music (1920-Present): The Trumpet
Black Music (1920-Present): The Saxophone
Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas
Musical Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion
Seminar: Cultural Study of Music
Piano
Complete MUS PERF 104 level of piano or pass a proficiency exam 0-8
Organizations
Complete six semesters of band or orchestra as appropriate to the major instrument
Select from the following:6
Wind Ensemble
Concert Band
Chamber Orchestra
University Symphony Orchestra
Ensembles
Select two semesters in one ensemble from the following:2
Jazz Ensemble
Black Music Ensemble
Ensemble-Percussion (Lab 2 - percussion majors only)
Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups
Jazz
MUS PERF 108 Jazz Class Piano2
or MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation
Conducting
MUSIC 253 Conducting2
MUSIC 254 Conducting2
Instrumental Fundamentals
Minimum of one semester each from brass, percussion, strings, woodwinds, remainder as advised7
Voice Fundamentals
MUS PERF 143 Introduction to Performance: Voice1
or MUS PERF 144 Vocal Instruction for Non-Voice Majors
Dance
Select a Dance course that pairs movement and music.1

Professional Education Requirements 

Educational Foundations
Human Development
Select one of the following:3
Human Development in Infancy and Childhood
Human Development in Adolescence
Human Development From Childhood Through Adolescence
Learning
ED PSYCH 301 How People Learn3
Foundations of the Profession
Select one of the following:3
School and Society
History of American Education
CURRIC 305 Integrating the Teaching of Reading with Other Language Arts3
CURRIC/​RP & SE  506 Strategies for Inclusive Schooling3
Music Education Courses
CURRIC/MUSIC 304 Composition, Arrangement, and Orchestration for the Music Teacher2
CURRIC/MUSIC 420 Teaching Popular Instrumental Music 11
CURRIC/MUSIC 421 Teaching Popular Instrumental Music 21
Music Education Professional Sequence9
Introduction to Music Education
Fieldwork in Music Communities
Music Learning and Teaching 1
Practicum in Teaching Music
Music Learning and Teaching 2
Practicum in Teaching Music
Student Teaching
Select one of the following:12
Student Teaching in General and Instrumental Music
Student Teaching in Music-Elementary
and Student Teaching in Music-Secondary

Requirements for the Major: General and Vocal Certification Track

Music Core

Performance Study
Select one of the following:14-26
Voice through three semesters (400 level) and completion of, or proficiency in, piano through 104 level
Piano or Guitar through three semesters (400 level) and Voice through two semesters (400 level)
Music Theory
MUSIC 121
MUSIC 171
Musica Practica 1
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 122
MUSIC 172
Musica Practica 2
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 221
MUSIC 271
Musica Practica 3
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 222
MUSIC 272
Musica Practica 4
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 4
4
Amer-European Music History
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
Select one of the following:3
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Global Music Cultures
Select 5 credits from the following:5
Introduction to Music Cultures of the World
Black Music (1920-Present): Rhythm Section and Combos
Black Music (1920-Present): Vocalist/Trombone/Misc Instrumental
Black Music (1920-Present): The Trumpet
Black Music (1920-Present): The Saxophone
Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas
Musical Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion
Seminar: Cultural Study of Music
Organizations
Select 6 credits of Concert Choir, Chorale, or Madrigal Singers from the following:6
Concert Choir
Chorale
Madrigal Singers
Ensembles
Select two semesters in one ensemble from the following:2
Jazz Ensemble
Black Music Ensemble
Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups
Jazz
MUS PERF 108 Jazz Class Piano2
or MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation
Conducting
MUSIC 253 Conducting2
MUSIC 254 Conducting2
Diction
MUSIC 466 Diction for Singers2
Dance
Select a Dance course that pairs movement with music1

Professional Education Requirements

Educational Foundations
Human Development
Select one of the following:3
Human Development in Infancy and Childhood
Human Development in Adolescence
Human Development From Childhood Through Adolescence
Learning
ED PSYCH 301 How People Learn3
Foundations of the Profession
Select one of the following:3
School and Society
History of American Education
CURRIC 305 Integrating the Teaching of Reading with Other Language Arts3
CURRIC/​RP & SE  506 Strategies for Inclusive Schooling3
Music Education Courses
CURRIC/MUSIC 304 Composition, Arrangement, and Orchestration for the Music Teacher2
CURRIC/MUSIC 420 Teaching Popular Instrumental Music 11
CURRIC/MUSIC 421 Teaching Popular Instrumental Music 21
MUSIC/​CURRIC  344 Teaching Vocal Styles in the Music Classroom1
Music Education Professional Sequence9
Introduction to Music Education
Fieldwork in Music Communities
Music Learning and Teaching 1
Practicum in Teaching Music
Music Learning and Teaching 2
Practicum in Teaching Music
Student Teaching
Select one of the following:12
Student Teaching in General and Vocal Music
Student Teaching in Music-Elementary
and Student Teaching in Music-Secondary

Continuation Requirements

In addition to meeting all course-related standards, students must receive a grade of B or higher in all music education practicum courses, and a grade of C or higher in all applicable music education methods courses (i.e.,  CURRIC/​MUSIC  300 Introduction to Music Education/, CURRIC/​MUSIC  301 Music Learning and Teaching 1/, CURRIC/​MUSIC  302 Music Learning and Teaching 2/) in order to continue in the program. 

Honors in the Major

The School of Music is reviewing its requirements for Honors in the Major. Current music majors may contact the undergraduate advisor for more information.

To earn honors in any music major, students must satisfy the requirements below as well as all other requirements for their music degree and major:

  • 6 credits of MUSIC 681 Senior Honors ThesisMUSIC 682 Senior Honors Thesis
  • 12 credits of honors coursework in music: 6 of the 12 credits must be at the 300 level or higher and only 6 credits can be taken in any one of the three music areas of theory, history, and performance.

To participate in the Honors in the Major program, students must:

  • Notify the School of Music undergraduate advisor of their intention to become a candidate for Honors in the Major. This will usually occur in the sophomore year.
  • Present a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 in all courses taken at UW–Madison and maintain this average throughout the degree.
  • Present a minimum 3.5 GPA in all music coursework and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA in all music honors coursework.
  • Engage a faculty member who will collaborate in planning the 12 credits of honors curriculum coursework; submit this plan to the undergraduate advisor. The course plan may change as students progress through their work.
  • Prior to beginning work on the MUSIC 681MUSIC 682 Senior Honors Thesis sequence, confirm a faculty advisor for this sequence (who may be the same person as for the 12 credits above) and submit a prospectus outlining in detail the planned work including (a) the topic, (b) plans for research, and (c) a clear substantive written component, although it may also include oral and/or performance components. The faculty advisor must sign the prospectus indicating approval.

Additional Certification Requirements and Applying for a License

In addition to completing UW–Madison's program requirements, students must also complete Wisconsin statutory requirements and certification requirements established by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. For example, all individuals seeking an initial Wisconsin state teacher's license after August 31, 2004, are required to take and pass an approved content examination in the subject area(s) of interest.  These tests, the Praxis II: Subject Assessments/Specialty Area Tests, are offered through the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Teacher education student at UW-Madison must take and pass the exam for their program area(s) and submit scores to Education Academic Services before entering their final, full-time student teaching semester. 

All graduating student teachers are also required by the School of Education to meet the UW–Madison teacher education standards.  This is done via completion of the teaching portfolio.  Student teachers within the music education certification program must also complete the edTPA.

Many of these certification and statutory requirements are embedded within the program's requirements and require no additional attention. The endorsement of the program coordinator/faculty is also required to receive certification through UW–Madison.

The State of Wisconsin requires that anyone wishing to teach in a public K–12 setting hold a valid teaching license issued through the Department of Public Instruction. In addition to completing a certification program, students must submit a separate application for this license.

Detailed information about certification requirements and applying for a license is available under Certification/Licensure.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

Learning Outcomes

  1. describe and apply foundational music education concepts and information.
  2. plan, deliver and assess music learning experiences within chosen certification area that address as necessary the following standards: UWMTES, edTPA, Wisconsin Music Teaching Standards, and National Music Education Standards.
  3. develop a level of proficiency in describing and applying foundational concepts of music education, e.g. music learning and teaching, which will be reflected in an ability to communicate to multiple diverse constituencies, so as to interpret,  investigate, understand, appreciate and work within the complex musical world.
  4. integrate knowledge in music learning and teaching in order to bring novel perspectives to challenging social and technological problems.
  5. develop the ability to think critically and creatively as a music educator to synthesize, analyze and integrate ideas for decision-making and problem-solving in the best interest of all students.
  6. communicate effectively in order to share knowledge, wisdom, values and beliefs regarding music learning and teaching with others across multiple social and professional settings.
  7. understand own learning processes regarding musical education and possess the capacity to intentionally.
    1. seek and evaluate information,
    2. recognize and reduce bias in own thinking, and
    3. build new knowledge for application in performance and professional lives.
  8. construct a worldview of music education in order to accept responsibility for civic engagement and to appreciate the need to live live so purpose and meaning.
  9. as music educators, develop and demonstrate a respect for truth, and appreciation for diverse views, and a strong sense of personal and professional ethics.

Professors Aley, Bartley, Blasius, Calderon, Chisholm, Cook, Crook, Davis, Dembski, Dill, Di Sanza, Doing, Earp, Fischer, Fulmer, Hyer, Jensen, Johnson, Jutt, Karp, Koza, Leckrone, Perry, Radano, Rowe, Schaffer, Schwendinger, Smith, Stowe, Swack, B. Taylor, C. Taylor, Teeple, Thimmig, Vardi

Associate Professors Dobbs, Hetzler, Vallon

Assistant Professors Grabois, Wallmann

Additional Certification Requirements 

Students must complete all requirements and also obtain the endorsement of the program faculty to receive certification through UW–Madison. These requirements include those required by UW–Madison, the Department of Public Instruction, and those mandated by state statutes. While most of these requirements are embedded in course content, some (e.g., the Basic Skills Requirement, the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test) are not related to course enrollment. 

Students pursuing certification must complete the following requirements. See the school's website for additional information/requirements.

Certification requirements should be monitored carefully. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) periodically implements regulations that affect all certification programs; teacher certification candidates are responsible for having up-to-date information about certification requirements.

Disclosure Statement and Criminal Background Investigation

Disclosure Statement

Applicants to School of Education programs that involve a practicum, internship, or other field placement must complete a disclosure statement indicating (1) whether they have been admitted to, then withdrawn from, asked to withdraw from, or been dropped from a student teaching, clinical experience, or other intern/practicum program, and (2) if they have ever been placed on probation or disciplined by any college or university for academic dishonesty.

Criminal Background Investigation (CBI)

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license. This check is intended to determine if the applicant has engaged in any behavior that endangers the health, welfare, safety, or education of PK–12 pupils. Local school districts also will conduct criminal background checks routinely on teacher education students prior to the start of in-classroom field work.

Students should be aware that criminal background checks may be initiated by other agencies or organizations when they are seeking employment or a professional license. School administrators have the authority to determine the appropriateness of a student placement and may choose not to permit a placement based on a student’s background check results.

An individual who is deemed ineligible to participate in field or clinical experiences based on the results of their background check may not be able to complete the requirements for their degree or certification. Students with questions about these processes should contact the academic dean in Education Academic Services.

Environmental Education

This licensing requirement is mandatory for all Elementary Education, Secondary Science, Secondary Social Studies, and Agri-Science Education certification students. Students with previous degrees in their subjects must also monitor and complete this requirement for certification and licensure.

Select one Environmental Studies course or from the following list. If appropriate, this course may also be applied toward the liberal studies requirements.

ATM OCN/​ENVIR ST/​GEOG  121 Atmospheric Environment and Society2
ATM OCN/​SOIL SCI  132 Earth's Water: Natural Science and Human Use3
BOTANY 100 Survey of Botany3
BOTANY/​BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  152 Introductory Biology5
BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​ZOOLOGY  260 Introductory Ecology3
ECON/​A A E/​ENVIR ST  343 Environmental Economics3-4
GEOG/​ENVIR ST  120 Introduction to the Earth System3
GEOG/​ATM OCN/​ENVIR ST  121 Atmospheric Environment and Society2
GEOG/​ENVIR ST  127 Physical Systems of the Environment5
GEOG/​ENVIR ST  139 Living in the Global Environment: An Introduction to People-Environment Geography3-4
GEOG/​ENVIR ST  309 People, Land and Food: Comparative Study of Agriculture Systems3
GEOG/​ENVIR ST  339 Environmental Conservation4
LAND ARC/​ENVIR ST  361 Wetlands Ecology3
MED HIST/​ENVIR ST/​HIST SCI  513 Environment and Health in Global Perspective3
PHYSICS 115 Energy3
POP HLTH/​ENVIR ST  502 Air Pollution and Human Health3
SOC/​C&E SOC  140 Introduction to Community and Environmental Sociology3
SOC/​C&E SOC/​F&W ECOL  248 Environment, Natural Resources, and Society3
SOIL SCI 301 General Soil Science4
SOIL SCI/​ENVIR ST  324 Soils and Environmental Quality3

Student Testing and Assessment

Students in teacher education programs are required to complete a number of tests and a significant performance assessment prior to certification and eventual licensure. Detailed information related to these requirements, along with fee and registration information can be found on the School of Education website under Academic Tests for Prospective Teachers. A brief description of these tests and assessments is provided below.

Basic Skills Requirement

All prospective teacher education students must submit test scores to the School of Education to be eligible for professional program admission. Students may use their ACT, SAT, or GRE scores, or they may take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (formerly the Praxis I/PPST). These tests meet Wisconsin's basic skills test requirement for prospective teachers. All sections of the chosen basic skills test must be taken by program applicants to be eligible for program admission.   

Content Test

Students completing professional education programs must take and pass an approved examination in their content area prior to their final student teaching semester. Most students complete the appropriate Praxis II: Subject Assessments/Specialty Area Tests through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). World Language Education students must meet an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview requirement and must take and pass the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). No candidates may be waived from taking the required test(s) for their license area.

Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test

As of January 31, 2014, individuals seeking an initial Wisconsin license to teach in kindergarten through grade 5 or in special education, an initial Wisconsin license as a reading teacher, or an initial Wisconsin license as a reading specialist, must take and pass the Wisconsin Foundations Reading Foundations Test. Undergraduate programs impacted by this requirement are Elementary Education and Special Education.

This test is for Wisconsin licensing purposes only. Students who choose not to pursue Wisconsin educator licensing need not take and pass this test. This test is in addition to all other required tests and assessments for certification and licensure. For instance, students must still take and pass the Praxis II content exam to be eligible to student teach.  

Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)

The edTPA is a subject area-specific, performance-based assessment for pre-service teacher candidates, which is centered on student learning. Evidence of candidate teaching proficiency in the areas of planning, engagement and instruction, and assessment is drawn from a subject-specific learning segment, 3–5 lessons from a unit of instruction. Assessment artifacts include video clips of instruction, lesson plans, student work samples, analysis of student learning, and reflective commentaries. These artifacts will be taken together and scored by trained evaluators using the standardized set of edTPA rubrics. After August 31, 2015, initial license candidates (i.e., students completing certification programs) must complete the edTPA as part of their student teaching and after August 31, 2016, initial license candidates will be required to pass the edTPA before they can be recommended for licensure.

Field Experiences

School-based field experiences are a critical part of students' professional preparation for teaching. In fact, the student teaching experience is frequently cited in teacher education literature as the single component of a teacher education program with the highest impact on future teaching behaviors of teacher candidates. Under Wisconsin State regulations, students seeking teaching certification from UW–Madison are required to complete at least one pre-student teaching practicum and at least one full semester of student teaching. Most programs at UW–Madison require students to complete additional field experiences.  

Pre–Student Teaching Practicum

The pre–student teaching practicum gives students firsthand knowledge of the classroom environment and the teacher's role. For many students, the practicum is the initial encounter with the real world of teaching. Practicum students do not assume the degree of classroom responsibility they do during student teaching. Under the supervision of an experienced teacher, practicum students observe classroom activities, assist the teacher with day-to-day classroom management tasks, interact one-to-one with students, and instruct small groups. The cooperating teacher and university supervisor use the practicum to assess the student's readiness for the student teaching experience. For this reason, active student engagement in the practicum experience is necessary and expected.

Student Teaching Experience

Student teaching, the culminating field experience, is a full-time, school district semester assignment that places a university student under the guidance of an experienced, qualified cooperating teacher. After an orientation period, the student teacher gradually assumes more responsibility for planning, instruction, and overall classroom management. Student teachers follow the daily schedule of the cooperating teacher and the building policies of the school, and function as regular staff members in arrival and departure times and attendance at school events. Daily attendance at school, barring emergencies, is required.

The student teaching experience follows the calendar of the local school district. A fall semester assignment will typically begin the latter part of August and end the latter part of January. A spring semester assignment will begin the latter part of January and end mid-June. Holiday breaks follow the school district calendar. Carrying other formal course work during the student teaching semester is strongly discouraged.

Find detailed policies and regulations regarding student teaching in the Teacher Education Field Experience Policies (November, 2014). Students and staff are responsible for knowing and complying with the Field Experience policies. Many professional programs have their own separate handbooks and specific policies; students are also responsible for those policies and procedures.

General Eligibility Requirements for Student Teaching

Minimum eligibility requirements apply to all students. Several subject areas require a specific grade point average unique to a particular program, or additional course work as a prerequisite to student teaching. Students are urged to check with their Education Academic Services and faculty advisors to be certain that all eligibility requirements have been met. Students should check these items well in advance to preclude last-minute schedule conflicts in preparation for the student teaching semester. Minimum requirements are:

  • Admission to a School of Education certification program.
  • Completion of all course prerequisites, such as the teaching methods course(s) and pre–student teaching practica. Students should check for other possible course requirements in their specific area of study.
  • Passing a content examination in the certification area(s).
  • For world languages, an immersion experience and the appropriate score on the oral and written proficiency examinations.
Student Teaching Application Procedures

Information related to student teaching and the application process is available on the School of Education website. Please be aware that some program areas require students to file an application far in advance of the student teaching semester.

Alternative Placement Options for Student Teaching

Alternative placement options include placements with the Institute for Urban Education, and teacher internships under the auspices of the Wisconsin Improvement Program:

  • The UW System Institute for Urban Education helps pre-service teachers pursue their desire to become urban educators and to provide professional development opportunities for currently practicing teachers. Not all teacher education programs participate in the institute. Students should consult with their program coordinator for more information.
  • The teacher internship is a licensed, full-semester assignment that replaces the student teaching experience. Interns are under contract with a school district and paid a modest salary. Internships are rarely available; students are notified by the program coordinator when they are offered by a district and are available to our students.
Special Placements

The School of Education is committed to placing its students in classrooms with teachers we know, in schools led by principals we know. Thus, student teaching placements are made within the University of Wisconsin–Madison service area. In general the service area is 50 miles from Madison, but individual programs may (and do) reduce the size of their service area. Occasionally, students with extenuating circumstances are allowed special placements beyond this area. “Extenuating circumstances” have included spousal/partner relocation, family emergency, or a highly specialized placement. All special placements must be approved by the student’s program coordinator and Associate Dean Jeffrey Hamm. Students permitted special placements are usually liable for the cost of supervision (at least $500). Special placements are not permitted due to financial need or to enhance employment opportunities.

Withdrawing From/Failing Field Experience Assignments

Withdrawing from a field experience has serious implications for the student’s progress in the program. Students who withdraw or receive an unsatisfactory grade (including a “D”) from a field experience may not repeat such experiences without approval from the program coordinator and Associate Dean Jeffrey Hamm. Students withdrawing from or receiving an unsatisfactory grade in field experiences in one major or program may not enroll in another major or program without written permission from the program coordinator and after consultation with Associate Dean Hamm.

Permission to repeat field experiences is not automatically granted. A confirmed field placement is considered an informal contractual agreement between the university and the school in which the student is located. Under this agreement, university faculty, cooperating teachers, and students assume certain responsibilities and obligations to one another. A student's withdrawal from an assignment is considered to be an exception to the agreement and should occur only under the most unusual circumstances. Because of the consequences that withdrawal from a confirmed assignment may have on a student's future progress in the teaching certification program, a student who contemplates such action is strongly urged to consult with the program coordinator and Associate Dean Hamm to fully understand the implications of such action and the options available.

Minority Group Relations and Conflict Resolution

Minority Group Relations

Wisconsin State teacher education regulations require students to complete a section titled Minority Group Relations. The rules identify Minority Group Relations as

  • The history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of American Indian tribes and bands located in Wisconsin.
  • The history, culture and contributions of women and various racial, cultural, language and economic groups in the United States.
  • The philosophical and psychological bases of attitude development and change.
  • The psychological and social implications of discrimination, especially racism and sexism in the American society.
  • Evaluating and assessing the forces of discrimination, especially racism and sexism on faculty, students, curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the school program.
  • Minority group relations through direct involvement with various racial, cultural, language and economic groups in the United States.

UW–Madison teacher education programs address these areas through course work and experiences in each professional education program. Students who successfully complete their professional program will have satisfied each of the areas of Minority Group Relations. For more detailed information about how required courses address Minority Group Relations for each program area, see the School of Education's PI 34 site. Choose Certification Programs, select the program of interest, and click on Rules & Statutes.

Conflict Resolution Requirement

Wisconsin State teacher education regulations require all individuals pursuing teacher certification to have formal training in conflict resolution. This includes

  • Resolving conflicts between pupils and between pupils and school staff.
  • Assisting pupils in learning methods of resolving conflicts between pupils and between pupils and school staff, including training in the use of peer mediation to resolve conflicts between pupils.
  • Dealing with crises, including violent, disruptive, potentially violent or potentially disruptive situations that may arise in school or activities supervised by school staff as a result of conflicts between pupils or between pupils and other persons.

All teacher certification programs include conflict resolution training in their required course work. For more detailed  information about how conflict resolution is addressed in each program area, see the School of Education's PI 34 site. Choose Certification Programs, select the program of interest, and click on Rules & Statutes.

Phonics

As of July 1, 1998, the State of Wisconsin requires that all persons seeking initial and renewal licenses to teach reading or language arts in grades Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 6 (PK–6) must have successfully completed instruction in teaching reading and language arts using appropriate instructional methods, including phonics. "Phonics" means a method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups and syllables.

The Phonics requirement applies to students completing Elementary Education and Special Education certification programs. UW–Madison students fulfill this requirement through the successful completion of courses that are already required, so no additional course work is needed to meet this statutory requirement.

Cooperatives

This licensing requirement is mandatory for secondary Social Studies (and Agri-Science) Education certification. Students with previous degrees in their subjects must also monitor and complete this requirement for certification and licensure.

Students typically complete the cooperatives requirement after being admitted to the Secondary Social Studies program and should consult with the program coordinator, Professor Alan Lockwood, regarding its completion.

Portfolios

Students in certification programs are required to demonstrate their knowledge and professional development through the creation and maintenance of a portfolio. A portfolio has several purposes:

  • To serve as a tool for teacher learning, growth, and development. Portfolios are intended to support students’ efforts to become thoughtful and effective teachers.
  • To provide documentation and/or evidence that students have satisfactorily met all teacher education standards required for initial teacher certification in Wisconsin. The portfolio helps to demonstrate students' achievement of these knowledge and performance standards.
  • To provide a repository for student artifacts.
  • To enhance students' technical literacy through the portfolio creation.
  • To support the job preparation and interview process.

Portfolios consist of a variety of artifacts which students have chosen from their educational experiences to best represent their growth and development as teachers. Artifacts can include lesson plans, classroom observations, analyses of student learning, student work samples, photographs, video clips of instruction and reflective commentaries.

The student portfolio provides a foundation for the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), a standardized evaluation required by Wisconsin for teacher licensure. The edTPA process also requires students to submit artifacts. These artifacts are scored by trained evaluators using a standardized set of edTPA rubrics.

For more information about the use of the portfolio in a specific teacher education program, please contact the program coordinator.

Teacher Standards

UW–Madison teacher education students must meet all state licensing requirements for initial teaching certification in Wisconsin. These requirements, sometimes referred to as administrative rules "PI 34," mandate that individuals demonstrate proficiency on state-approved teaching standards. Each teacher education institution in Wisconsin has adopted a set of teacher education standards that meet state guidelines. These standards must be met by all students completing a licensing program. The current standards of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education can be found on the school's website.

Applying for a Teaching License

The State of Wisconsin requires that anyone wishing to teach in a public K–12 setting hold a valid teaching license issued through the Department of Public Instruction. In addition to completing a certification program, students must submit a separate application for this license. Students intending to complete a teacher certification program should monitor program requirements carefully. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) periodically implements regulations that affect all certification programs; teacher certification candidates are responsible for having up-to-date information about certification requirements.

Licensing Levels

The following licensing options are offered at UW–Madison.

  • The Elementary Education program currently offers two licensing levels: Early Childhood and also Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence
  • The Special Education program certifies students at both the Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence level and also at the Early Adolescence through Adolescence level. The Special Education/Elementary Education dual major option certifies students only at the Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence level.
  • Secondary Education programs certify students to teach their subject area at the Early Adolescence through Adolescence level.
  • Students completing Language Education programs will be licensed at the Early Childhood through Adolescence level.
  • Students in special fields such as Art, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Music, and Physical Education will be licensed at the Early Childhood through Adolescence level.

Wisconsin State Licensing

The State of Wisconsin issues an initial teaching license to certified teachers. The current fee is $125. An online license application is available through the Department of Public Instruction. A Criminal Background Investigation (CBI) will also be conducted by DPI. Information about fingerprint submission, when necessary, is available through the Department of Public Instruction.

Before applying for a license, DPI requires the electronic submission of “Endorsed Candidate for Licensure" (ECL) data by the certifying officer of the institution where the teacher preparation was completed. For UW–Madison teacher certification students, the endorsement will come from the School of Education, 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall. Once this information has been submitted to DPI, students are notified by email that they may begin the application online.

Before endorsing a student, UW–Madison requires that (1) all certification requirements are met; (2) student teaching (following the school district calendar) is completed; (3) final grades are posted and reviewed; (4) the degree is "posted" by the registrar's office (four to five weeks after graduation); and (5) a recommendation for certification is received from the program faculty. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction may require an additional 6 to 12 weeks for license processing. See Educator Licensing for additional information about the licensing process.

Licensing Outside of Wisconsin

To apply for a license in a state other than Wisconsin, first check out the application requirements of that state. The University of Kentucky has a website that provides links to teacher licensing agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Many states have a verification form that needs to be signed by a UW–Madison certification officer. This form verifies that a state-approved licensing program has been completed. These forms should be sent to Education Academic Services at 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, or by email (mlpatton@wisc.edu) to be completed. If the form requests information about practicum and student teaching assignments (names of schools, grade levels, dates, etc.), this information must be completed before sending the form to EAS.