M.S. IN CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: Research
This is a named option in the Curriculum and Instruction M.S. The M.S. in curriculum and instruction research program prepares students for advanced work in education. In some cases, work leading to the degree prepares students to enter a new career as an educational specialist (e.g., curriculum developer, content-area specialist, school department head, curriculum supervisor, early childhood specialist, ESL or bilingual teacher, or reading teacher). In other cases, it prepares students to perform at a higher level in their existing job. In yet other cases, it prepares students for Ph.D. study. Motivations for master's degree work include professional updating, maintenance of accreditation, acquisition of new perspectives and skills, development of specialized knowledge, preparation to work with student teachers, preparation for leadership among teachers, and preparation for advanced graduate study. Whatever their personal reasons for pursuing the degree, master's degree students should expect both an atmosphere of intellectual inquiry and the serious academic standards befitting a graduate research program in curriculum and instruction.
Details of requirements and procedures pertaining to master's degree study in the department are described in the department's M.S. Program Handbook. Because master's degree students are personally responsible for learning about and following department requirements and procedures, they should familiarize themselves with this document. Master's degree students are also personally responsible for learning about and following Graduate School policies. The curriculum and instruction graduate program office offers an informational meeting for new graduate students at the beginning of each semester.
Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|Fall Deadline||March 30*|
|Spring Deadline||August 30 for international applicants; November 30 for domestic applicants|
|Summer Deadline||January 30 for international applicants; April 30 for domestic applicants|
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)||May be required in certain cases; consult program.|
|English Proficiency Test||Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).|
|Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT)||n/a|
|Letters of Recommendation Required||3|
Rolling admissions is available until June 30 for domestic applicants.
Official transcripts from all previous post-secondary study and three letters of recommendation are required for all master's degree applicants. Letters of recommendation should be written by persons who are qualified to judge the potential of the applicant as a graduate student. All letters of recommendation are submitted electronically as part of the online application for admission.
All master's degree applicants are required to submit a detailed statement of reasons for graduate study. This statement should indicate the applicant's primary area of interest, professional objectives, career goals, and why the applicant is interested in pursuing the master's degree in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. This information is used to gauge the appropriateness of the applicant's program goals in relation to the department's mission and to identify prospective advisors whose research interests match those of the applicant. If an applicant's statement fails to persuade a faculty member to serve as the graduate advisor, the applicant will be refused admission; it is therefore important that this statement be detailed, well-written, and matched to specific areas of study that are available in the department. If an applicant would like for a particular professor to serve as graduate advisor, the applicant should identify the desired advisor in the statement of reasons for graduate study.
All master's degree applicants are required to submit a resume or curriculum vitae (cv).
For the Curriculum and Instruction master's program, if the grade point average (GPA) of an applicant's last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework is below 3.0 (on a 4-point scale), the applicant may also be required in certain cases to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test and have an official report of the scores sent electronically from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to UW–Madison (institution code: 1846).
International applicants should note additional requirements that are described in the International Applications section, below.
The department has a long and successful history of working with graduate students from around the world. Over the last 25 years, approximately 130 M.S. degrees were earned by international students; students in this group came from 37 countries. During the same period, approximately 150 Ph.D. degrees were earned by international students in the department; students in this group came from 43 countries. Altogether, approximately one-third of our graduate students in Curriculum and Instruction are international students, which enriches the social and intellectual environment for all faculty and students as we continuously learn from each other.
In accord with Graduate School policy, applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An admitted applicant whose internet-based TOEFL (iBT) score is below 92, or whose IELTS score is below 7 must take an English assessment test upon arrival. They must then register for any English as a Second Language (ESL) courses that are recommended. Please see the Graduate School's Requirements for Admissions page for the minimum required scores.
Expected Background in Professional Education
A professional background in education (typically, as a certified teacher) is a prerequisite for most graduate areas of study in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Applicants to certain areas of study within the department are sometimes admitted without teacher certification, but they are nevertheless required to have taken at least 12 credits in professional education courses that are equivalent to courses taught within a school of education, as judged by the Graduate Program Committee. Applicants lacking this background will be required to take a specified number of credits of education coursework in addition to the course work ordinarily required in the graduate program. The courses taken should be chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor, and each of these courses must be taken for a letter grade (not pass/fail). These courses may be carried concurrently with regular graduate courses; but, being additional requirements, they do not count toward requirements of the graduate program.
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 restrictions related to funding.
The department itself does not typically award fellowships or scholarships to Master's students; however, Master's students are eligible to apply for any campus assistantships, project assistantships, research assistantships, or program assistantships through the campus jobs portal. Assistantships are also available in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. These assistantships are awarded to qualified, full-time graduate students and typically involve 10–20 hours of professional work each week, usually in close collaboration with one or more professors. Assistantships provide a stipend and may include the cost of tuition (excluding segregated fees). Any teaching, project, or program assistant on campus must carry a full course load of 8–15 graduate-level credits and make satisfactory progress toward the graduate degree.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
Named Option Requirements
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||30 credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||21 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||100% of the credits taken at UW–Madison must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.25 GPA required.|
|Other Grade Requirements||None.|
|Assessments and Examinations||Students are required to complete a thesis or a project; they must also complete an examination.|
|Language Requirements||No language requirements other than the English proficiency required for admission.|
CURRIC 799 is allowed to count for the remaining 15 credits.
CURRIC 790 Master's Project or Thesis is not allowed to count toward any of the 30 credits.
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.
Named Option-Specific Policies
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. This coursework does not appear on a UW–Madison transcript nor count toward graduate career GPA. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements. Students should read the program handbook to see which credits may be counted.
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 9 credits of coursework with the graduate attribute taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a Master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
The status of a student can be one of two options:
- Satisfactory progress (progressing according to standards)
- Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; permitted to enroll with specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of unsatisfactory progress to avoid dismissal from the program).
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
All students are required to have an advisor. An advisor is assigned to all incoming students. To ensure that they are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, students should meet with their advisor on a regular basis.
The advisor serves as the thesis advisor. Students can be suspended from the program, if they do not have an advisor.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Students may not enroll for more than 12 credits without first obtaining prior written approval from their advisor.
Master’s degree students who have been absent for five 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.
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
Any student who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. The complaint may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Education.
The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Education. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts. The following steps are available within the School of Education when a student has a grievance:
- The student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant, and the student is not satisfied, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
- If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed. If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee.
- If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the department, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the dean's office. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
- On receipt of such a written complaint, the associate dean will convene a subcommittee of the school's Equity & Diversity Committee. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Education who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from the date when the grievance was filed with the dean's office.
Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.
State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
Faculty: Professors Rudolph (chair), Baker (graduate program chair), Gomez, Grant, Graue, E. Halverson, Hassett, Hawkins, Hess, Popkewitz, Schweber, Tochon; Associate Professors L. Berland, M. Berland, Feinstein, Ghousseini, Ho, Pacheco, Russ, Stoddard, Vieira; Assistant Professors Bullock, C. Kirchgasler, K. Kirchgasler, Louie, McKinney de Royston, Roman, Wardrip; Affiliate Professors L. Bartlett, T. Dobbs, R. Halverson, P. Matthews, Nathan, H. Zhang. For more information about respective members of the faculty, see People on the department website.