This program is a named option in the Curriculum and Instruction M.S. 

The secondary English program is a streamlined, graduate-level program which prepares students for a teaching license both in a specific content area at the secondary level (grades 4-12) and to work with English language learners (ESL certification, grades PK-12). Additional information may be found at

The program spans two summers and an intervening academic year. Throughout this time, students take graduate-level courses and engage in fieldwork associated with those courses. To earn the degree, students must complete a master's project. 

A teacher certification program is offered as a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with various named options: English, mathematics, sciencesocial studies, and world language. Candidates may apply for more than one content area. However, they will only be allowed to enroll in one area at a time. 

Elementary teacher certification is not available through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Master's program. Students who desire elementary teacher certification should contact Education Academic Services.

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 This program does not admit in the fall.
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline December 1*
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required**
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, participate in a discussion with the ESL team and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) PRAXIS 2 content exam may be required if the breadth of coursework does not match licensing content standards.
Letters of Recommendation Required 2

December 1 is the deadline for early admission and priority scholarship consideration. As space allows, the program will continue to review applications from Dec 1 until June 1. Financial options are available for later applicants.


If GPA is below a 3.0, a GRE may be requested.  Applicants would be notified after initial application review.

Prerequisites to applying to the Secondary English Education named option can be found here.

Admissions Requirements

  • Baccalaureate level / bachelor's degree
  • Transcripts​
  • GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 or better (exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis)
  • Prerequisite courses and experiences that demonstrate depth and breadth across the English/Language Art domain
  • TOEFL scores (for candidates wherein English is a second language or whose undergraduate study was completed in languages other than English)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose/reasons for graduate study
  • ​Resume

Details about these requirements can be found here.

How to Apply

Step 1: Apply to the UW–Madison Graduate School
Information required at this step includes the following:

  • Autobiographical data
  • Transcripts documenting undergraduate degree from an accredited college
  • International applicants—TOEFL score 92/120 and proof of funding
  • Statement of purpose—open-ended format, usually not to exceed one page
  • Resume (or short CV) listing your academic and professional experience as well as any other information that might be helpful to us in evaluating your application. (No specific format is required, but it should not exceed two pages in length.)
  • Two letters of recommendation—up to three are allowed
  • Supplemental application: This section includes open-ended prompts requesting:
    • Further information about coursework or professional experience within the content field
    • An opportunity to share extenuating circumstances if you feel your GPA does not adequately reflect your academic abilities
    • A brief summary of your previous work with adolescents, educational settings, and/or speakers of languages other than English. (Experience in these areas are not required, but are helpful in determining your readiness for the program.)
    • In essay format, answers to three prompts specifically tailored to your subject area. 
  • Please note:
    • Be certain you select "Summer" as your Term of Admission in the Graduate School online application.
    • The UW Secondary Education M.S. Program admits new students only for the "summer" term.
    • Be certain you select Curriculum and Instruction M.S.—with your specified content area: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, or World Language
    • Students may apply for multiple areas, but may only be enrolled in one content area
    • Please read the Graduate School's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) before completing the online application.

Step 2: Final Decisions
After your application is complete, a content area team will review your application and share their recommendation with you and the Graduate School.

If the recommendation is favorable, the UW Graduate School will make a final decision on your application.  Official transcripts and a background check must be submitted prior to final admission.

If the recommendation is not favorable, a letter will be sent to you outlining the concern or issue. When applicable, you may be offered an opportunity to remain on a "waitlist," as future spots may become available.

We will review applications after December 1 until June 1 as space allows.


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.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

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


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

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

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 30 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 24 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy:
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B average or above in all coursework to earn the MS degree. For teaching certification, a candidate must earn a B or better in each course. If a candidate does not earn a B or better additional coursework may be required.
Assessments and Examinations PRAXIS subject test may be required if breadth of coursework does not match licensing content standards.
Language Requirements Candidates must demonstrate advanced proficiency in English to acquire the English as a Second Language certification.


There are five distinct content-area programs within the UW-Madison Teacher Certification Program (English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Language). Students are admitted to one of these areas. Students in each of the five areas take classes and participate in school field experiences with students from across the subject areas. Teaching and learning about English as a Second Language (ESL) is a co-equal area of certification and is infused throughout the program.

Summer 1 (Full Time - Mid-June to Late August)
ED POL 600 Problems in Educational Policy3
CURRIC 736 Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners2
CURRIC 737 Linguistics for Educators2
CURRIC 535 Foundations of Literacy2
Fieldwork 1
CURRIC 510 Community-Based Practicum 21-4
Fall: Academic Semester 1 (Full Time - Early September to Mid January)
CURRIC 507 Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools2
ED PSYCH 621 Adolescent Development in Educational Contexts2
CURRIC 396 Teaching of English3
CURRIC 673 Learning Second Language and Literacies2
CURRIC 729 Classroom Management for Secondary Educators1
Fieldwork 3
CURRIC 511 School-Based Practicum 21-4
CURRIC 472 Student Teaching of English in the Middle School 42-12
or CURRIC 496 Student Teaching of English in the High School
Spring: Academic Semester 2 (Full Time - Mid January to Early June)
CURRIC 596 Advanced Practices in Teaching English in Secondary Schools3
CURRIC 674 Advanced Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language 63
Fieldwork 5
CURRIC 675 General Seminar 41-3
CURRIC 496 Student Teaching of English in the High School 42-12
or CURRIC 472 Student Teaching of English in the Middle School
Summer 2 (Full Time - Early June to Early August)
ELPA 640 Legal Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers1
CURRIC 747 Masters Capstone in Teacher Education3
CURRIC 675 General Seminar (Professional Launch Series) 61-3
Master's Project 7

The focus of this summer semester includes a field experience in the local community intended to involve program students with adolescents from diverse backgrounds. The university courses present assignments for students to carry out in the practicum sites. Within the content domain, program students will consider how academic subject knowledge is and should be translated into the curriculum.


CURRIC 510 Community-Based Practicum is typically taken for 2-3 credits and CURRIC 511 School-Based Practicum is typically taken for 1 credit.


In this semester, program students are placed in local secondary schools. University courses provide assignments for students in their practicum sites and present concepts useful for understanding schooling, teaching, and students. Topics addressed across coursework include teaching methods to engage with all students, universal curriculum design, understanding contemporary adolescence, and theories of literacy and strategies in learning languages.


Fall student teaching is typically 4 credits and spring student teaching is typically 8 credits, and includes a 1 credit seminar. Field-based courses are required for certification.


Program students will be immersed in a semester of student teaching. University course work provides assignments for students to carry out in their student teaching as well as concepts and practices that will enhance their instructional effectiveness. During this semester, each student will prepare and teach an instructional unit incorporating concepts and theories from all previous semesters. The instructional unit exercise will also provide evidence for the Performance Assessment Portfolio.


Recommended but not required for the master's degree.


In the final summer, MS-English students will complete their master's projects under the direction of their capstone instructor and advisor.

Students will also complete a Performance Assessment Portfolio including artifacts demonstrating proficiency on each of the School of Education’s Teaching Standards.

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate, graduate or certificate programs.

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

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Students may not transfer in credits of graduate courses from other institutions.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

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

UW–Madison University Special

No credits as a UW–Madison University Special student are allowed to count toward the degree.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


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 primary contact within the program and approves the candidate's capstone project. Students can be suspended from the program if they do not have an advisor.


15 credits

Time Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

School of Education Grievance Policy and Procedures

The following School of Education Student Grievance Policy and associated procedures are designed for use in response to individual student grievances regarding faculty or staff in the School of Education.

Any individual student who feels they have been treated unfairly by a School of Education faculty or staff member has the right to file a grievance about the treatment and receive a timely response addressing their concerns. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these grievance procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies. The grievance may concern classroom treatment, mentoring or advising, program admission or continuation, course grades (study abroad grade complaints are handled through International Academic Programs), or issues not covered by other campus policies or grievance procedures. 

For grievances regarding discrimination based on protected bases (i.e., race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, etc.), contact the Office of Compliance (

For grievances or concerns regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence (including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking and sexual exploitation), contact the Sexual Misconduct Resource and Response Program within the Office of Compliance.

For grievances that involve the behavior of a student, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards in the Dean of Students Office at

For grievances about, or directed at, faculty or staff in a School of Education department, unit, or program, students should follow these steps:

  1. Students are strongly encouraged to first talk with the person against whom the concern is directed.  Many issues can be settled informally at this level.  If students are unable to resolve concerns directly or without additional support, step 2 or 3 should be pursued.
  2. If unresolved after taking or considering step 1:
    1. If the concern is directed against a teaching assistant (TA), and the student is not satisfied, the student should contact the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor.  The course professor will attempt to resolve the concern informally.
    2. If the concern involves a non-TA instructor, staff member, professor, academic department, or School of Education office or unit, the student should contact the chair of the department or the director of the office or unit, or their designee. The chair or director, or their designee, will attempt to resolve the concern informally. If the concern is about the department chair or office/unit director, the student should consult the School of Education Senior Associate Dean for guidance.
  3. If the concern remains unresolved after step 2, the student may submit a formal grievance to the chair or director in writing within 30 business days1 of the alleged unfair treatment. To the fullest extent possible, a formal written grievance shall contain a clear and concise statement of the issue(s) involved and the relief sought.  
  4. On receipt of a written grievance, the chair or director will notify the person at whom the grievance is directed with a copy of the written grievance. The person at whom the complaint is directed may submit a written response, which would be shared with the student.
  5. On receipt of a written grievance, the chair or director will refer the matter to a department, office, or unit committee comprised of at least two members. The committee may be an existing committee or one constituted for this purpose. The committee, or delegates from the committee, may meet with the parties involved and/or review any material either party shares with the committee.  
  6. The committee will provide a written description of the facts of the grievance and communicate recommendations to the department chair or office/unit head regarding how the grievance should be handled.
  7. The chair or director will offer to meet with the student who made the grievance and also will provide a written decision to the student, including a description of any related action taken by the committee, within 30 business days of receiving the formal grievance.

    For the purpose of this policy, business days refers to those days when the University Offices are open and shall not include weekends, university holidays, spring recess, or the period from the last day of exams of fall semester instruction to the first day of spring semester instruction. All time limits may be modified by mutual consent of the parties involved.

If the grievance concerns an undergraduate course grade, the decision of the department chair after reviewing the committee’s recommendations is final. 

Other types of grievances may be appealed using the following procedures:

  1. Both the student who filed the grievance or the person at whom the grievance was directed, if unsatisfied with the decision of the department, office or unit, have five (5) business days from receipt of the decision to contact the Senior Associate Dean, indicating the intention to appeal.   
  2. A written appeal must be filed with the Senior Associate Dean within 10 business days of the time the appealing party was notified of the initial resolution of the complaint.
  3. On receipt of a written appeal, the Senior Associate Dean will convene a sub-committee of the School of Education’s Academic Planning Council. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and/or may hold a meeting at which both parties will be asked to speak separately (i.e., not in the room at the same time).
  4. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the Dean of the School of Education, or their designee, who will render a decision. The dean or designee’s written decision shall be made within 30 business days from the date when the written appeal was filed with the Senior Associate Dean.  For undergraduate students, the dean or designee’s decision is final.

Further appealing a School of Education decision – graduate students only

Graduate students have the option to appeal decisions by the School of Education dean or designee by using the process detailed on the Graduate School’s website.

Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.




Graduate School Resources

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

Faculty: Professors Agarwal, Baker, L. Berland, M. Berland, Bullock, Feinstein, Ghousseini, Grant, E. Halverson, Hassett, Hawkins, Hess, Ho, YJ Kim, C. Kirchgasler, K. Kirchgasler, Louie, Machado, McDonald,  McKinney de Royston, Pacheco, Popkewitz, LJ Randolph Jr., Roman, Rudolph, Russ, Stoddard, Vieira, Wardrip.

For more information about respective members of the faculty, see People on the department website.