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

A master of science with secondary teacher certification is offered as a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with named options in English, mathematics, science, and social studies. The program is a streamlined, graduate-level program which prepares students for a teaching license both in a specific content area at the secondary level (English, math, science, or social studies) and to work with English language learners (ESL certification).  Additional information may be found at  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.

The M.S. program with named option in Secondary Mathematics Education accepts applications starting the summer of the preceding year, until the program reaches its capacity. A new cohort begins each June. The program covers two summers and an intervening academic year. Throughout this time span, students take graduate-level courses and engage in fieldwork associated with those courses. In addition, students must complete a master's project.

Prerequisites to applying to the Secondary Mathematics 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
  • 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
  • GRE scores—if applicants’ GPA is below 3.0
  • 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.)
  • 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
    • GPA from your last 60 credits, and an opportunity share extenuating circumstances if you feel the number 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. This includes secondary education in English, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies. 
    • Students may only be enrolled in one subject area. Science and Social Studies certification may include multiple subcategories within the subject 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. At this time official transcripts would need to be submitted.

Paper official transcripts may be sent to:
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, UW–Madison
225 North Mills Street, Madison, WI 53706
Attn: Joey Lubasi

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 "wait list," as future spots may become available.

We will review applications after October 15 as space allows.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  


Graduate School Resources

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

Program Resources

Students are not permitted to accept teaching, project, or research assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver.

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


Minimum Credit Requirement 50 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 50 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 100% of the credits taken at UW–Madison must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B average or above in all coursework.
Assessments and Examinations Requirements vary by named option; please see the program website
Language Requirements Candidates must demonstrate advanced proficiency in English to acquire the English as a Second Language certification.


There are four distinct subject-area programs within the UW-Madison Secondary Teacher Certification Program (English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies). Students apply to and are admitted to one of these areas. Students in all four, however, go through the program as a cohort and 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 Policy1-3
CURRIC 536 Teaching Diverse Youth in Secondary School2
CURRIC 672 Issues in ESL Education2-3
CURRIC 635 Epistemology of Mathematics for Teachers2
Fieldwork 1
CURRIC 510 Community-Based Practicum1-4
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
Methods & Practice - Content Area
CURRIC 673 Learning Second Language and Literacies1-6
CURRIC 729 Classroom Management for Secondary Educators1
Fieldwork 2
CURRIC 511 School-Based Practicum1-4
Half-Day Student Teaching
Spring: Academic Semester 2 (Full Time - Mid January to Early June)
CURRIC 674 Advanced Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language3-6
Advanced Methods - Content Area
CURRIC 702 Sociocultural Theory3
Fieldwork 3
Full-Day Student Teaching
Summer 2 (Full Time - Early June to Early August)
ELPA 640 Legal Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers1-3
CURRIC 739 Assessment and Data Use for Instructional Improvement in Secondary Schools1
CURRIC 675 General Seminar1-3
CURRIC 508 Implementing Universal Design: Curriculum Development & Analysis1
CURRIC 673 Learning Second Language and Literacies1-6
ED PSYCH 622 Structuring Secondary Schools for Adolescent Development1
Master's Project 4

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 Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program's policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Students may not transfer in credits of graduate course 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.


The status of a student can be one of two options:

  1. Satisfactory progress (progressing according to standards)
  2. 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).


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.


15 credits

Time Constraints

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.


Students are not permitted to accept teaching, project, or research assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver. Students also cannot enroll in other graduate programs or take courses outside the prescribed curriculum.

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, Hawkins, Hess, Koza, Lockwood, Popkewitz, Schweber,Tochon; Associate Professors L. Berland, M. Berland, Feinstein, Ghousseini, Hassett, Ho, Pacheco; Assistant Professors Bullock, Louie, McKinney de Royston, Prasad, Russ, Wardrip, Wright; 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.