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 Social Studies 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.

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 June 1*
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, 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 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 required.  Applicants will be notified after initial application review.

 Prerequisites to applying to the Secondary Social Studies 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 to demonstrate depth and breadth of the secondary educational social studies content 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
    • 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.  
    • 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 and meet necessary guidelines 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 "wait list," as future spots may become available.


We will review applications between Dec 1 and 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 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 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 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 Mid August) 1
ED POL 600 Problems in Educational Policy3
CURRIC 736 Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners2
CURRIC 737 Linguistics for Educators2
CURRIC 835 Foundations of Social Studies Education2
Fieldwork 1
CURRIC 510 Community-Based Practicum 21-4
Fall: Academic Semester 1 (Full Time - Early September to Mid January) 3
CURRIC 507 Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools2
ED PSYCH 621 Adolescent Development in Educational Contexts2
CURRIC 359 Teaching of History and the Other Social Studies3
CURRIC 673 Learning Second Language and Literacies2
CURRIC 729 Classroom Management for Secondary Educators1
CURRIC 511 School-Based Practicum 21-4
CURRIC 458 Student Teaching in History and Social Studies in the Middle School 42-12
or CURRIC 459 Student Teaching in History and Social Studies in the High School
Spring: Academic Semester 2 (Full Time - Mid January to Early June) 5
CURRIC 559 Advanced Practices in the Teaching of Social Studies3
CURRIC 674 Advanced Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language 63
Fieldwork 3
CURRIC 459 Student Teaching in History and Social Studies in the High School 44-12
or CURRIC 458 Student Teaching in History and Social Studies in the Middle School
CURRIC 675 General Seminar 41-3
Summer 2 (Full Time - Early June to Early August)
CURRIC 747 Masters Capstone in Teacher Education ( (Master's Project)) 73
ELPA 640 Legal Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers1
CURRIC 675 General Seminar (Professional Launch Workshop Series) 61-3

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 1-2 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 seminar. These courses are only required for certification; however, they are not required for the master's degree.


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.


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 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.


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:

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:

  1. 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.
  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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,



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.