Students sit on the stairs in front of the Education Building

The MS degree in Educational Leadership and Policy analysis can be pursued through one of its named options (formal sub-majors documented on the transcript):

The department has long held a commitment to diversity and the strength it brings to a program. The department seeks to attract a very diverse student population. As one of its core values, the ELPA learning community celebrates wholeness, while, at the same time, values the richness of differences in life experiences, cultural backgrounds, ways of knowing, and perspectives of its individual members. The department seeks to renew itself continually by attracting faculty and students who contribute to this diversity as well as enhance the larger community. 


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.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement See Named Options for policy information.
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement See Named Options for policy information.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy:
Other Grade Requirements See Named Options for policy information.
Assessments and Examinations See Named Options for policy information.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Select a Named Option for courses required.

Named Options

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. Students pursuing the MS in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis must select one of the following named options:

Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

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

Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulates, critiques, or elaborates the theories, research methods, and approaches to scholarly inquiry or practice in educational settings.
  2. Identifies sources and assembles evidence pertaining to questions or challenges in the field of study or field of practice.
  3. Demonstrates understanding of the primary field of study or field of practice in a historical, social, or global context.
  4. Demonstrates understanding of how to identify and address social inequalities in educational opportunities and outcomes through a field of study or field of practice.
  5. Selects and/or utilizes the most appropriate methodologies and practices.
  6. Evaluates or synthesizes information pertaining to questions or challenges in the field of study or field of practice.
  7. Communicates clearly in ways appropriate to the field of study or field of practice.
  8. Recognizes and applies principles of ethical and professional conduct.


Faculty: Professor Anjalé (AJ) Welton (chair); Professors Conrad, Eckes, Halverson, Kelley, Miller, Wang, Winkle-Wagner; Associate Professors Burt, Hillman; Assistant Professors Grooms, Henry, McQuillan, Saldana, Yu; Clinical Professors Crim, Li, Sramek, Salzman, Soffa-Jimenez 


If seeking educational administrator licensure as part of the WI Idea Principal Prep, Coop Program UW-Whitewater, or K-12 Leadership named option, a practicum experience requiring 150 contact hours for an initial administrator license and an additional 75 hours for each additional administrative license.  

Additional Department of Public Instruction Licensure Requirements:

  1. Completion of a state-approved educator preparation program in the licensure area.
  2. A minimum of master’s degree or the equivalent. Superintendent license requires a specialist degree or equivalent; program coordinator licenses require a bachelor’s degree.
  3. A valid or eligibility to hold a provisional educator license in teaching or pupil services. School business administrator and program coordinator licenses are waived from this requirement.
  4. Six semesters of successful full-time classroom teaching experience, or six semesters of successful experience as a pupil services professional including 540 hours of classroom teaching experience. School business administrator and program coordinator licenses are waived from this requirement.

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education (via 34 CFR Part 668) requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure. The expectation is that institutions will determine whether each applicable academic program meets state professional licensure requirements and provide a general disclosure of such on an official university website.

Professional licensure requirements vary from state-to-state and can change year-to-year; they are established in a variety of state statutes, regulations, rules, and policies; and they center on a range of educational requirements, including degree type, specialized accreditation, total credits, specific courses, and examinations.  

UW-Madison has taken reasonable efforts to determine whether this program satisfies the educational requirements for certification/licensure in states where prospective and enrolled students are located and is disclosing that information as follows.

Disclaimer: This information is based on the most recent annual review of state agency certification/licensure data and is subject to change. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with the individual/office listed in the Contact Information box on this page and with the applicable state agency for specific information.

The requirements of this program meet certification/licensure requirements in the following states:


The requirements of this program do not meet certification/licensure requirements in the following states:

Not applicable

Updated: 1 June 2024