This is a named option in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis MS.

There are three departments in the University that focus on educational policy-related issues.  

The master's program in Educational Policy Analysis and Evaluation has an emphasis on conducting educational policy research and analysis with a goal of advancing the achievement of all students through effective policy design, development, implementation and evaluation of educational policies and programs. Students develop a knowledge base that includes a strong foundation in research methods (both quantitative and qualitative), and an ability to conduct sophisticated educational policy research and analysis grounded in understandings of the educational policy and governance system in the US and the issues and challenges facing educational leaders embedded in school, university, community/technical college, or adult learning contexts.

The La Follette School of Public Affairs provides education in public management and policy analysis, as well as in public policy and global governance. Faculty in the School are experts in social policy, health and aging, energy and the environment, international trade and development, and public management. The education provided focuses on gaining quantitative, policy analysis, and public management skills. Students may take elective courses in specific substantive policy areas that are of interest to them. Many La Follette students have an interest in education policy and choose to take courses in ELPA.

A third department, Educational Policy Studies, takes a multi-disciplinary approach (sociology, philosophy, anthropology, history) to the study of educational policy and practice. Students may focus on US or international issues. Students often choose to focus on educational inequality.

If you are interested in policy analysis as it relates to broad social policy issues including, but not limited to education, we recommend the LaFollette MPA or MIPA programs.  You would be trained in the tools necessary to analyze and design social policy, and could take courses in our department and Educational Policy Studies.

If you were interested specifically in educational leadership and policy as a focus for your study (not the broader social policy issues), and intended to work in schools or in school-related policy, particularly in the U.S., we would recommend our department.  If you were interested in a more theoretical understanding of educational policy systems and wanted to take a particular disciplinary focus, and a mix of international and US contexts, we would recommend Educational Policy Studies.

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 December 1
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
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 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

M.S. applicants are required to upload the following items to the online application.

1. Essay statement (not to exceed two pages) that addresses the following:

  • Your area of interest (task or functional area of administration.)
  • Your career goals (i.e., why the applicant is interested in pursuing a degree in educational administration.)
  • Your professional objectives and how the UW-Madison program will contribute toward the applicant's role as a school/institution leader.

2. Unofficial transcripts. Official transcripts will be requested prior to Graduate School admission.

3. Resume or CV.

4. Three letters of recommendation. We require recommendations from three (3) people who are qualified to evaluate the academic and professional competence of the applicant. When completing online application, submit names and emails of those requesting recommendation from; recommendations are sent electronically to your application. 

5. Supporting document if undergraduate GPA is below 3.00. In statement, explain why GPA does not accurately reflect high potential to serve in leadership roles.

English proficiency requirements are required for international applicants. Test scores should be submitted to institution code 1846.

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.

Named Option Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

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

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.

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 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 (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements None.

Required Courses

The following are examples of curricular pathways to complete the award.

Note: Regardless of your path, the award earned is Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis: Educational Policy Analysis & Evaluation, M.S.

Educational Policy Evaluation1

Foundations Core
ELPA 870 The Politics of Education3
ELPA 961 Critical Issues in Educational Policy3
Methods of Policy Analysis
ELPA/​ED PSYCH  822 Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education3
ELPA 823 Data Management for Education Policy Analysis3
Students also select one of the following courses:3
Introduction to Qualitative Research
Research Methods and Procedures in Educational Administration
Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods I
Surveys and Other Quantitative Data Collection Strategies
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Depth Courses
ELPA 890 Applied Research in Educational Administration3
Students also select three of the following courses:9
Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Introduction to Educational Leadership
Financing Postsecondary Education
Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
Public School Law
Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
Professional Development and Organizational Learning
Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education
Race, Class and Educational Inequality
Theory and Practice of Educational Planning
Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
Seminar in Educational Law
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Electives3
Select any relevant substantive or methods course from ELPA or other departments.
Total Credits30
1

These paths are internal to the program and represent different pathways a student can follow to earn this degree. Path names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

Education Law1

Foundations Core
ELPA 870 The Politics of Education3
ELPA 961 Critical Issues in Educational Policy3
Methods of Policy Analysis
Students select one of the following courses:3
Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education
Data Management for Education Policy Analysis
Introduction to Qualitative Research
Research Methods and Procedures in Educational Administration
Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods I
Surveys and Other Quantitative Data Collection Strategies
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Depth Courses
ELPA 840 Public School Law3
ELPA 841 Legal Aspects of Higher Education3
or ELPA/​ED POL/​ED PSYCH/​RP & SE  842 Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
or ELPA 910 Seminar in Educational Law
Students also select three of the following courses: 19
Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Introduction to Educational Leadership
Financing Postsecondary Education
Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
Seminar in Educational Law
Professional Development and Organizational Learning
Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education
Race, Class and Educational Inequality
Theory and Practice of Educational Planning
Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Applied Research in Educational Administration
Electives6
Select any relevant substantive or methods courses from ELPA or other departments.
Total Credits30
1

These paths are internal to the program and represent different pathways a student can follow to earn this degree. Path names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

Students may take additional law courses of ELPA 841, ELPA/​ED POL/​ED PSYCH/​RP & SE  842, or ELPA 910 if not used already for Depth Courses requirement.

General Studies (No Concentration)1

Foundations Core
ELPA 870 The Politics of Education3
ELPA 961 Critical Issues in Educational Policy3
Methods of Policy Analysis6
Students select from the following:
Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education
Data Management for Education Policy Analysis
Introduction to Qualitative Research
Research Methods and Procedures in Educational Administration
Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods I
Surveys and Other Quantitative Data Collection Strategies
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Depth Courses12
Students select from the following:
Applied Research in Educational Administration
Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Introduction to Educational Leadership
Financing Postsecondary Education
Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
Public School Law
Legal Aspects of Higher Education
Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
Professional Development and Organizational Learning
Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education
Race, Class and Educational Inequality
Theory and Practice of Educational Planning
Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
Seminar in Educational Law
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Electives6
Select any relevant substantive or methods course from ELPA or other departments.
Total Credits30
1

These paths are internal to the program and represent different pathways a student can follow to earn this degree. Path names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

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

If applicable to the program completing, and with program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework in educational leadership from other institutions and 6 credits of graduate coursework in areas other than educational leadership from other institutions. A maximum of 14 total credits of prior coursework (Graduate Work from Other Institutions and UW-Madison Undergraduate combined) are allowed to count. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

If applicable to the program completing and with program approval, 6 credits of coursework numbered 500 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree. A maximum of 14 total credits of prior coursework (Graduate Work from Other Institutions and UW-Madison Undergraduate combined) are allowed to count. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 6 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison special student. If necessary to meet the Graduate School minimum graduate credit or residence requirements for the degree, special student coursework may need to be converted to graduate credits.  Once converted, students are assessed the difference in tuition between special and graduate tuition. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Probation

This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

This program follows the Graduate School's Advisor policy and Committees policy.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

12 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, uwcomplianceoffice@wisc.edu.

Other

n/a

Graduate School Resources

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

Faculty: Professor Jerlando Jackson (chair); Professors Conrad, Eckes, Halverson, Kelley, Miller, Wang, Welton, Winkle-Wagner; Associate Professors Burt, Hillman; Assistant Professors Henry, McQuillan; Clinical Professors Crim, Li, Sramek, Salzman