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

The master’s program in Higher Education (HE) offers a broad range of course selections with foundations in administration, organization, governance, teaching and learning, and policy and research. There are three specific concentrations of study within the HE program that students can select; student affairs administration; intercollegiate athletic administration; and two-year colleges.

Fall Deadline July 1
Spring Deadline December 1
Summer Deadline April 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 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

Applications to the Higher Education Named Option of the Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis will be accepted on a rolling basis.

To be eligible for admission for Fall semester, the application must be received by July 1.
To be eligible for admission for Spring semester, the application must be received by December 1.

To be eligible for admission for Summer classes, the application must be received by April 1. International applicants Deadline - April 1 for admission for Fall semester.

Admission to the department is based, in part, on the following criteria: undergraduate GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, GPA on 9 or more graduate credits, three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to judge the applicant's academic and professional competence, resume, transcripts, and a "reasons for study" essay.

The GRE is not required for admission to the Master's degree program.

For information regarding admissions criteria, deadlines and the application process, see Admissions on the department website.

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

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 24 credits out of 30 total credits must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements None.

Required Courses

Foundations3
Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
Core Areas18
Administration Organization & Governance (3-6 credits)
If pursuing a concentration in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration, CHOOSE ELPA 710 AND 1 other course. Otherwise - CHOOSE 1 course.
Introduction to Intercollegiate Athletics Administration
Governance and Administration of Colleges and Universities
Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
Financing Postsecondary Education
The American Community College
Teaching and Learning (3-6 credits)
If pursuing a concentration in Student Affairs Administration, CHOOSE ELPA 883 AND 1 other course. Otherwise - CHOOSE 1 course.
Facilitating Learning for Adults
The Adult Learner: Implications for Curriculum and Instruction
Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities
Ideas of the University: Images of Higher Learning for the 21st Century
Perspectives on College Student Identity and Development
Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
Assessment in Higher Education
Policy and Research (3-6 credits)
Research Methods and Procedures in Educational Administration
Field Research Designs & Methodologies in Educational Administratn
Financing Postsecondary Education
Legal Aspects of Higher Education
The Politics of Education
The American Community College
Assessment in Higher Education
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Equity & Diversity (6 credits)
Minority-Serving Institutions of Higher Education
Perspectives on College Student Identity and Development
The American Community College
Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
Special Topics Seminar in Educational Leadership
Additional Coursework3-6
Option of completing course work outside of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis OR completing additional ELPA course work. Consult with advisor prior to selecting courses. If completing a field experience, only 3 credits of additional course work is required.
Field Experience - Optional0-4
Field Experience in Educational Leadership
Research or Thesis
Capstone Learning Project - Required3
Higher and Post-Secondary Education Capstone Seminar
Independent Reading
Total Credits30

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. 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. 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 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

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

12 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.

Grievances and Policies

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

Funding is not offered along with offers for admission.

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, Diamond, Halverson, Kelley, Mead, Miller, Underwood, Wang, Welton, Winkle-Wagner; Associate Professor Hillman; Assistant Professors Burt, Goff, McQuillan; Clinical Professors Crim, Sramek, Salzman