Bascom Hall on a sunny fall day. A large banner of Bucky Badger’s face is displayed on the front of the building.

The Educational Policy Studies Certificate was designed specifically for undergraduate students from across the campus. The certificate features multidisciplinary courses in the history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and philosophy of education, comparative and international education, and educational equity. Courses in policy analysis emphasize the socio-economic context and implications of policy decisions on equity, justice, and well-being. The completion of this certificate highlights a student's interest in the multiple dimensions of educational studies.

Students interested in pursuing this certificate are encouraged to consult with advising staff in the School of Education Student Services office, Room 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall. Current students can schedule an appointment online through the Starfish app in MyUW. Appointments can also be made through email,, by calling 608-262-1651, or in person.

The EPS certificate is also available to individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s degree; see the Nondegree/Visiting Student Guide.

Declaration Process

All current UW-Madison undergraduates are eligible to complete the Certificate in Educational Policy Studies.  Students must complete at least one Educational Policy Studies (ED POL) course with a grade of B or better prior to declaring the certificate program. Students intending to complete the Educational Policy Studies Certificate should visit the School of Education's Certificate Programs page to complete the declaration form.

Students pursuing the Education Studies major, the Certificate in International Development and Education, the Certificate in Global Cultures, Languages, and Education, and/or the Certificate in Social Justice and Education, are not eligible to complete the Educational Policy Studies certificate.

Course Requirements

The Certificate in Educational Policy Studies requires the following course distribution for a minimum of 12 credits. At least 6 credits must be completed in residence. Completion of the certificate requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in certificate coursework.

ED POL 240 Comparative Education3
ED POL 300 School and Society3
ED POL/​HISTORY  412 History of American Education3
  • At least two courses must be numbered 300 or above.

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificates

This certificate may be completed within the context of an undergraduate degree or as a Special student after an undergraduate degree has been awarded from any institution. The certificate may be completed in its entirety while enrolled as a Special student. Candidates are encouraged to contact the certificate coordinator to discuss course enrollment and the sequencing of certificate requirements. 

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, and/or historical contexts of education policy.
  2. Examine education policy from multiple theoretical perspectives (e.g., ethical/philosophical, economic/political, etc.).
  3. Analyze education policy issues from diverse perspectives related to race, class, and/or gender, and other forms of social difference.

Information about faculty, staff, and other contributors to the Department of Educational Policy Studies can be found on the department's website.