Education is a topic of widespread interest to UW–Madison students and is one of the hotly contested subjects in today's politics and society. The Education and Educational Services (EES) Certificate Program provides a cohesive set of courses for undergraduate students interested in the many aspects of education, but who choose not to major in education during their undergraduate degree.

Students interested in child development, neuroscience and the process of learning, or education-related policies, for example, may wish to complement their current major with this substantive program in education. The certificate also provides grounding and learning experiences that will increase access to careers in education. Students completing the certificate may be considering future plans to:

  • Enter a post-baccalaureate teacher education program.
  • Pursue a graduate program focused on educational services, including programs such as counseling psychology, school psychology, and rehabilitation psychology.
  • Complete advanced work in educational psychology or educational administration.
  • Begin a career in teaching and learning settings and practices outside the K–12 education system.

This 15-credit certificate program offers a variety of course options that can be customized to each student's area of interest. It is also available to individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s degree; see the Nondegree/Visiting Student Guide.

In addition to reading the information here, students may wish to consult the department's website or email the EES administrator.

How to Get In

All current UW-Madison undergraduates and University Special Students are eligible to complete the Certificate in Education and Educational Services (EES).

Students intending to pursue the Education and Educational Services Certificate should visit the School of Education's Certificate Programs page to complete the declaration form. The declaration for this certificate program can be submitted at any time during the calendar year.

Please note: Students completing a course of study designed to lead to teacher certification are not eligible to complete the EES certificate. This also includes School of Education degree students pursuing the education studies or communication sciences and disorders majors. Other students completing a major within the School of Education are limited to 6 credits of overlap between their major and the certificate; that is, no more than 6 credits of coursework used to satisfy requirements for a major within the School of Education may also be counted toward completion of the EES certificate.


Requirements of this 15-credit certificate program include both Foundation and Focus coursework. All coursework must be taken for a letter grade (not credit/no-credit or pass/fail) and students must earn at least a C grade in each course of the certificate. At least 12 credits of the certificate must be earned in residence at UW–Madison.

There is no formal prerequisite structure to the certificate, although students will generally be expected to take CURRIC 240 Critical Aspects of Teaching, Schooling, and Education first, followed by the two remaining Foundation courses and then the two Focus courses.

Foundation Courses, 9 credits

Required Foundation Course3
Critical Aspects of Teaching, Schooling, and Education
Social Context of Education 3
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Education Policy
School and Society
Globalization and Education
History of American Education
Youth, Education, and Society
Legal Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers
Individual Processes in Teaching and Learning3
Select one of the following:
Human Development in Infancy and Childhood
Human Development in Adolescence
Human Development From Childhood Through Adolescence
How People Learn
Mind, Brain and Education
Individuals with Disabilities

 Focus Course Work, 6 credits

Select from the following and any other Foundation courses: 16
Human Resources Development: Career Strategies
Human Resources Development: Educational Effectiveness
Intersectionalities, Self ­Awareness, and Social Actions for Social Change
Race and the Developing Child
Special Topics: Counseling and Counseling Psychology
Seminar: Students Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED)
Theory and Practice in Interviewing
Career Development Throughout the Life Span
Integrating the Teaching of Reading with Other Language Arts
Videogames & Learning
Chicano/Latino Educational Justice
Internationalizing Educational Knowledge
Peer Leadership and Mentorship with Transitioning Students
Workshop in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
The History of the University in the West
Introduction to Education
Education and Public Policy
Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality in American Education
Human Rights and Education
Rethinking "After-School" Education
Topics on Social Issues and Education
Issues in Urban Education in the U.S.
Urban School Policy
Religion and Public Education
Introduction to Debates in Higher Education Policy
History of African American Education
Anthropology and Education
Education Policy and Practice
Sociology of Education
Contemporary Issues in Educational Psychology
Introduction to Professional School Psychology
Applied Behavior Analysis in Classrooms
The Biological Basis of Behavior
Quantitative Ethnography
Design of Educational Games and Simulations
Foundations of Educational Measurement
Rehabilitation-Counseling Psychology: Foundations

Students may also substitute up to 3 credits of independent study with faculty from the departments of Coun Psy, Curric, ELPA, Ed Pol, Ed Psych or RP&SE. Independent study work with faculty from other School of Education departments may be considered; contact an advisor in the School of Education Student Services office.

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. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand how learning environments and pedagogical practices for students are grounded in concepts and interpretive frameworks provided by disciplines that study human development and learning. Understand both typical and atypical development in relation to education.
  2. Understand basic cognitive, social, emotional, and biological bases of teaching and learning.
  3. Understand how issues of race, class, gender, cultural, sexual orientation, immigrant status, language background, and disability status interact with various educational contexts to affect learning and its outcomes.
  4. Understand how local, state, national, and global social and political contexts differentially affect schooling and its outcomes for students both typical and atypical development in relation to education.
  5. Understand the multiple contexts in which education occurs.
  6. Understand historical, political, and cultural influences on education and educational institutions.
  7. Understand supportive services available to learners in educational contexts and institutions.
  8. Be familiar with some of the issues and controversies surrounding the selection of concepts taught, the assumptions associated with content choices, tools of inquiry, and ways of reasoning.
  9. Be an informed consumer of educational research and policy prescriptions.


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