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Secondary Education & English as a Second Language Certification

Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction

classroom with teacher and class at UW-Madison

In just 14 months, you will be qualified to teach high school and middle school, and be ready to enrich your life, your classroom, and your community.


Is this program right for you?

Students, parents, and faculty expect a lot from teachers. The UW–Madison Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction requires commitment, passion, and intensity—all of the qualities that will make you a great teacher and a great leader.

The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction is a dual-certification program. Each student must select one subject area in which to specialize: English, social studies, science, or mathematics. Your certification equips you to teach in your subject area at the high school or middle school level. You are also certified to teach English as a Second Language (ESL)—a high-demand field even in competitive job markets. Work in Wisconsin, around the country, or even abroad.

This program is suitable for people looking to move into the teaching profession or for undergraduate students starting their first career. You do not need to have taken any previous education courses to qualify for admission, but experience working with youth is preferred.

In just two summers and one academic year, gain experience in educational theory while building the ability to engage students and translate your studies into curriculum. You proceed through the program as a cohort, so you are surrounded by peers who understand your goals, as well by experienced teachers and faculty who are ready to support you.

Your coursework begins in the summer, during which time you explore the educational landscape, including hands-on work at a community-based practicum that connects you with youth from diverse backgrounds. In fall and spring, you complete additional courses and are placed in local secondary schools for immersive teaching. Your final summer of classes also includes a master’s project. ESL elements are infused throughout the program, so that you can deeply integrate the needs of these learners into your work as a teacher.

Our world-renowned faculty designed this program specifically to help meet the need for skilled teachers. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UW–Madison’s School of Education among the top public institutions in its annual graduate school rankings. If you are considering a career in teaching, there’s no better place to be than UW–Madison.

Is this program right for you?

Students, parents, and faculty expect a lot from teachers. The UW–Madison Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction requires commitment, passion, and intensity—all of the qualities that will make you a great teacher and a great leader.

The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction is a dual-certification program. Each student must select one subject area in which to specialize: English, social studies, science, or mathematics. Your certification equips you to teach in your subject area at the high school or middle school level. You are also certified to teach English as a Second Language (ESL)—a high-demand field even in competitive job markets. Work in Wisconsin, around the country, or even abroad.

This program is suitable for people looking to move into the teaching profession or for undergraduate students starting their first career. You do not need to have taken any previous education courses to qualify for admission, but experience working with youth is preferred.

In just two summers and one academic year, gain experience in educational theory while building the ability to engage students and translate your studies into curriculum. You proceed through the program as a cohort, so you are surrounded by peers who understand your goals, as well by experienced teachers and faculty who are ready to support you.

Your coursework begins in the summer, during which time you explore the educational landscape, including hands-on work at a community-based practicum that connects you with youth from diverse backgrounds. In fall and spring, you complete additional courses and are placed in local secondary schools for immersive teaching. Your final summer of classes also includes a master’s project. ESL elements are infused throughout the program, so that you can deeply integrate the needs of these learners into your work as a teacher.

Our world-renowned faculty designed this program specifically to help meet the need for skilled teachers. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UW–Madison’s School of Education among the top public institutions in its annual graduate school rankings. If you are considering a career in teaching, there’s no better place to be than UW–Madison.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Possess an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale based on the last 60 credits earned from a degree-granting institution.
  • Non-native English speakers must have a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 92 (internet version) or better.

To apply:

  • Online application.
  • Autobiographical data.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Resume.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • You must apply in one of the four subject areas (English, social studies, science, or mathematics).

Connect with us

Alumni Insight: Master of Science for Professional Educators (MSPE)

October 27
5-5:30 p.m.
Join alumni from the MSPE program as they discuss their experiences in the program, how it met their academic needs, why it was a good fit and how it might help you in your future pursuits.
Register for Alumni Insight: Master of Science for Professional Educators (MSPE)

Virtual Open House: Explore and Apply to Graduate School at UW-Madison

November 10
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Meet with staff and faculty from our 160+ graduate degree programs, gain insight into the application process, and discover the array of services and resources available to graduate students at UW–Madison.
Register for Grad School Virtual Open House

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Program highlights

  • Our Curriculum and Instruction master’s program is accelerated, so you earn your degree in 14 months and can start teaching the semester after you graduate.
  • This program has a strong social justice focus. Along with being ESL certified at the end of your degree, you will be prepared to address issues of race, class, and gender in an encouraging and culturally applicable way.
  • Students enrolled in this program are eligible to participate in the Wisconsin Teacher Pledge, a program that provides financial support to students who pledge to teach at a PK-12 school in Wisconsin for three or four years.

UW–Madison is consistently ranked in the top five best curriculum and instruction programs by U.S. News & World Report.

How you'll learn

  • 14 months of study on campus and in local schools to earn your degree.
  • Intensive sequence of courses that span two summers and an intervening academic year.
  • Complete university courses, fieldwork, and a master’s degree project.

Sample curriculum

Semester 1: Summer

Coursework

  • Social and Cultural Approaches to Education Policy
  • Understanding Languages and Literacy
  • Issues in ESL Education
  • Epistemology (Math/Sci) OR Foundations in Learning (Eng/Soc St)

Fieldwork

  • Community-Based Practicum

Semester 2: Fall

Coursework

  • Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools
  • Adolescent Development in Educational Contexts
  • Methods and Practice—Content Area
  • Learning Second Languages and Literacy
  • Classroom Management for Secondary Teachers

Fieldwork

  • Content-Based Practicum, first quarter
  • Half-Day Student Teaching, second quarter

Semester 3: Spring

Coursework

  • ESL Methods
  • Advanced Methods: Content Area
  • Digital Media & Instructional Technology in the Classroom

Fieldwork

  • Full-Day Student Teaching

Semester 4: Summer

Coursework

  • Capstone: Content Area
  • Legal Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers
  • Professional Launch Workshop series
  • Master’s Project

Ready to learn more about Secondary Education & English as a Second Language Certification?
View the UW-Madison Guide

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach