School of Graduate Studies Apply Now
Graduate Studies Header

Frequently Asked Questions



Where can I turn to for answers to other questions?

You can contact either Dr. Richard Mason, the Whitewater Program Coordinator, 262-472-4891 or Shari Smith, the UW-Madison Program Coordinator, 608-263-2701. The UW-Madison Co-Op website is another good source for information


What is the Co-Op Program?

This program allows you to take all of your coursework for a master's degree in educational leadership at UW-Whitewater. Some of the classes are taught by UW-Whitewater staff and some are taught by Madison staff that travel to the Whitewater campus. Currently there is only one class that a student must take on the Madison campus. The degree is from UW-Madison.


What Certifications are offered?

Principal, Director of Instruction and Director of Special Education and Pupil Services.


Where am I enrolled as a student?

You are actually enrolled at both campuses. At UW-Madison you are enrolled as a graduate student and at UW-Whitewater you are considered a non-degree candidate.


What are the basic requirements for admission into the program?

You should check the ELPA Web site for specific information.

In general you need:

  • an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better (or graduate GPA 3.5 or better) (see supporting documents)
  • three letters of recommendation
  • reason for study essay
  • resume
  • online application to the Graduate School
  • official transcripts


If I have a master's degree can I enroll in the program for certification only?

Yes, students can enroll for certification only. There is no elective requirement.


How do I know if I can transfer classes to the program?

Classes more than seven years old are rarely considered. Also some classes such as School Law must be recently taken to transfer into the program. Usually a syllabus is needed for examination before a class is accepted into the program. You should talk to the program coordinator about transferring classes.


Is there a limit to how many classes I can transfer into the program?

  • No more than six (6) graduate credits in other than Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis courses may be transferred to the M.S. program in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • No more than nine (9) graduate credits in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis courses may be transferred from other universities to the M.S. program in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Graduate School regulations state that a cooperative master's degree candidate must complete a minimum of 15 graduate level credits of UW-Madison coursework in order for the degree to be granted from UW-Madison. (UW-Madison classes taken in Whitewater do count for this total.)
  • All transfer credits must have been taken in accredited graduate level programs.


How much is the tuition?

Tuition increases almost every year.

Click here for Madison Tuition costs.

Click here for Whitewater tuition costs. In general, a class at UW-Whitewater is about $800 less than UW-Madison.


What tuition do I pay for a UW-Madison class taught on the UW-Whitewater class?

You pay the Madison tuition price and enroll in the class through UW-Madison.


Can I take a class on the UW-Madison Campus?

Yes, click here for a current list of offerings on the Madison campus.


Do I have to be enrolled in the program to take classes?

No, you can take classes as a special student at UW-Madison and as a non-degree candidate at UW-Whitewater. The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW-Madison will accept a maximum of six (6) credits of special student course work toward the completion of any degree/certification program. ( Contact the Office of Special and Guest Students). If more than 6 credits are required to complete the degree/license, students must enroll as a Graduate Student ( see admissions). For UW-Whitewater, you can take classes as soon as you complete the UWW application for graduate study. NOTE: Taking classes prior do acceptance into the program does not guarantee admission into the program.Keep in mind that while UW-Madison does accept six (6) credit of special student course work into any of their programs, you also must meet the Graduate School requirement of a minimum of fifteen (15) graduate level credits (a total of 30 credits are required for a Master's degree) at UW-Madison for a Master's degree. If you do not meet the minimum requirement, special student credits may be converted to graduate level credits and you would then pay the difference in tuition between special and graduate tuition.


What happens when one semester I enroll in a UW-Whitewater class and the next semester a UW-Madison class?

UW-Madison requires you complete the reentry process if:

  • You were once enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and
  • You wish to resume studies after an absence of one or more semesters (not including summer).

The purpose behind the Reentry procedures:

  • Assures the Graduate School that you are in good standing with your academic department, and
  • Activates your registration eligibility.

To apply for Reentry:

  • You must complete an online application for admission. However, you can omit the Recommendation and Statement sections unless you are applying to a new department. The reentry application is available here.
  • No fee is required if you have enrolled in the last 5 years. You must pay an application fee if it has been more than 5 years since your last enrollment
  • You should submit the online application at least six (6) weeks prior to, and no later than 6 days prior to, the start of your intended semester.
  • After submission of your application, the department will review your records including your application.
  • If you have attended any other colleges or universities since your last enrollment, you must list those institutions and submit official transcripts from them to your department/program.
  • Contact your intended department regarding deadlines and additional admission requirements.


How long does it take to complete the program?

You should be able to complete the courses within three years. You can speed up your progress by taking classes at Madison. There are 12 three credit classes for the Masters Degree with Principal Certification.


What if I want Director of Instruction or Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Certification?

You still take the same list of classes for Principal. In addition for Director of Instruction licensure you also take ELPA 875, offered only at Madison. For Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Licensure you must add two classes: ELPA 842 and ELPA 835, again both available only at the Madison campus.


Is the Co-Op a cohort program?

No; however, the classes are small and you will get to know the other students in the program. The advantages are that you can take a semester off should you need to and also you can finish more quickly by taking classes on the Madison campus.


NOTE: For specific information or exceptions to the above information, please visit the ELPA web site above or contact the program coordinator in Whitewater.