Get Started in Education

We prepare people to be leaders in their professions, as teachers, counselors, administrators, special education teachers, and leader-educators in social service agencies, business, government and industry. Our graduates work in dozens of education-related careers. We’re proud to call them our powerful voices in education at a university where powerful ideas lead to proven results.

In Fall 2011:

2,639 students were enrolled, with 575 students working in our initial teacher preparation programs. There were 463 students in our master’s degree programs, and 171 in our doctoral degree programs. We have more than 22,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in Wisconsin.


If you’re considering UWM and education, the first question you need to answer is what kind of teacher you would like to be. You need to think about the subjects you may want to teach and the age level of your students. At UWM, you may teach in a content area, such as English, mathematics, the sciences, social studies, bilingual education, English as a Second Language or world languages. You may choose to teach at the pre-school, elementary, middle or high school level. Or you may want to be a special education teacher. UWM’s Peck School of the Arts also offers teaching degrees in dance, theater, music and the visual arts in cooperation with the School of Education. In all of these areas, our faculty members are leaders and experts who have spent their careers teaching as well as doing important research on the art and science of teaching. More Info

Classroom Teaching Certifications

As an undergraduate teaching education major, your studies will focus on teaching a specific age group: Early Childhood , Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence, Early Childhood- Adolescence, Early Adolescence-Adolescence. These various programs cover teaching certifications for pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, as well as English, mathematics, the sciences, Social Studies, foreign language, bilingual education, and English as a Second Language for students through the 12th grade. In addition to teaching certifications through these programs, our Post-Baccalaureate programs allow graduates with degrees besides education to earn their teaching certifications. These post-baccalaureate programs also allow you to pursue your master’s degree and obtain your teaching certification at the same time.

Info Sessions

Anyone interested in applying to a post baccalaureate teacher certification program must attend an informational session prior to application or prior to making an appointment with an academic advisor. Registration Deadline: 3pm CST the Thursday before the session to ensure enough time for preparation of materials.

Click here for 2014-2015 dates and locations

Teaching Special Education

UWM has a commitment to preparing special education teachers who are culturally responsive and have a passion for making a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. As an undergraduate special education major, students can complete a Bachelor’s degree and establish eligibility for a teaching certification in cross-categorical special education at the Early Adolescence to Adolescence (EAA, grades 6-12) level, working with students ages 10-21.

UWM has 5th Year add-on collaborative programs with the Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence (MCEA) programs where students complete a Bachelor’s degree in regular education ECE or MCEA, then apply to add-on special education teacher certification at their chosen level with an additional year of coursework.

Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Teaching Certifications

For individuals who already hold a Bachelor’s degree gaining a special education teacher certification is possible. Available program areas include: Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE Pre-K – grade 3), Middle Childhood to Early Adolescence (MCEA, grades 1-8), Early Adolescence to Adolescence (grades 6-12), and Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH, Pre-K – grade 12).

Students in these programs work with faculty members who have expertise in urban teaching, inclusive education and assistive technology. The UWM/Milwaukee Public Schools internship program provides opportunities to learn while teaching on-the-job. Many students begin a certification program at the Post-Baccalaureate level and move into a Master of Science in Exceptional Education.

Visit the Exceptional Education website for more information about these programs.

American Sign Language

The School of Education offers students the unique opportunity to learn American Sign Language (ASL) and related programs that lead to exciting careers. When students study ASL, they are not only learning about the language, they are learning about the cultural community and develop a respect for individuals who use ASL as their first language. Our ASL program options support the urban mission of the School of Education, as we focus our service learning in the local urban community and prepare students to work with diverse populations. There options to complete programs as an undergraduate student, post-baccalaureate or second-degree student.

The ASL program options are as follows:

ASL Studies Major or Minor
Interpreter Training Program
ASL World Language Teacher Certification

Educational Policy & Community Studies

This department provides students with a deeper understanding of urban education and urban community issues with a focus on the historical, political, economic and socio-cultural context of neighborhoods, schools and society. Past and present students are employed by charities, hospitals, schools, community-based organizations, and local governmental units in metropolitan Milwaukee and other communities. The Community Education bachelor’s degree prepares you to apply educational policy and leadership skills to community organizations and agencies.

You may focus on a broad range of areas, including: child care, youth work, urban education, policy and leadership in community-based organizations, and community organizing. In the master’s (Cultural Foundations of Education) and Ph.D. programs (Social Foundations of Education), students examine race relations, urban education, alternative education/at risk students, community change, and the history, sociology, anthropology and philosophy of urban education. Undergraduate certificate programs are available in Community Leadership, Community Organizing, and Youth Work. An add-on license for certified teachers is available in Alternative Education.
More Info

Master's Degrees

Curriculum & Instruction

These graduate programs lead to a master’s of science degree in Curriculum and Instruction and to an Urban Education Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Graduate degrees provide you with an opportunity to improve your professional expertise, the academic experiences of those you teach, the educational contexts in which you work, and your disciplinary and content knowledge. You will interact during classes with metro area educators and learn from their ideas and experiences.

Administrative Leadership

With three areas of focus, this graduate degree program will help you prepare for positions of leadership in educational arenas. As an education leader, you will have the skills to nurture leadership in a wide range of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary programs, as well as in business and industry. Administrative Leadership’s three graduate program areas:

• Adult and Continuing Education Leadership
• Educational Administration and Supervision
• Higher Education Administration

Educational Psychology

These graduate programs will provide you with a variety of course and training experiences which are appropriate for careers in the following areas:

• Educational and psychological researchers
• University professors
• School psychologists
• School or community counselors

In addition to an emphasis on the theoretical and empirical foundations of education psychology, these programs offer you practical experiences in research, teaching and clinical settings in an urban environment. Master’s degrees are offered in school and community counseling, learning and development, and educational statistics and measurement.

Exceptional Education

The goal of these graduate programs is to prepare educators to serve as change agents in their schools and communities, promoting the full participation of individuals with disabilities. They are intended to help students develop strategies and new ways of thinking in a variety of contexts, with particular emphasis on working within a multicultural and urban context. The department offers you two options for a program of study at the master’s degree level: certification option (Special Education post-baccalaureate teaching certificates) and general option. Focus areas are:

• Assistive technology
• Transition from school to life
• Literacy and learning disabilities
• Multicultural special education
• Students with significant disabilities
• Early intervention/early childhood
• Early intervention/deaf and hard of hearing
• Teacher as leader

Doctoral Programs

Urban Education
We offer an interdepartmental program of study leading to a Ph.D. degree in Urban Education. This program is designed to allow you to integrate a particular area of specialization within the broader field of urban education. Because the doctoral program leads to a research degree, development of research skills is an intergral part of the program. You will demonstrate your mastery of these skills through coursework, research projects and your dissertation.

Educational Psychology
In 2008, UWM began offering a doctorate in Educational Psychology. The school’s Educational Psychology Department offers a Ph.D. degree in three specializations: Counseling Psychology*, Schools Psychology*, and Educational Psychology Foundations. *These programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Professional Development

Professional Development Plan (PDP) support
The School of Education hosts one of 15 centers across the state designated to provide you support in developing a PDP and meetings its goals. Wisconsin’s PI 34 requires the PDP for initial and professional educators. Through our Office of Education Outreach, we host DPI Reviewer Training Sessions for those wishing to become PDP team reviewer members.

Office of Education Outreach
The School of Education’s Outreach Office serves educators across Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, as well as nationally, through our many online courses and educational degree programs. These credit and non-credit courses provide opportunities for you to expand your professional development, as well as fulfill certification requirements. Education Outreach also offers continuing education credits and non-credit courses for those in the fields of adult education, community service, social service and health care.