Certificate in Educational Leadership

Program Description

The educational policy and leadership programs prepare graduate students to assume educational leadership roles in the areas of study provided by its programs and specializations. A distinctive characteristic of the programs are their commitment to the development of professionals as agents of critical inquiry and social justice. This is done through a systematic focus on the social, cultural, philosophical and historical contexts of education.

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Application Details

All applicants seeking teacher certification must have transcripts evaluated by the College of Education before formally applying to the Graduate School for admission to any teacher certification program. Only upon approval of the department should students submit application materials to the Graduate School. Students seeking an advanced degree and certification must meet the criteria for both admission to the Office of Teacher Education and the Graduate School.

All inquiries concerning certification should be directed to the College of Education Graduate Office, located at Schroeder Health and Education Complex, 146, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, or via telephone at (414) 288-4613.

 For further details, visit the College of Education department webpage.

Requirements and course work can be found on the Graduate School bulletin. 


  • Director of Instruction
  • Elementary Education
  • Principal
  • Secondary Education
  • Superintendent (certificate program is not currently accepting applicants)

Administrative Licensure Certification Programs

This program is available for the Wisconsin Director of Instruction, Principal, and Superintendent licenses (superintendent certificate program is not currently accepting applicants). Licensed teachers who wish to acquire a principal or director of instruction license may also do so in conjunction with the master of education in educational leadership. Note the certification is not eligible for Title IV federal aid.

Teaching Certification Programs

This program is available for Wisconsin teaching licensure at the middle childhood/early adolescence level (elementary/middle, grades 1-8) or the early adolescence level (middle/secondary, grades 6-12). Students can earn either license alone or in conjunction with a master of education degree. 

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Application Deadline

March 31 is the priority deadline for summer admission; applications received after this date are considered as space permits. Applications should be received no later than July 15 for consideration for admission for the fall term, if space allows.

Application Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's ability to do graduate-level work.
  • A personal statement of purpose that includes professional and academic goals.
  • A resume that includes professional and educational experiences.
  • For International Applicants only: A TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • An interview and/or writing test may be required of applicants following the initial screening.
  • Teacher certification applicants are required to submit Praxis II scores to the College of Education’s Office of Teacher Education. These applicants must also undergo a criminal background check, conducted by Marquette University. A second criminal background check is conducted at the state level when student teaching is completed, as part of the teacher license application.
  • For administrative certification applicants only: When their administrative program is complete and they submit their administrative license applications to the state, individuals must have a Wisconsin teacher license and three years of teaching experience. They must also undergo a criminal background check conducted by the state.

1Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record.

Merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships) is available. Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses as well.