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Admission and Application Information: World Language Education

Admission to the School of Education as a Pre-Professional Student

New freshmen and transfer students are admitted directly to the School of Education with a “pre” classification that reflects their area of interest. This classification indicates that a student is interested in a particular program area, but hasn't completed the eligibility requirements for admission into the professional program. Pre–World Language students receive a classification of PRS.

On-campus students wishing to be admitted to the School of Education while working on a program’s eligibility requirements can apply for admission to the School of Education by completing a pre-professional application form. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required, based on UW–Madison coursework. However, it is not necessary to be a "pre" before applying to any of the School of Education's professional programs.

It is strongly recommended that students interested in a School of Education program meet with an academic advisor in Education Academic Services (EAS), 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1651.

Admission to the Professional Program

Applicants to this program will be admitted once a year, during the spring semester. Admission decisions will be based on coursework completed through the preceding fall semester. Admission is provisional until spring semester work has been completed and posted and Education Academic Services staff have verified that students have submitted basic skills test scores, met minimum grade point averages, and earned minimum credits in their major. Admitted students will begin the sequence the following fall semester.

Resources limit the number of students who can be served by the UW–Madison World Language Education teacher preparation programs. Thus, admission to the program is limited and may become competitive. If so, obtaining or exceeding the minimum criteria for eligibility does not guarantee admission.

Requirements and selection criteria may be modified from one application/admission period to the next. Any changes to these criteria may occur up until the application period begins and will be reflected below.

Eligibility for Admission for Fall 2016

To be considered for admission, students must meet the following criteria by the end of spring semester 2016:

  • Total Credits: Earn 54 or more transferable semester credits (junior standing)
  • Major Credits: Complete all but six credits of the World Language major.
  • Major Grade Point Average: Earn a minimum 2.75 grade point average on all major coursework completed
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average: Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (on a 4.00 scale). Note: Both the cumulative GPA and the cumulative GPA based on the last 60 credits will be calculated. The higher of the two will be used for program selection. See Last 60 Credits Rule below. Grade point averages are based on all transferable college level coursework attempted.
  • Basic Skills Requirement: All prospective teacher education students must submit test scores to the School of Education to be eligible for professional program admission. Students may use their ACT, SAT, or GRE scores, or they may take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (formerly the Praxis I/PPST). These tests meet Wisconsin's basic skills test requirement for prospective teachers. For more information see the document Academic Tests for Prospective Teachers.
  • Submit application materials by February 1, 2016. These will include the following:
    • Application form
    • Resume 
    • Immersion experience verification (Latin Education students are exempt from this requirement)
    • Recommendations. Two letters of recommendation attesting to experience with children or adolescents or experience related to the mission of the program
    • Video or audio examples in the target language. Applicants will be asked to describe, in five to seven minutes, the experiences that led to choosing language teaching as a profession. Students who apply for certification in two languages are required to present two videos or audio examples in the two languages
    • Additional materials. Other documentation or material that applicants believe distinctly demonstrates qualification for admission to the program

Last 60 Credits Rule

Two grade point averages will be calculated to determine candidates' eligibility to programs. GPAs will be calculated using (1) all transferable college level coursework attempted, and (2) the last 60 credits attempted. The higher GPA of these two will be used for purposes of determining eligibility. If fewer than 60 credits have been attempted, all credits will be used to calculate the GPA. Graded graduate coursework will also be used in all GPA calculations. ("Attempted" coursework indicates coursework for which a grade has been earned.) More information on the Last 60 Credits Rule can be found under Academic Policies and Procedures.

Applying for Certification in More than One Subject Area

Students may apply to be certified in more than one language. Eligibility requirements must be met and separate applications must be filed for each area of interest. Students must be admitted as a major in at least one of the program areas as it is not possible to be admitted only to complete a minor. 

Students interested in combining the WLE program with certification in another area altogether must apply to both program and meet the minimum criteria for admission to each program. It is suggested that students apply as majors in each area of interest, thus maximizing the chances of admission. Certification in two different areas requires the consent and cooperation of the WLE program coordinator and the faculty coordinator of the other subject area. Not all subjects can be combined with the WLE program.

While multiple majors or major–minor combinations are feasible and may be advantageous as a career strategy, it may take extra time to complete the additional subject area coursework. Students are encouraged to work closely with their EAS academic advisor to assess the possibility of completing certification in more than one area and to coordinate the requirements of multiple certifications.

Transfer Students

Applicants not already enrolled on the UW–Madison campus must be admissible to the University to enroll in a School of Education program. Admission to UW–Madison requires a separate application and admission process. See UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information. Prospective transfer students are strongly advised to meet with an Education Academic Services advisor in advance of their application and read this additional information

Selection Procedures for Fall 2016

The files of all applicants will be individually and holistically reviewed by a panel of world language professionals. The criteria used for admission include the following:

  1. Academic Qualifications: The applicant demonstrates mastery of the target language and knowledge of its literature, civilization and culture.
  2. Career Maturity: The applicant demonstrates commitment to teaching the target language to Elementary, Middle, and High School students, including consideration of his or her own strengths and limitations as a potential teacher.
  3. Ability to Relate to Youth: The applicant demonstrates the ability to work effectively with young people.
  4. Commitment to All Students: The applicant demonstrates commitment to working with all students including those of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and students with disabilities, not just the economically privileged or highly motivated.
  5. Interpersonal Skills: The applicant demonstrates the ability to work effectively with peers, other professionals, and members of the community outside of school settings.

The application files, including immersion experiences and oral proficiency, are rated according to the above criteria for each language. A final cohort is selected along with rank-ordered alternates, based on a combination of ratings made by the WLE review committee and judgement by the faculty program coordinator about optimal cohort characteristics for each language. The availability of field placements in the subject area may also influence the selection process. Admission procedures are reviewed every other year to ensure fairness and effectiveness.

Criminal Background Investigation and Disclosure Statement

Criminal background checks will be run on all students at admission. Applicants must also complete a disclosure statement. More detailed information regarding these requirements is available here.

Students with a Previous Degree

Persons who already hold an undergraduate degree are admitted to the School of Education as either an Education Special student or a Second Degree student, depending on their interests and academic background. The term Special student indicates that the student has an interest in pursuing certification in a subject area studied during the initial degree; the student does not receive a degree for this "certification only" coursework. Second Degree students are seeking a second, unrelated degree from the School of Education which may, or may not, include teacher certification. Candidates for limited enrollment programs must meet all admission eligibility requirements for the program and must compete with the eligible applicants for program admission. More information is available here.