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School of Education

Broad Field (Natural) Science Discipline-Related and Major Requirements

Faculty advisors: Professor Melissa Braaten, 226A Teacher Educatin Building, mbraaten@wisc.edu, Professor John Rudolph, 226D Teacher Education, 265-3431, jlrudolp@wisc.edu.

Important: The School of Education is now offering a new and innovative teacher licensing program in secondary education. Licensing in middle and high school English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies is now obtained by completing a master’s degree program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Graduates are awarded a master’s degree along with certification in their subject area(s) and certification in English as a Second Language (ESL).

This new structure means that students at UW–Madison become certified to teach these subjects only through graduate-level course work, not as undergraduates.

Information about the new program (e.g., licensing areas, requirements, application process, prerequisite course work and tests, deadlines, and program selection) is available on the Curriculum and Instruction website

Advising staff in the School of Education's Academic Services Office, 139 Education Building, 608-262-1651, can also answer questions and confer with students about the new program.

The discipline-related and major requirements listed below are provided only for secondary students admitted into the undergraduate program fall 2013 or before.


Broad Field Science Discipline-Related Course Work

Complete 6 credits of Mathematics or Statistics, or any college level Math, excluding 120–132. This is supporting course work, will not be calculated in the major credits or grade point average for graduation, and cannot count toward program admission. This course work should be incorporated into the Liberal Studies requirements where possible.

Broad Field Major Requirements

Complete a minimum of 59 credits in science courses. The credits required for program admission must be chosen from upper-level major course work (Chem 221, 223; Physics 205, 241; all other courses numbered 300–699) must be taken in residence on the UW–Madison campus. Note: Students should consult with a science faculty advisor as soon as possible to discuss the selection of major course work.

Students completing a minor in Physics, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, or Biology as part of the Broad Field Science major may wish to expand the minor into a major, thus completing a double major. The completion of a double major with Natural Science affords the opportunity to master one content area while developing the breadth of understanding associated with the Broad Field major. A major in one of the above disciplines may benefit students interested in graduate school or those wishing to teach primarily in one subject.

  • 24 credits in one of four fields: Biology (botany, zoology); Chemistry; Physics; or Earth and Space Science (astronomy, geoscience, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, physical geography). This usually represents the course requirements for the field minor. Where the field minor is less than 24 credits, students must choose electives to total 24 credits. See a Science faculty advisor for specific course work in the earth science area. It is strongly recommended that 14 credits in the 24-credit area be in upper-level courses.
  • 14 credits in another of the fields listed above. Students are encouraged to select a subject area that is of particular interest, as many students choose to pursue certification in this area by completing the minor, 24–27 credits.
  • One full-year course (minimum 8 credits) in each of the two remaining fields. For Earth and Space Science, see the Earth and Space Science major.
  • 5 credits in human physiology (usually Physiol 335). Note: Credit for Physiology may not be used toward the Biology minor requirements.

This page was updated 9/22/14.