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School of Education

Earth and Space Science Discipline-Related and Major Requirements

Faculty advisors: Professor Melissa Braaten, 226A Teacher Education Building, mbraaten@wisc.edu, and Professor John Rudolph, 226D Teacher Education Building, 608-265-3431, jlrudolp@wisc.edu.

IMPORTANT: The School of Education is no longer accepting applications to this Secondary undergraduate program. The requirements listed below are provided for students admitted into the program fall 2013 or before.

The UW–Madison Secondary programs in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies have been restructured and are changing from undergraduate programs to the graduate level. This change means that students at UW–Madison will only become certified to teach these subjects through graduate-level course work in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. See this FAQ document for more details about these changes.

Advising staff in the School of Education's Academic Services Office, 139 Education Building, 608-262-1651, can answer questions and confer with students about this change and possible academic alternatives.

Earth and Space Science Discipline-Related Course Work

Certification in Earth and Space Science requires both discipline-related and major course work. Related course work is not considered part of the major, may not be counted toward the credits required for admission eligibility, and is not calculated into the major grade point average. Students may choose to incorporate these courses into the liberal studies requirements. Complete the following: 

  • at least 6 credits of any college-level mathematics and/or statistics, excluding Math 120–132
  • Eight (8) credits of science course work in addition to those used for the major.

Earth and Space Science Major Prerequisites

Students must complete prerequisite course work before enrolling in some of the courses required for the major; for example, one year of college-level physics must be completed before taking Astron 200. Prerequisite course work may be used to meet liberal studies requirements.

Earth and Space Science Major Requirements

Complete a minimum of 34 credits. The credits required for program admission must be chosen from this course work. At least 15 credits of upper-level major course work (numbered 300–699) must be taken in residence on the UW–Madison campus to meet the major residency requirement. Students who are also considering an Earth and Space Science-related major in the College of Letters & Science are advised to do additional course work above the 300 level.

Introductory Courses
  • Geog 127 Physical Systems of the Environment, 5
  • Geosci 101 General Geology, 5 (Geosci 100, 3, may substitute)
  • Select one:
    • Atm Ocn 101 Weather and Climate, 4 (preferred)
    • Atm Ocn 100 Weather and Climate, 3
    • Astron 200 The Physical Universe, 3
Area of Concentration

Complete requirements in one of these two areas, Physical Geography or Geoscience: 

  • Physical Geography
    • Geog 121 Atmospheric Environment and Society, 2
    • Choose a minimum of 10 credits from the following Geography courses: 230, 321, 325, 326, 329, 431, 524, 531
    • Additional credits in Astronomy, Geoscience, Physical Geography, or Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences to total the minimum of 34 credits required for the major. Fifteen (15) of the 34 credits must be upper-level course work (numbered 300 and above).
  • Geoscience
    • Geosci 204 Geologic Evolution of the Earth, 4
    • Complete a minimum of 10 additional credits in Geoscience courses numbered above Geosci 204.
    • Additional credits in Astronomy, Geoscience, Physical Geography, or Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences to total the minimum of 34 credits required for the major. Fifteen (15) of the 34 credits must be upper-level course work (numbered 300 and above)