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School of Education

Academic Honors, Scholarships, and Grants

Academic Honors

Dean's List

Students have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and 3.5 or higher for the semester. Students must have received no incompletes in graded courses, no unreported grades, or end-of-semester academic actions for the semester. Credit/no credit and pass/fail courses are not considered in meeting the requirements for the Dean's List. 

Graduating with Honors and Graduating with Distinction

Undergraduate students are invited to wear an honors stole at graduation if they have indicated they expect to graduate at the conclusion of the current semester, have a cumulative GPA that places them in the top 20% of students expecting to graduate in their school/college, and have earned at least 60 credits in residence at UW–Madison. Credits in progress in the current semester count towards the 60 credit requirement.

Graduating With Distinction is a separate calculation and is posted to the undergraduate student's transcript after all grades and degrees have been recorded. Students qualify for the Distinction notation if they have received their degree, have a cumulative GPA that places them in the top 20% of degree recipients in their school/college, and have earned at least 60 credits in residence at UW–Madison.

Honors Options through the College of Letters & Science

Through a unique collaboration between the School of Education and the College of Letters & Science (L&S), students in the School of Education are offered the opportunity to participate in the L&S Honors Program. Education students may participate in the L&S Honors in the Liberal Arts (HLA), Honors in the Major (HM), or Comprehensive Honors (both HLA and HM) curricula.

The L&S Honors Program seeks students who desire to be active learners and who want to expand their leadership and service capacities beyond the classroom. The Honors Program requires students to take honors courses in a wide variety of disciplines, and by so doing to become familiar with the diverse ways disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences explore the frontiers of knowledge. While Honors students often seek to challenge themselves academically, many also engage in a wide array of service and volunteer activities. They seek out co-curricular opportunities, and they take on leadership roles both at the university and in the broader community. In addition to its curriculum, the Honors Program offers professional advising services; grants, scholarships, and awards, particularly for introductory and Senior Honors Thesis research; study abroad opportunities, and numerous academic, social, and service opportunities through the Honors Student Organization.

To learn more about the L&S Honors options and curricula, please visit the program's website. Students with questions about how L&S Honors connects with School of Education programs and requirements should contact Education Academic Services at 608-262-1651 to make an in-person or phone appointment with an advisor.

Interested students are invited to apply to the program.  Admission is competitive and space is limited, but incoming first-year students who did not apply, or are denied admission, may apply later as continuing students.

School of Education Scholarships

The generosity of alumni and friends has enabled the School of Education to distribute just under $500,000 in scholarships and awards annually to deserving undergraduate students. Half of these are awarded through a school-wide competitive process; the other half are awarded by individual departments and programs. See the list of School of Education undergraduate scholarships and honors at Scholarships@UW-Madison.

The selection criteria for specific scholarships and awards vary and may include academic performance, excellence in a specific field or area, potential as a prospective teacher, leadership ability, personal attributes (such as returning adult status or home county), and financial need. All scholarship and award recipients must be in good academic standing in the School of Education.

School-wide scholarships for undergraduates are designated for students seeking teacher certification; most go to students already admitted to professional teacher education programs. While many scholarships are awarded, the number of scholarships is substantially smaller than the number of eligible students. The application period usually runs from February through April 1. Scholarship decisions are made in early June and communicated in July.

Many departmental scholarships and awards are available for students in School of Education majors unrelated to teaching. These require separate applications, and the application process is usually in the spring. For more information, contact the specific department or program.

Students with additional questions about schoolwide scholarships should contact Sue O'Rourke, orourke@education.wisc.edu, 262-1173.

TEACH Grants

Students willing to teach in "high-need" teaching fields can receive TEACH grants of up to $4,000 per year for a total of $16,000 over their undergraduate academic career. High-need teaching fields are defined as mathematics, science, foreign language, bilingual education, special education, reading specialist, or in another field documented as "high-need" by the federal government and/or state or local education agency (LEA).

Students receiving TEACH grants must complete a service obligation of four years of teaching their high-need subject in a designated low-income school within their first eight years of teaching. "Low-income schools" are defined as public or private nonprofit elementary or secondary schools eligible for assistance under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. In Wisconsin over a thousand schools are designated as "low income."

TEACH grant applicants must attain certain academic eligibility criteria. For example, candidates must have scored minimally above the 75th percentile on a nationally normed admissions test or have earned a 3.25 minimum cumulative grade point average. TEACH grants are not need-based, so students may receive them without regard to financial background. Grant recipients must have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible.

Students should indicate their interest in the TEACH Grant program via their FAFSA.