Become a Teacher

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Considered among the best in the country, the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education educator preparation programs emphasize academic rigor, multicultural and global competence, and extensive supervised experiences in the field.

Our programs prepare students to be leaders who work in diverse schools across Wisconsin, the nation, and the world. Our graduates are committed to high-quality, culturally responsive instruction that serves every student.

Steps to Becoming a Teacher

1. Coursework

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Teacher preparation at UW–Madison means taking courses from nationally recognized faculty and staff with classmates who are passionate, committed to social justice, and highly capable. You will have the opportunity to learn about pedagogy and learning, curriculum and lesson planning, and inclusive classrooms where all students can excel. Our coursework, whether at the undergraduate or gradate level, will prepare you to be a competent, critically reflective educator prepared to work toward equity in diverse and multicultural settings.

2. Field experiences

UW–Madison student teacher in a classroom assisting a studentField experiences provide opportunities for future teachers to get hands-on experience in authentic school settings and practice applying the content learned in coursework. All UW–Madison teacher preparation programs require multiple field experiences across a variety of settings to foster growth over time. Field experiences are an integral and impactful component of educator preparation at UW–Madison. They allow our students to hone their instructional skills and learn from master teachers. Each program’s culminating field experience is a full-time semester (about 18 weeks) of “student teaching.” Field experiences are augmented by support, feedback, and mentorship provided by field supervisors who have experience working as a teacher in your program area.

3. Exams

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Completing a teacher preparation program also involves demonstrating your preparedness to teach via standardized assessments. Exams and requirements vary by discipline, but all students completing their first teacher certification program in Wisconsin are required to take the edTPA, which is a performance assessment typically completed during student teaching.

Elementary, special education, reading teacher, and reading specialist students are required to take the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test. World language education students must meet an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview requirement and must take and pass the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT).

4. Apply for a license

UW–Madison student in a classroom completing their student teaching experience to become a teacherAfter successfully completing all coursework, field experiences, and required exams, you will be ready to apply for a Wisconsin educator license. All Wisconsin teaching licenses require at least a bachelor’s degree, so undergraduate students cannot apply for license until their bachelor’s degree is conferred. Our staff will guide you through the application process for a license.


5. Start your career

career center informational flyerOur School of Education Career Center is eager to assist you in finding a teaching position that is right for you. And as a UW–Madison alum, you will be joining a large network of teachers making a difference in the lives of future generations. We hope you’ll join this amazing profession!

For a list of all Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) approved programs please see DPI Approved Educator Preparation Program.