Application Evaluation

Graduate applications are judged on the basis of previous academic record, other experiences, letters of recommendation, personal statement/statement of purpose, and a writing sample. The admissions process in the Department of Educational Policy Studies is the responsibility of the Admissions Committee. The committee will direct applications from qualified candidates to a faculty member in the department whose interests are similar to the applicant’s. A temporary advisor must be willing to accept temporary responsibility for the student’s graduate program. If no temporary advisor can be found, the candidate cannot be admitted to graduate study. If a faculty member agrees to serve as temporary advisor and the applicant is judged qualified for admission, the student is notified that the department will recommend admission to the Graduate School. Formal notification of admission comes from the Graduate School.

Students who hope to study for a PhD should apply for the PhD program, whether they have an MA or not. Only students who want a terminal MA should apply for the MA program.

The personal statement/statement of purpose should address past education and work experience, especially as it pertains to the intended research, the proposed dissertation project, and the applicant’s reasons for interest in and fit with the department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

All applicants must include a substantial sample of academic writing. For applicants who have completed a master’s degree, the master’s thesis or equivalent paper (e.g. “qualifying paper”) must be submitted. For applicants wishing to apply directly to the PhD program, the EPS faculty will consider this work when determining admission at the MA or PhD level. For applicants currently working on a master’s thesis or equivalent paper, that material may be submitted for consideration when it is completed. For students holding a BA, the writing sample might include sections from an undergraduate thesis or seminar paper, or a course paper. Applicants may also submit an alternative writing sample (e.g., solely authored published article, solely authored research report or sections of a research report). For students who are admitted, the Admissions Committee will, in consultation with an applicant’s prospective advisor, recommend admission to either the EPS master’s program or the EPS doctoral program.