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Educational Studies

DES admission requirements

Students wishing to pursue a teacher education program at UW-La Crosse may declare a teacher education major and be assigned an advisor in their program at any point in their career at UW-La Crosse.  

All teacher education majors must apply for and be accepted into their program in order to register for certain education courses, progress to a degree, and complete licensure requirements.  Students should consult with their academic advisor to determine the best time to apply.

Admission to some DES programs is competitive. Resources available limit the number of students admitted.  Not all student declaring a DES major and/or completing the application process are admitted to DES programs.  If you are not admitted during an application cycle, please contact your advisor to discuss next steps.

  • Applications are accepted via an online survey during the first 3 weeks of Fall and Spring semesters. 
  • A confirmation email will be sent to applicants when they successfully complete their application survey.
  • An admissions committee will meet to review applications and determine who will be accepted to the program.
  • Admission decisions will be sent to the applicants via e-mail by Friday of the eighth week of the semester. 
  • Admission decisions by programs are contingent upon criminal background check (CBC) clearance by the UWL Office of Field Experience.* 
  • In the case of an extenuating circumstance, students may request an extension to the deadline so that they may apply late.

* The WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) requires that candidates for admission to a teacher education, administration, or pupil services program successfully pass a criminal background check (CBC) as one criterion for admission. By applying for admission to one of these programs, candidates agree to provide the necessary personal information to UWL in order to initiate their CBC, and to complete their portion of the process prior to the deadline specified in their admission letter.  Teacher candidates are responsible for all costs associated with their criminal background check(s). 

Admissions Criteria for DES Programs:

Applicants must meet minimum criteria in order to apply. Please see SOE admission requirements in the UWL Undergraduate Catalog for more information.

Applications must be completed and submitted by 4:00 p.m. on the Friday of the third week of the fall or spring semester. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Admission decisions will be sent to applicants via e-mail no later than Friday of the eighth week of each semester. Students are required to successfully pass a criminal background check in order to be admitted to any teacher education program. Meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee admission. Admission to the School of Education is competitive, and some programs have limited capacity. 

Any applicant who changes between majors with a licensure track must reapply for admission to SOE. Readmission will be based on current admission criteria. Candidates who have paused their programming for more than one semester may need to reapply - see the SOE admission webpage for more details. Students may reapply to DES programs during any semester of their academic career at UWL as long as they meet minimum admission requirements.

Minimum eligibility requirements for application to DES programs:

  1.  Academic requirements:
    1. Sophomore standing
    2. Completion of EDS 203 with a grade of "C" or better
    3. Completion of EDS 206 with a grade of "C" or better
    4. Completion of EDS 308 with a grade of "C" or better
    5. Completion or concurrent enrollment in EDS 318
    6. Combined cumulative GPA (including transfer credits) of at least 2.75 (see below for requests for admission with a GPA waiver)
  2. Applicants must submit a writing statement (500 word limit) in response to the following prompt: "The globally responsive teacher appreciates and values human diversity, shows respect for learners' varied talents and perspectives, and commits to the pursuit of excellence for all learners."  Consider the following questions in the development of your response to the writing prompt:
    • What does this statement communicate about teaching?
      • Make a claim stating your position
      • Answer the question
      • Provide relevant background information
    • How would you identify evidence of the dispositions included in the statement? 
      • Provide examples and evidence
      • Connect evidence to your claim
      • Explain how your evidence supports your claim
    • How does this statement resonate with your beliefs about teaching or connect with the reason(s) you want to be a teacher?

Additional factors that will be considered in admissions decisions:

  1. Progress through and performance in professional course work: When there are more applications for admission than class size allow, the following factors may be considered in making admission decisions:
    1. Progress towards completing pre-field coursework
    2. Performance (grades) in EDS 203, EDS 206, and EDS 308
    3. Previous applications for admission
  2. Experience working with children: applicants will be asked to describe their experience working with children and to provide contact information for references. See "admission requirements" on the Department of Educational Studies website for details. Applicants are encouraged to seek out structured settings in which they are responsible for the planning and/or implementation of programming for children when possible, and to describe those experiences in their application.

Request for admission with a GPA waiver: 

Applicants who have significant extenuating circumstances that prevent them from meeting the GPA admission criterion may apply for admission with a GPA waiver. Candidates requesting admission with a GPA waiver should work with their advisor and submit a statement in their admissions application responding to the following prompts (500 word limit):

  • What factors contributed to your current cumulative GPA?
  • What support did you seek out to help you improve your coursework?
  • Moving forward, what are your plans for improving your GPA?
  • What are some special qualities or experiences you would bring to the classroom that we might not find with other applicants?

Applicants for admission with a GPA waiver must also provide contact information for one reference who can support their request and who can speak to their ability to be successful in their teacher education program. Academic advisors will also complete a brief survey regarding your academic progress. A request for a GPA waiver is not a guarantee of admission. Waivers will be considered depending on space availability, the nature of the request, and the likelihood for success in the program as evaluated by the admissions committee.


Last updated 12/8/24

Questions about admission requirements?

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Assistant Professor
185A Morris Hall

Specialty areas:

Special Education - Behavior Disorders

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports 

Early/Middle Childhood Literacy