The Education Studies major addresses urgent questions related to education policy and practice both domestically and globally, past and present. Majors will become well-informed leaders who can engage critically, thoughtfully, and ethically in the educational policy debates in Wisconsin, the U.S., and the world. The program will allow you to study debates concerning education-related social disparities and the pursuit of equal educational opportunities for all.
A comparative perspective and intercultural awareness are crucial to developing the critical perspectives fostered in this major. We therefore encourage you to pursue educational experiences outside of the University of Wisconsin-Madison through study away and study abroad. There are lots of good reasons to do so. The programs recommended on this advising page were selected in cooperation with International Academic Programs (IAP) these course offerings, volunteer opportunities, and experiential learning activities provide our students an opportunity to analyze educational inequality and social justice in the U.S. and around the world. All of the programs recommended here include courses that count directly towards the Education Studies major.
Information for Prospective Majors
You may choose to study abroad or study away at any point after your first semester of your first year at UW-Madison. We strongly encourage you to consider study abroad/study away in your sophomore or junior year, in particular. Please note that some programs require sophomore or junior standing.
It’s never too early to start planning your study abroad or study away experience. When you have some free time, visit the Study Abroad Resource Center (3rd floor, Red Gym) and mark your calendar for any Study Abroad Fairs you can attend. Meet with advisors at IAP to learn more about your study abroad program options and contact your advisor to see how your time abroad can fit into your academic plan. You could also check out the International Internship Program, or you might consider the Wisconsin in Washington, DC program.
Major Course Considerations
Students who major in Education Studies must take the three core courses at UW-Madison:
- Ed Pol 300 School and Society,
- Ed Pol 340 Comparative Education,
- and Ed Pol 412 History of American Education.
While you may benefit from taking these courses before you study abroad or away, you are not required to do so.
Other than these core classes, majors take 4 depth classes and 3 breadth classes. While studying abroad or away you may choose to take:
- up to two of your four depth requirements,
- and up to two of your four breadth requirements
Two additional depth classes must be taken from the offerings in the Department of Educational Policy Studies, and students must take an Education Psychology course at UW-Madison to fulfill your final breadth requirement.
You are encouraged to consult with faculty or School of Education Academic Services if you wish to take courses whose titles are not listed as breadth or depth requirements but whose content focuses on education studies or educational policy.
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as an Education Studies Major or Certificate Candidate
There is no best time to study abroad as an Education Studies major or certificate candidate. While completing some of your core classes (300, 340, and 412) before you go will give you a foundation in the field and help you compare topics from those classes to what you learn abroad, doing so is not required. If you are also majoring in another discipline, you will ultimately want to determine what works best for both of your degree programs by consulting with your academic advisors as early as possible in your time at UW-Madison.
Each study abroad program has specific requirements or prerequisites for participation, so it is best to consult with IAP early as you select your preferred program and decide when to go.
Questions to Ask
Your Academic Advisor
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Which of my required courses must be completed on UW-Madison’s campus?
- How many electives may I take outside of my major?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- Are there volunteering or community-based learning opportunities in the programs I’ve identified?
- What is the class structure like abroad, including the structure for exams and grading?
- Does the host university have requirements for sophomore or junior standing? In other words, do I need to be sure I’ve already taken certain courses at UW-Madison in order to take the courses that interest me while studying abroad?
- Will I be taking classes with host nationals, other international students, or other U.S. students?
- Does this program have a homestay option for me to get to know the local language and cultural practices better?
International Academic Programs (IAP) is committed to offering a variety of quality study abroad experiences at different levels of cost, as well support in applying to a number of scholarship opportunities. Check-out IAP’s pages on Funding Study Abroad and Scholarships. The earlier students plan, the more options and opportunities they have for funding and support.
Many internal and external scholarships are available for study abroad and study away experiences. For example, scholarships like the Lois E. Hack Award support a School of Education student in pursuing study abroad, the Fund for Education Abroad is a national scholarship for students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population, and there are also scholarships for studying in particular regions of the world such as the Freeman-Asia Scholarship for study in Japan. The UW Global Gateway Program supports students with a submitted FAFSA and an expected family contribution of $12,000 or less to pursue summer-study abroad program and/or fellowships for semester/academic year programs.
IAP also provides services such as free passport photos and a pre-departure loan program that assists in covering costs such as program deposits and airfare.
Identifying Programs That Are Right for You
Although you can consider any study abroad program that interests you, here we identify programs we recommend for a student in the Education Studies major. We include programs in diverse geographic contexts and with distinct foci within the field of Education. If your particular interests are not represented here, we encourage you to check with IAP for other programs.
The following are study abroad programs focused around themes that can be directly related to Education Studies. These programs may include internships, fieldwork or directed study opportunities:
Argentina: IFSA Butler Buenos Aires
Argentina: CIEE Summer Community Public Health
Chile: SIT Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment
China: CIEE Sustainable Development
Colombia: UW Conflict, Human Rights and Education in Colombia
Cuba: Exploring Cuba through Art
Jordan: SIT Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action
Nepal: SIT Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya
Rwanda: SIT Post Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding
Senegal: UMN MSID International Development in Senegal
South Africa: SIT Community Health and Social Policy
Tanzania: UW Health, Education, & Tanzanian Culture
Thailand: UW Hmong Studies in Thailand
United States: UW Wisconsin in Washington
The following are study abroad programs that offer opportunities to enroll in education coursework with local students from the host country:
Australia: Monash University Exchange
Denmark: DIS Copenhagen
England: University of Leeds Exchange
England: University of Southampton Exchange
France: UW in Paris
Netherlands: University of Amsterdam Exchange
Japan: Waseda University Exchange
Scotland: University of Glasgow Exchange