Late afternoon sunlight falls on the iconic red doors of the recently renovated Education Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Thematic VISP Track: Educational Policy Studies

The Department of Educational Policy Studies (EPS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is consistently ranked in the top 4 for Education Policy in the nation according to US News & World Report. Our department pursues research and teaching that is intended to deepen and expand our knowledge and understanding of educational policy and practice, past and present, at local, national, and international levels. The department’s faculty and students investigate both school- and non-school-based education policies, movements, outcomes, and dilemmas–as well as the social forces that shape them– using modes of inquiry associated with various scholarly disciplines, including history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, economics and political economy, and policy analysis, as well as international and comparative education.

Program Overview

The Department of Educational Policy Studies welcomes visiting international students to our specialized thematic track program. Students will take 12 credits (usually 4 courses) per semester and learn about complex and consequential debates in educational policy at the local, national, and international level. Students will also receive advice/mentoring on applications to world-class M.A. & Ph.D. programs in the field of Education.

Student Support

From the time you apply to the end of your stay, the VISP staff is here to assist you. As a VISP participant, you have complete access to all of UW-Madison’s academic and student support services, such as libraries, computer labs, clubs, and sports facilities. You may also participate in VISP-sponsored social and cultural events. Upon completion of your studies you will receive an official UW-Madison transcript.

Program Eligibility

Participants must meet the VISP eligibility criteria for admission into this program. At this time the EPS Thematic Track only admits students at the undergraduate level.

Available Terms

Students can participate in the fall and/or spring semester.

Academics & Course Offerings

Faculty from Educational Policy Studies will advise students on their course selection and program plan. Participants will engage critically, thoughtfully, and ethically in difficult educational policy debates in Wisconsin, the United States, and the world.

Representative courses include:

  • History of American Education
  • History of Higher Education in Europe and America
  • Comparative History of Childhood and Adolescence
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality in American Education
  • Education and Public Policy
  • Urban School Policy
  • Economics and Education
  • Early Childhood Development and Public Policy
  • Immigration and Education
  • Human Rights and Education
  • Globalization and Education
  • Education in Developing Countries
  • Gender and Education
  • Rethinking “After-School” Education
  • Qualitative Research in Education
  • Mixed Methods in Educational Policy Research
  • Language Politics, Ethnicity, and Education

Cost of Attendance

Estimated cost of attendance information is available on the VISP website.

Application Instructions

Submit your VISP application and in your essay please include: “I am applying for the Educational Policy Studies VISP track.”

Questions? Please contact the VISP coordinators.

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