Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

This graduate certificate program offers a unique opportunity for students interested in teaching in higher education to gain knowledge about teaching and learning, both generally and within their discipline. Prospective teachers venturing into today’s higher education environment would benefit from an understanding of teaching and learning theory, research, and effective practice. Successful instructors require many tools to teach, as well as the wisdom to know when and how to apply those tools. This wisdom comes from a critical, reflective understanding of the research and theory behind teaching and learning. The 15-credit certificate program is multi-disciplinary, drawing upon current coursework in Communication, the School of Education, and other disciplines that have teaching and learning courses in place.

Eligibility and Admission

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to admission, and must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average. Applicants with a graduate degree must have a minimum 3.00 graduate grade point average.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Credits and Courses

Required Courses
Core Courses: 6 credits from the following

Ad Ldsp 757 Principles and Foundations of Adult Education, 3 cr (offered every semester)
Ad Ldsp 687 Instructional Design and Teaching Strategies, 3 cr (offered every summer)
Ad Ldsp 900 Role of the Professoriate, 3 cr
CurrIns 774 College Teaching 3 cr (offered every year)

Practicum: (3 credits)
Teaching and Learning Practicum (COMMUN 998 or AD LDSP 750, every semester). These credits should not be taken before completion of at least 9 credits of coursework.

Elective Courses (6 credits)
Teaching and Learning (General)

Ad Ldsp 587 Serving Multicultural and Special Needs Learners, 3 cr (offered every year)
Ad Ldsp 707 Using Technology with Adult Learners, 3 cr (offered every spring)
Ad Ldsp 737 Distance Education for Adults, 3 cr (offered every fall)
Ad Ldsp 827 Seminar in Adult and Organizational Learning, 3 cr (offered every fall)
Commun 727 Seminar in Communication and E-Learning, 3 cr (offered every other year)
Commun 827 Seminar in Instructional Communication, 3 cr (offered every other year)
Commun 837 Instructional Communication in the College Classroom, 3 cr (every other spring)
Ed Psy 631 Cognition: Learning, Problem Solving and Thinking. 3 cr

Any core course not taken as a required core course

Teaching and Learning (Discipline Specific)

Students can count discipline-specific teaching and learning courses from their own department as electives or as one of their core courses (3 credits) with the permission of the Certificate Coordinator. Examples of such courses include:

English 701 The Teaching of College Composition, 4 cr (offered every fall)
English 706 Seminar in Professional Writing Theory and Pedagogy, 3 cr (offered every other year)
MAFLL 700 Language Teaching Methods, 3 cr (offered every fall)
Nurs 705 Instructional Strategies for Patient Education, 3 cr ( offered every other spring)
Hist 716 Pedagogical and Professional Issues in History, 3 cr (offered every other year)
BMS 909/HCA 909 Guided Teaching Experience in Health Sciences, 3 cr (offered every year)
OccThpy 900 Teaching, Learning & Educational Leadership in the Health Sciences, 3 cr (offered every year)
Physics 610 The Art and Science of Teaching Physics, 1 cr
Nurs 752 Curriculum Development in Nursing Education, 3 cr
Nurs 751 Teaching in Practice Disciplines, 3 cr
Nurs 731 Practicum and Seminar in Health Professional Education, 3 cr

Successful completion of this certificate is NOT a teaching license or credential for K-12 instruction.

Grade Point Average Requirement
A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Transfer Credit
No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. Courses will be considered for transfer into the certificate program only if the applicant can provide ample, acceptable evidence that the course taken is substantially the same as one of the five courses that constitute the certificate. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in Ph.D. programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.