Earn your BS in Community Engagement & Education (CEED), plus a Master’s in Cognitive & Developmental Sciences (CDS) in just 5 years!

The CEED-CDS Accelerated Master’s Degree program is designed to meet the academic and professional goals of students who are interested in pursuing a non-licensure degree that allows them to make a lasting impact in the community.

Through the BS in CEED, students prepare for careers in community-based organizations, foster care agencies, childcare centers, schools, and other community and educational institutions. The MS in CDS provides additional training for students to have greater impact in their work with youth and families in these environments by helping them understand how children learn and grow, and how they develop within the context of their families, peers, schools, and other relationships and institutions.

Graduates of this accelerated Master’s degree program will be well prepared for jobs in community-based education or community based learning and development for individuals, families, and groups.

Program Information Session

Why Choose This Program?

  • Save time – Total time to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree is 5 years, rather than 6.
  • Save money – Pay undergraduate tuition instead of graduate tuition for the first six credits.
  • More support. Students admitted to the Accelerated Program have undergrad and graduate faculty advisors to help them succeed.
  • Expertise. Work closely with internationally known faculty who have a wide range of research interests.


Graduates from this program have insight into the cognitive, emotional, and social changes in children, adolescents, and adults, especially in community contexts and contexts of both formal and informal learning.

As a non-licensing program, graduates have flexible and varied career paths including:

  • Administrators of Preschool & Childcare centers
  • Program development, education, and evaluation specialists or consultants for non-profit and community organizations
  • Childhood education specialist
  • Human resource development specialists
  • Youth and family support specialists or services coordinator
  • Parent educators
  • Immigrant family support service coordinators
  • Education researcher

Students interested in research or academic careers will develop a strong foundation to apply to a doctoral program.



Program Admission Criteria

Continuing/Transfer Students
  • Declared undergraduate major in CEED.
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • Approximately 36 credits or more remaining for BS degree (you must be admitted to the Accelerated Master’s Program prior to taking courses that will count toward the Master’s Degree, between 69 and 105 credits or junior year).
  • Advisor approval from the Ed Policy (CEED) department.
High School Graduates
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00 for all high school work.
  • Admitted in good standing to UWM.

Application Process

1. Start by meeting with your undergraduate academic advisor to determine your eligibility. Ideally, you should meet with your advisor as early as possible to ensure you have room in your undergraduate program to begin taking courses toward the graduate degree after you have taken 36 undergraduate credits (third year student). If your advisor feels you can proceed with the application, they will submit a request to change/add a program, plan, or subplan (depending on your major) which will be forwarded to the program coordinators.

2. Submit an email to apply to the Accelerated Master’s Degree program coordinators (below) with these required materials:

  • Transcript (unofficial okay); minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (entering first year students high school students can submit high school transcripts)
  • Personal statement (at least 500 words, no more than 2 pages, explaining your personal and professional interest in the particular field of study and reasons for pursuing an accelerated degree)
  • Two recommendations: Two individuals familiar with your academic work should complete the Accelerated Program recommendation form. Any letters of recommendation are optional, but must be accompanied by the recommendation form. You may download a copy that can be completed and emailed here or send this link to your referees: https://tinyurl.com/CEED-CDSrec

3. If your Accelerated Degree application is approved, you will be notified and the program/plan/subplan will be matriculated in PAWS. All students in this Accelerated Master’s program will be expected to attend an informational meeting with the full program at the start of every semester.

4. Continue with your undergraduate coursework until it is time to register for two graduate-level courses (six credits) in your senior year. For courses with U/G status, you must follow the syllabus and grading scale designated for graduate students. NOTE: In order to earn graduate credit for these courses, you must receive a grade of “B” or better.

5. Upon completion of the BS degree credit requirements, apply for BS degree completion to have your undergraduate degree conferred. (The MS degree cannot be conferred if your BS has not already been conferred.)

6. At the beginning of your last undergraduate semester, you need to formally apply to the Graduate School. Students already in the accelerated program will complete the application for the “Accelerated Degree program” in Panthera.



Program Information

For general information or questions about the program, contact:

Dr. Jacqueline Nguyen
Program Coordinator, CDS

Dr. Aaria Troiano
Program Coordinator, CEED