FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Main Office

Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education
School of Education
Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall, Rm. 431
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.5970
Fax: 608/263.5970

Email: rpseinfo@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
  1. How can I learn about Master’s and Ph.D. level requirements in my program?

    One easy way is to check the "Programs" tab at the departmental website. Setting a meeting with your advisor is another way to clarify the requirements as you enter the program.

  2. How do I obtain internet access?
    To obtain internet access through the UW-Madison you need to download the WiscWorld software folder. You may also access the internet via
    campus wireless services.

  3. How do I register for classes?

    UW-Madison has a computer-based registration system, accessible through the My UW-Madison website, a secure, easy-to-use, web-based environment that provides a personalized gateway to the campus services most important to you. You gain access to the My UW-Madison website when you activate your NetID and

    To register for courses, you need to follow the prompts from the University’s homepage to establish a myUW account. Once you’ve established this account, registration is available via the “Academics” tab at the My UW-Madison website – see the “Student Center” in the right-hand column. A timetable of courses is likewise found under the “Academics” tab on the same site.

    With graduate level courses it is often necessary to receive prior approval before registering for a class. You must meet with your advisor and then speak with Virginia Waddick (Room 423) so she can enter an authorization into the registration system. For classes in other departments, you must contact the professor teaching that course directly.

  4. What facilities are available for RPSE graduate students?

    Office space: All Ph.D. students and teaching/project assistants will be assigned a desk at 1000 Bascom Mall. Typically desks are shared by two students. See Ann Paremski (room 431) for both office and desk keys.

    Computer access: There are two computers for doctoral students on the fourth floor (rooms 461 and 457). To access the room, you must be a Ph.D. student, teaching assistant, or project assistant.

    Mailbox: As a doctoral student/graduate assistant you will have a mailbox on the fourth floor next to Room 461. Boxes are usually shared by desk-mates.

    Graduate Student Lounge: The Graduate Student Lounge (3rd Floor, Education Building) can be accessed with your key card. Please see Tammi Pikkala Matthews (room 377).

    Copy machines: Copy machines are available in the Memorial Library and all other campus libraries for personal use. The departmental copy machine is restricted to staff, faculty, and specific project assistants for departmental use only.

  5. How do I find out about TA/PA job vacancies in RPSE?
    RPSE teaching, project and research assistantship openings are posted on our opportunities page, on the bulletin board beside the elevator on fourth floor of the RPSE building, and in the student lounge in room 433. Additionally, the UW Student Job Center provides a daily listing of both university-wide and non-university job opportunities. Job openings in the School of Education may also be found on the bulletin board by the elevators on the first floor of the Educational Sciences Building (on West Johnson Street).
  6. What are the basic requirements someone would need to meet to be considered for a graduate assistantship in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education?
    The basic requirements someone would need to meet in order to be considered for a graduate assistantship within the department can be found in the RPSE Graduate Assistant Policies and Procedures.
  7. How do I order an official transcript?

    You may order your transcript or track an existing order on the Office of the Registrar website.

  8. What health benefits are available to me?

    If you have a teaching or project assistantship of 33.3% or more, you are entitled to full health benefits. You will receive a booklet explaining numerous health insurance plans with your appointment letter. Several benefits seminars designed to introduce new graduate assistants to UW Madison’s benefit package (e.g., health insurance) are held in late August/early September. Please see the “New Employee Benefits Seminars Graduate Assistants” flyers.

    You must submit the application form to Department Administorator, Jenni Hart (room 431B) within 30 days of employment. If you want your health insurance to start on September 1, you must have the application submitted to the departmental office (room 431B) by August 31. The monthly cost of for health insurance will vary, depending on the health care plan you choose. lease note: Premiums are paid two months in advance. Therefore, initial deductions from your salary probably will occur about two months before coverage begins. If the initial deduction cannot occur that far in advance, double or triple deductions may be required initially to make premium payments current.P

    If you are not a teaching or project assistant with an appointment of 33.3% or more, you may wish to purchase theStudent Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). You can also contact University Health Services (1552 University Avenue) at 608/265-5600 for more information.

  9. Are there training requirements for TAs?
    New teaching assistants are required to complete a minimum of eight hours of training to aid them in their teaching duties. The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, in conjunction with the School of Education will provide this training on post-secondary teaching. In addition, all TAs are required to attend a training session on diversity, discrimination, and harassment that is coordinated by the Equity and Diversity Resource Center.
  10. As a TA or PA, when will I be paid?
    If you are a Teaching or Project Assistant during the academic year, you are paid on the first of each month (beginning October 1st and ending on June 1st for teaching assistants; beginning September 1st and ending on June 1st for project assistants). During the summer, pay dates vary widely and depend upon the type and length of your appointment. Contact Jenni Hart for any questions about payroll.
  11. What is the TAA?
    The Teaching Assistants' Association (TAA) is the union of graduate employees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Every two years the TAA negotiates a contract that sets pay, benefits, working conditions, and the grievance procedure. The TAA is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO. You can become a member by signing a membership card. Everyone (members or not) who benefits from the contract (all TAs and PAs) pays 1.2% of their salary toward the cost of running the union and bargaining a contract (rent, equipment, staff salaries). If you are a member, you pay union dues; if you are not a member, it's called a "maintenance-of-membership" fee. The difference is that when you're a member, you have the right to vote in union meetings or union elections and participate in determining the direction of the union. Check the Teaching Assistants' Association websitefor more information about the TAA.
  12. How do I reenter into the major?
    For information about reentry into the major as an undergraduate student, please visit the Reentering Students page. For information about reentry into the major as a graduate student, please visit the UW-Madison graduate school page.
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