communication-disorders

The department offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders. An additional program in the department leads to the Au.D. in audiology. The graduate program provides the opportunity for study in the areas of audiology, speech–language pathology, hearing science, language science, and speech science. The purpose of the graduate program is to prepare clinicians, researchers, and teachers who possess a solid foundation in both the theoretical and applied aspects of the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.

The M.S. program has two tracks. The Speech-Language Pathology track1 is a two-year professional program designed to prepare students for clinical work. It is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association. At the master's level, supervised diagnostic and therapy experiences with children and adults are provided in a variety of on- and off-campus clinical settings. This program meets the academic and clinical-practicum requirements for clinical certification set by the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA). Opportunities are also available for pursing a nonclinical program at the master's level.

The Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing track1 is a non-clinical degree. Most students complete this degree as a first step toward a Ph.D.

The program is open to individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree and who meet the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School and the department. Entering students who do not have undergraduate majors in communicative disorders will typically be required to take prerequisite course work, which may lengthen the time require to earn a graduate degree.

Apply Online

Fall Application Deadline: January 15

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All potential master’s degree applicants must meet the Graduate School’s admission requirements, as well as department-specific requirements.

GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS

UW-Madison Graduate School Requirements for Admission

  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (4.0 = A); however, the students we accept into the program typically have much higher GPAs

PROGRAM PREREQUISITES

You must complete the following undergraduate courses before beginning graduate course work:

CS&D 201 Speech Science3
CS&D 202 Normal Aspects of Hearing3
CS&D 240 Language Development in Children and Adolescents3
CS&D 315 Phonetics and Phonological Development3
CS&D 318 Voice, Craniofacial and Fluency Disorders3
CS&D 320 Introduction to Audiology3
CS&D 371 Pre-Clinical Observation of Children and Adults3
CS&D 425 Auditory Rehabilitation3
CS&D 440 Child Language Disorders, Assessment and Intervention3

In addition to the above courses, you will need a course in each of the following areas:

  • Biological sciences
  • Physical sciences (chemistry or physics)
  • Statistics
  • Social/behavioral sciences

The American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA) standards now specify that a course in each of these areas is required for ASHA certification. For additional details, visit ASHA’s website Standard IV-A.

If you choose to complete prerequisites at UW–Madison before applying for graduate study, you must apply to the Capstone Program. These courses typically can be completed within two semesters. Equivalent courses from another university or department will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

These letters should address your potential for academic success in graduate school. At least two should come from instructors who have knowledge of your academic performance. The third may come from a clinical supervisor, employer, or other individual who has knowledge of your academic potential and likelihood for success in graduate school. No more than three. 

REASONS FOR GRADUATE STUDY

This is an opportunity for you to highlight experiences, related skills, and personal attributes which make you an exceptional candidate. 1-3 pages, single-spaced.

APPLICATION FEE

UW–Madison charges a non-refundable $75 application fee that must be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa) or debit card. In addition to the $75 application fee, non U.S. citizens will be charged a $6 international document processing fee. 

There are also limited application fee grants available. Check the UW–Madison Graduation Application Fee grants to see if you qualify. Please note that fee grant applications must be submitted before you application and can take two weeks to process so you should plan to submit fee grant applications by December 1st with consideration of holidays.

CV OR RESUME

Include honors and awards

TRANSCRIPTS

Upload a copy of your unofficial transcripts. These show grades earned at every college or university you have attended, including study abroad. If admitted, the Graduate School will request official transcripts.

SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION

OFFICIAL GRE SCORES 

Use institution code 1846. You may take the test more than once; we will consider the scores from your best testing date. Only official scores, submitted directly from ETS, from within the last five years and submitted by the application deadline will be accepted. 

OFFICIAL TOEFL SCORES

 If your native language is not English, or your undergraduate instruction was not in English, a TOEFL score is required. Use institution code 1846. You may take the test more than once; we will consider the scores from your best testing date. Only official scores, submitted directly from ETS, from within the last five years and submitted by the application deadline will be accepted.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

These letters should address your potential for academic success in graduate school. At least two should come from instructors who have knowledge of your academic performance. The third may come from a clinical supervisor, employer, or other individual who has knowledge of your academic potential and likelihood for success in graduate school. No more than three

REASONS FOR GRADUATE STUDY

This is an opportunity for you to highlight experiences, related skills, and personal attributes which make you an exceptional candidate. 1-3 pages, single-spaced.

APPLICATION FEE

UW–Madison charges a nonrefundable $75 application fee that must be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa) or debit card. In addition to the $75 application fee, non U.S. citizens will be charged a $6 international document processing fee.

There are also limited application fee grants available. Check the UW–Madison Graduation Application Fee grants to see if you qualify. Please note that fee grant applications must be submitted before you application and can take two weeks to process so you should plan to submit fee grant applications by December 1st with consideration of holidays.

CV OR RESUME

Include honors and awards

TRANSCRIPTS

Upload a copy of your unofficial transcripts. These show grades earned at every college or university you have attended, including study abroad. If admitted, the Graduate School will request official transcripts.

SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION

OFFICIAL GRE SCORES 

Use institution code 1846. You may take the test more than once; we will consider the scores from your best testing date. Only official scores, submitted directly from ETS, from within the last five years and submitted by the application deadline will be accepted. 

OFFICIAL TOEFL SCORES

 If your native language is not English, or your undergraduate instruction was not in English, a TOEFL score is required. Use institution code 1846. You may take the test more than once; we will consider the scores from your best testing date. Only official scores, submitted directly from ETS, from within the last five years and submitted by the application deadline will be accepted. 

Notable Advice

  • Submit all materials one week prior to deadline. Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • File your application early. Do not wait until you can gather all your materials. It is better to file early and send additional items as they become available.
  • Track your application status. After submission of your application, you will receive a link to a personal web page where you can track your application status. We update this page as we receive your materials, usually within two weeks of receipt.
  • For more information, review the UW–Madison Graduate School “Steps to Apply” and “Admissions FAQ”.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Financial assistance, sometimes available to graduate students in communication sciences and disorders, consists of scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, and project and research assistant positions. Financial assistance is very limited and varies from year to year. Students who are considering applying for financial aid should contact the department for further information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement Speech–Language Pathology track: 36 credits

Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing track: 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement Speech–Language Pathology track: 36 credits

Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing track: 30 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Speech–Language Pathology track: All but 3 credits of the minimum 36 credits for the degree must be taken in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).

Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing track: All of the minimum number of credits (30) must be taken in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the University's Course Guide (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Required Courses

Speech–Language Pathology Track1

Year 1, Fall Semester
CS&D 503 Neural Mechanisms of Speech, Hearing and Language3
CS&D 703 Language and Learning Disorders of Children3
CS&D 706 Management and Assessment of Voice Disorders3
CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders2
Year 1, Spring Semester
CS&D 704 Acquired Language and Cognitive-Communication Disorders in Adults3
CS&D 705 Motor Speech Disorders/Augmentative and Alternative Communication3
CS&D 707 Swallowing Disorders2-3
CS&D 709 Language Development and Disorders in School Age Populations: School Methods and Procedures3
CS&D 713 Introduction to Medical Speech Pathology1
CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders2
Summer Semester
CS&D 713 Introduction to Medical Speech Pathology1
CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders2
CS&D 424 Sign Language I (elective)2
Year 2, Fall Semester
CS&D 708 Fluency and Phonological Disorders3
CURRIC 720 School Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders5
or CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders
CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders (Advanced Practicum, optional)1-5
Year 2, Spring Semester
CS&D 752 Capstone in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Integration of Clinical and Research Methods3
CURRIC 720 School Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders (Medical Site)5
or CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders
CS&D 790 Practicum in Communicative Disorders (Advanced Practicum, optional)1-5
Electives
CS&D 434 Sign Language II2

Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing (non-clinical) Track1

A minimum of 36 credits and a thesis is required. While the curriculum is individually designed for the specific student, it includes many of the same academic courses as in the Speech-Langauge Pathology Track curriculum above.

Because an emphasis on Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing does not include clinical practice, CURRIC 720, CS&D 790, and CS&D 713 are not part of the curriculum.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

No prior coursework from other institutions is allowed.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Up to 6 credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree. If the courses are numbered 500 and above, the credits may be counted toward the overall graduate credit requirement; if the courses are numbered 700 or above, they may count toward both the minimum graduate degree requirement and minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement.

UW–Madison University Special

No prior coursework from UW–Madison University Special career is allowed.

Probation

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

14 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Other

Ph.D. students typically receive funding in the form of research assistantships and work in their advisor's research lab.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. (Foundations of Practice) Possess foundational knowledge about basic human communication and swallowing processes.

2. (Foundations of Practice) Identify sources and assemble evidence pertaining to questions or challenges in communication sciences and disorders.

3. (Foundations of Practice) Articulate and critique the theories, research methods, and approaches in speech-language pathology.

4. (Foundations of Practice) Integrate research principles into evidence-based clinical practice.

5. (Foundations of Practice) Apply research findings in the provision of patient care.

6. (Foundations of Practice) Communicate complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner.

7. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Conduct screening and prevention procedures.

8. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Perform chart review and collect case history from patient interviews and/or relevant others.

9. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Select appropriate evaluation instruments/procedures.

10. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Administer and score diagnostic tests correctly.

11. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Adapt evaluation procedures to meet patient needs.

12. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Possess knowledge of etiologies and characteristics for each communication and swallowing disorder.

13. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Interpret and formulate diagnosis from test results, history, and other behavioral observations.

14. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Make appropriate recommendations for intervention.

15. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Complete administrative functions and documentation necessary to support evaluation.

16. (Prevention, Identification and Assessment) Make appropriate recommendations for patient referrals.

17. (Intervention) Develop appropriate treatment plans with measurable and achievable goals.

18. (Intervention) Collaborate with clients/patients and relevant others in the planning process.

19. (Intervention) Implement treatment plans.

20. (Intervention) Select and use appropriate materials/instrumentation.

21. (Intervention) Sequence tasks to meet objectives.

22. (Intervention) Provide appropriate introduction/explanation of tasks.

23. (Intervention) Measure and evaluate patients' performance and progress.

24. (Intervention) Use appropriate models, prompts, or cues.

25. (Intervention) Adapt treatment session to meet individual patient needs.

26. (Intervention) Complete administrative functions and documentation necessary to support treatment.

27. (Intervention) Identify and refer patients for services as appropriate.

28. (Professional Conduct) Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

29. (Professional Conduct) Apply skills for life-long learning.

30. (Professional Conduct) Apply intercultural knowledge and competence in their practice.

31. (Professional Conduct) Demonstrate teamwork and problem solving.

32. (Professional Conduct) Possess knowledge of contemporary professional issues and advocacy.

33. (Professional Conduct) Communicate effectively, recognizing the needs, values, preferred mode of communication, and cultural/linguistic background of the patient, family, caregiver, and relevant others.

34. (Professional Conduct) Provide counseling and supportive guidance regarding communication and swallowing disorders to patients, family, caregivers, and relevant others.

Information about faculty and staff can be found on the program's website.

Accreditation

Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language-Pathology

Accreditation Status: Accredited. Next Accreditation Review: 2019.

Certification/Licensure

American Speech–Language–Hearing Association

Praxis Pass Rate

Year of Exam UW-Madison Graduates: All Attempts National: All Attempts  
2016-2017 100% Not Available
2015-2016 100% Not Available
2014-2015 100% Not Available
2013-2014 100% Not Available