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 Ph.D. program provides relevant classroom and laboratory experiences for the scholar–researcher interested in communication processes and communicative disorders. A student's academic program will consist of course work within the department and in related areas such as psychology, linguistics, statistics, computer science, and education. Students completing the program will be prepared for careers as university professors, laboratory researchers, and senior clinicians.

Individual programs can be designed for students who wish to pursue professional training/clinical certification (in either speech–language pathology or audiology) and the Ph.D. degree. Such students follow a modified sequence of course work, clinical training, and research experience in order to satisfy all academic and certification requirements in five to six years.

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 1st 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All potential doctoral 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

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 1 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

Fill out the supplemental application that is found in the online graduate school 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 statusAfter 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 54 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 54 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement At least 75% of the minimum number of credits (54) must be taken in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
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 Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

Required Courses

The plan of study must encompass an area of specialization chosen from speech pathology, audiology, language disorders, and normal aspects of speech, hearing and language. Although there are no specific course requirements for the major, the study plan should be comprehensive in scope and should be tailored according to the student's research and academic needs. Students must also satisfy a core requirement by taking the following seminar/courses:

  1. Grant writing (3 credits)
  2. Research methodology (3 credits). This may include an independent study/directed readings course or a course from outside of the department focused broadly on something related to research methods, depending on the particular student interest.
  3. Professional seminar (prosem) (4 semesters; 8 credits)
  4. Teaching methods (1 credit or audit).

For the 2016- 2017 academic year, students will complete the proseminar requirement by registering for a 2 credit independent study each semester with their individual academic advisor, who will be responsible for assigning a prosem grade. Student are expected to attend the weekly prosem lectures and attend any doctoral student discussion groups associated with the weekly lectures.

The teaching requirement can be met by taking a 1 -credit seminar taught within or outside

the department, a 1-credit independent study with the advisor that involves lecturing or developing course materials or student projects, or an independent study with the major advisor that involves reading and discussing scholarly writings that concern teaching. The form of the teaching credit should be discussed with the major advisor and must have the advisor's approval.

All doctoral students are expected to become proficient in statistical methods. Students are required to have 9 credits of statistical methods at a minimum, which must also include a course on research methods or experimental design. Many students satisfy this requirement by taking courses in the Educational Psychology department or the Statistics department. For instance, a rigorous and worthwhile statistics sequence could be STAT/​F&W ECOL/​HORT  571 Statistical Methods for Bioscience I and STAT/​F&W ECOL/​HORT  572 Statistical Methods for Bioscience II plus an experimental design class, such as ED PSYCH 762 Introduction to the Design of Educational Experiments.

Ph.D. Core Course Offerings
CS&D 900 Seminar-Speech Science (4 semesters, 2 cr. each semester)2
CS&D 900 Seminar-Speech Science (Grant Writing)3
CS&D 999 Independent Studies (Teaching Methods)1 or audit

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

With program approval, students are allowed to count coursework from other institutions. In no case will coursework be considered that was earned ten or more years prior to admission to the Ph.D.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 7 credits from coursework for a UW–Madison undergraduate degree. In no case will coursework be considered that was earned ten or more years prior to admission to the Ph.D.

UW–Madison University Special

No prior coursework taken as a UW–Madison University Special student 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

When you are admitted as a doctoral student, you will choose an academic advisor who will serve as your sponsor and mentor for the duration of the program. You may change advisors at any time in the course of your program, provided you and your advisor agree on this.

Your academic advisor may be a regular faculty member in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, or may be affiliate or joint faculty. If an affiliate faculty member is serving as your academic advisor, a regular faculty member must be assigned as your departmental contact to regularly review your progress and adherence to departmental requirements.

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

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

13 credits

Time Constraints

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten 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.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within 5 years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

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 Research) Possess foundational knowledge about the particular subject area of the chosen area, and be fully conversant with the classic and contemporary literature.

2. (Foundations of Research) Master data collection techniques specific to their chosen area of research.

3. (Foundations of Research) Fully conversant with the theoretical issues and tensions within their chosen area of research.

4. (Foundations of Research) Gain high-level knowledge and expertise in the statistical analysis of research data and graphical approaches to exploration of data sets.

5. (Foundations of Research) Communicate complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner.

6. (Dissertation) Design and execute an original experiment (or experiments) that clearly fills a gap in the existing literature and is worthy of publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals.

7. (Dissertation) Skill, experience, and knowledge base to defend the dissertation work to a committee of five faculty members.

8. (Professional Conduct) Design and conduct experiments.

9. (Professional Conduct) Formulate research questions that are based on sound analyses of existing literature, and that show evidence of logical argument.

10. (Professional Conduct) Understand how to examine data for patterns that are meaningful and patterns that reflect likely data collection errors.

11. (Professional Conduct) Write research proposals and learn to develop carefully argued proposals and explanations.

12. (Professional Conduct) Make presentations of their research at national and international conferences.

13. (Professional Conduct) Pass a summary exam (6 hours written, 2 hours oral) that admits them to candidacy for the PhD degree.

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