The major in communication sciences and disorders provides students with opportunities for study in the areas of speech–language pathology, audiology, and the normal aspects of speech, hearing, and language. Most students pursue this major because they hope to work as a licensed and certiﬁed clinical speech-language pathologist or audiologist, assisting clients with communication impairments arising from acquired neurological conditions, developmental conditions, genetic conditions, or unknown causes. Professional clinical practice follows completion of a master's degree in speech–language pathology, or a doctor of audiology degree. Some students pursue the undergraduate major as a foundation for a research career in speech, language or hearing sciences. Others pursue the major as a preliminary step toward advanced training in other professional ﬁelds (e.g., medicine, nursing, special education), or as a liberal arts degree that could lead to a variety of different career paths (speech–language pathology assistant, educational assistant, line therapist).
The major in communication sciences and disorders can be completed through the College of Letters & Science, or through the School of Education. Students select one program to follow, and should be aware that the two programs differ somewhat in their requirements. Moreover, each program (L&S and Education) has its own general liberal studies requirements. Students should plan to complete many of these general requirements as well as some courses in communication sciences and disorders during their first and second years on this campus.
The department is accredited in speech–language pathology and in audiology by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA). Therefore, academic courses and clinical practica in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders may be applied toward clinical certification by ASHA (speech language pathology or audiology), and toward state licensure.
Students are urged to consult with an undergraduate academic advisor as soon as they have decided to major in this field. Course sequencing in the major is not flexible. Certain courses are prerequisites to others.
Declaring the Major
To declare a major in CS&D, send an email to email@example.com:
- State that you would like to declare a major in CS&D
- Include your full name and student ID number
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.
Bachelor of Arts degree requirements
|Mathematics||Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.|
|Foreign Language|| |
Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
|L&S Breadth|| |
|Liberal Arts and Science Coursework||108 credits|
|Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work||60 intermediate or advanced credits|
|Major||Declare and complete at least one (1) major|
|Total Credits||120 credits|
|UW-Madison Experience||30 credits in residence, overall |
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
|Minimum GPAs||2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison |
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison
Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major
Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above. Please note that the following special degree programs are not considered majors so are not available to non–L&S degree-seeking candidates:
- Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics (Bachelor of Science–Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics)
- Journalism (Bachelor of Arts–Journalism; Bachelor of Science–Journalism)
- Music (Bachelor of Music)
- Social Work (Bachelor of Social Work)
Requirements for the Major
10 courses and 30 credits from:
|CS&D 201||Speech Science||3|
|CS&D 202||Normal Aspects of Hearing||3|
|CS&D 210||Neural Basis of Communication||3|
|CS&D 240||Language Development in Children and Adolescents||3|
|CS&D 303||Speech Acoustics and Perception||3|
|CS&D 315||Phonetics and Phonological Development||3|
|CS&D 318||Voice, Craniofacial and Fluency Disorders||3|
|CS&D 320||Introduction to Audiology||3|
|CS&D 425||Auditory Rehabilitation||3|
|CS&D 440||Child Language Disorders, Assessment and Intervention||3|
courses in related areas
15 credits and one course from each of the following areas:
|PSYCH 202||Introduction to Psychology||3-4|
|HDFS 363||Development from Adolescence to Old Age||3|
|STAT 301||Introduction to Statistical Methods||3|
|STAT 311||Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I||3|
|STAT 371||Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences||3|
|PSYCH 210||Basic Statistics for Psychology||3|
|SOC/C&E SOC 360||Statistics for Sociologists I||4|
|LINGUIS 101||Human Language||3|
|LINGUIS 103||Language, History, and Society||3|
|LINGUIS/ANTHRO 301||Introduction to Linguistics: Descriptive and Theoretical||3|
|LINGUIS 303||Language, History, and Society||3|
|ENGL 214||The English Language||3|
|ENGL 314||Structure of English||3|
|ENGL 318||Second Language Acquisition||3|
|LINGUIS 237||Language & Immigration in Wisconsin||3|
|SPANISH 321||The Structure of Modern Spanish||3|
|SPANISH 331||Spanish Applied Linguistics||3|
|SPANISH 327||Introduction to Spanish Linguistics||3|
|ANTHRO 104||Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity||3|
|ASIAN AM 101||Introduction to Asian American Studies||3|
|ASIAN AM/AFROAMER/AMER IND/CHICLA/FOLKLORE 102||Introduction to Comparative US Ethnic and American Indian Studies||3|
|CHICLA 201||Introduction to Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies||3|
|GEN&WS/SOC 200||Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer+ Studies||3-4|
|L I S 202||Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society||3|
|ASIAN AM/SOC 220||Ethnic Movements in the United States||3-4|
|AFROAMER/HIST SCI/MED HIST 275||Science, Medicine, and Race: A History||3|
|HISTORY 227||Explorations in the History of Race and Ethnicity||3|
|AMER IND/ANTHRO 314||Indians of North America||3|
|ENGL 319||Language, Race, and Identity||3|
|HISTORY 403||Immigration and Assimilation in American History||3-4|
|SOC 134||Problems of American Racial and Ethnic Minorities||3-4|
|SOC/ASIAN AM 220||Ethnic Movements in the United States||3-4|
|BOTANY/BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 151||Introductory Biology||5|
|ANTHRO 105||Principles of Biological Anthropology||3|
|ANTHRO/BOTANY/ZOOLOGY 410||Evolutionary Biology||3|
|BIOCHEM 104||Molecular Mechanisms, Human Health & You||3|
|BIOCORE 381||Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics||3|
|KINES 235||Human Physiology and Health||4|
|BIOLOGY/BOTANY/ZOOLOGY 151||Introductory Biology||5|
|ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY 101||Animal Biology||3|
|PHYSICS 103||General Physics||4|
|PHYSICS 109||Physics in the Arts||3|
|CS&D 110||Introduction to Communicative Disorders||3|
|CS&D 371||Pre-Clinical Observation of Children and Adults||3|
|CS&D 424||Sign Language I||2|
|CS&D 434||Sign Language II||2|
Residence and quality of work
2.000 GPA in all CS&D and major courses
2.000 GPA on 15 upper-level major credits, taken in residence1
15 credits in CS&D, taken on the UW–Madison campus
Distinction in the Major
Students majoring in communication sciences and disorders who are not Honors candidates may earn Distinction in the Major, provided that they obtain consent of the department honors advisor, achieve a minimum GPA of 3.750 in CS&D and major courses, and satisfy these requirements:
|Two courses, taken for Honors|
|Speech Acoustics and Perception|
|Introduction to Audiology|
|Child Language Disorders, Assessment and Intervention|
|Undergraduate Honors Seminar|
|Undergraduate Junior Honors|
Honors in the Major
Students may declare Honors in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Major in consultation with the undergraduate advisor in that department.
Honors in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Major Requirements
To earn Honors in the Major in Communications Sciences and Disorders, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:
- Earn a 3.300 University GPA
- Earn a 3.300 in all CS&D and major courses
- Complete the following courses for Honors earning a grade of B or better in each:
|CS&D 481||Undergraduate Junior Honors||3|
& CS&D 682
| Senior Honors Thesis|
and Senior Honors Thesis
|2 of the following for Honors:||6|
|Speech Acoustics and Perception|
|Introduction to Audiology|
|Child Language Disorders, Assessment and Intervention|
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
1. Acquire a foundational understanding of basic anatomy and physiology of speech, language, and hearing.
2. Understand integrative neuroscience foundations of speech, language, and hearing.
3. Obtain basic knowledge in statistical sciences, linguistics, biological/physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities as related to Communication Sciences & Disorders.
4. Develop an understanding of speech, language, and hearing disorders and the relationship to foundational aspects of speech, language and hearing science.
5. Be prepared for graduate school and/or a career in Communication Sciences & Disorders and related areas.
CS&D advising services are focused on students who need to declare the major or who have already declared CS&D and need advising in the major.
A CS&D advisor can help with:
- Curricular planning and course access
- DARS interpretation
- Declaration of the major for L&S students
- Documentation of study abroad plans
- Identification, interpretation and application of most academic policies
- Major and degree requirements
- Exploration of interests in independent study and research
- Understanding the differences between paths to the major
Students seeking to pursue graduate study in speech-language pathology or audiology are urged to take CS&D 371 Pre-Clinical Observation of Children and Adults (3 cr) —to earn ASHA observation hours which are required for graduate school admission. Enrollment in CS&D 371 is by permission and is restricted to students who have earned a B or better in CS&D 201 Speech Science, CS&D 202 Normal Aspects of Hearing, and CS&D 240 Language Development in Children and Adolescents.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Ruth Litovsky, Ph.D.
Please visit our website for details on weekly advising sessions.
L&S career resources
SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers).
SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career.
- Set up a career advising appointment
- INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative (1 credit, targeted to first- and second-year students)—for more information, see Inter-LS 210: Career Development, Taking Initiative
- Learn how we’re transforming career preparation: L&S Career Initiative
Information about faculty and staff can be found on the department's website.