The Communication Sciences and Disorders capstone certificate is offered to applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree in a field other than communication sciences and disorders, and who wish to prepare themselves for admission to a graduate training program in communication sciences and disorders. The certificate is designed primarily for students who wish to pursue a clinical graduate degree (MS in speech–language pathology or AuD in audiology), but is also appropriate for students from other fields who wish to pursue a research graduate degree in communication sciences and disorders.

How to Get in


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applications are accepted for the fall semester, with a priority deadline of May 1.  Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) is the admitting office for all University Special students. However, the department offering the Capstone Certificate program makes the final admission decision upon review of all applicant materials.

Application steps

A complete application includes the following:

  1. An online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: Communication Sciences and Disorders. This application is received and processed by ACSSS with final decision held for approval from the specific capstone certificate coordinator. 
  2. Send to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Studies Coordinator via or the address below:
  • an official college transcript confirming completion of an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of  3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or proof that an undergraduate degree will be completed prior to beginning the capstone certificate program
  • an English proficiency test score if your native language is not English or if your undergraduate instruction was not in English

Post-Bac Capstone Certificate Program
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1975 Willow Drive, Room 318
Madison, WI 53706-1103

Notification of acceptance to the program will be sent within four weeks of receiving an application.


Admitted students receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with general enrollment information. Additional detail is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will send specific information pertaining to enrollment in courses for fall and completion of the capstone program. 


  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.000
  • Certificate requires 18 credits

The certificate is earned upon completion of the nine courses, to be completed in one academic year. Most capstone certificate students will take all nine courses (27 credits total), but in some cases one or two courses may be waived depending on coursework taken previously, during the undergraduate degree. The minimum number of credits required for the certificate is 18.

Required Gateway Courses (Prerequisites)
CS&D 201 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Production3
CS&D 202 Hearing Science3
CS&D 240 Language Development in Children and Adolescents3
Total Credits9
Required Core Courses
CS&D 315 Phonetics and Phonological Development3
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
CS&D 699 Directed Study3
or CS&D 318 Voice, Craniofacial, and Fluency Disorders
Total Credits18

Minimum Requirements for Capstone Certificate Completion

  • Students must earn a minimum grade of C in each course used to meet Capstone Certificate requirements.
  • Courses in which a student elects the pass/fail or audit option will not count toward completion of Capstone Certificate requirements.
  • All of the Capstone Certificate credits must be earned "in residence" (which includes on campus and distance-delivered courses) at UW-Madison.
  • All of the Capstone Certificate credits must be earned while enrolled in the Capstone Certificate program.

Individual Capstone Certificate programs may have additional requirements for completion, which will be listed above as/if applicable.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Obtain basic foundational knowledge of normal aspects of speech, language, and hearing.
  2. Obtain a broad based understanding of the range of speech, language, and hearing disorders.
  3. Understand general principles of assessment and intervention in speech, language, and hearing disorders.
  4. Gain observational clinical exposure to a range of patients with speech, language, and hearing disorders.