Communication Sciences & Disorders

Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions


Thank you for your interest in our graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). The best time to start thinking about your application process is at least one year before your anticipated graduate program start date.


How do I request a CSD graduate program information and admissions packet?

Contact: Ms. Kate Fernstrom, CSD Program Associate, at either fernstro@uwm.edu or csdstdnt@uwm.edu or (414) 229-4263 (voice).

Who is eligible to apply?

To be considered for admission to the UWM speech-language pathology Master’s program, a student must have completed either an undergraduate degree in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) major or its equivalent (leveling coursework).

At the time of application, the student’s transcript must show:

  1. At least 18 graded credits in CSD-related courses, excluding sign language courses, but including  courses required on these three topics:
    1. English Phonetics,
    2. Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism, and
    3. Normal Language Development
  2. International applicants must have demonstrated proficiency with the English language

At the time of the graduate program start, the student’s transcript must show:

  1. completion of an undergraduate degree
  2. at least 27 graded credits in CSD-related courses, excluding sign language courses, but including courses required on these six topics:
    1. English Phonetics,
    2. Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism,
    3. Normal Language Development,
    4. Speech and/or Hearing Science,
    5. Introduction to Audiology,
    6. Aural Rehabilitation
  3. a course in statistics (content covering regression and ANOVA preferred)
  4. If a student has not taken some of these courses, they are considered to be deficiencies.Students with 27 graded credits in CSD-related courses can be admitted with up to two course deficiencies among these four courses: Speech and/or Hearing Sciences, Introduction to Audiology, Aural Rehabilitation, and Statistics.
  5. To be eligible for ASHA certification in speech-language pathology, transcript evidence of the following four undergraduate course topics (non-CSD) is needed. Deficiencies in these courses will not affect graduate admission eligibility, but should be taken to fulfill requirements prior to completion of the master’s degree (Note: CLEP tests are acceptable):
    1. biological sciences,
    2. physical sciences,
    3. social sciences,
    4. mathematics/statistics
  6. To be eligible for DPI licensure to practice as a speech-language pathologist in Wisconsin public schools, then the following undergraduate course topics are needed. Deficiencies in these courses will not affect graduate admission eligibility, but should be taken to fulfill requirements prior to completion of the master’s degree:
    1. exceptional individuals
    2. human growth and development including the psychology of learning
    3. social foundations of education
    4. teaching of reading (graduate course elective available)
    5. native American Indian populations  (one-day workshop available)

How often are applicants reviewed?

Our graduate admissions committee reviews applicants only once each year. Students can be accepted for a fall term start date.

Where do I apply?

Available after September 18, 2013, our applications are managed by the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS).

What is the application deadline?

All your completed application materials must be submitted to the CSDCAS portal by January 1 prior to the intended program start date.  After that date, verification of your materials by CSDCAS may take 4-6 weeks. Application materials must be verified by February 15 to be considered complete and ready for admission review.

What materials are required with my application?

At the CSDCAS portal, materials to be submitted include:

  1. Official academic transcripts (use the transcript request form from CDSCAS for each school attended). CDSCAS must receive official paper copies of the transcript. Please ensure that your transcripts with Fall grades are verified by CSDCAS by February 15. All official transcripts must be sent to this address:
    CSDCAS Verification Department
    P.O. Box 9113
    Watertown, MA 02471
  2. On CSDCAS, you must enter all courses in your undergraduate program as well as courses that you plan to take in the spring term prior to beginning graduate school.
  3. Three letters of recommendation by professors (primarily academic, one can be clinical) who can speak directly to your learning aptitude for content in communication sciences and disorders.
  4. Essay personal statement. The specific questions and guidelines for preparation for UWM can be found at the CSDCAS website. Your writing is evaluated for content, organization and mechanics. Your personal essay should address each of the following:
    1. Personal characteristics and background experiences that make you suitable for the profession of speech-language pathology.
    2. Research interests and activities.
    3. Experiences of leadership and professional service, and
    4. Interactions with individuals who are different from you in their social, cultural or economic perspectives.
    5. Reasons you want to attend UWM, and if you have applied to UWM in the past, explain what strengthens your current application.
  5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results. Applicants to the UW-Milwaukee Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program must use the designated institution (DI) code 0700 in order for their scores to be processed with their CSDCAS applications. Please ensure that your GRE scores are verified by CSDCAS by February 15
  6. In the Activities section of CSDCAS, describe your work history, community and volunteer activities, honors, awards, undergraduate research, and extracurricular activities.

If I am accepted to UWM, what else must I do to apply?

If you are offered admission to the UWM CSD graduate program then you will follow-up by applying to UWM through the UW-System on-line: http://www.graduateschool.uwm.edu/students/prospective/apply

How do I find out whether my materials were received?

To contact CSDCAS (Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern Time)

CSDCAS,  PO Box 9113,  Watertown, MA  02471
Voice: 617-612-2030 (in USA)   Fax: 617-612-2051 (in USA)
Email: csdcasinfo@csdcas.org

To contact our department staff with questions:

(414) 229-4263, csdstdnt@uwm.edu

Where do I ask questions about my situation and the requirements/eligibility?

Ask Dr. Marylou Gelfer, 414-229-6465, gelfer@uwm.edu

3-year Graduate Program Statistics

Admission Statistics (students who started these years)* 2011 2012 2013 Mean averages
Number accepting admission: 25 25 25 25
Total number of applicants with complete/eligible files: 188 200 297 228
Number offered admission initially (not including waitlist): 52 52 66 57
Number waitlisted who received offers:
18 23 34 25
Comm.Disorders Major GPA (4.00 scale; those accepting admission) mean ave.:
3.82 3.87 3.83 3.84
Overall GPA (those accepting admission) mean ave.:                        
3.54 3.48 3.58 3.53
GRE Precentile Rank (V%+Q%+A%/3; those accepting admission) mean ave.:
43 47 44 45


Completion Statistics (students started prior to these years)* 2011 2012 2013 Mean averages
Number who completed the program: 30 25 22 26
Number who finished in the typical 6 terms (2 yrs) or less: 27 24 22 25 (96%)
Number who finished in 7 terms or less: 30 24 22 25 (96%)
Number who passed the Praxis on the 1st try: 30 25 22 26 (100%)
Number employed in the profession within 1 year:
-last updated 7/26/13-
28 23 20 24 (92%)

* Completion stats are not based on the same students as the Admission stats because those who started within the past two years still have their programs in progress so data are not yet available. Any questions? Contact: cseery@uwm.edu


How do I find out about ASHA requirements?

Check this website: http://www.asha.org/certification/