CSD Masters Program

We are delighted that you are completing, or contemplating, graduate work in our department, either as a clinical or non-clinical M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology.

Master’s degree students choose one of two areas of emphasis:

Speech-Language Pathology. The M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology is a clinical degree that meets the requirements for:

  • the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence;
  • a license to practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of Wisconsin; and
  • teacher certification in the state of Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Our clinical master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  Our current accreditation cycle is from September 1, 2012-August 31, 2020.

Normal Aspects of Speech, Language and Hearing:

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

All potential master’s degree applicants must meet the Graduate School’s admission requirements, as well as department-specific 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.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from within the last five years; you may take the test more than once; we will consider the scores from your best testing date.
  • A passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if your native language is not English, or your undergraduate instruction was not in English.

Course Prerequisites

If you do not have an undergraduate major in Communication Sciences and Disorders, you must complete the following undergraduate courses before beginning graduate course work:

  • CS&D 201 Speech Science (3 cr)
  • CS&D 202 Normal Aspects of Hearing (3 cr)
  • CS&D 240 Language Development (3 cr)
  • CS&D 315 Speech Pathology I: Phonetics/phonological development and disorders (3 cr)
  • CS&D 318 Speech Pathology II: Voice disorders, orofacial anomalies, and fluency disorders (3 cr)
  • CS&D 320 Introduction to Audiology (3 cr)
  • CS&D 371 Preclinical Observation Methods (3 cr)
  • CS&D 425 Auditory Rehabilitation (3 cr)
  • CS&D 440 Child Language Disorders (3 cr)

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.

When you begin the Master’s degree program (clinical or non-clinical), you will be provided with a course sequence for your entire graduate program. We strongly recommended that you adhere to this course sequence, although you can modify this plan made in consultation with the graduate academic advisor and clinic director.

In this process, there are the following areas of consideration:

  • Relevant course work
  • Clinical experience
  • Research
  • Teacher Certification

Course Work

  • It typically takes four academic semesters and a summer to complete the master’s degree program with the prerequisite undergraduate experiences.
  • If you have an undergraduate degree in another field, you must complete the Post-Bac program to meet this program's prerequisites.
  • M.S. in CS&D with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology:
    • A minimum of 40 credits are required.
    • Thesis or non-thesis options available.
    • Thesis option in recommended if interested in research or planning to pursue a Ph.D.
  • M.S. in CS&D with an emphasis in Normal Aspects of Speech, Language and Hearing.
    • A minimum of 33 credits and a thesis are required

Clinical Experiences

Supervised clinical experiences for Master’s degree students offer a range of activities at diverse practicum sites. 

  • In your first year, CS&D 790 - Clinical Practicum requires 25 documented clinical observation hours before being placed at the UWSHC or other clinical site.
  • In your second year, a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical practice to qualify for
    • A school site (CI 720)
    • A medical practicum experience (CS&D 790) 
  • Practica availability may change each semester as a result of program changes, staff turnover, and/or variations in client service needs.


If you opt to complete a thesis as part of your master’s degree, you have opportunities to work closely with faculty members on research projects and to conduct original research.

  • CSD Research Overview

Teacher Certification

To fulfill teacher certification requirements for the State of Wisconsin, as specified in PI34, you must:

  • Complete the Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology;
  • Complete a student teaching experience (CI 720);
  • Prepare an electronic portfolio that documents your knowledge and skills for inspection by the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

The course requirements below are for students entering with undergraduate majors in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Students entering without undergraduate majors in Communication Sciences and Disorders must complete undergraduate course prerequisites before beginning graduate course work.

Please note:

  • M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology (Clinical Degree, minimum 40 credits required)
  • M.S. in Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing (Non-clinical, minimum of 36 credits and thesis)
    • Practicum is individualized, but will include a majority of SLP curriculum
    • Does not include clinical practice (CI 720 and CS&D 790)


Year 1 | Fall Semester

Course No. Course Name Credits
CS&D 503 Neural Mechanisms of Speech, Hearing, and


CS&D 703 Language and Learning Disorders of Children


CS&D 706 Management and Assessment Voice Disorders


CS&D 790 Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders


Year 1 | Spring Semester

Course No. Course Name Credits
CS&D 704 Acquired Language & Cognitive-Communication
Disorders in Adults


CS&D 705 Motor Speech Disorders/Augmentative &
Alternative Communication


CS&D 707 Swallowing Disorders


CS&D 709 Language Development and Disorders in School
Age Populations: School Methods & Procedures


CS&D 713 Introduction to Medical Speech Pathology


CS&D 790 Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders


Year 1 | Summer Semester

Course No. Course Name Credits
CS&D 790 Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders


Year 1 | Electives

Course No. Course Name Credits
CS&D 424 Sign Language I (offered fall, summer)


 Year 2 | Fall Semester

Course No. Course Name Credits
CS&D 708 Fluency & Phonological Disorders


CI 720


CS&D 790
School Practicum in Communication Sciences &

Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders,
Medical Site



CS&D 790 Advanced Practicum at UWSHC - Optional


 Year 2 | Spring Semester

Course No.  Course Name  Credits
CS&D 752 Capstone in Communication Sciences & Disorders:
Integration of Clinical and Research Methods
CI 720


CS&D 790
School Practicum in Communication Sciences &

Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders,
Medical Site



CS&D 790 Advanced Practicum at UWSHC - Optional


Year 2 | Electives

Course No. Course Name Credits
CS&D 434 Sign Language II (offered spring)


We are glad you've decided to apply to UW-Madison's Communication Sciences and Disorders Program! Please apply using the link below to the UW Graduate School.

See application deadline(s) on the right-hand side of this page.

Phase I: Apply online to the UW-Madison Graduate School. Your online application includes:

  1. Letters of Recommendation, no more than three. 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.
  2. Reason for graduate study. Content is 1-3 pages, single-spaced.
  3. Application Fee
  4. CV, or resume, including honors and awards
  5. Official transcripts. This shows grades earned at every college or university you have attended, including study abroad.
  6. Supplemental application. There is a place to indicate your campus preference (Madison, Stevens Point, or either) on this form.

UW Graduate School electronic application

Phase II: Have your GRE and TOEFL test scores submitted electronically directly from ETS.

  • Use institution code 1846.

  • You may take the test more than once; we will consider the scores from your best testing date. We will only consider scores received by the application deadline.


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.

  • Pay your application fee ASAP. We cannot consider your application, nor make a recommendation for admission, until you have paid your application fee.

  • For more information, see the following Graduate School website FAQ's

UW's Communication Sciences and Disorders abides by many clinical and educational nuances, which require students to follow many guidelines. The best tool for these rules and regulations is the CSD Master's Program Handbook, and the UWSHC SLP Handbook.

MS-PhD Student Handbook

Master's Student Handbook

UWSHC Handbook - SLP

Core areas discussed in these documents include:

  • Satisfactory progress
  • Policies and procedures
  • Clinical experiences
  • External resources for licensing & certification

These documents are in PDF form, and have been customized to be quickly searchable. We suggest that you download a copy of these documents, and reference them as needed.

Speech-Language Pathology Program Completion Rate*

Period No. Completed Program Within Expected Time Frame Percentage Completing Within Expected 5 Semester Time Frame
2015-2016 33 92%
2014-2015 23 96% 
2013-2014 31 91%

* Note that data are pooled for students in the MS program and students in the MS/Ph.D program. Completion of the MS portion of the MS/Ph.D. program typically takes 6 semesters, rather than the 5 semesters expected in the MS program. Data reported here reflect an expected completion rate of 5 semesters, regardless of whether a student is in the MS/Ph.D. program or the MS program.

Praxis Examination Pass Rate, of Test-Takers

Period No. Taking Exam No. Passed Exam Percentage Pass Rate 
2015-2016 34 34 100%
2014-2015 24 24 100%
2013-2014 33 33 100%

Employment Rates of Graduates Within One Year of Graduation

Period No. of Graduates Percentage of Graduates in Employment or Continuing to Ph.D.
2015-2016 36 92%**
2014-2015 24 100%
2013-2014 34 100%

** Data reported on 7/18/2016 (2 months following graduation)

Graduate Studies

Contact Information

(608) 262-6464

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1975 Willow Drive
318 Goodnight Hall
Madison, WI 53706

Faculty Contact

Michelle Ciucci, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
362 Goodnight Hall
1975 Willow Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Application Deadlines

Masters: January 15

MS/Ph.D.: January 1

Post-Bac: June 15

Ph.D.: January 1

Audiology: January 15

CAA SLP Accreditation Statement

The master’s/doctoral (MS/AUD) education programs in audiology and speech-language pathology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.