University of Wisconsin–Madison

Masters Program

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.


Program Overview

Degree Requirements

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 is 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:

  • UW Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • UW Hospitals and Clinics
  • Waisman Center
  • Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District
  • Verona Area School District
  • Sun Prairie Area School District
  • Waunakee Community School District
  • DeForest Area School District
  • Central Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled
  • Other Madison medical centers: Meriter, Dean, VA Hospital

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.

Learning more about CSD Research programs.

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).

Applications and Admissions

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 15th

All potential master’s 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

Program Prerequisites

You must complete the following undergraduate courses before beginning graduate course work:

Code Course Title Credits
CS&D 201 Speech Science 3
CS&D 202 Normal Aspects of Hearing 3
CS&D 240 Language Development in Children and Adolescents 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 371 Pre-Clinical Observation of Children and Adults 3
CS&D 425 Auditory Rehabilitation 3
CS&D 440 Child Language Disorders, Assessment and Intervention 3

In addition to the above courses, you will need a course in each of the following areas:

  • Biological sciences
  • Physical sciences (chemistry or physics)
  • Statistics
  • Social/behavioral sciences

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) standards now specify that a course in each of these areas is required for ASHA certification. For additional details, visit ASHA’s website Standard IV-A.

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.

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 $6.00 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 1st with consideration of holidays.

CV or Resume

Include honors and awards


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

Complete the supplemental application found in the online application. This is where you will show us how you fulfilled the prerequisites by matching your courses to the prerequisite courses.

Official TOEFL 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.

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 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.
  • For more information, review the UW-Madison Graduate School “Steps to Apply” and “Admissions FAQ”.


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)
    • Practicum is individualized
  • M.S. in Normal Aspects of Speech, Language, and Hearing (Non-clinical, minimum of 36 credits and thesis)
    • Includes the majority of SLP curriculum
    • Does not include clinical practice (CI 720 and CS&D 790)

Year 1

Fall Semester
  • CS&D 503: Neural Mechanisms of Speech, Hearing, and  Language (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 703: Language and Learning Disorders of Children (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 706: Management and Assessment Voice Disorders (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 790: Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders (2 cr.)
Spring Semester
  • CS&D 704: Acquired Language & Cognitive-Communication Disorders in Adults (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 705: Motor Speech Disorders/Augmentative & Alternative Communication (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 707: Swallowing Disorders (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 709: Language Development and Disorders in School Age Populations: School Methods & Procedures (3 cr.)
  • CS&D 713: Introduction to Medical Speech Pathology (1 cr.)
  • CS&D 790: Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders (2 cr.)
Summer Semester
  • CS&D 790: Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders (2 cr.)
  • CS&D 424: Sign Language I (fall, summer) (2 cr.)

Year 2

Fall Semester
  • CS&D 708: Fluency & Phonological Disorders (3 cr.)
  • School Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders (5 cr.) OR CS&D 790: Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders, Medical Site (5 cr.)
  • CS&D 790: Advanced Practicum at UWSHC – Optional (cr. varies)
Spring Semester
  • CS&D 752: Capstone in Communication Sciences & Disorders: Integration of Clinical and Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • School Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders (5 cr.) OR CS&D 790: Practicum in Communication Sciences & Disorders, Medical Site (5 cr.)
    CS&D 790: Advanced Practicum at UWSHC – Optional (cr. varies)
  • CS&D 434: Sign Language II (spring) (2 cr.)

Student Outcome Data

Speech-Language Pathology Program Completion Rate*

wdt_IDPeriodNumber Completed Program Within Expected Time Frame% Completing Within Expected 5 Semester Time Frame
1 2016-2017 29 97%
2 2015-2016 33 92%
3 2014-2015 23 96%
4 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

wdt_IDPeriodNumber Taking ExamNumber Passed ExamPercentage Pass Rate
1 2016-2017 30 30 100%
2 2015-2016 34 34 100%
3 2014-2015 24 24 100%
4 2013-2014 33 33 100%

Employment Rates of Graduates Within One Year of Graduation

wdt_IDPeriodNumber of GraduatesPercentage of Graduates in Employment or Continuing to Ph.D.
1 2016-2017 30 TBD
2 2015-2016 36 94%
3 2014-2015 24 100%
4 2013-2014 34 100%

Admissions FAQ


What is the timeline for admission?

We admit students to begin in the fall session only. The application opens in early September and all application materials must be received by January 15. The admissions committee reviews applications in mid-January though early February. Applicants will be notified in February of the admission decision.

How do I check the status of my online application?

Use the email link you received after you submitted your online application to log into the MyUW portal. The email is automatically sent to you within 24 hours after your submission. If you did not receive the link, please contact

You can monitor our receipt of your application materials through the MyUW portal. When you log into the system, you will see a checklist showing which of your application items we have received and what remains missing. It is very important that you monitor this, as we will not consider incomplete applications or materials arriving after the January 15 deadline.

What should I include in my statement of purpose?

The statement of purpose should communicate your reasons for wanting to study speech language pathology. The statement also gives you an opportunity to highlight experiences, related skills, and personal attributes which make you an exceptional candidate. The statement
can be 1-3 pages, single-spaced.

What else should I do to make my application strong?

Submit your resume and highlight your activities relevant to speech-language pathology. These experiences include but are not limited to the following: volunteer and work experiences related to assessment and intervention in SLP and/or audiology, volunteer and work experiences related more broadly to people with communication disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, acquired disabilities, child development, etc.; research experiences related to communication sciences and disorders, personal experiences related to communication sciences and disorders.

GPA, both overall and within the major is weighted heavily in admission decisions.

GRE scores are also used to help guide our admission decisions.

I don’t have an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Can I still apply to the program?

Yes. However, you need to have the prerequisite coursework completed prior to the start of the program. In the application, you will lay out how you completed the coursework or how you plan to complete it prior to the start of the program.

Where can I take the prerequisite coursework?

UW Madison offers a Communication Sciences and Disorders Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. It’s a one-year program and includes all prerequisite coursework for the MS SLP Program at UW-Madison. The program admits students to begin in the fall session only.

Can some of my Linguistic, Education, or Psychology coursework be used to fulfill some of the prerequisite coursework?

Coursework in these areas cannot be used to fulfill the prerequisites. The prerequisite coursework needs to come from Communication Sciences and Disorders or a similarly named major.


What do I need to know about getting letters of recommendation?

It is very important that you select appropriate recommenders. 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. Do not include more than three recommendations.

Make it as easy as possible for your recommenders by providing them with a copy of your resume and a draft of your statement
of purpose so they can better address your interests and background.

How are recommendations sent to you?

In the recommender section of the online application, you will fill in basic information about your recommender. The online system will then email each of your recommenders requesting the letter on your behalf. You have control of when each recommender receives the request. The recommendation email provides submission directions.

My recommender has not responded. Can I send him/her another request?

To send another request to your recommender, you should go back into the recommendation section of your application and check the “send reminder” box for the one that has not submitted. Please be sure to save your changes. An email should be sent within 24 hours. You should contact your recommender to let them know to watch for the new message to arrive.


Can I upload a copy of my official transcript?

Yes, as long as the official transcript came from your institution. You may submit an electronic copy of the official transcript. If admitted to the program, we will then ask you to send us a hard copy of your official transcript(s).

I won’t graduate until the spring. Should I upload my current transcript?

Go ahead and upload a current transcript. When you receive your fall grades, go back into your application and upload a new electronic copy of your official transcripts with your fall grades. Be sure to request your transcripts as soon as your fall grades are posted.

My transfer credits from one institution show on my transcript from another school. Do I need to submit both transcripts?

Yes, you need to submit a transcript from each institution where you took college-level courses. You will upload scanned copies of each official transcript through the Graduate School’s e-app.


Do you require the GRE?

Yes. Scores should be from within the last 5 years. Contact your testing agency to send your scores to The University of Wisconsin Madison (school code #1846). You do not need to list a department code. We urge you to plan ahead so you can complete the GRE and obtain all
percentile results before the application deadline. All scores must be received and matched to your application by the deadline in order to be considered for admission.

When will my test scores sent from ETS show up on my check list?

Scores are typically sent from ETS to UW-Madison electronically within two to three weeks. UW-Madison then uploads them. The total process can take up to 60 days to complete.

What are the average GRE scores of student admitted to your program?

Below is a table of characteristic of admitted students.

1 Number of Applicants 322 283 236 247
2 Number of New Students 25 33 30 21
3 Average GRE - Verbal Scores 154 157 159 158
4 Verbal Average Percentile Rank 64th 75th 82nd 80th
5 Average GRE - Quan. 157 155 155 152
6 Quant. Average Percentile Rank 67th 59th 59th 47th
7 Average GRE - Analy. Scores 4.5 4.4 4.4 4.5
8 Average GPA (Last 60 Credits) 3.81 3.91 3.88 3.91


Are my TOEFEL scores adequate?

Visit the Graduate School’s Requirements for Admission webpage for more information. Under English Proficiency are the required minimum scores.

Observation Hours

I don’t have any observation hours. Will this be a problem for my application?

You don’t need to have 25 clinical observation hours completed when you submit your application. Accurately record what you currently have and report that information. However, prior to starting the program, all 25 observation hours must be completed with supporting
signatures from a practitioner with ASHA certification.

How do I complete observation hours?

Clinical observation hours can be completed in a variety of settings (e.g. hospital, clinic, private practice, school, etc.). Reach out to one of these settings and let them know you’re interested in observing a practitioner with ASHA certification.

For additional information about the application, please visit the Graduate School’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Tuition, Scholarships & Financial Aid FAQ

What is the current tuition?

Visit the Office of the Registrar’s website to see current tuition rates. Once you’re at the site, follow these steps:

  1. Term/Semester drop-down menu, select you enrollment term
  2. Student Center drop-down menu, select Graduate.

Where can I learn more about Wisconsin residency for in-state tuition purposes?

Visit the Office of the Registrar’s website for details on residency for tuition purposes.

Does your program offer any scholarships for incoming MS SLP students?

Incoming MS SLP students are automatically considered for the Emma Allen Scholarship, and no further action is needed. If awarded this scholarship, a letter indicating the scholarship and amount will be sent to you. Once a student enters the program, there are additional scholarship opportunities through the department’s scholarship webpage.

Are there other opportunities to help with funding?


  1. The department hires several student hourly employees every year to help out with administrative work. Reach out to the
    Graduate Coordinator to see if there are any current openings.
  2. The department also hires Grader Readers who are paid on an hourly basis. Reach out to the Department Administrator
    for current openings.
  3. Student hourly positions are available in faculty research labs at the Waisman Center and the Medical Sciences Center. Contact individual faculty about openings.
  4. Teaching assistant (TA) positions may be available in CSD or another department. Department TA positions are appointed semesterly based on merit and other departmental factors. The department chair makes TA appointment decisions. All graduate students are considered for TA positions; students do not need to apply. TA positions are typically 33 1/3% or approximately 13 hours per week, it may include tuition remission, health insurance, and a stipend.
  5. Other types of graduate assistant positions may be available in CSD or another department or program. The Student Job Center
    lists all assistantships that are available outside of the department. If the position is a least 33 1/3 % or approximately 13 hours per week, it may include tuition remission, health insurance, and a stipend. In general, assistantships are posted relatively close to the time they will start, so positions that start in the fall semester will usually be posted in July or August.
  6. The Office of Student Financial Aid provides information and assistance to prospective, new, and enrolled graduate students about federal work study and student loans.

What are the different types of assistantships?

  1. Project Assistant – Graduate students assist with research, training, or other academic programs or projects at UW-Madison.
  2. Research Assistant – Graduate students work on a particular research project for a faculty member, and may apply some of that work towards a thesis or dissertation.
  3. Teaching Assistant – Graduate students assist with teaching responsibilities and can include such duties as grading papers, supervising laboratories, leading discussion sections, lecturing, or developing course curriculum.