CSD M.S./Ph.D. Program

We are delighted that you are completing, or contemplating, graduate work in our department as a M.S./Ph.D. candidate.

SLP CAA Accreditation Statement

The clinical master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CAA). The degree awarded at the completion of the program is a M.S., from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The CAA can be reached at:

Council on Academic Accreditation
2200 Research Boulevard, Mail Stop 310
Rockville, MD 20850-3289
Members: 800-498-2071
Non-Members: 800-638-8255

The M.S./Ph.D. program is designed for students who wish to pursue both the Ph.D. degree and professional training & clinical certification in Speech-Language Pathology, obtained via the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology.

The clinical component of the program meets the requirements for:

  • ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence
  • License to practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of Wisconsin
  • 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.

M.S./Ph.D. students typically take a modified sequence of the same courses as students in the M.S. program, which allows time for involvement in research from the beginning. After you have completed your master's degree, you will transition into the doctoral program.

To enter the M.S./Ph.D. program, you must first apply and be accepted to the M.S. program. Please see the M.S. program requirements for more detailed information.

The admissions committee will initially evaluate M.S./Ph.D. applications with all other applicants to the M.S. program. After initial admissions decisions have been made, the committee will then perform a secondary review of students who have indicated interest in the M.S./Ph.D. program.

They will first identify faculty members who are able to accept an M.S./Ph.D. student in the following year. Those faculty members will be asked to review your file and contact you directly to decide if you are a candidate for the M.S./Ph.D. program. After that, you will be notified in writing if you are admitted into the M.S. program only, or the combined M.S./Ph.D. program.

If you are admitted as an M.S. Student but NOT into the M.S./Ph.D. program:

  • You may apply again to the program by January 15 of the first year of graduate study.
  • You must make your application in writing, addressed to the Admissions Committee, and accompanied by a letter from the academic advisor who has agreed to mentor you.
  • If you are accepted into the M.S./Ph.D. program at that time, you will meet with a clinical advisor to modify your existing clinical plan.

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

When you are admitted, you will be assigned an academic advisor in your area of research interest. You may change advisors at any time in the course of your program, provided you and your advisor agree on this, but there is no guarantee that the new advisor will provide funding. You also will be assigned a clinical advisor at the time of admission (with advisor consent).

Requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • A study plan
  • Course work
  • Clinical experiences
  • First-Year Project
  • Master's Thesis
  • Ph.D. Minor (Single or Distributed)
  • Preliminary (Prelim) Exam
  • Final Oral Examination of Dissertation Project

Study Plan

In your first semester, you will meet with your advisors to create an individualize plan for academic and clinical activities during the 2.5 years of the M.S. portion of the M.S./Ph.D. program.

This plan will includes course work as well as clinical and research experiences. The aim is to give you an early introduction to research, while allowing time to complete the requisite course work and clinical hours to meet the M.S. degree requirements by the end of the fall semester of their third year of full-time study.

You and your clinical and academic advisors will sign the plan, and a copy will be kept in your file. You may modify your plan with the agreement of both advisors.

Course Work & Clinical Experiences

Your academic study plan is individualized. You will need to consult both the M.S. program course requirements and the Ph.D. program course requirements. You are encouraged to take courses out of the CS&D department that will support research interests and skill sets, including courses in research methods and/or statistical analyses. For doctoral students, it is required you attend the departmental Professional Seminar (ProSem) lecture series.

Clinical Experiences will also be individualized. Please see the M.S. Handbook for more information regarding clinical experiences.

First-Year Project & Master's Thesis

You must complete a first-year project in collaboration with your program advisor. You must present the completed project at the department's proseminar during the fall semester of the second year of graduate study.

Your first-year project could serve as the basis for the required Master's thesis. The Master's thesis, which would meet the requirement of the first-year doctoral project, must be completed by the end of the third year of graduate study.

Ph.D. Minor

The UW-Madison Graduate School has a breadth requirement. For our department, this is fulfilled by a minor concentration consisting of 10 credits taken outside the major area of concentration and must be approved by the student’s advisor. There are two options for fulfilling the minor requirement:

Option A: Single department or major field of study

Requires a minimum of 10 credits in a single department or major field of study. Students must refer to the individual department for specific requirements, as many departments require more than 10 credits. Option A requires approval from the minor department as well as the approval of your major advisor.

Option B: Distributed

Requires a minimum of 10 credits in one or more departments and can include course work in the major department. Option B requires signatures of your major advisor and major department chairperson.

Preliminary Exam ("Prelim")

Before official admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, you must pass a preliminary examination in your area of expertise. The purpose of the doctoral comprehensive preliminary examination in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is to assist the faculty in determining whether a student's knowledge of pertinent facts, theories, and methods is sufficient to render the student generally capable of (1) undertaking effective research in an area within communication sciences and disorders, and (2) undertaking other forms of scholarship required or expected of persons who professionally use the doctoral degree. Research and other scholarly work require the ability to (a) apply terminology, facts, concepts, relations, procedures, theories, and issues accurately and appropriately, (b) invoke facts, reasoning and other evidence to support observations and opinions, (c) identify, organize, analyze and integrate information, (d) to evaluate one’s own work and that of others critically, and (e) communicate effectively. The Prelim exam serves to demonstrate that you have these required abilities and are competent to begin dissertation research.

More details can be found in the Ph.D. Handbook.

Final Oral Examination of Dissertation Project

The final examination committee will examine the candidate over the research project and other aspects of the doctoral program. The final exam committee is composed of at least five members of the graduate faculty including the student’s major advisor, who is the chairperson of the committee, and one member from outside the major department. Graduate faculty status is defined as: tenure-track faculty holding professional (full, associate, or assistant) rank in any department with graduate program authority. Tenure-track faculty members are automatically permitted to retain graduate faculty status for one year after their retirement or resignation. Annual extensions of graduate faculty status for retired or resigned faculty may be recommended by the departmental executive committee for consideration and approval by the Graduate School dean or designee. Pass must be by unanimous vote. If one of the committee members signs the warrant on the DISSENT line, then a pass/fail determination is made jointly by the Graduate School and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

More details can be found in the Ph.D. Handbook.

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)


Because each student creates an individual study plan with his or her advisor, there are no specific course requirements for Ph.D. majors. Ph.D. students must, however, take the following seminars/courses to satisfy the core requirement:

Course No. Course Name Credits 
CS&D 900 Graduate Professional Seminar, "ProSem" 8 (Four Semesters) 
CS&D 900 Research Methodology, "Theory to Practice" 2-3
CS&D 900 Grant Writing 2-3 

Teaching Methods 1 OR Audit 

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.

Ph.D. Handbooks

The Ph.D. Student Handbook includes detailed information on the Ph.D. coursework, and is updated annually. We have optimized the document for being searchable and interactive. For this reason, we highly recommend downloading a copy for yourself and referencing it as needed. 

Ph.D. Student Handbook

The following components are in the Ph.D. Student Handbook:

  • Detailed information on Degree Requirements
  • Satisfactory Progress throughout the Ph.D. acquisition 
  • Policies and Procedures, both for the department and specific to the Ph.D. acquisition process
  • Resources to assist you in writing your dissertation and being success in your Ph.D. endeavors 

M.S./Ph.D. Program Resources

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

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.