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 fernstro@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 or prerequisite coursework).

At the time of application, the student’s transcript must show:
  1. At least 18 graded credits in CSD 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 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 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 American Speech-Language Hearing Association (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 ASHA requirements prior to completion of the master’s degree (Note: CLEP tests are acceptable). Applicants need to have at least one course in:
    1. biological sciences, including human or animal biology
    2. physics or chemistry
    3. social sciences, including psychology, sociology, anthropology or public health
    4. mathematics/statistics
  6. To be eligible for Department of Public Instruction (DPI) licensure to practice as a speech-language pathologist in Wisconsin public schools, the following undergraduate course topics are needed. Deficiencies in these courses will not affect graduate admission eligibility, but should be taken to fulfill DPI 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 are accepted for a fall term start date.

Where do I apply?

Available after September 17, 2014, our applications are managed by the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). The CSDCAS applicant portal link is portal.csdcas.org. You can access this link and begin your application after September 17, 2014.

What is the application deadline?

Your completed application form, all transcripts, and fee must be received by CSDCAS by January 15 prior to the intended program start date. At that point, the verification process begins. 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. Please send all official paper copies of your transcripts to CSDCAS. Your transcripts with Fall Semester grades and Spring Semester in-progress courses must be received by CSDCAS by January 15. It is important that you send transcripts listing your Fall Semester grades and planned Spring Semester in-progress courses, or your application will be considered incomplete. All official transcripts must be sent to this address:
    CSDCAS Verification Department
    P.O. Box 9113
    Watertown, MA 02471
  2. Entry of all coursework on CSDCAS. On CSDCAS, you must enter all college-level courses you have taken as an undergraduate, including the courses you are currently enrolled in, as well as courses that you plan to take in the Spring Semester prior to beginning graduate school.
  3. Three letters of recommendation. These should be written 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 or 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
    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 received by CSDCAS by January 15.
  6. Extracurricular Activities. In the Activities section of CSDCAS, describe your work history, community and volunteer activities, honors, awards, undergraduate research, and any other 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 and you decide to accept that offer of admission, then you will follow up by applying to UWM through the UW-System on-line application site: www.graduateschool.uwm.edu/students/prospective/apply

Do not apply directly to UWM at this website until you are accepted.

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

How do I contact the CSD department staff with questions?

Call (414) 229-4263, or e-mail fernstro@uwm.edu


Where can I find answers to my questions about the CSDCAS process?

Try: https://portal.csdcas.org/csdcasHelpPages/instructions-and-faq/


Where do I direct 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)* 2012 2013 2014 Mean averages
Number accepting admission: 25 25 25 25
Total number of applicants with complete/eligible files: 200 297 260 252
Number offered admission initially (not including waitlist): 52 66 67 62
Number waitlisted who received offers:
23 34 35 31
Comm.Disorders Major GPA (4.00 scale; those accepting admission) mean ave.:
3.87 3.83 3.86 3.85
Overall GPA (those accepting admission) mean ave.:                        
3.48 3.58 3.61 3.56
GRE Precentile Rank (V%+Q%+A%/3; those accepting admission) mean ave.:
47 44 51 47


Completion Statistics (students started prior to these years)* 2012 2013 2014 Mean averages
Number who completed the program: 25 22 24 24
Number who finished in the typical 6 terms (2 yrs) or less: 24 22 22 23 (96%)
Number who finished in 7 terms or less: 24 22 23 23 (96%)
Number who passed the Praxis on the 1st try: 25 22 24 24 (100%)
Number employed in the profession within 1 year 23 20 24 22 (92%)

Last updated 7/23/2014

* 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: gelfer@uwm.edu


How do I find out about ASHA requirements?

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