How to Apply
All applications are managed by the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). Applications need to be initiated on CSDCAS by January 1 of the year of expected admission. Students are accepted for a Fall term start date.
Once recommended for acceptance to the Program, you will need to apply to and be accepted by the UWM Graduate School.
Pay for School
For detailed and up-to-date tuition rates, visit the UWM Bursar Office website.
The Communication Sciences and Disorders Program is looking for dynamic graduate students to support in our Master’s Degree Program. The part-time graduate teaching assistantship position provides full tuition, a modest stipend and an excellent experience working closely with leaders in communication science therapy research, teaching and service.
Teaching assistants support delivery of undergraduate curriculum at UWM. Appointments begin in mid/late-August and are for one academic year (9 months), renewable and dependent on funding. These part-time graduate assistantship positions provide a modest stipend and an excellent experience working closely with faculty.
Research or Project Assistantships
Research assistantships (RA) or project assistantships (PA) may be available pending individual faculty funding cycles. Only students admitted to Health Sciences Graduate Programs will be considered for a RA or PA appointment.
Please contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to learn more information about available RA or PA positions.
Fellowships & Awards
CHS Scholarships available for MS Communication Sciences & Disorders
- Catherine Zimmer Memorial Scholarship
- CHS Alumni Chapter Scholarship
- CHS Student Scholarship
- Curative Care Network Memorial Scholarship
- Leadership Healthcare Forum Scholarship
- Randall S. Lambrecht Honor Code Scholarship
- Steven Family Scholarship
State and National Scholarships
Other Financial Support
When the ability to communicate is disrupted, every aspect of daily living is affected. As a speech-language pathologist, you’ll work with clients and their families to improve communication skills and cope with the difficulties of communication and swallowing disorders. You’ll use your expertise to treat conditions such as stuttering, delayed language development, aphasia, dysphagia, and voice and articulation problems.
Why choose us?
- We offer all of the opportunities of a metropolitan area at an affordable price. Our location gives you easy access to off-campus externships in medical, rehabilitation and school sites.
- Our program — which includes two full-semester placements in the community with the option of a third mini-placement — prepares you for both educational and medical settings to maximize your career flexibility.
- You’ll work in our state-of-the-art laboratories and instructional facilities, including our Speech and Language Clinic and Speech Science Lab, where you’ll have access to the latest acoustic analysis equipment.
- All of our students participate in research, either through a thesis or by working closely with a faculty mentor on his or her research projects.
- Our dedicated, caring faculty members are committed to your success, whether that’s by making time for a one-on-one meeting or observing and consulting on particularly difficult cases in the clinic.
- In recent years 100 percent of our students have passed the national board exam on the first try, with scores consistently above the national average.
- Our graduate program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has approved our program, so you’ll be eligible for a Wisconsin DPI license after you complete the course and practicum requirements.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #310
Rockville, MD 20850
(800) 498-2071 or (301) 296-5700
Mission & GoalsMission & Goals
The mission of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is to engage in the generation, dissemination, integration, and application of knowledge specific to evaluation of and intervention for speech, language, and hearing impairments. Members of the department conduct research that contributes to the knowledge base of the field, and provide high-quality educational programs that (1) prepare undergraduate students with a broad foundation in communication sciences and disorders, (2) prepare graduate students in speech-language pathology for professional practice, and (3) prepare students to continue their professional growth beyond their formal education. The department also provides clinical services to the Milwaukee community for a variety of communication disorders.
- To provide students with an appropriate theoretical and scientific base in communication sciences and disorders.
- To provide students with an understanding of individual and cultural variability as they relate to communication development and disorders.
- To develop oral and written communication skills that students will need to function effectively as professionals in communication sciences and disorders.
- To encourage students to participate in a variety of research and scholarly activities.
- To provide students with an understanding of other academic disciplines as they relate to and enhance the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.
- To encourage students to view education and professional growth as ongoing processes.
- To prepare students to integrate and apply research theory and methodology to evaluation of and intervention for communication disorders with children and adults.
- To develop students’ skills in applying knowledge of individual and cultural differences in clinical practice.
- To prepare students to appropriately counsel clients and significant others regarding communication development and disorders.
- To assist students in developing effective interpersonal skills for clinical practice and professional endeavors.
- To prepare students to engage in ethical and professional practices as delineated by professional organizations and licensing boards.
The best time to start thinking about your application process is at least one year before your anticipated graduate program start date.
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders welcomes students from other academic areas at UW-Milwaukee, as well as students transferring to UWM from other institutions.
To apply to the UWM Graduate School for graduate studies in communication sciences and disorders, you must first meet the admission requirements of the UWM Graduate School. However, in addition to UWM Graduate School requirements, those intending to apply for the MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders Program must first meet specific departmental requirements for undergraduate coursework in the field. Students with an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Speech and Hearing Sciences, or Speech-Language Pathology will have completed these prerequisites during their undergraduate studies. Students with an undergraduate degree in another field must meet these undergraduate requirements prior to being eligible to apply to the graduate program.
If you have questions about your eligibility to apply for our graduate program, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator:
Marylou Gelfer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Health Sciences
For information regarding the graduate curriculum and for course descriptions, see UWM’s Graduate School website.
Get InvolvedGet Involved
National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is the organization for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the study of normal and disordered human communication behavior. Students may join the UWM campus chapter and/or the national organization which is affiliated with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Members of the national organization receive several journals and a reduction in dues the year they initially join ASHA. The campus chapter provides opportunities to network with other students, socialize, provide service through fundraising events and learn more about the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.
Susan Yorio, Faculty Advisor
Clinical Associate Professor
Caitlin Croegaert, Faculty Advisor
Clinical Assistant Professor
The Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research provides the UW-Milwaukee campus with different opportunities to volunteer throughout the city and beyond. Each week of the year there are opportunities to make a real difference in Milwaukee and beyond by working to improve the environment, mentoring local kids, stocking shelves at a food pantry, serving breakfast to Milwaukee’s homeless community, engaging in an alternative spring break, and helping older adults.
Learn more about volunteer opportunities at uwm.edu/community/students
Clinical EducationClinical Education
The semester prior to placement, you will need to complete the Site Request Form, the application, and the Larson Rating Scale. Print them out and turn them in to Dawn Hennes with your current resume.
A criminal background check is required prior to participation in on-campus clinic and fieldwork placements. Students will receive instructions and an access code for completing the background check after admission to the graduate program.
Site Supervisor Information
Essential FunctionsEssential Functions
Essential functions, as distinguished from academic standards, are those communicative, motor and physical, cognitive, sensory/observational and behavioral/social skills that are necessary to meet graduate and professional requirements as assessed by state licensure and national certification agencies, and are thus necessary for satisfactory completion of clinical practicum requirements.
Professional CertificationProfessional Certification
Students completing the Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program will have completed all educational requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence awarded by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). For more information, please visit the ASHA certification website.
Employment OutlookEmployment Outlook
The median annual wage for speech-language pathologists was $73,410 in May 2015. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $46,000, and the top 10 percent more than $114,840.
ASHA’s 2011 SLP Health Care Survey reported a mean annual salary of $73,415 (n=682) for speech-language pathologists employed in medical and nursing-related facilities. For more information, examine the ASHA 2011 SLP Health Care Survey – Summary Report.
ASHA’s 2010 Schools Survey Workforce and Work Conditions summary reported a median 9-10 month salary of $58,000, and a median 11-12 month salary of $65,000 for speech-language pathologists employed in school-based settings. For more information, examine the: ASHA 2010 Schools Survey- SLP Annual Salaries and Hourly Wages Report.
Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions
Contact Kate Fernstrom, CSD Program Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 229-4263.
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). Students without an undergraduate major in CSD must have 18 completed credits in CSD (exclusive of sign language) to be eligible for application.
At the time of application, the student’s transcript must show:
- At least 18 graded credits in CSD courses, excluding sign language courses, but including courses required on these three topics:
- English Phonetics,
- Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism, and
- Normal Language Development
- International applicants must have demonstrated proficiency with the English language on the TOFL.
At the time of the graduate program start, the student’s transcript must show:
- completion of an undergraduate degree
- at least 27 graded credits in CSD courses, excluding sign language courses, but including courses required on these six topics:
- English Phonetics,
- Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
- Normal Language Development,
- Speech and/or Hearing Science
- Introduction to Audiology
- Aural Rehabilitation
- a course in statistics (content covering regression and ANOVA preferred)
- 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.
- 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:
- biological sciences, including human or animal biology
- physics or chemistry
- social sciences, including psychology, sociology, anthropology or public health
- 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:
- exceptional individuals
- human growth and development including the psychology of learning
- social foundations of education
- teaching of reading (graduate course elective available)
- native American Indian population sovereignty rights (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 August 2, 2017, our applications are managed by the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). The CSDCAS applicant portal link is https://csdcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login.
What is the application deadline?
You must initiate your application on the CSDCAS website as of 11:59 p.m. EST on January 1, including payment of the CSDCAS application fee. Your personal statement and all current transcripts should be received by that date. By January 15 prior to the intended program start date, final transcripts with Fall grades and Spring in-progress courses and GRE scores must be received. 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 for admission review. It is important to get your materials in to CSDCAS as early as possible.
What materials are required with my application?
At the CSDCAS portal, materials to be submitted include:
- 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 this academic year’s 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 most recent 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 Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9113
Watertown, MA 02471
It may be necessary to send transcripts from your current institution twice: once without the current Fall Semester grades, and a second time after they have been posted.
- 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.
- Three letters of recommendation. These should be written by professors who can speak directly to your learning aptitude for content in communication sciences and disorders. At least two letters should be from faculty or instructors in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Speech-Language Pathology, Speech and Hearing Science, or a similar department. One letter can be from an instructor in Communication Sciences & Disorders who supervised your practicum, OR a faculty or instructor from any academic department OR a community professional who supervised you in a speech-language-related outside experience.
- 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:
- Personal characteristics and background experiences that make you suitable for the profession of speech-language pathology
- Research interests and activities.
- Experiences of leadership and professional service
- Interactions with individuals who are different from you in their social, cultural or economic perspectives.
- Reasons you want to attend UWM, and if you have applied to UWM in the past, explain what strengthens your current application.
- 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. Do not send your GRE scores to CSDCAS until you have initiated your electronic application.
- 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 the UWM Graduate School through the UW-System on-line application site: graduateschool-apply.uwm.edu
Do not apply directly to UWM at this website until you are accepted.
How do I find out whether my materials were received?
Contact CSDCAS (Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm Eastern Time)
PO Box 9113
Watertown, MA 02471
Voice: (617) 612-2030
Fax: (617) 612-2051
How do I contact the CSD department staff with questions?
Call (414) 229-4263, or e-mail email@example.com
Where can I find answers to my questions about the CSDCAS process?
Go to https://portal.csdcas.org/csdcasHelpPages/instructions-and-faq/
Where do I direct questions about my situation and the requirements/eligibility?
Ask Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Marylou Gelfer, at (414) 229-6465 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3-year Graduate Program Statistics
Admission Statistics (students who started these years)*
|Number accepting admission:||27||27||26||27|
|Total number of applicants with complete/eligible files:||309||277||312||299|
|Number offered admission initially (not including waitlist):||100||98||95||98|
|Number waitlisted who received offers:||40||4||46||30|
|Comm.Disorders Major GPA (4.00 scale; those accepting admission) mean ave.:||3.80||3.87||3.83||3.83|
|Overall GPA (those accepting admission): mean ave.:||3.57||3.70||3.66||3.64|
|GRE Percentile Rank (V%+Q%+A%/3; those accepting admission) mean ave.:||54||51||45||50|
|Number who completed the program:||30||23||28||27|
|Number who finished in the typical 6 terms (2 yrs) or less:||25||23||26||25 (92%)|
|Number who finished in 7 terms or less:||28||23||26||26 (95%)|
|Number who passed the Praxis on the 1st try:||30||23||28||27 (100%)|
|Number employed in the profession within 1 year:||28||23||24||25 (94%)|
Last updated 9/15/2017
* 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: email@example.com
How do I find out about ASHA requirements?
Check this website: www.asha.org/certification/
Faculty & StaffFaculty & Staff
- Tricia Chirillo, MS, CCC-A
Clinical Associate Professor
- Caitlin Croegaert, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Assistant Professor
- Kathryn Fernstrom
Academic Department Associate
- Marylou Gelfer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator
- John J. Heilmann, PhD, CCC-SLP
- Dawn Marie Hennes, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor
- Sabine Heuer, PhD, CCC-SLP
- Erin LeSage, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Assistant Professor
- Joyce M. King-McIver, PhD, CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor, Speech/Language Clinic Coordinator
- Shelley Lund, PhD, CCC/SLP
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Program Coordinator
- Kathryn Morgan
Medical Program Associate
- Barbara R. Pauloski, PhD, CCC-SLP
- Paula Rhyner, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, ASHA Fellow
- Stacy Ryan, Au D, CCC-A, FAAA
- Carol H. Seery, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor, Chair
- Sherri L. Sieff, PhD
Clinical Professor Emerita
- Kathy Wangerin, MA, CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor
- Patricia Willis, MST, CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor Emerita
- Susan Yorio, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor Emerita
- Heather Zingler, Au D, CCC-A, FAAA