Communication Sciences and Disorders
School/College: College of Health Sciences
- M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers a program of graduate study which prepares students for careers as speech-language pathologists in public schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and university training programs. The program typically takes 2 calendar years to complete. Students usually prepare for service delivery in both school and healthcare clinical settings to maximize career flexibility. Occasionally, students may choose to focus career preparation on just one type of setting.
Departmental laboratory and instructional facilities include a speech and language clinic, a hearing evaluation center, an instructional communication sciences laboratory, and faculty research laboratories. Research and instructional laboratories contain state-of-the-art technology, a variety of acoustic and physiological measurement systems including a swallow station, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. Students typically participate in at least three semesters of on-campus clinic. Student participation in a research experience is required.
Following a minimum of two successful practicum experiences in the on-campus clinics, students are eligible for off-campus externships in medical, rehabilitation, school, and birth-to-three sites. A successful practicum experience is one in which a student earns a grade of B or better. Students placed in these facilities are required to pass a criminal background check prior to the externship placement, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapters 48 and 50.
The master's degree program in speech-language pathology (M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850-3289, 301-296-5700.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has also approved the undergraduate/graduate program in communication sciences and disorders. Students in the graduate program are advised individually to select academic coursework and clinical practica so that they may fulfill the standards of the credentials of their choice, including the state professional license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (DRL), a state public schools license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and the national professional Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC) issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
- Rhyner, Paula, Ph.D., Kent State University
- Associate Professors
- Gelfer, Marylou, Ph.D., University of Florida
- Heilmann, John, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Lund, Shelley, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
- Seery, Carol, Ph.D., University of Washington, Chair
- Assistant Professors
- Heuer, Sabine, Ph.D., Ohio University
Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders
AdmissionAn applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus these departmental requirements to be considered for admission to the program:
- Undergraduate major in communication sciences and disorders.
- A cumulative overall grade point average of 3.0 or better (scale of 4.0).
- Minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better in the undergraduate major courses.
- Submission of three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with applicant's academic qualifications and achievements.
- Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores.
- Students must apply to the program using the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS): https://portal.csdcas.org/
See the CSD FAQ Web site for more information.
Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses.
The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.
Students preparing for professional certification in speech-language pathology must also have transcript credit (which could include course work, advanced placement, CLEP, or examination of equivalency) for each of the following areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and mathematics.
Major Professor as Advisor
The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the graduate studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. Entering students are assigned advisors according to faculty advising loads.
Credits and Courses
Minimum degree requirement is 49 credits, although total degree credits are typically around 55. The 38 core curriculum requirements must be in Communication Sciences and Disorders academic courses: 670, 688, 701, 702, 703, 704, 706 or 660, 709, 710, 711, 712, 715, 721, 725, 784, 785, and 790 (1 cr) or 791. Two credits of electives are required from among 520, 579, 620, 630, 640, 661, 690, 705, 706 or 660 (whichever was not taken to fulfill a core requirement), 717, 728, 790 (credits beyond 1), 799, 802, 804, for a total of 40 credits. The remaining credits will be taken in required clinical practica, including 720, 771, 726 and/or 727.
The student, in consultation with the major advisor, plans the appropriate practicum courses for on-campus clinics and off-campus externships to meet ASHA certification, DPI and Wisconsin licensure requirements. Only clinical clock hours for practicum experiences in which the student has earned a grade of B or better will apply toward degree, certification, or licensure requirements.
Students who have fulfilled the program's student learning outcomes in U/G courses (for example, ComSDis 670 or 688) will be waived from taking these courses as part of their graduate program. However, students must still take a minimum of 38 graduate credits in academic coursework, and must have a minimum of 49 total graduate credits to complete degree requirements.
Optional. A student may earn up to 6 credits for a thesis (ComSDis 790) if this option is selected. One of these credits will apply toward the core curriculum, two credits may apply toward the elective credit requirement, and the rest may apply toward the total of 49 credits required for the degree.
Students who do not choose the thesis option are required to engage in a one-credit research experience (ComSDis 791). This experience may involve (but is not limited to) a small-scale original study, a project related to the on-going research of a faculty member, a clinical case study, or a literature review. Students may work individually or in groups. The final product can be either a research paper or a poster of the research findings, presented at a departmental research colloquium.
Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) Assessment
All students will be responsible for completion of the Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) assessment, which assesses student attainment of learning outcomes in a variety of content areas. Students who are judged by program faculty and staff to be deficient in one or more content areas will be required to take additional coursework or clinical practica until their deficiencies have been satisfied.
Completion of the degree program affords the necessary opportunities to meet licensure and certification requirements. However, it is still the student's responsibility to ensure that his or her individual course and practicum choices are consistent with the credentials he or she seeks to obtain, and that all competencies and standards have been met.
The student must complete all degree requirements within seven years of initial enrollment.
Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.
- 520 Counseling in Communication Disorders. 3 cr. U/G.
- Current theories in counseling and guidance, procedures designed specifically for use with the communicatively impaired. Opportunity for application of knowledge will be provided. Prereq: jr st; admis to major or cons instr.
- 579 Special Topics in Communication Sciences and Disorders: (Subtitled). 1-3 cr. U/G.
- Specific topic and any additional prerequisites will be announced in the Schedule of Classes each time the course is offered. May be repeated with change in topic to max of 6 cr. Prereq: jr st.
- 580 Communication Problems of the Older Adult. 3 cr. U/G.
- Study of the impairments to the communicative process caused by physiological, environmental, and social psychological changes which come with aging. Prereq: sr st; ComSDis 460 or cons instr.
- 620 Craniofacial Disorders. 2 cr. U/G.
- Genetic, embryological, anatomical and physiological aspects of craniofacial disorders, including cleft lip and palate; associated communicative disorders; diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for related speech-language problems. Prereq: ComSDis 350(P), 351(P), 480(P); cons instr.
- 630 Communication Disorders in Multicultural Populations. 2 cr. U/G.
- Application of theoretical models and research perspectives to the assessment and treatment of communication disorders in children from multicultural populations. Prereq: sr st; cons instr.
- 634 Collaborative Consultation/Teaming-Serving Young Children with Disabilities. 3 cr. U/G.
- Focus on development of collaboration and consultation skills for professionals employed in interdisciplinary and interagency settings. ExcEduc 634, Occthpy 634, & ComSDis 634 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st.
- 640 Clinical and Research Instrumentation in Communication Sciences & Disorders. 2 cr. U/G.
- Hands-on laboratory experience with several clinically practical and non-invasive instrumentation systems for analyzing, monitoring, documenting normal as well as abnormal articulation, voice and prosody. Prereq: sr st; ComSDis 480(P); cons instr.
- 650 Communication Assessment and Intervention for Persons with Disabilities. 3 cr. U/G.
- Application of various theories and models of communication assessment and intervention for persons with severe/profound disabilities. Prereq: sr st; cons instr.
- 660 School-Age Language. 2 cr. U/G.
- Language disorders in older children and adolescents; application of developmental theory to assessment and intervention. Prereq: sr st; cons instr.
- 661 The Role of the Speech-language Pathologist in Literacy. 2 cr. U/G.
- Language theory related to reading and writing disorders. Speech-language pathologist's role in assessment and intervention. Prereq: sr st; cons instr.
- 670 (521) Advanced Procedures in Audiology. 3 cr. U/G.
- Masking, speech audiometry, acoustic immittance testing, differential diagnosis, audiological screening design, development and implementation, special pediatric and geriatric concerns; audiologic counseling and hearing aid orientation. Prereq: sr st; ComSDis 470(P); cons instr.
- 688 (708) Evaluation and Diagnosis in Speech-Language Pathology. 2 cr. U/G.
- The diagnostic process in speech-language assessment: case histories and interviewing, formal and informal assessment, interpretation of results, and report writing. Prereq: sr st; ComSDis 351(P); or cons instr.
- 690 Cognitive Communication Disorders in Adults. 2 cr. U/G.
- Communication disorders related to traumatic brain injury and dementia in adults. Emphasis on neuropathology, symptomatology, assessment, and management. Prereq: sr st, ComSDis 460, and cons instr; or grad st.
- 701 Research Design and Methods in Communication Sciences and Disorders. 3 cr. G.
- Introduction to strategy, design, and methodology in quantitative research; includes considerations in evaluating and understanding components of research articles, and integrating research into clinical practice. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 702 Clinical Phonology and Articulation. 2 cr. G.
- Normal and disordered aspects of articulation and phonology. Emphasis on theoretical and practical considerations for clinical assessment and treatment. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 703 Voice Disorders. 2 cr. G.
- Diagnosis and treatment of hyperfunctional disorders; psychogenic voice disorders; organic diseases, trauma, and congenital disorders of the larynx; resonance disorders; and alaryngeal speech. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 704 Speech Fluency and Stuttering. 3 cr. G.
- Theory and research related to the nature and treatment of stuttering. Discussion of factors important to the clinical management of fluency in children and adults. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 705 Aphasia in Adults. 2 cr. G.
- Nature of aphasia and related communication disorders. Study of pertinent diagnostic and prognostic techniques and therapeutic procedures. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 706 Language Assessment and Intervention: Birth to 5 years. 2 cr. G.
- Application of various theoretical models and research perspectives to the assessment and treatment of children with language impairments. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 709 Evaluation and Management of Swallowing Disorders. 3 cr. G.
- Study of normal and abnormal swallowing across the lifespan, with emphasis on etiologies, clinical and instrumental evaluation techniques, and management. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 712(P); cons instr.
- 710 Motor Speech Disorders. 3 cr. G.
- Basic neurological substrates of the dysarthrias and apraxia, differential diagnosis and treatment of acquired and developmental communication disorders associated with apraxia and dysarthria. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 703(P) & 712(P).
- 711 (801) Applied Speech Science. 3 cr. G.
- Advanced study of physiological, acoustical, and perceptual perspectives of normal and abnormal speech production mechanisms; laboratory experience with speech science instrumentation for research/clinical application. Counts as repeat of ComSDis 801. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 712 Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders in Adults. 3 cr. G.
- Nature of acquired neurogenic communication disorders, including aphasia, TBI, RHD and dementia. Study of pertinent diagnostic and prognostic techniques and therapeutic procedures. Prereq: grad st
- 713 Degenerative Cognitive Communication Disorders in Older Adults. 2 cr. G.
- Nature of healthy cognitive aging and cognitive and communicative disorders of dementia. Study of pertinent diagnostic and prognostic techniques and therapeutic procedures. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 715 (680) Assessment and Intervention in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. 3 cr. G.
- Application of current research in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for assessment, prescription of AAC systems, and intervention planning for individuals with severe communication disorders. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 717 Special Populations in Communication Disorders. 2 cr. G.
- Seminar reviewing the current literature on selected populations of individuals with communication disorders and the implications of this literature on clinical practice. Prereq: grad st.
- 720 (902) Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology: (Subtitled). 1-3 cr. G.
- Supervised clinical practice with different speech and language problems in children and adults. Counts as a repeat of ComSDis 902. Retakable as necessary to fulfill competency requirements. Prereq: grad st; cons instr
- 721 The Clinical Process. 1 cr. G.
- Analysis of the clinical process with application to clients with different speech-language disorders. Prereq: grad st
- 725 Speech/Language Services in Educational and Medical Environments. 2 cr. G.
- Methods and professional issues related to the speech-language pathologist employed in the educational and medical environments. Prereq: grad st, ComSDis 709(C) or cons instr.
- 726 (903) Speech-Language Pathology Externship in Medical Environments. 4 cr. G.
- Supervised clinical experience in medical and rehabilitation settings. Counts as a repeat of ComSDis 903. May be repeated to 8 cr max. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 709(P); ComSDis 725(P); cons instr & grad advisor.
- 727 (905) Speech-Language Pathology Externship in Educational Environments. 4 cr. G.
- Supervised clinical experience in educational environments. Counts as repeat of ComSDis 905. May be repeated to 8 cr max. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 660(P) or 706(P); ComSDis 725(P); cons instr & grad advisor.
- 728 (908) Instrumentation Laboratory. 1 cr. G.
- Hands-on experience with speech science instrumentation for analysis of voice, prosody, and resonance. Counts as repeat of ComSDis 908. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 703(C) or cons instr.
- 770 (906) Clinical Practice in Audiologic Assessment. 3 cr. G.
- Supervised clinical experience at Community Audiology Services, West Allis, WI. Activities include audiologic assessment and (re)habilitation with children and adults (adult emphasis). Counts as repeat of ComSDis 906. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 670(521); cons instr.
- 771 (907) Clinical Practice in Audiologic (Re)Habilitation: (Subtitled). 2-3 cr. G.
- Supervised experience in audiologic (re)habilitation with pediatric or adult clients at on-campus or community sites. Counts as repeat of ComSDis 907. May be repeated to 4 cr max. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 670(521) & 706 (for pediatric placements); cons instr.
- 784 Professional Portfolio Development I. 1 cr. G.
- Students are guided through the second (working) review of their professional development portfolios. Prereq: grad st
- 785 Professional Portfolio Development II. 1 cr. G.
- Students are guided through the final process of designing a professional development portfolio. Prereq: grad st; ComSDis 784(P).
- 790 Research and Thesis. 1-6 cr. G.
- Independent research and writing under the supervision of a graduate faculty member. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 791 Research Experience in Communication Sciences and Disorders. 1 cr. G.
- Supervised research in communication sciences and disorders under the direction of an approved mentor. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 799 Independent Studies. 1-3 cr. G.
- Independent pursuit of a creative project designed by the student and supervised by a faculty or instructional academic staff member. Prereq: grad st; cons grad advisor.
- 802 Seminar in Applied Phonology: 1 cr. G.
- Specific topic and any additional prerequisites announced in the Timetable each time the course is offered. May be repeated w/chg in topic to 7 cr max. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 804 Seminar in Stuttering and Fluency: 1 cr. G.
- Specific topic and any additional prerequisites announced in the Timetable each time the course is offered. May be repeated w/chg in topic to 7 cr max. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
- 888 Candidate for Degree. 0 cr. G.
- Available for graduate students who must meet minimum credit load requirement. Fee for 1 cr assessed. Prereq: grad st.