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Communication Sciences and Disorders

Administrative Unit:Communication Sciences and Disorders
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Professors Washington (chair), Edwards, Ellis-Weismer, Fourakis, Fowler, Lutfi, Weismer, Westbury; Associate Professors Connor, Hustad, Litovsky, Turkstra; Assistant Professors Ciucci, Kaushanskaya, Schairer


The department offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders. An additional program in the department leads to the Au.D. in audiology. The graduate program provides the opportunity for study in the areas of audiology, speech–language pathology, hearing science, language science, and speech science. The purpose of the graduate program is to prepare clinicians, researchers, and teachers who possess a solid foundation in both the theoretical and applied aspects of the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.

The M.S. program is a two-year professional program designed to prepare students for clinical work. It is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. At the master's level, supervised diagnostic and therapy experiences with children and adults are provided in a variety of on-and-off campus clinical settings. This program meets the academic and clinical-practicum requirements for clinical certification set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Opportunities are also available for pursing a non-clinical program at the master's level.

The Ph.D. program provides relevant classroom and laboratory experiences for the scholar-researcher interested in communication processes and communicative disorders. A student's academic program will consist of course work within the department and in related areas such as psychology, linguistics, statistics, computer science, and education. Students completing the program will be prepared for careers as university professors, laboratory researchers, and senior clinicians.

Individual programs can be designed for students who wish to pursue professional training/clinical certification (in either speech-language pathology or audiology) and the Ph.D. degree. Such students follow a modified sequence of course work, clinical training, and research experience in order to satisfy all academic and certification requirements in five to six years.

Financial Aid

Financial assistance, sometimes available to graduate students in communication sciences and disorders, consists of scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, and project and research assistant positions. Financial assistance is very limited and varies from year to year. Students who are considering applying for financial aid should contact the department for further information.


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.

For more information:
Master's and doctorate programs: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Room 318, 1975 Willow Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-6464; vangenderen@wisc.edu; www.comdis.wisc.edu
Au.D. program: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Room 374, 1975 Willow Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-6481; ahartman@wisc.edu; www.aud.wisc.edu