Communication Sciences and Disorders, Residential - Master of Science

(Code 622-806)

The program leading to the degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders is designed to prepare the student to function independently as a speech-language pathologist. To accomplish that objective, it is necessary that the student develop knowledge and/or competencies in several areas:

1.     knowledge of the spectrum of communication and swallowing disorders within the context of normal development and behavior;

2.     knowledge of the nature, prevention, evaluation, and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults in various professional practice settings;

3.     evidence-based practice.

Completion of a master’s degree is required prior to earning certification in speech-language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and prior to earning a license from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for employment in public schools or from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services for employment in all other settings. Almost all employment in speech-language pathology requires the master’s degree. The master’s degree program in speech-language pathology at this University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. There is no program in audiology at UW-Eau Claire.

Practicum experiences are planned to serve the needs and interests of graduate students in communication sciences and disorders. They obtain a variety of clinical experiences through the Center for Communication Disorders on campus and the department's many affiliated practicum sites. Under the supervision of qualified University personnel and qualified on-site speech-language pathologists at affiliated practicum sites, students have the opportunity to work with clients ranging in age across the lifespan with all types of communication disorders. The affiliated practicum sites vary, including hospitals, clinics, community agencies, and schools.

To be considered for admission, an applicant must meet the following minimal criteria:

  1. a baccalaureate degree, from a regionally accredited university;
  2. a minimum of 30 earned semester credits in specific communication sciences and disorders coursework prior to matriculation into the graduate program;
  3. a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 from each post-secondary degree earned, and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in communication sciences and disorders coursework;
  4. a grade of B or above in any graded practicum experience; and
  5. submission of all required application materials prior to the application deadline.

These application materials include: application to CSDCAS (all official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, and personal essay) and application to the university.

The fact that a student has met the minimal criteria listed above does not guarantee admission to the program. Enrollment in the graduate program is limited to a maximum number of students determined annually by the program faculty. In recent years, the number of students admitted annually has been 18. Applications for admission are reviewed only once per year for each program.

UW-Eau Claire's master’s program in CSD is offered in two modalities:  Residential and online.  Both require successful completion of at least 54 CSD graduate credits.

Full-time residential MS program

Application materials for our full-time program are due in January every year and students begin the program in the fall. This program requires that each student complete the following academic courses in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the graduate level, unless equivalent courses have been taken previously:

Fifty-four required semester credits, including:
Required Courses (Forty credits):40
CSD 648Aphasia and Related Disorders3
CSD 706Language Assessment3
CSD 715Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders2
CSD 716Essential Applications for Graduate Studies in Communication Sciences and Disorders1
CSD 721Seminar: Childhood Apraxia of Speech1
CSD 725Counseling in Communication Disorders2
CSD 726Organic Voice and Speech Disorders3
CSD 729Augmentative and Assistive Communication3
CSD 731Seminar: Child/Adolescent Language Intervention3
CSD 737Dysphagia3
CSD 748Motor Speech Disorders3
CSD 749Birth to 21 Methods in Communication Disorders4
CSD 750Rehabilitation Methods in Communication Disorders2
CSD 752Developmental Stuttering and Other Fluency Disorders3
CSD 754Acquired Cognitive-Communicative Disorders3
CSD 774Pediatric Dysphagia1
Clinical Practicum
Select four credits from the following:4
Graduate Clinical Practicum
Clinical Practicum in Communication Disorders II
Clinical Practicum in Communication Disorders III
Externships 1
Select two externships (10 credits combined), which may be located in schools and/or rehabilitation settings:10
Externship in Communication Disorders-Educational Settings
Externship in Communication Sciences and Disorders---Non-School Setting
Aural Rehabilitation
Voice and Resonance Disorders
Speech Sound Disorders
Introduction to Sign Language
Facilitating Communication in Preschool Children
Neurological Aspects of Communication & Cognition
Serving Diverse Populations
Directed Studies
Seminar: Selected Topics
Independent Study

 Prior to the externship, the student must complete the methods course for that setting (CSD 749 and/or CSD 750). 

In total, there are 14 required clinical practicum credits in the graduate program, including externships and practicum enrollments.  Typical program duration encompasses four semesters and the summer session midway through the program. Students must enroll in a full-time schedule, unless special permission is granted by the Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate faculty to work toward the degree on a part-time basis. Students may elect either a thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option is available as elective credits. All students must successfully complete an oral comprehensive examination prior to graduation. Thesis students will complete an oral examination of their thesis.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing this program will be expected to meet the following learning outcomes: 

  • Develop a comprehensive, integrated knowledge base of normal and disordered communication and swallowing.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the spectrum of communication and swallowing disorders within the context of normal development and behavior.
  • Develop competent clinical skills with a broad range of communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the intervention processes of evaluation, treatment, and prevention of communication and swallowing disorders.
  • Will obtain employment and function satisfactorily in the workplace.
  • Be eligible for speech and language certification and licensing.
  • Will be eligible for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
  • Will be eligible for licensure by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in speech-language pathology (if choosing to seekeligibility).