Advising Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions.

  • You apply the fall semester before you graduate.
  • The application process for graduate programs in COMDIS (MS, AuD, and PhD) all open around September and typically are due by February 1st.
    • Some schools have deadines of December or January, so make sure to check for each program.

  • Most COMDIS programs are using a universal application cite (CSDCAS) but not all, so make sure to check each program's web page for directions on how to apply.
  • If you have questions regarding a specific program make sure to refer to their web page.
    • Only e-mail the contact person with questions after carefully reading the web page instructions
      • Sending multiple inquiries that could be answered through reading the web page is not advised.  This behavior can give a bad first impression that you are not resourceful and able to follow instructions.

  • Almost all programs will require five documents/items
    • Personal statement
      • This should be about you and your experiences and talents.
      • Show through examples and facts that you have done your research and know why you would like to work/go to school there and what makes you a good candidate.
      • Have at least three people proof read it.
        • This document gives reviewers an opportunity to critique what you have to say as well as how well you say it. If there are errors, poor flow, etc. that matters.
      • Avoid broad statements.
        • Below are some examples and then the reasons why they don't make for great personal
        • statements.
          • "An SLP holds the key to communication."
            • If it could be a slogan for an advertisement or a bumper sticker, it is not specific or concise. This should be about YOU.
          • "I knew I wanted to be an SLP after watching my grandpa struggle with recovery from a stroke."
            • Everyone has a story, and we read a lot of these.
            • It would be better to focus on this as your introduction to the field and
            • then what have you done to cultivate your skills and experiences after
            • that point?
            • What makes you stand out?
          • "I knew I wanted to be an SLP because I wanted to help people."
            • There are MANY professions that help people, why SLP?

    • Official transcripts (with fall grades)
      • If you submit your application before the fall grades are included you will have to pay to send another copy of the transcript.
      • I suggest starting your application and filling in as much information as necessary when the application submission opens in September, but don't actually submit until early January when you can include your fall grades.  This saves you money on transcript fees.

    • Three letters of recommendation
      • You will want to have at least one from the COMDIS department and the other two can come from faculty in other departments that know you well.
      • You may ask employers or volunteer supervisors, but they should be long term employers or supervisors that can address the questions listed below.  This person should have some relation
      • to the field of COMDIS.
      • Make sure to ask someone who can say more than what letter grade you received in their course.
        • Can they attest to your ability to work well with others?
        • Can they attest to your ability to problem solve and be resourceful?
        • Can they attest to your ability to write objectively and concisely?
        • Can they attest to your experience with various client groups?
        • Can they attest to your academic strengths?
        • Can they attest to your ability to communicate ideas effectively and logically?
        • Can they attest to your disposition?

    • List of Experiences (Resume section)
      • Only highlight the experiences that are relevant to the job/degree program
        • Don't need to include everything you have ever done
        • Read mission statements or projected goals and try to tie some of them with your skill set and desires
      • Short, clean, concise/organized, clear
        • Imagine reading hundreds of applications, you would appreciate short, clear, concise
      • You will need to have contact information for each experience (supervisor's name, phone, email, address, etc.)

    • GRE scores
      • The GRE is a standardized test for graduate school programs. Think of it like a graduate version of the SAT or ACT.
      • Most students take the GRE in the summer between their junior and senior year to give them time to study/prepare without having to worry about other course work.
      • The amount of prep work is based on the individual some just register and take the exam, some review the free materials provided, some purchase extra materials and courses.
      • The GRE is provided by a company called ETS
        • The above web page is a source for information, registration, exam dates and locations.
        • You can take the GRE at any designated location in the US.
      • Make sure to have the program code for the universities you plan to apply to when you take the exam.
        • You can submit the scores to three different programs before having to pay an additional fee.
        • The COMDIS program code should be found on the program's application information page.
      • It is not recommended to take the GRE more than two times.
        • There is no guarantee that you will improve, and the schools that you apply to can see all of your attempt scores.
      • You should schedule to take the GRE at least a month before the applications are due so that your scores are reported in time for the due date.

Usually programs start to send out acceptance, rejection, and wait list letters in March or early April.  Every program is slightly different.

At UW-Whitewater the selection committee conducts evaluation and review of applications using a holistic approach in regard to admission to the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Master's program. Due to the limited number of available spaces in each year's new cohort, only a certain number of qualified applicants will receive offers of admission.


  • Being on the waitlist is more common than you would think.
  • Most students apply to the same institutions (campuses close to where they want to live or currently live).
  • Most of the institutions end up accepting the same students into all of their programs. Those top students have a few weeks to decide where they will go.
    • Until those decisions are sent back, the programs cannot send out any new acceptance letters for fear of over enrollment.
    • It often takes until July before our UWW graduate class is decided.
    • If you still have not heard anything by the end of July, it is most likely the case that you will not be admitted from the wait list unless a student drops out at the last minute.
  • It is not always a good idea to contact a program to see where you are on the wait list. If you can resist this temptation, it is better.  Again, this sometimes can give a bad impression and you want to make sure you put your best self forward. 
  • Moral of the story, being on the wait list does not mean you will not get into a program, often it means that the program is waiting on responses from other students they admitted before you.

  • A COMDIS major is just like having a bachelor's degree with a major in biology, history, psychology, etc.  Your bachelors degree is the valuable piece and while you are completing your bachelor's degree you should think about what types of skills you are cultivating to be competitive in the workplace for multiple career paths.
  • What can I do with a degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders?
  • Often times students think of a COMDIS major like a technical degree in that you get your degree, go to graduate school, and become an SLP.
    • This is the traditional pathway to becoming an SLP or AuD, but the majority of students who major in COMDIS do not get into graduate programs.  There are far more undergraduate degrees in COMDIS than graduate positions available.
    • A bachelor's degree is designed to give you skills that can generalize to multiple career paths.
      • This type of degree requires a little more resourcefulness and networking for employment post graduation, but you have a myriad of flexible career paths because you have a wide skill set.
      • Utilize the campus resources for career services.
  • If you want a post-secondary education that gives you a specified career path and skill, a technical college might be the best for you.
    • Technical programs are very good for individuals who know exactly what they want to do and that they want to do that for a long time.
    • Technical programs are not very good for someone who wants to change their career path because that would require returning to school for a whole different program.