The U.S. Department of Labor says demand for speech-language pathologists in the United States is expected to grow by 27% through 2028, significantly faster than the average growth rate. Opportunities for audiologists are also on the rise, with a much-higher-than-average increase of 17% projected for the next decade.
A top-10 “Best Job,” speech-language pathologists earn strong salaries, on average $79,000 per year.
If you’re looking for a rewarding career in one of these areas, or have been wondering what education you need to become a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist, a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders will put you on the right track. This pre-professional program will prepare you for entry-level careers in health, education, and human services, as well as for a master’s degree .
A Communication Sciences and Disorders major is also excellent preparation for people looking to pursue work in other helping fields such as early childhood, special education, nursing, social work, or counseling.
Our students engage in valuable, clinical experiences, like the Chatter Matters Camp, which helps non-verbal children with augmentative and alternative communication devices become better communicators.
100% of our Communication Sciences and Disorders major were employed or enrolled in graduate school within one year of graduation (2018-2019)
COMDIS majors are highly sought after by employers and are successful graduate school candidates, as shown in our celebration of Warhawks hired before graduation.
As a Communication Sciences and Disorders major at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, you’ll gain a foundation in human development and biological sciences and prepare to work with individuals with diverse and multilingual heritages, and people of all ages.
Small program, big opportunities
We’re incredibly proud that a large percentage of our majors participate in undergraduate research, and many have presented or have been published nationally.
We find these enriching experiences to be a competitive advantage for our program and our students, especially when it comes to applying to graduate programs.
Options to enrich your studies, increase your marketability
Studying at UW-Whitewater means you have access to other academic programs and resources that can help you expand your skills and knowledge — and career opportunities. Many of our students choose to minor in areas such as:
Here are a few other reasons to consider earning your degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at UW-Whitewater:
In such a hands-on field, it’s important that you gain experience working with clients and practitioners. You’ll have many chances at UW-Whitewater.
The UW-Whitewater Center for Communication Disorders works with community members of all ages with varying speech-language-hearing conditions. A learning lab for our graduate students, this clinic also provides observation and volunteer opportunities for our undergraduate students.
Another highlight of our undergrad program is that you can complete your required 25 observation hours in our on campus clinic, which means you don’t have to seek those opportunities on your own.
Since 2014, more than 120 students in our program participated in UW-Whitewater’s nationally recognized undergraduate research program. Our students dive into topics they’re curious about, as well as assist faculty members with their academic research, from considering the effects of vaping to how concussions in high school sports can lead to long-term memory and communication issues.
Every other year, a faculty member from the Communication Sciences and Disorders bachelor’s degree program offers a travel study, which is a semester-long class that culminates with a short-term international trip. Previous and future sites include Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Scotland and Ireland.
Many of our Communication Sciences and Disorders majors are members of the National Students Speech Language Hearing Association. This organization allows students to make professional connections, organize and participate in community service projects, and promote speech-language pathology and audiology through various events.
Our undergraduate students are prepared to enter the workforce right after graduation. They find Communication Sciences and Disorders jobs in health, human services and education, such as:
With the ultimate goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist or audiologist, most of our majors attend graduate school after completing their bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders.
Makenna Clark, from Joliet, Illinois, earned a B.S. in communication sciences and disorders and Spanish and was accepted to graduate school at Lewis University pursuing a Master of Speech Pathology in Romeoville, Illinois.
Holly Kropke, from Channahon, Illinois, earned a B.S. in communication sciences and disorders and was accepted to graduate school at Augustana College pursuing a Master of Speech Language Pathology in Rock Island, Illinois.
"I am most proud of getting to complete hearing tests on 5 year olds and I'd like to acknowledge Lynn Gilbertson, who made learning about my major very interesting and made me want to learn more and more."
Our faculty members have expertise and research interests in many areas, including occupational health, bilingual language acquisition, hearing conversation, cognition, and voice and swallow.
Recent papers and publications have been on fascinating topics such as:
The nature of our program will also give you the chance to learn from faculty members in other academic areas such as biology, psychology, English and sociology.
UW-Whitewater offers the following undergraduate options:
In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major, you’ll take a variety of core and elective classes from across disciplines, such as:
This is a specialized course sequence that typically can be completed in one year, allowing a student with a bachelor's degree in another field to prepare for application to a master's degree program in speech-language pathology. Learn more »
To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater standard application for admission and indicate your interest in earning a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.