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M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders

About M.S.CSD Program

Program Overview

Location: Cullowhee, Main Campus

Prerequisites: 3.0 GPA, required courses

Full-Time, 30 Person Cohort

App. Deadline: Feb. 1 - Fall Admit Only

63 Credit Hours, 21 Months to Complete

100% praxis pass rate and employment

Virtual Open House

Thursday, May 19, 2022: 5-6pm

Join us at one of our upcoming virtual Graduate School Open House events on Zoom! You'll have the opportunity to learn more about Western Carolina University,  understand the Graduate School application process, and meet key program representatives.

Register Today

The Speech Language Pathology graduate program is a highly competitive, full-time program made up of a 30 person cohort. The application deadline for all students in Feburary 15, as cohorts begin in the Fall of each year. 


CSD graduate student working in the clinic


At the time of matriculation, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree and completed all ASHA pre-requisite courses (a biological science course, a chemistry or physics course, a social science course, and a statistics course).

The competitive applicant will have the following:

  • a strong grade point average (e.g. > 3.3 for both overall and in pre-requisite courses)
  • high CASPer score
  • 290 or higher on GRE
  • a minimum of 3.5 on writing portion of GRE
  • 3 strong letters of recommendation
  • excellent communication skills

How to Apply: 

Step 1

Applicants must complete Western Carolina University’s Graduate School application and pay the application fee.



Step 2

Altus Suite - admissions assessments of non-cognitive skills

All applicants applying to the Communication Sciences and Disorders department, at Western Carolina University are required to complete an online suite of assessments (Altus Suite), to assist with our selection process for the 2021-2022 Application Cycle.

Altus Suite consists of a two part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

Altus Suite consists of:

  • Casper: a 60-90 minute online situational judgment test (SJT)
  • Snapshot: a 10-minute one-way interview with standardized questions

You will register for Altus Suite for the US Professional Health Sciences test (CSP-10101).

Access to create an account and for more information on important dates and requirements (*please note only certain dates are avaialable for testing with the final test date being January 20, 2022*), and the Altus Suite assessments.

Step 3

Complete the GRE.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is February 1st. All application materials must be submitted to WCU Graduate School by that date.

Application Requirements

All of the following application materials must be submitted through WCU application portal.

Applications Must Include:

  • Official college/university transcripts from all previous coursework
  • Completion of ASHA prerequisite courses (biological science, chemistry or physics, social science, statistics) - we accept students with out of field degrees so specific prerequisite CSD courses are not a requirement prior to being accepted
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An official GRE score including a writing score
  • An official score on Altus Suite CASPer exam (this is provided directly to Western from Altus Suite following applicant testing/scoring) and completion of Altus Suite Snapshot
  • Submission of response to written prompt (provided as part of the application through WCU)

Speech Language Pathology practice requires certain aptitude, abilities, and skills to ensure success and client safety. Students accepted into the program must attest to meeting these essential functions.

Information for International Applicants

Citizens of other countries, whose degrees are not from U.S. institutions, must have their transcripts and full course descriptions translated into English and evaluated by a recognized credential evaluation service such as World Education Services. International applicants from countries where English is not the primary language must submit a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and provide a statement of financial responsibility.

Course Sequence

  • To see a typical course sequence if you are interested in completing a thesis and have an undergraduate degree in CSD - choose this link
  • To see a typical course sequence if you have a degree in CSD and are not interested in completing a thesis in graduate school choose this link
  • If you have a degree in another field choose this link to see your typical course sequence.

Application Contact Information

If you have questions about the application process and status of your application, you may contact Dr. Leigh Odom (

If you have questions about improving your application to reapply in the future, you may contact Laura Trivette (

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