Skip to main content

M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders

About M.S.CSD Program

Program Overview

Location: West Campus, Cullowhee, NC

Min Reqs: 3.0 GPA, bachelor's degree

Full-time, 30 person cohort

App Deadline: Feb 1 for fall term start

Full-Time; 63 Credit Hours

100% praxis pass rate and employment

Students completing the program will graduate with a Master's of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. With 100% Praxis pass rates and post-graduate employment, our program is highly competitive. We value the unique qualities of faculty, staff, and students in our program, and we strive to create a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, equity, justice, and belonging. In that line, we serve a unique population in rural Appalachia, improving the communication and quality of life of our neighbors. Our program offers students a variety of clinical sites (e.g., skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, private practice, schools), and students may even have the opportunity to acquire unique placements nationally. (National and international service experiences are also returning to the table for discussion and planning.) We offer several internal scholarships, graduate assistantships, and tuition remissions for exceptional applicants. We believe strongly in the community we have created, and we hope you will consider WCU to earn your master's degree.

Fall 2023 Admission Updates

As of May 1, 2023, the admissions process has been completed. All admitted applicants have been notified. Applicants not admitted have the option to remain on the waitlist in case an admitted applicant withdraws their application and a spot becomes available. If you have questions, please email Dr. Odom at

The Competitive Application

The competitive application will have the following:

  • An overall GPA of 3.5 or higher (4.0 scale) and As/Bs in the six ASHA-required foundational courses
  • Minimum 290 combined GRE, minimum 3.5 writing GRE
  • Three strong letters of recommendation (at least two from former professors; no personal references)
  • Completion of a minimum 25 hours of observation in a variety of settings or with a variety of clinical populations
  • Personal statement (built-into the application) that demonstrates effective professional writing and highlights the unique qualities that you bring to our program and the profession

NOTE: CASPER is no longer required for admission consideration.

Academic Tracks

At WCU, we appreciate the value of diverse educational backgrounds and professional experiences. For this reason, we offer two academic tracks: Traditional and Leveler. In the application process, you will be expected to select one track to which you are committing. Use the decision chart to find the best fit for you.

Traditional Track

This course of study is designed for students who meet one of the two requirements below:

  • Earned bachelor's degree in CSD, or
  • Earned bachelor's degree in another field and completion of at least 4 of 6 ASHA foundational courses.

This track is 5 semesters, with a spring semester graduation.

Leveler Track

This course of study is designed for students who meet both of the two requirements below:

  • Earned bachelor's degree in another field, and
  • Completion of at most 3 of 6 ASHA foundational courses.

This track is 7 semesters, with a fall semester graduation.

How to Apply

Step 1: Complete Western Carolina University's Graduate School application. Applications fees are waived for the Fall 2023 admission cycle! (We do not require or accept application submitted in external application platforms. All materials must be submitted through the Graduate School's application system.)

Step 2: Request official transcripts from all universities from which you have earned college-level academic credit.

Step 3: Select and submit the names of those individuals providing letters of recommendation on your behalf.

Step 4: Complete the GRE and send to WCU using the school code 5897.


Special Considerations

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 (computerbased), or 79 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and provide a statement of financial responsibility.

Questions about the Program?

If you have about programs in CSD, contact Dr. Leigh Odom at

Virtual Open House

Tuesday, August 8: 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

Request more info!

Office of Web Services