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Leveling|Division of Communication Disorders

Leveling Information

The graduate program assumes you have completed an undergraduate degree in communication disorders.  However, we try to respond to all students interested in our graduate program.  If you have a bachelor's degree in a different area, you may still pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology, but you must also complete a core set of courses (called Leveling).  At this time some of these courses may be available through Outreach part-time in Non-Degree Undergraduate status.  The courses are available on campus full-time as a Second Bachelor’s status with the Major in Speech, Language, Hearing Science (A 2nd degree is not actually completed but is a helpful status for advising and financial support). 


There are 12 leveling courses (see table below). They can be completed in one academic year on campus.  These courses are intermittently offered via Outreach, but their offering is not guaranteed.  Please expect occasional changes in the availability and offerings of distance leveling courses.  The availability and schedule may change without advance notice. Some of these courses may also be canceled, or not offered for several years.  This may prolong the time that it will take students to complete leveling courses if they intend to take these courses at UW. Students can look into distance leveling courses that are offered at other universities, or take the courses on campus.  Although the full set is not required prior to admission to our graduate program, completion of all the courses will maximize your success in graduate school and will allow you to apply to any master's program in speech-language pathology. 

Of the Leveling courses, four are Pre-requisites to beginning the graduate program: students will not be accepted without them. Three courses are Required: these must be completed by the end of the graduate program, in addition to the master’s courses. Due to the heavy load of the Master’s program, we recommend having no more than two in total of these and the Foundationals (see below) to complete during your master's program. Three Leveling courses are strongly Recommended for success in graduate school, but if they are missing, rather than taking the courses, you may be required to do additional readings or activities.  

In addition to the Leveling courses, four college non-remedial Foundational courses, one in each of the following areas, are required: (a) social science (preferably psychology), (b) biological science (preferably biology, anatomy, or physiology), (c) physical science (preferably physics or chemistry), and (d) statistics.  Any of these an be completed during the master’s program, but these are typically part of the general education of any bachelor’s degree and are easily obtained in community colleges, so having all of them done before starting the graduate program is strongly recommended. Finally, a course in American Sign Language is also helpful for working with individuals with a variety of communication difficulties, but is not one of our leveling courses. ASL courses are offered on campus at UWyo and at many community colleges.

Clinical Observation Hours

Before beginning direct clinical contact hours in the graduate program (first semester on campus, first summer distance), students must complete at least 15 hours of observation of clinical practice. These hours can be obtained in any combination of settings from ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists or audiologists. Observation hours documentation must include the setting, the time, and from the observed speech-language pathologists or audiologists: signature, ASHA certification number, and photocopy of the current certification card.  For Campus Levelers, this process is best initiated through a 1 credit hour course, SPPA 2250, offered each fall (this course is not offered distance).


The Leveling courses are offered once a year on-campus.  The courses are offered intermittently through the distance program, but they are not guaranteed to be available in future semesters.  For upcoming courses and registration details, see University Course Schedule. You may take these undergraduate leveling courses in any order and without the pre-requisites, but this is a more difficult route than taking the coursework on-campus as part of the undergraduate degree. Your instructor may require you to carry out some independent reading at the beginning of the semester.

Enrollment & Registration

Leveling is completed on a course-by-course basis, not as part of a degree program. Apply to the university for admission as a non-degree undergraduate student (NDU) and enroll for available classes. If you are taking leveling distance, register early because our leveling courses fill quickly. If you are a full-time on-campus leveling student, you may sign up as second bachelor's (SBA) to qualify for financial aid (you will not be completing a second degree, just registering under that status). Please note that any semester in which you take a graduate course (numbered 5000 or above, pre-requisites required), you must change your status to non-degree graduate student (NDG). This allows you to apply the graduate course to your master's program at a later date. You will then pay tuition for all coursework in that semester at the higher graduate student rate. Distance students should contact the UW Outreach School for registration and fees.   

Further Information

For more information about distance leveling or guidance on your individual situation, contact the distance coordinator, Teresa Garcia at For on-campus leveling guidance, contact the division director, Dr. Ukrainetz at

Leveling Courses 


Course Name



SPPA 2250
Clinical Observation (Campus only)

SPPA 2210



SPPA 3265

Anat & Phys of Speech, Swallowing, & Hearing


SPPA 4160

Language Development


SPPA 4150

Aural Rehabilitation


SPPA 4310 Acoustics of Speech & Hearing Required

SPPA 4340

Basic Audiology


SPPA 4380

Neurological  Basis of Communication


SPPA 4750

Research Methods (or EDRE 5530)


SPPA 4250

Clinical Methods

Strongly Recommended

SPPA 4240

Language Disorders Across the Lifespan

Strongly Recommended

SPPA 4220

Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan

Strongly Recommended

Rev: Jan10 *

* Speech acoustics must be addressed somewhere in the leveling coursework. Acoustics is taught in our Phonetics course. In other programs, Phonetics may only cover transcription, with acoustics combined with anatomy and physiology of the speech and swallowing mechanisms in a course called Speech Science. 

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