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Leveling|Division of Communication Disorders

Leveling Information

The graduate program curriculum builds on an undergraduate degree in communication disorders. If you have a bachelor's degree in a different area, you must complete a core set of courses called Leveling. The courses can be completed in one academic year on campus. These courses may also be available through Outreach.

Coursework

There are 12 leveling courses (see Table below). They can be completed in one academic year on campus alongside the students in the major. These courses may also be offered via Outreach, but availability and schedule may change without advance notice. Distance leveling courses can also be completed at other universities. Although the full set of leveling courses is not required prior to admission to our graduate program, completion of all the courses will maximize success in graduate school and allow a student 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 Foundational courses (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 or human anatomy or physiology), (c) physical science (preferably physics or chemistry), and (d) statistics. 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 UW 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).

Schedule

On campus, leveling students take the regularly offered courses. The courses are offered once a year on campus, in the fall and spring semesters. The courses may be offered through on a distance basis, but students should check the University Course Schedule prior to each semester. These courses may be taken by leveling students in any order and without the pre-requisites, but this is a more difficult route than taking the coursework in a sequenced manner as part of the undergraduate degree. At the beginning of the semester, students should inform their instructors that they are levelers. An instructor may require leveling students to carry out some additional independent reading or other activities to help them be successful in that course.

Enrollment Status

Leveling is completed on a course-by-course basis, not as part of a degree program, so the transcript will simply list the courses taken and no course transfers from other institutions are required. At the time of master’s application, students send official copies of all college transcripts as part of the application package.

If students are full-time campus levelers, we recommend enrolling in second bachelor's status (SBA). This makes the levelers part of the program for advising and communications, and allows them to qualify for financial aid. Please note, however, that leveling coursework does not constitute a full second degree. Students who are endeavoring to complete leveling part-time over several years through a combination of UW Outreach courses, campus courses, and courses from elsewhere should enroll as a non-degree undergraduate student (NDU) and then register for available classes.

If, during leveling, students also take a graduate course (numbered 5000 or above) that they may want to apply later to any UW graduate program or a graduate program at another university, they must change their status to non-degree graduate student (NDG) for the semester in which they take the graduate course. NDG students pay tuition for all coursework in that semester at the higher graduate student rate. Contact the Registrar for further information on this. 

Further Information

For further guidance on leveling on campus, contact the Division Director, Dr. Guiberson, at mguibers@uwyo.edu. For more information about distance leveling or guidance on individual distance situations, contact the Distance Coordinator, Teresa Garcia at tgarcia@uwyo.edu. The UW Outreach School can provide more information on distance course registration procedures, tuition, and fees. 

 

Leveling Courses 

 

Number

Course Name

SCH

 Status

SPPA 2250

Clinical Observation  

1

Recommended

SPPA 2210

Phonetics and Phonological Development

3

Prerequisite

SPPA 3265

Anat & Phys of Speech, Swallow, & Hearing

3

Prerequisite

SPPA 4160

Language Development

3

Prerequisite

SPPA 4150

Aural Rehabilitation

3

Required

SPPA 4310

Acoustics of Speech & Hearing

3

Required

SPPA 4340

Basic Audiology

3

Prerequisite

SPPA 4380

Neurological  Basis of Communication

3

Required

SPPA 4250

Clinical Methods

3

Recommended

SPPA 4240

Language Disorders Across the Lifespan

3

Recommended

SPPA 4220

Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan

3

Recommended

SPPA 4750

Research Methods

3

Required

SCH = semester credit hours

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