Post-Baccalaureate Communicative Sciences and Disorders Leveling Certificate Program

Program Overview

Are you interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist or audiologist? Do you need to complete courses to make you eligible for a graduate program? 

Our fully-online Post-Baccalaureate Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Leveling Certificate program is designed for individuals returning to school with a completed bachelor's degree in a field other than speech-language pathology or audiology. The purpose is to provide students with foundational knowledge in the areas of speech, language, and hearing development in order to be eligible to apply to graduate programs in speech-language pathology and/or audiology. Our Leveling Certificate program specifically fulfills prerequisite coursework for our UM MS SLP graduate program. See MS Graduate Application Process for more details. If you plan to apply to a MS SLP program outside of the University of Montana, it is your responsibility to ensure our Leveling Certificate program coursework fulfills other graduate school prerequisites.

The CSD Leveling Certificate Program consists of ten online courses for a total of 29 credits. These ten courses may be completed three semesters provided students go at a full-time pace. Courses are offered fully online (no face-to-face sessions required). The courses have an asynchronous learning environment, which means students can work on courses at times that best fit their schedule. However, expected learning will take place between the scheduled dates of the specific course. Deadlines for graded course assignments, forums, quizzes, and/or exams may vary per course. 

Online courses are designed to accommodate those who need flexible learning environments while still ensuring a high-quality education. Our courses are compressed into 8-week (Fall/Spring) and 7-week (Summer) part of term durations. Due to the compressed format and fast-paced nature of our online learning environment, fully online CSD courses do not follow the traditional on-campus UM academic calendar.  Students are responsible for all deadlines described in individual course syllabi and course calendars. 

Requirements for Certificate Completion

To receive the Post-Baccalaureate CSD Leveling Certificate from the University of Montana-Missoula, a student must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Complete a minimum of 29 credits, of which at least 51% of the required number of credits are earned from the University of Montana-Missoula. 

Transcripts are subject to review, and student must be enrolled in the CSD Leveling Certificate Program. 

UM Technology Requirements for Online Education 

Moodle is the Learning Management System that the University of Montana uses for coursework. To be successful in the asynchronous online learning environment within the Leveling Certificate Online program, it is recommended students follow the ICT Guide-Basic Minimum System Requirements for Moodle.  

CSD Leveling Certificate Program Course Requirements, Credits & Prerequisites

Course # Course name Credits Prerequisites
CSD 205 Clinical Application & Observations in SLP & Audiology 2  
CSD 210 Speech & Language Development 3  
CSD 222 Intro to Audiology 3  
CSD 265 *Developmental Speech and Language Disorders  3 CSD 210
CSD 320 Phonological Development & Phonetics 3  
CSD 330 Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Swallowing Mechanisms 3  
CSD 331 Neurological Bases of Communication & Swallowing Disorders 3 CSD 330
CSD 365 Acquired Communication and Swallowing Disorders 3 CSD 210
CSD 420 Speech and Hearing Science 3 CSD 222, CSD 320, CSD 330
CSD 450 Intro to Aural (Ear) Rehabilitation 3 CSD 210, CSD 222
  Total: 29  

*name change to start in Academic Year 2024-2025

For the most up-to-date information on required and recommended course materials, use the Find Course Materials search engine from the UM Bookstore or email the instructor on record directly. Find instructors using Course Search on homepage. 

ASHA Standard IV-A Requirements

In addition to the University of Montana’s CSD Leveling Certificate program course requirements, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) requires students to complete Prerequisite Courses in the Content Areas of: 1) physical science (physics or chemistry), 2) biological science, 3) social/behavioral science, and 4) statistics. You may have already have completed most of this coursework in your Bachelor’s program. If, however, you still need to complete any of this coursework, you can fulfill requirements through additional UM distance learning options. It is highly recommended a student fulfills the ASHA prerequisites courses prior to starting graduate school. 

The following suggested courses, or approved equivalent courses, must be documented on your transcripts with a passing grade: 

  1. Physical Science: Physics or chemistry.
  2. Biological Science:  Science of living things (human or animal):  biology, general anatomy & physiology, neuroanatomy & neurophysiology, human genetics, or veterinary science (must be non-CSD courses)
  3. Social/Behavioral Science: Psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health.
  4. Statistics: Prerequisite for UM graduate research methods course.  One stand-alone course is required.  UM’s graduate research methods course does not count for statistics. Psychology, Math, or Social Statistics; Statistics also meets the previous math course category.

*Advanced placement, CLEP, or exam of equivalency may be used, but transcripts must be provided.

*Other courses may be acceptable based on departmental approval. Any of these courses may be completed in an on-campus or online format through the University of Montana, as well (see the Course Catalog for specific courses).  

Tuition & Enrollment

Tuition and Mandatory Fees 

Tuition and fees can be estimated by going to Business Services website and viewing the Montana University System Tuition and Mandatory Fees matrices under Tuition & Fees. Find the CSD Leveling Certificate Program online tuition and fees by selecting the current academic calendar year link for Fall & Spring and a separate link for Summer. Under Online Only is the Undergraduate and Post Baccalaureate link to the tuition and mandatory fee table separated by Resident and NonResident total. 

Choose the number of credits you plan on enrolling in per semester and follow the row across to find the total applicable to your residency status. For example, as a full-time Leveling student, you will take 12 credits in the Fall, 12 credits in the Spring, and 5 credits in the Summer. The Fall/Spring Semesters 2023/2024- Online Undergraduate and Post Baccalaureate Resident Total for 12 credits is 3,417.00 per semester. Fees are subject to change per academic school year with Board of Regents’ approval. 

For an estimation of total tuition and fees, contact Student Accounts within Business Services at  


Go to Post-Baccalaureate Admission for more information on applying for admission to University of Montana. Please note that though UM has rolling admissions, our Post-Baccalaureate CSD Leveling Program is only available for a Fall-start. It is highly recommended to apply at least three months prior to the start of Fall semester to ensure smooth processing of your application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Post- Baccalaureate CSD Leveling Certificate Program Online

What is the deadline to apply?

  • See UM Admissions for specific deadlines to apply for a Fall-start to the University of Montana. We recommend that you apply a minimum of one month prior to the start date of the course in which you intend to enroll. 
  • Courses are offered in two 8-week duration sections during Fall and Spring. Courses are offered in two 7-week duration sections during the Summer. 

Am I required to begin in the Fall? 

  •  Online students start in the Fall to finish in one year.  

Am I eligible for federal financial aid if I am enrolled in this CSD Leveling Certificate Program? 

  • Unfortunately, no. Federal financial aid is only available for degree-seeking programs. Many students in the leveling program opt to secure a private alternative loan. This type of loan is a non-federal educational loan through a private lending institution. 

Do I have to take all courses? 

  • All courses are required to achieve the full CSD Leveling Certificate. If you have taken similar courses from other institutions, please see next FAQ for more on Course Equivalencies.  
  • Some students may only need to take a few courses and single courses are available if prerequisites are met.  

If I have taken similar courses at a different university- can these courses count toward this CSD Leveling Certificate program, or do I need to retake them at UM? 

  • It depends. If you think that you have covered the content in one of our CSD Leveling Certificate Program courses in another program (and earned a grade ≥C), fill out our Course Equivalency form, return this form along with all unofficial transcripts and specific course syllabus/syllabi, and email for review: 

If I take CSD Leveling Certificate program courses at the University of Montana, will these courses be accepted at other graduate programs? 

  • The content for most prerequisite courses is relatively standardized nationally across CSD programs. Our courses are meant to meet the standards and requirements for admissions in speech-language pathology and audiology graduate programs across the country. The ultimate decision to accept prerequisite coursework is decided by your chosen institution. If you have concerns, we recommend that you verify with your intended graduate institution(s). 

How much time should I devote to each class? 

  • For every one credit hour in which you enroll in the campus-based program, you will spend approximately two to three hours outside of class studying (i.e., one 3-credit course = 6-9 hours per week of studying over 15 weeks, for a total of 90-135 hours per regular university semester). 
  • The same amount of content is covered in each of the courses in the online leveling program, but the duration of each course is shorter. Keep in mind that you will still need to study for approximately 90-135 hours during the duration of the course (e.g., for an eight-week course, plan to study 11-17 hours per week). 

Do I need to log-in at certain times to join a virtual classroom if I am taking online courses? 

  • No. Although, there are set dates when assignments and quizzes must be completed, the online leveling program was designed for individuals who are interested in completing the coursework, but need to work at their own pace around work and family schedules. The exact format of each course may vary; please contact the course instructor about questions regarding exams, proctoring, assignments, etc. 

CSD Leveling Certificate Program Contact Information

Contact SLHOS Advising at for general program inquiries and for questions.