As most of you know, those applying for graduate programs in the speech and hearing sciences have to fill out many applications. To streamline the applications process, some graduate schools utilize CSDCAS (pronounced sid-cas) – and that is the topic of this month’s post!
CSDCAS stands for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service, and is the common application for graduate programs in the speech and hearing sciences that many schools use. In New Jersey, William Paterson University and Stockton University both use this system. Much like other common apps, CSDCAS requires you to enter your information and submit your documents only once, although some schools want you to also fill out application forms and submit supplemental materials via their websites (check with each graduate program for details). The application itself is relatively straightforward and comes with instructions. Still, not everything is 100% clear. Below, I have made a list of a few things to keep in mind when filling out the CSDCAS:
1.You should always review each of your school’s admissions requirements carefully, but you should review them especially carefully if the school uses CSDCAS. Each school has slightly different requirements (ie: some want you to send a transcript to CSDCAS and the school; some want you to submit an application through CSDCAS and their school’s website; some schools have different, specific codes to send your GRE scores to; and so on).
2. Make sure that you have everything filled out, done, sent in, submitted and paid for BY JANUARY 1ST. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough! Most graduate programs in the speech and hearing sciences have a deadline of February 1st. This means that they want all materials submitted and verified by that date. Since it can take up to a month for CSDCAS to go through your documents and verify all of them, you need to have things submitted about a month early to ensure that your graduate programs receive them all on time.
3. CSDCAS requires you to send in a transcript to this address:
CSDCAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9113
Watertown, MA 02471
And it also requires that you enter the information on your transcript into the system. There is a video on the CSDCAS website explaining the details of how to do this, so make sure you watch it before you begin! Grab yourself a copy of your official transcript and enter all of the info about your coursework. You can also pay CSDCAS $60 to do the data entry for you, but it only takes about an hour of your time to do it yourself.
4. Some graduate programs require you to have prerequisite courses completed prior to admission. Once you have entered all of the info on your transcripts, CSDCAS will allow you to select which prerequisites you have already completed directly from the transcript info you entered. If you do not have a prereq that the form asks for, you should click on the prereq and select the option to not designate a course for it. This part of your application is not considered complete until you have filled out all of the prereq information, so make sure you identify both the courses you have taken, and those that you have not.
5. CSDCAS refers to letters of recommendation as “evaluations,” so enter your recommenders’ info under the Evaluations section.
And that sums up this fairly short list. The CSDCAS can be accessed here.
Do you have any additional tips for completing the CSDCAS? Let us know in the comments below!