Jul 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences and Disorders Program

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Health and Science

CIP Code: 51.0201


The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in speech-language pathology is a full-time program designed to prepare graduates to provide preventative, diagnostic and rehabilitative services to persons exhibiting speech and language disorders. Completion of the program prepares graduates for employment as speech-language pathologists in settings ranging from public schools and hospitals to community, state, and federal agencies. The Communication Sciences and Disorders Program is unique in its focus and commitment to prepare all students to work with diverse populations including bilingual speakers and users of assistive and augmentative communication devices.

The academic program is nationally accredited in Speech-Language Pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association (ASHA). Graduates are eligible to apply for certification by ASHA, for licensure by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists (NCBOESLPA), and for the graduate license issued by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction.

Students are required to complete the following courses (or their equivalent) in order to enroll in graduate coursework and to meet certification requirements. A student who has not completed each of the prerequisite courses listed below will need to complete all missing courses. The length of the program may be extended if a student needs to take prerequisite coursework during the graduate program.

  • Speech and Language Development
  • Anatomy and Physiology (for Speech, Language, and Hearing)
  • Scientific Bases of Speech and Hearing Science
  • Phonetics
  • Introduction to Audiology
  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Clinical observation (at least 25 hours with valid supporting documentation by a SLP with ASHA certification)

Students are also required to take courses in the following related areas in order to meet certification standards.

  • Biological sciences (courses should emphasize a content area related to human or animal sciences, e.g., biology, human anatomy and physiology, genetics, zoology)
  • Social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, public health)
  • Physical sciences (e.g., astronomy, chemistry, earth science, geology, physics)
  • Statistics

The program offers areas of specialization tracks for students admitted into the graduate program. Students can apply to these specialty areas, if interested. 

Bilingual Speciality:  Graduate students who speak native to near-native proficiency in Spanish are eligible to become specialists in the assessment and treatment of monolingual/bilingual Spanish-speaking children and adults. The area provides a combination of specialized coursework and practicum training to address the needs to serve Hispanic children and adults with Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Culturally Responsive Early Intervention and Adult Assistive Technology Training (CREAATT) provides coursework and practicum experiences in early intervention (EI), augmentative and alternative communication and cultural and linguistic diversity from a world view.  


Students may complete a thesis in lieu of taking the Capstone course. The number of credit hours required for graduation is the same for the thesis and non-thesis options.

I. Admission Requirements

Graduates from an accredited college or university are eligible to apply for admission. Students who have earned degrees in other areas may also apply. Students seeking unconditional admission to the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders must present with an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Students must present with scores from the verbal, quantitative, and writing sections of the GRE test. The GRE must have been taken within the past five years.

Non-Communication Sciences and Disorders undergraduate majors may apply to the master’s program but will be required to complete prerequisite courses prior to beginning required graduate coursework. Students without the prerequisite coursework should expect their program length to be extended.

Admission to the Communication Sciences and Disorders program is limited and competitive. Admission decisions are based upon a student’s credentials independently and in relation to those of other individuals applying. 

II. Program Requirements

A typical student who has completed all prerequisite coursework is expected to graduate with 2 years or 5 - 6 semesters of full-time study and clinical practicum. Students may also apply to be admitted to a specialty track. General students who are not on any specialty tracks must meet satisfactory performance requirements and earn a minimum of 60 credit hours, including all General Core Courses and a minimum of 5 credit hours of elective and seminar courses. Clinical practicum requirements include 400 supervised patient contact hours and 25 clinic observation hours. Students who are on a specialty track will need to complete all the General core courses, as well as all the courses listed under their specific specialty track requirement.

Electives and Seminar courses: minimum 7 credit hours in total

General Elective Courses in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program

III. Exit Requirements

  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required. A grade of “B” or better must be earned in the required graduate core courses for all tracks.
  • Students are required to have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours. Students without an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders will be required to take additional hours in normal speech, language, and hearing development.
  • Students are required to have documentation of a minimum of 450 approved clinical hours. 
  • Successful completion of a three-credit thesis (EDGR 5900) or the capstone course (EDGR 5795) is required.
  • Satisfactory achievement on a comprehensive written examination is required for all students. Students need not have completed all required courses prior to taking the examination.  However, material covered in all courses may be included on the examination. The student may substitute a passing score on the Praxis II in speech-language pathology. 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Health and Science