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Department of Communication and Learning Disorders

The master's degree program in communication disorders has three major goals: 1) prepare professionals for clinical service careers in speech-language pathology, 2) provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge base in order to provide effective and direct clinical services to the diverse linguistic and multicultural population of individuals with communicative disorders and 3) develop students' skills in conducting research in the field of communication sciences and disorders. This program is accredited by the Council for Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. For information about ASHA accreditation status, contact the ASHA Council on Academic Accreditation at 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD, 20852, 301-897-5700,

Master of Arts Specialization: Communication and Learning Disorders

41 semester hours

Admission Application Requirements

Regular Admission

  1. Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions previously attended must be submitted in support of an admission application
  2. A grade point average of at least 2.50 for the cumulative undergraduate work or at least 3.00 for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work and 3.00 for courses in the major
  3. Successful completion of the following courses/equivalents:

CDIS 2400

Introduction to Communication Disorders

CDIS 3311

Normal Language Development

CDIS 3343

Articulation and Phonological Disorders

CDIS 3362

Introduction to Audiology

CDIS 3412

Introduction to Phonetics and Phonemics

CDIS 4315

Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Speech and Language

CDIS 4340G

Aural Rehabilitation

CDIS 4351

Language Disorders in Children

CDIS 4411

Anatomy and Physiology of Speech

CDIS 5360G

Speech and Hearing Science

PSYC 3381


Leveling courses will be required if applicant does not have prerequisite CDIS coursework.

  1. Submission of a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last five years
  2. Two letters of recommendation by professionals in the field (one of which must be from a university professor)
  3. Selected applicants will be invited to a group interview with the Communication Disorders program faculty

Bilingual (Spanish/English) Certification

Students interested in obtaining a bilingual SLP certification who have already been accepted in the master’s degree CDIS program may apply to obtain the bilingual certification which requires some specialized course work as well as practicum hours with monolingual Spanish-speaking or bilingual clients.

International Students

An international student seeking admission into the graduate program for a Master of Arts in communication disorders should refer to page 35 of this bulletin for additional information on credentials needed for admission.

Conditional Admission

Conditional acceptance may be granted on the merits of each in special instances. In some circumstances, applicants who do not meet all of the requirements for regular admission may be admitted conditionally, providing they fulfill the conditions listed in their letters of conditional acceptance within the period of specified time. If conditional acceptance is given because of missing official credentials, the period of time to provide those documents will not extend beyond the first term of attendance.

Special Admission

Students who wish to enroll for their own special interests or to transfer master’s degree credits to a home institution may be admitted as special students.

In addition, students who wish to register as degree candidates, but who cannot complete requirements for regular admission at the time of registration, may be admitted as special students until program criteria are met.

However, no more than 12 semester hours earned as a special student may be applied toward a degree. There is no guarantee that courses taken in this category will be accepted as part of the degree curricula, or that acceptance as a special student will lead to regular admission to the graduate program. Regular Admission must be approved by the communication disorders faculty and the dean of the School of Professional Studies.

Before registering, an applicant for special admission must:

  1. Submit official transcript(s) showing degree granted, to include master’s degree, if applicable. Transient students need only submit a letter of good standing from their home institution verifying master’s degree status
  2. Have earned an overall grade point average of at least 2.50

CDIS Leveling Students

Students who already posses a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to enter the CDIS master’s degree program will not be admitted to that program without first completing prerequisite undergraduate courses. Nine UG classes totaling 30 hours are offered every year. Full-time students may take all required courses in two long semesters or if part-time complete the leveling program over two years. Admission to the Leveling Program is separate from application for master’s degree admission and graduate admission is not guaranteed by admission to the leveling program. However, application for admission to both programs is made through the Graduate Admissions Office.

Admission Deadline

Deadline for submitting a completed application to the Master of Arts program in communication disorders: Feb. 1.

Academic Requirements:

Students will be expected to complete the following requirements in addition to required coursework:

  1. Practicum. Clinical practicum will include working with a variety of communication disorders, from mild to severe, for clients of all ages. Four hundred approved practicum clock hours required, including 325 hours at the graduate level in prescribed settings; student must meet all academic and practicum requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Practicum requirements include the successful completion of clinical competences as outlined in the program’s student handbook. The master’s degree prepares the graduate to function in all settings and all areas of clinical service and satisfies all academic and practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competency of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  2. Computer literacy requirement
  3. Comprehensive Examination. Must pass the PRAXIS Test in Speech-Language Pathology, or OLLU equivalent

Major Courses:

CDIS 5151G

Selected Topics in Communication Disorders (two semester hours required)

CDIS 6242

Fluency Disorders

CDIS 6353

Neurogenic Language Disorders

CDIS 6354


CDIS 6356

Language Disorders in Preschool Children

CDIS 6357

Language Disorders in School-Aged Individuals

CDIS 6358

Language in Discourse

CDIS 7171

Advanced Assessment Procedures in CDIS I

CDIS 7172

Advanced Assessment Procedures in CDIS II

CDIS 7213

Augmentative Communication

CDIS 7312

Voice Disorders

CDIS 7335

Motor Speech Disorders

CDIS 7353

Research and Efficacy in Communication Disorders

CDIS 8202

Communication Disorders in Different Cultures

CDIS 8340

Cleft Palate

Practicum Courses (must have four credit hours for graduation):

CDIS 6265

Clinical Practicum, Methods and Policies

CDIS 7173

Field Experience in School Settings

CDIS 7174

Field Experience in Medical Settings