Application for admission to the graduate program in communication sciences and disorders must be initiated through the Graduate School. The department requires that the applicant take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate work is required with a minimum of 3.2 in communication sciences and disorders major (or pre-requisite speech-language pathology courses). The applicant must submit three letters of reference with at least two from faculty of the college(s) or university(s) previously attended. Additional requirements for admission will be posted to the department website on an annual basis.
Completed applications should be received no later than January 15 for enrollment in the fall semester. Applications for fulltime study beginning in either the spring or summer semesters will be considered only under special circumstances because of the sequential nature of the program of study.
Major Areas of Study
Candidates for the MS degree in communication sciences and disorders may select from the major emphasis areas of speech-language pathology or communication sciences.
The speech-language pathology emphasis area is a professional program designed to prepare students for credentialing as a clinical speech-language pathologist. This program of study is designed to meet all academic and clinical requirements for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). In addition, graduates of this program may also be eligible for licensure in North Carolina as well as in most other states, and advanced licensure by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction.
The communication sciences emphasis area is tailored to the special interests of the students. This non-clinical course of study can include a substantial portion of the courses in the speech-language pathology or audiology areas. Additionally, communication sciences students are required to complete a thesis and successfully pass a final oral defense of the thesis. Students in the communication sciences emphasis do not receive clinical training and are not eligible for credentialing as a clinical speech-language pathologist.
The university confers the degree of master of science in communication sciences and disorders when the candidate has earned 54-56 s.h. of graduate credit. An additional 4-6 s.h. of graduate credit is available for those interested in receiving the Advanced Certificate of Teaching from the Department of Public Instruction.
A background of undergraduate courses in speech and hearing sciences is required. For those students who do not have an undergraduate degree in the field, specific undergraduate courses must be taken prior to formally beginning the MS degree sequence. The following undergraduate courses or their equivalent must be taken prior to enrolling in graduate courses: CSDI 3010 (phonetics), 3020 (child language development), 3040 (anatomy and physiology), 3045 (speech science), 3050 (acquisition and development of phonology and articulation), 4100 (introduction to audiology), 4110 (aural rehabilitation), and 4440 (Neural Processes). See requirements for the BS degree in the undergraduate catalog for course descriptions.
Candidates are required to take and pass a final comprehensive examination, which may be taken upon completion of enrollment in all didactic courses required for the degree in the major area of study.
Regardless of the major emphasis area chosen, 6 s.h. of specific core courses are required as follows: CSDI 6100 , CSDI 6103 . The communication science emphasis requires an additional 6 s.h. (CSDI 6101 , CSDI 6523 ). The communication sciences emphasis also requires a thesis. For the speech-language pathology emphasis, only 3 s.h. of thesis credit may count toward the degree. For the communication science emphasis, 6 s.h. of thesis are required for the degree. For the speech-language pathology emphasis, a minimum of 25 hours of clinical observation are required prior to beginning any clinical experience in the graduate program.
In addition to the general core requirements, the emphasis in speech-language pathology requires an additional 33 s.h. of didactic courses. These courses include CSDI 6101 , CSDI 6104 , CSDI 6106 , CSDI 6108 , CSDI 6109 , CSDI 6110 , CSDI 6112 , CSDI 6113 , CSDI 6114 , CSDI 6200 , CSDI 6320 , CSDI 6321 , CSDI 6901 . Clinical course requirements include: CSDI 6226 , CSDI 6227 , CSDI 6229 , CSDI 6992 , CSDI 6993 . CSDI 6111 and CSDI 6117 are available as electives, but cannot replace any of the required courses.
For the candidate whose major area of study is in speech-language pathology a minimum of 250 clinical clock hours in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders is required at the graduate level.
If there are no hours accumulated at the undergraduate level, 375 hours will be required at the graduate level to meet certification and licensure requirements as set forth by the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association (ASHA) and the North Carolina State Board of Examiners.