Apr 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences and Disorders, MS

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Program Coordinator: Allyson Turnage (3310-AD Health Sciences Building; 252-744-6131; turnagea14@ecu.edu)

The Communication Sciences and Disorders, MS is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.


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. 

Undergraduate Coursework Requirement

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.

Areas of Emphasis

Candidates for the Communication Sciences and Disorders, MS may select from two areas of emphasis - communication sciences or speech-language pathology.

The communication sciences area of emphasis 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 speech-language pathology area of emphasis 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.

Degree Requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 54 s.h. as follows: 

2. Areas of emphasis - 48 s.h.

(Select one of the following areas.) 

b. Speech-language pathology area of emphasis

Thesis (3 s.h.)

Clinical clock hour requirement:

A minimum of 250 clinical clock hours in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders is required. 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.

Comprehensive assessment requirement

All ECU graduate programs require students to successfully complete a comprehensive assessment. Speech-language pathology 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. Communication sciences candidates are also required to take and pass a final comprehensive examination based on required core and area of emphasis coursework, including structured electives. 

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