Communication Sciences and Disorders M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree


The Master of Science degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is designed to provide in-depth knowledge and skills in the areas required for a career in speech-language pathology. The course of study provides students with the academic background and clinical opportunities required in preparation for their Clinical Fellowship and ultimately the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), allowing them to pursue a satisfying and rewarding career in health care, medicine, education, or research.

The master's degree educational program in speech-language pathology at the University of Vermont has been re-accredited for the period 2021 - 2029 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; Phone: (800) 498-2071 or (301) 296-5700.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders includes the Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communication: Speech, Language, and Hearing. This is an active clinic providing speech-language and audiology services to the community. It also serves as a key practicum site for students throughout their graduate studies. All students are supervised by clinically certified members of the faculty of the Eleanor M. Luse Center and affiliated practicum sites.

The CSD faculty conduct research in areas such as speech and language development, speech sound disorders and apraxia of speech, fluency and stuttering, autism and theory of mind, brain injury and cognitive-communication disorders. Many opportunities are available for graduate students who wish to become involved in faculty research projects.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution; satisfactory performance on the general (aptitude) Graduate Record Examination. Completion of courses equivalent to:

CSD 023Linguistics for Clinicians3
or LING 080 Introduction to Linguistics
CSD 094Dev of Spoken Language3
CSD 101Speech & Hearing Science0 or 4
CSD 022Introduction to Phonetics3
or LING 165 Phonetic Theory and Practice
CSD 281Intro Cognitive Neuroscience (or an equivalent Human Neuroanatomy course)3
College Level Statistics3

Applicants must complete all of the above prerequisite courses before entering the program. Students are also required to complete 25 observation hours obtained according to guidelines provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Students must complete these 25 observation hours before they begin their graduate program. Additionally, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Standard III-A for certification requires evidence of previous course work in the biological sciences, physical sciences (i.e. physics or chemistry), statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences.

Minimum Degree Requirements

All students are required to complete mandatory course work in pursuit of the M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. This course work includes content areas met by the following CSD courses:

CSD 271Introduction to Audiology (if not previously taken)3
CSD 272Hearing Rehabilitation (if not previously taken)3
CSD 313Augmentative Communication3
CSD 320Clinic Preparation&Management3
CSD 321Clinic Practicum Study 11
CSD 322Clinic Practicum Study 22
CSD 323Clinic Practicum Study 33
CSD 324Clinic Practicum Study 42
CSD 325Clinic Practicum Study 53
CSD 326Clinic Practicum Stdy Winter 6 (optional)1
CSD 327School Based Issues for SLPs1
CSD 332Assmt & Treatmt of Stuttering3
CSD 340Spch Snd Disorders in Children3
CSD 341Language Disorders3
CSD 342Seminar Lang/Lrng Disabilities3
CSD 350Swallowing Disorders3
CSD 351Neurogenic Comm. Disorders 13
CSD 352Voice Disorders3
CSD 353Neurogenic Comm. Disorders 23
NH 399Fundamentals Critical Inquiry3
Masters thesis (CSD 362), research project (CSD 363), or non-thesis sequence of courses focusing on clinical systematic reviews (CSD 361 and 363)3-6
Total Credits47-58

In total, 48-56 credits of graduate course work are required for the non-thesis track and 51-59 credits of graduate course work for students who write a thesis. Equivalent graduate-level course work, up to nine credits, may be waived if approved by the graduate program coordinator, reducing the total number of in-residence credits needed for completion of the program.

The student will complete 45-53 credits of graduate-level courses and six additional credits (CSD 362) for conducting the research leading to an M.S. thesis
Students choosing the non-thesis option will complete 45-53 credits required for the degree, including at least three credits of non-thesis research (CSD 361 and/or CSD 363 – research project or Systematic Reviews course)

Comprehensive Examination

The portfolio is used by this department as an alternative form of Comprehensive Examination; it provides a rich demonstration of the students’ achievements in their course of study. Each student’s portfolio includes a set of four reflective essays as well as academic and clinical artifacts selected by the student to reflect growth in specific areas of academic and clinical knowledge and skills required by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Vermont Department of Education. Other aspects of growth to be demonstrated include increasing rigor in critical thinking and methods of inquiry for research and its application.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Students will be admitted to candidacy when the following criteria have been met:

  • A minimum of 375 hours of supervised clinical practicum.
  • 25 hours of guided clinical observation. 
  • 36 graduate credits and completion of a written comprehensive examination in the form of a portfolio.