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 of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at the University of Vermont 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.

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. Completion of courses equivalent to:

CSD 3710Introduction to Audiology3
CSD 1230Linguistics for Clinicians3
or LING 1500 Introduction to Linguistics
CSD 1940Dev of Spoken Language3
CSD 2010Speech & Hearing Science0 or 4
CSD 1220Introduction to Phonetics3
or LING 2510 Phonetics
CSD 3810Intro 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 IV-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 6430Augmentative Communication3
CSD 6200Clinic Preparation&Management3
CSD 6210Clinic Practicum Study 11
CSD 6220Clinic Practicum Study 22
CSD 6230Clinic Practicum Study 33
CSD 6240Clinic Practicum Study 42
CSD 6250Clinic Practicum Study 53
CSD 6260Clinic Practicum Supplemental (optional)1
CSD 6290School Based Issues for SLPs1
CSD 6330Assmt & Treatmt of Stuttering3
CSD 6300Spch Snd Disorders in Children3
CSD 6310Language Disorders3
CSD 6320Seminar Lang/Lrng Disabilities3
CSD 6340Swallowing Disorders3
CSD 6350Neurogenic Comm. Disorders 13
CSD 6460Voice Disorders3
CSD 6450Neurogenic Comm. Disorders 23
CSD 6720Hearing Rehab for SLPs3
NH 6899Fundamentals Critical Inquiry3
Masters thesis (CSD 6391), research project (CSD 6385), or non-thesis sequence of courses focusing on clinical systematic reviews (CSD 6381 and CSD 6385)3-6
Total Credits51-54

In total, 48-51 credits of graduate course work are required for the non-thesis track and 51-54 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 45-48 credits of graduate-level courses and 6 additional credits (CSD 6391) for conducting the research leading to an M.S. thesis
Students choosing the non-thesis option will complete 45-48 credits required for the degree, and at least 3 credits of non-thesis research (CSD 6381 and/or CSD 6385 – 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.