Communication Sciences Disorders

Department Admissions Requirements

Due to the large number of applications received each year, admission to the master’s degree programs in speech-language pathology is highly competitive. The mean four-year undergraduate GPA for those admitted is consistently above 3.75 (on a 4.0-point scale). Admission is holistic. Submission of GRE scores is not required, but optional.

All applicants to the graduate programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders must have completed college-level coursework in the following four areas before entering our program:

  1. a biological science,
  2. a social/behavioral science,
  3. statistics, and
  4. chemistry or physics.

Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to begin our master’s degree program unless all four of these prerequisite courses have been completed. Previous coursework in speech-language pathology is not a requirement for admission to the master’s degree program and only affects the point of entry into the program.

While students’ undergraduate major and post baccalaureate courses are not a consideration for admission, they do affect when students begin their master’s program. Students in the MS-Res program begin course work during the fall semester while students in the MS-DE program begin in the summer, provided they have completed a minimum of 25 clock hours of supervised observation plus three semester hours of coursework in each of the following:

  • anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism
  • phonetics
  • language development
  • articulation disorders.

MS-Res students who have not met these requirements enter the program in the summer; MS-DE students who have not met these requirements enter the program in the fall.

Since the purpose of the Ph.D. program is to prepare communication scientists to fill faculty positions at Research I institutions, applicants should demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in scholarly teaching and research. Completion of a masters thesis, research presentations at professional meetings, published abstracts and peer review articles are examples of items on an applicant’s resume that show evidence of a research interest.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program should specify, in the personal statement accompanying their application, their area of research interest. The department currently has laboratories supporting research in neuroimaging, adult neurogenics, linguistics, literacy development and disorders, autism spectrum disorder, disorders related to aging, hearing, and child language. For information on this research and these laboratories, go to the department’s research web sites.


COMD 500  - Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology  (3 Credits)  
Human communication disorders with an overview of prevention and treatment programs.
COMD 501  - Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms  (3 Credits)  
An intensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms.
COMD 507  - Language Theory and Phonetics  (3 Credits)  
Study of language theory and international phonetics alphabet transcription.
COMD 521  - Introduction to Clinical Procedures in Speech Pathology  (1 Credit)  
Diagnostic and therapeutic programs for the communicatively handicapped will be observed in the public school and various rehabilitative settings. Discussion and study of basic therapeutic theories and procedures utilized in speech therapy. Introduction to phonetics or equivalent or permission of instructor.
COMD 525  - Selected Topics  (1-3 Credits)  
Presentation of current experimental or innovative programs in diagnosis and treatment of the communicatively impaired. Course is designed to update the practicing clinician in specific areas of expertise. May be repeated for credit. Individual topics to be announced by title. Permission of instructor.
COMD 526  - Disorders of Articulation: Evaluation and Therapy  (3 Credits)  
The diagnosis and treatment of articulation problems in children and adults, including analysis of current research in testing and therapy for articulation disorders.
Prerequisites: COMD 501 and COMD 507 or equivalents.
COMD 560  - Observation of Speech Language Pathology  (1-3 Credits)  
Introduction to the clinical process through observation of various diagnostic reports and intervention programs included.
COMD 570  - Introduction to Language Development  (3 Credits)  
The language acquisition process in normal children, including the development of semantics, morphology, syntax, phonology, and pragmatics; American dialects and bilingualism.
Prerequisites: COMD 501 and COMD 507.
Cross-listed course: LING 570
COMD 700  - Advanced Seminars in Speech Sound Disorders  (3 Credits)  
Study of advanced alternative procedures for the evaluation and management of individuals with significant phonological disturbances.
COMD 701  - Stuttering: Evaluation and Therapy  (1-3 Credits)  
An introduction to the problem of stuttering; its possible causes; the management and training of clients.
COMD 702  - Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Disorders: Evaluation and Management  (1-3 Credits)  
Nature, diagnosis and treatment of cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies.
COMD 703  - Genetics of Communication Disorders  (1 Credit)  
Genetic factors that contribute to disorders of speech, language, and hearing.
COMD 704  - Disorders of Voice: Evaluation and Therapy  (1-3 Credits)  
The diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders in children and adults. The neurological, physiological, and psychological bases of voice disorders will be considered.
COMD 705  - Adult Speech and Language Disorders  (3 Credits)  
The course is designed to introduce students to the neuropathological bases for acquired communicative, language and motor speech disorders in adults. The course includes information about the differential diagnosis of adult language and cognitive disorders as well as clinical intervention techniques.
COMD 706  - Preschool Language Development and Disorders  (3 Credits)  
Components of communication, oral language, and speech in preschool children with diverse problems across all aspects of language learning, including factors that serve as precursors to literacy skills as well as evidence-based approaches to language assessment and intervention.
COMD 707  - Clinical Evaluation in Communicative Disorders  (1-3 Credits)  
Assigned readings and reports combined with clinical practice in the evaluation of cases in areas such as aphasia, cerebral palsy, voice disorders, articulation problems, stuttering, or cleft palate.
COMD 708  - Directed Study in Speech Pathology  (3 Credits)  
Directed readings and/or research in speech pathology. May be repeated for credit.
COMD 709  - Laryngectomy Clinical Management  (1-3 Credits)  
Pre- and postoperative clinical management of the laryngeal patient with emphasis on communication and related problems.
COMD 710  - Selected Topics in Speech Pathology  (1-3 Credits)  
Individually assigned directed readings in speech pathology. May be repeated for credit when the topics covered or subject matter is different.
COMD 711  - Seminar in Speech Pathology  (1-3 Credits)  
An in-depth study of selected issues. May be repeated for credit when the topics covered or subject matter is different.
COMD 712  - Management and Coordination of Programs in Speech Pathology and Audiology  (1-3 Credits)  
A study of management systems in funding, scheduling, and case load.
COMD 713  - Neurogenic Disorders of Speech  (1-3 Credits)  
Clinical management of the neurogenic speech disorders. Major emphasis on neuroanatomy and pathophysiology; sign and symptoms, etiology, and the diagnosis and treatment of the major disorders.
Prerequisite or Corequisite: COMD 502, COMD 700, AND COMD 724 or equivalent course.
COMD 714  - Gerontology and Communicative Disorders  (1-3 Credits)  
Aging, communicative processes and problems associated with aging, and specific communicative disorders associated with aging. Methods of assessment and rehabilitation will be considered.
COMD 715  - Augmentative Communication: Assessment and Intervention  (1-3 Credits)  
A study of historical perspectives, current issues, assessment, intervention techniques, and training strategies in augmentative communication.
COMD 716  - Public Health Perspectives in Communication Sciences and Disorders  (1 Credit)  
Public health issues and historical context related to speech, language, and hearing from local, national and global perspectives.
COMD 717  - Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology  (1 Credit)  
Issues affecting speech-language pathologists including professional education, certification, licensure, legislation, standards, and ethics.
COMD 720  - School-Age Language & Literacy Development and Disorders  (3 Credits)  
The relationship between oral and written language and factors that impact reading and writing (phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary). Reading (word-level, comprehension, fluency) and writing (composition, spelling) development, assessment, intervention and issues related to delivery of literacy services in the schools.
COMD 721  - Cognitive Disorders and Reorganization  (2 Credits)  
This course is an introduction to the area of cognitive reorganization after traumatic brain injury as well as in dementia. Assessment of cognitive functioning as well as cognitive reorganization techniques and their applications will be described.
COMD 722  - Feeding and Swallowing Disorders: Evaluation and Therapy  (3 Credits)  
Anatomical and physiological orientation to typical and disordered feeding and swallowing across the lifespan, including interprofessional education for roles and responsibilities of allied and medical health partners involved in patient care.
COMD 723  - Language Disorders in Adolescents  (1-3 Credits)  
Diagnosis and treatment of communication problems in adolescent children, including educational psychosocial sequelae.
COMD 724  - Introduction to Medical Speech-Language Pathology  (1 Credit)  
Practical application skills for speech-language pathology in the medical setting.
COMD 725  - Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders: Evaluation and Therapy  (2 Credits)  
Anatomical and physiological orientation to typical and disordered pediatric feeding and swallowing from birth to 18 years of age, including interprofessional education for roles and responsibilities of allied and medical health partners involved in patient care.
Prerequisite or Corequisite: C or better in COMD 722 or equivalent course.
COMD 726  - Advanced Cognitive Retraining  (3 Credits)  
Issues in traumatic brain injury and implications for speech and language function.
COMD 727  - Advanced Study of Literacy for Speech-Language Pathologists  (2 Credits)  
Theories of reading development with regard to their implications for assessment and intervention. Connections between oral and written language skills, including vocabulary as a link between word level and text-level skills. Overall framework for thinking about literacy as a multi-component language skill.
COMD 728  - Cultural Responsiveness in Clinical Practice  (2 Credits)  
Foundations in culturally responsive clinical practice, including frameworks for cross-cultural engagement, evidence-based practice in multilingualism and dialectal variation, neurodiversity, power dynamics and marginalization, and related topics. Content is relevant to assessment and intervention in clinical practice.
COMD 735  - Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology  (2 Credits)  
The use of counseling skills by speech-language pathologists regarding the impact of communication disorders on the family system, the importance of interpersonal communication in counseling, and the principles and processes of counseling in facilitating behavior change.
COMD 738  - Introduction to Autism for the Speech-Language Pathologist  (2 Credits)  
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition that affects 1 in 44 children in the United States. Speech-language pathologists are key team members in the assessment and treatment of individuals with ASD. This graduate level elective course is an introduction to ASD for the speech-language-pathologist, and is intended to prepare speech-language pathologists to understand and serve this unique population. Content areas will include: diagnostic criteria and assessment, etiology, language and communication strengths and weaknesses, speech and language assessment for the individual with ASD, and ASD interventions targeting language and communication.
COMD 744  - Neurocognitive Bases of Language Behavior  (3 Credits)  
Neurocognitive bases for speech and language in the central nervous system including anatomy and physiology and theoretical constructs of language.
Prerequisites: COMD 501.
COMD 745  - Introduction to Speech Science and Acoustic Measurement  (3 Credits)  
The physical and related psychological attributes of speech. Use of electronic instruments and laboratory practices in measurement of acoustic variables. Introduction to information theory.
Prerequisites: COMD 501 and COMD 507.
COMD 748  - Speech Pathology Management of Patients with Tracheostomy & Ventilator Dependency  (2 Credits)  
Communication options and dysphagia management for speech-language pathologists working with tracheostomized patients.
Prerequisites: COMD 722.
COMD 750  - Introduction to Audiology and Aural Habilitation  (3 Credits)  
Basic anatomy and psycho-physics of hearing, pathologies of hearing loss, introduction to identification procedures including hearing screening and pure-tone audiometry, impact of hearing loss on preschool and school-aged children, and educational, psychological, and medical aspects of auditory habilitation.
Prerequisites: C or better in COMD 507.
COMD 754  - Aural (Re)Habilitation of Children and Adults  (3 Credits)  
Effects of hearing loss on a child's development and also on adult function and quality of life (linguistic, intellectual, social, and educational). Communication assessment and case management, including parent and patient training, education, and counseling.
Prerequisite or Corequisite: COMD 501, COMD 745, and COMD 750 or their equivalent.
COMD 755  - Aural Rehabilitation of Adults  (3 Credits)  
Comprehensive rehabilitation of hearing-impaired adults with emphasis upon amplification, auditory training, and speech reading in developing communication skills.
COMD 760  - Cochlear Implants  (3 Credits)  
Anatomy and physiology of the normal cochlea and the eighth cranial nerve. Evoked otoacoustic emissions as a diagnostic medium. Cochlear pathology with emphasis on candidacy for cochlear implantation.
COMD 761  - Habilitation of Individuals with Cochlear Implants  (1-3 Credits)  
Clinical techniques for the communication assessment and habilitation of the child post cochlear implantation.
COMD 762  - Aural Habilitation: Manual Communication  (1-3 Credits)  
Basic sign vocabulary for speech-language pathologists’ professional use with hearing-impaired clients. Focus on the nature and components of manual language systems.
COMD 772  - Practicum in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology  (1-13 Credits)  
Supervised clinical practice in screening, diagnosis, and therapy.
COMD 774  - Internship in Speech Pathology  (3-13 Credits)  
Supervised internship in diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with communicative disorders in clinical and public school settings in field situations.
COMD 790  - Research and Evidence Based Practice in Communication Sciences and Disorders  (3 Credits)  
An introduction to research methods applicable to and utilized in speech pathology and audiology. An analysis of basic and applied research.
COMD 791  - Research Methodology  (3 Credits)  
Preparation of research designs, procedures of sampling and use of statistical measures.
COMD 799  - Thesis Preparation  (1-9 Credits)  
COMD 800  - Seminar in Speech Pathology  (3 Credits)  
An in depth exploration of problems, theories, and research in a specific area of speech pathology. May be repeated for credit when the topic(s) covered is different. Individual topics to be announced with title.
COMD 801  - Advanced Topics in Speech Pathology  (3 Credits)  
A series of lectures, presentations, and discussion sessions in a selected area of speech pathology. May be repeated for credit when the topic(s) covered is different. Individual topics to be announced with title.
COMD 802  - Contemporary Issues In Speech Pathology  (3 Credits)  
Issues of local, state, and national import related to the prevention or solution of problems in speech pathology.
COMD 803  - Advanced Study of Clinical Phonology  (3 Credits)  
Introduction to nonlinear phonological theory (e.g., autosegmental, metrical) and its application for assessment and intervention of children with phonological disorders.
COMD 805  - Advanced Study of Language Disorders in Adults  (3 Credits)  
Theories of language processing, language development, and the effects of neural pathology on the normal language process.
COMD 820  - Advanced Speech Science  (3 Credits)  
Advanced study of the physical and related psychological attributes of sound and measurement of acoustic variables of sound and speech. Review of current research in speech science.
COMD 821  - Advanced Hearing Science  (3 Credits)  
The normal auditory system; middle ear and cochlear physiology as determiners of auditory psychophysics.
COMD 822  - Normal Bases of Speech Production  (3 Credits)  
Processes underlying speech production, including neural control, respiration, phonation, and articulation; theories explaining the processes; measurements of physical properties of speech.
COMD 823  - Normal Bases of Language  (3 Credits)  
Advanced study of the effects of pathology on the normal language processes. Theories of language processing and development over the life span. Effects of focal and diffuse neutral pathologies on language processes.
COMD 827  - Connections between Oral and Language Literacy  (3 Credits)  
The course focuses on prominent theories and contemporary research on the relation between oral and written language processing in skilled adults, the development of oral and written language abilities in children, and developmental and acquired disorders of language and reading.
COMD 899  - Doctoral Research and Dissertation Preparation  (1-12 Credits)