M.S. in Communicative Disorders Curriculum


Academic Requirements:

Students are required to complete a total of 52 semester hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale).   During each semester in which clinical clock hours are earned, the student must enroll in Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (CMD540-549).  However, no more than 6 semester hours may be counted toward the required 51 semester hours.


Core Courses (46 s.h.)

CMD510 Advanced Articulation and Phonological Disorders 3 s.h.
CMD525 Dysphagia 3 s.h.
CMD527 Seminar in Child Language Disorders I 3 s.h.
CMD528 Seminar in Child Language Disorders II 2 s.h.
CMD530 Seminar in Acquired Disorders of Language I 3 s.h.
CMD531 Seminar in Acquired Disorders of Language II 3 s.h.
CMD532 Methods of Research 3 s.h.
CMD535 Augmentative and Alternative Communication 3 s.h.
CMD537 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology 3 s.h.
CMD565 Seminar in Fluency Disorders 2 s.h.
CMD570 Seminar in Aural Rehabilitation 3 s.h.
CMD575 Seminar in Organic Speech Disorders 3 s.h.
CMD578 Seminar in Voice Disorders 3 s.h.
CMD540-549 Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology 6 s.h.
PH500 Introduction to Public Health Disciplines 3 s.h.



Thesis/Project/Additional Coursework Options (6 s.h.)

In addition to the core curriculum, candidates for the M.S. degree in Communicative Disorders must successfully complete one of the three options given below:

1.   Thesis Option.  Students who choose the thesis option must successfully complete CMD590 – Thesis, for a total of 6.0 semester hours, and a Final Oral Examination.

2.   Project Option.  Students who select the project option must successfully complete 6.0 semester hours of Master’s Project (CMD589).

If interested in the thesis/project option, students should seek advisement by the end of the first semester of graduate enrollment.

3.   Additional Coursework Option.  Students choosing the additional coursework option must successfully complete the core curriculum (46 s.h.), and at least 6 graduate semester hours in elective courses within the Department, selected with the approval of the academic advisor.



CMD515 Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology 1 s.h.
CMD519 Audiology for the Speech-Language Pathologist 3 s.h.
CMD523 Assessment and Evaluation in Speech-Language Pathology 3 s.h.
CMD550 Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology 1 s.h.
CMD555 Speech-Language Pathology in the Medical Setting 2 s.h.
CMD558 Seminar in Multicultural Issues 2 s.h.
CMD563 Research & Clinical Instrumentation 2 s.h.
CMD572 Communication Behaviors and the Aging Process 2 s.h.
CMD580 Business and Management Aspects
of a Speech-Language Pathology Practice
2 s.h.
CMD582 Special Problems in Speech-Language Pathology 2-4 s.h.
CMD585 Independent Study 3-6 s.h.



Clinical (Practicum) Requirements:

The student must successfully complete the practicum requirements specified below:

  • Acquire all skills specified in the current standards for ASHA certification.
  • At least 25 clock hours of clinical observation must be completed before beginning initial clinical practicum.
  •  At least 325 clock hours of practicum in speech-language pathology must be completed at the graduate level.
  • At least 50 clock hours must be completed in each of three types of clinical settings.  The settings may include a hospital or medical facility, the university clinic and public schools.


The Master of Science degree program in Communicative Disorders is competency-based. Before a student is allowed to graduate, he/she is expected to acquire the knowledge and skills to prevent disorders of communication, and to safely, effectively and efficiently assess and treat persons across the life span, from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, who present with disorders of articulation, fluency, voice and resonance, receptive and expressive language, hearing, swallowing, cognition and social aspects of communication. Additionally, the student is expected to demonstrate specific knowledge in communication modalities, as well as possess skills in oral and written communication sufficient for entry into professional practice. The student is required to maintain a GPA of 'B' on a 4-point scale.


All students admitted to the full-time program must be full-time in residence during the program of study. The minimum duration for full-time graduate study is two years including the summer between the first and second years.  Depending on the student's skills, additional time may be necessary to complete clinical requirements, acquire all required skills or conduct thesis research. 


Types of External Clinical Sites:

Students earn clinical clock hours at the Central Mississippi Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic and at other off-campus clinical sites assigned by the Department.  Off-campus sites are assigned based upon the student’s knowledge and skills, availability of specific external sites and appropriate supervision, and student interest.  The types of external sites students are placed at include:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Public schools
  • Private practices
  • Early intervention
  • Child development centers
  • Other educational facilities