Master of Science in Communicative Disorders

Major: CMDS
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GM
Program Webpage:

Program Information

Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Louisville is a well-established program that provides challenging academic coursework and clinical experience to master's degree candidates. Communicative Disorders is a Division within the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders in the School of Medicine. The graduate program offers a unique opportunity to pursue a Master of Science degree to students with and without undergraduate degrees in speech-language pathology. The program includes two options or phases: the Preparatory Phase or the Core Phase. Applications from students without a background in speech-language pathology will be submitted automatically to the Preparatory Phase of the program. The PreparatoryPhase is a full-time seven-semester sequence beginning each year in the fall semester. Applications from students who currently hold a Bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology will be submitted automatically to the CorePhase of the program. The CorePhase is a full-time five-semester sequence beginning each year in the fall semester.

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits the program. Graduating students will be eligible to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence by ASHA if all requirements are fulfilled.

The program has cooperative arrangements with more than fifty schools, agencies, hospitals, and practice groups in the Kentuckiana region.

Admission Procedures

Speech-Language Pathology: Applicants should have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and combined Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination of at least 300. At least three letters of recommendation should accompany the application. A formal interview may be required. The applicant should read and meet the general requirements for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Science degree must complete at least 54 credit hours at the graduate level, exclusive of credits related to the completion of an (optional) master's thesis (research project) and/or courses required to complete ASHA certification requirements.

Pass/Fail Option

In general, graduate students in speech-language pathology may not choose the pass/fail option; however, certain courses may be offered with this option at the discretion of the faculty.

Comprehensive Examinations

Students will complete an eight-hour written comprehensive examination (across two days) followed by a 45-minute oral comprehensive examination during their last semester of study. The completion and defense of a thesis/research project are encouraged but is optional. The aforementioned written and oral comprehensive exams are not required for thesis/research project students (outside of the defense of their research).

The comprehensive examinations must be completed at least five weeks prior to the completion of the student's graduate program. The student is responsible for becoming familiar with the consequences of failure on the written or oral comprehensive exams. This information is available in the student academic policy manual.

Clinical Practicum

The American Speech Language Hearing Association requires a minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum in speech-language pathology to be eligible for certification. All students must complete 25 hours of observation. If the 25 hours of observation were obtained at the undergraduate level, they are not repeated.

Certain prerequisites and standards apply to the clinical practicum component of the program, including minimum course work requirements, mandatory readings, observations, case report formats, and grading criteria. This information is available in the program office and it is the student's responsibility to become acquainted with these requirements prior to enrolling in clinical practicum.

Falling below a 3.0 average in practicum for two consecutive semesters will result in dismissal from the program. Practicum assignments are made at the discretion of the faculty.


Speech Language Pathology M.S. Degree - CORE PHASE

YearSemesterCourse#DescriptionCredit Hours
1FallCMDS 572Anatomy & Physiology for Communicative Sciences4
CMDS 612Early Childhood Language Assessment and Intervention3
CMDS 620Motor Speech Disorders3
CMDS 602Speech Sound Disorders3
CMDS 600Research Methods in Speech-Language Pathology2
CMDS 611Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology1
Total Credit Hours15-16
SpringCMDS 690Dysphagia3
CMDS 667Aphasia3
CMDS 663Voice Disorders3
CMDS 669Cognitive-Communication Disorders3
CMDS 699Research Project (if needed)1
CMDS 652School-Age Language Assessment and Intervention3
CMDS 611Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology1
Total Credit Hours15-17
SummerCMDS 696Alternative and Augmentative Communication (May Term)3
CMDS 611Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology2
Total Credit Hours5
2FallCMDS 694Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing3
CMDS 699Research Project (if needed)2
CMDS 611Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology3
CMDS 665Fluency Disorders3
Total Credit Hours9-11
SpringCMDS 668Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology3
CMDS 611Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology5
CMDS 610Topics in Audiology and Aural Rehabilitation1
CMDS 699Research Project1
Total Credit Hours9-10


Speech Language Pathology M.S. Degree Program - PREPARATORY PHASE


Alan F. Smith, EdD, CCC/SLP
Assistant Professor

Program Director

Rhonda Mattingly, EdD, CCC/SLP
Associate Professor

Director of Clinical Education

Teresa Pitts, PhD, CCC/SLP
Assistant Professor

Director of Research

M. Gay Masters, PhD, CCC/SLP

Assistant Professor

Suzanne King, PhD, CCC/SLP

Assistant Professor

Anne Blandford, SLPD, CCC/SLP

Clinical Assistant Professor

Maria Kondourova, PhD

Assistant Professor

Barbara M. Baker, PhD, CCC/SLP

Professor Emeritus

Alice Inman, MS, CCC/SLP, BSC-S


Nancy Ohlmann, MS CCC/SLP

Clinical Instructor

Nicole Goodwin, MS, CCC/SLP

Clinical Instructor