Master of Science in Communicative Disorders

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

Program Information

The Division of Speech-Language Pathology, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine offers a Master of Science in Communicative Disorders for speech-language pathology majors. The Program offers a unique opportunity to pursue a Master of Science degree to students with and without an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology. The program includes two phases. Applications from students without a background in speech-language pathology will be submitted automatically to the Preparatory phase of the program. Applications from students who currently hold a Bachelors'degree in speech-language pathology will be submitted automatically to the core phase of the program. The program leading to a Master of Science degree for Speech Pathology undergraduate degree majors is a full time five-semester sequence beginning each year in the fall semester.

The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits the Speech-Language Pathology Program. Graduating students will be eligible to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence by ASHA if all requirements are fulfilled. Students may also be eligible for Kentucky State Teaching Certification in speech-language pathology. The Teacher Certification Program by which speech pathology students prepare for school therapy positions is certified by the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education. Additional coursework may be required to be eligible for ASHA or teaching certification.

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

Admission Procedures

Speech 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 in speech pathology must complete at least 54 credit hours at the graduate level, exclusive of credits related to the completion of a (optional) master's thesis, courses required to complete ASHA certification requirements, and/or course work related to Kentucky State Teacher Certification.

Please refer to the section on Academic Standing in this catalog entitled "academic probation" concerning dismissal/retention in the program.

Pass/Fail Option

In general, students in Speech Pathology may not choose the pass/fail option. Certain courses may be offered with this option at the discretion of the faculty.

Comprehensive Examinations

Students in Speech-Language Pathology will take an eight-hour written comprehensive examination followed by a forty-five minute oral comprehensive examination during their last semester of study. The completion of a research project is encouraged, but is optional. Research project students will take at least one statistics course above the introductory level.  Students will take a comprehensive oral examination that will focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the research project itself.  The above mentioned written and oral comprehensive exam is not required for research project students.

These 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 examinations. 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 pathology to be eligible for certification. Twenty clock hours must be in the student's minor area and 325 of the 400 hours must be at the graduate level. All students must have had 25 hours of observation. If they were obtained at the undergraduate level, they are not repeated. The student may spend the last 8 weeks of the program at a clinical site outside the Louisville area.

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 faculty's discretion and with the service needs of the clinic in mind. All practicum work done outside of the main program must be given prior approval by the clinical director.


Speech Language Pathology M.S. Degree - CORE PROGRAM

1FallCMDS 572Anatomy & Physiology for Communication Sciences4
CMDS 681Assessment and Clinical Methods3
CMDS 620Neurological Disorders of Speech Production3
CMDS 602Articulation/Phonology3
Total Credits13
SpringCMDS 696Augmentative/Alternative Communication3
CMDS 667Aphasia3
CMDS 612Preschool Language Intervention3
CMDS 669Cognitive Disorders3
CMDS 695Special Topics (0) 2-Day Seminar TBA0
CMDS 652School Age Language and Phonology Intervention3
CMDS 611Practicum: Speech Pathology1
Total Credits16
SummerCMDS 671Clinical Methods in Speech Language Pathology2
CMDS 690Dysphagia3
CMDS 663Voice Disorders3
CMDS 611Practicum: Speech Pathology2
EDSP 637Transdisciplinary Collaboration for Inclusion3
Total Credits10
2FallCMDS 668Professional Issues in Audiology and Speech Pathology3
AUDI 605Intro to Audiological Techniques and Rehab3
OBIO 501Biomedical Data Analysis: Experimental Design and Statistics3
CMDS 699Research Project1-3
CMDS 611Practicum: Speech Pathology3
CMDS 595Special Topics: Statistical Techniques3
CMDS 665Fluency Disorders3
Total Credits9
SpringCMDS 695Special Topics 3-Day Seminar TBA3
CMDS 611Practicum: Speech Pathology5
CMDS 610Practicum: Audiology1
CMDS 699Project1-3
EDSP 540Introduction to Exceptional Children3
Total Credits8-9


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

FallCMDS 572Anatomy & Physiology for Communication Sciences4
CMDS 605Intro to Audiological Techniques and Rehab3
CMDS 563Clinical Phonetics3
Total Credits10
SpringCMDS 570Clinical Observation in Speech Pathology and Audiology1
CMDS 564Normal Speech & Language Development3
CMDS 545Survey of Communication Processes and Disorders3
ENG 522Structure of Modern American English3
EDSP 540Intro to Exceptional Children3
EDSP 637Transdisciplinary Collaboration3
Total Spring Semesters10
Total Credits (Required) 10
SummerEDSP 540Intro to Exceptional Children2
EDSP 637Transdisciplinary Collaboration3
*If necessary
**Teacher Certification Program (optional)


Barbara M. Baker


Elizabeth A. Katzman

Clinical Supervisor

M. Gay Masters

Assistant Professor

Rhonda Mattingly

Clinical Coordinator

Alan F. Smith