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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

Year Semester Course# Title Credits
1 Fall CMDS 572 Anatomy & Physiology for Communication Sciences 4
    CMDS 681 Assessment and Clinical Methods 3
    CMDS 620 Neurological Disorders of Speech Production 3
    CMDS 602 Articulation/Phonology 3
      Total Credits 13
  Spring CMDS 696 Augmentative/Alternative Communication 3
    CMDS 667 Aphasia 3
    CMDS 612 Preschool Language Intervention 3
    CMDS 669 Cognitive Disorders 3
    CMDS 695 Special Topics (0) 2-Day Seminar TBA  0
    CMDS 652 School Age Language and Phonology Intervention 3
    CMDS 611 Practicum: Speech Pathology 1
      Total Credits 16
  Summer CMDS 671 Clinical Methods in Speech Language Pathology 2
    CMDS 690 Dysphagia 3
    CMDS 663 Voice Disorders 3
    CMDS 611 Practicum: Speech Pathology 2
    EDSP 637 Transdisciplinary Collaboration for Inclusion 3
      Total Credits 10
2 Fall CMDS 668 Professional Issues in Audiology and Speech Pathology 3
    AUDI 605 Intro to Audiological Techniques and Rehab 3
    OBIO 501 Biomedical Data Analysis: Experimental Design and Statistics 3
    CMDS 699 Research Project 1-3
    CMDS 611 Practicum: Speech Pathology 3
    CMDS 595 Special Topics: Statistical Techniques 3
    CMDS 665 Fluency Disorders 3
      Total Credits 9
  Spring CMDS 695 Special Topics 3-Day Seminar TBA 3
    CMDS 611 Practicum: Speech Pathology 5
    CMDS 610 Practicum: Audiology 1
    CMDS 699 Project 1-3
    EDSP 540 Introduction to Exceptional Children 3
      Total Credits 8-9


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

         Semester Course# Title Credits
  Fall CMDS 572 Anatomy & Physiology for Communication Sciences 4
    CMDS 605 Intro to Audiological Techniques and Rehab 3
    CMDS 563 Clinical Phonetics 3
      Total Credits 10
  Spring CMDS 570 Clinical Observation in Speech Pathology and Audiology 1
    CMDS 564 Normal Speech & Language Development 3
    CMDS 545 Survey of Communication Processes and Disorders 3
    LING 522 OR  
    ENG 522 Structure of Modern American English 3
    EDSP 540 Intro to Exceptional Children 3
    EDSP 637  Transdisciplinary Collaboration 3
       Total Spring Semesters 10
      Total Credits (Required) 10
  Summer EDSP 540 Intro to Exceptional Children 2
    EDSP 637 Transdisciplinary Collaboration 3
      *If necessary  
      **Teacher Certification Program (optional)  

Departmental Faculty

Barbara M. Baker, Ph.D.

Director and Professor

Rhonda Mattingly, Ed.D.

Lecturer and Clinical Coordinator

M. Gay Masters, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Alan F. Smith, Ph.D.


Elizabeth A. Katzman, Ed.D.

Clinical Supervisor

Contact Information

Communicative Disorders - MS

Program Assistant
Phone: (502)852-5274

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