Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences and Disorders, MA

Communication Sciences and Disorders

IM Building
Speech and Hearing Clinic - IM 275
Program Director Office - IM 332
(216) 687-3804

Myrita Wilhite, PhD/AuD, CCC-A
Chair, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department


The Master of Arts degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders provides students with the necessary clinical and academic expertise to obtain employment as a Speech-Language Pathologist in clinical and/or research positions. The program maintains an active speech-language and hearing clinic and has student externship liaisons with many hospitals, clinics, and schools in the Greater Cleveland area. The graduate academic program holds accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Faculty Research and Publications

Faculty members are active in a wide variety of research areas, and their research is published in international and national scholarly journals. The program features state-of-the-art clinic and audiology facilities for research, instruction, and service delivery. Graduate students are encouraged to pursue independent research by completing a master’s thesis.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Financial Assistance

The program offers graduate assistantships funded by University and grant support. Any student interested in applying for a graduate assistantship should complete the appropriate portion of the Application for Graduate Admission. Please refer to the section on Expenses and Financial Aid: Graduate Assistantships  in this Catalog.

Career Information

Graduates of the program meet the requirements for candidacy for ASHA certification, state of Ohio licensure, and, if opted for, the Ohio Department of Education pupil services license. Graduates hold positions in public schools, hospitals, community clinics, and long-term care facilities. Increasingly, experienced speech-language pathologists are establishing themselves as private practitioners. Program graduates also may elect to pursue a doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology at another university and/or employment at a university or research facility.

Admission Information

Admission to the program is selective and limited. In addition to meeting College of Graduate Studies requirements for admission, applicants to the program must do the following:

  • Submit an application through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS) by January 15.  A completed CSDCAS application includes: official undergraduate transcripts; results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or clinical performance; and a personal statement of interest that describes the applicant’s capabilities and career goals.
  • Complete the CSU Application for Graduate Admissions and send official undergraduate transcripts to the Graduate Admissions Processing Center.  By the time of admission, the applicant must have attained a confirmed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and with an overall GPA of 3.00 or better.
  • Students whose undergraduate major was not communication sciences and disorders, must complete the following eight undergraduate courses or their equivalents before admission is possible.
  • CSD 228 - Phonetics
  • CSD 349 - Speech and Language Development for Majors
  • CSD 231 - Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • CSD 232 - Introduction to Audiology
  • CSD 335 - Clinical Methods in Communication Disorders
  • CSD 351 - Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
  • CSD 485 - Speech and Hearing Science
  • CSD 481 - Aural Rehabilitation

All applicants must have completed four courses (or their equivalent) as required for ASHA certification. One course in each category listed below is required. Recommended courses at CSU are listed.

  • Biological sciences
    • BIO 101 - The Living World
    • BIO 102 - Human Genetics, Reproduction and Development
    • BIO 104 - The Brain
    • BIO 106 - Human Biology in Health and Disease
  • Social sciences
    • SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
    • SOC 201 - Race, Class and Gender
    • SOC 203 - Sociology of Poverty
    • PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology
    • PSY 180 - Introduction to Gerontology
    • PSY 220 - Child Development
  • Physical sciences
    • PHY 101 - The Flying Circus of Physics: Motion and Heat
    • PHY 102 - The Flying Circus of Physics: Sound and Light
    • CHM 151 - Chemistry Around Us
  • Statistics
    • STA 147 - Statistical Concepts with Application

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum leading to a Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, supports specific requirements established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). These requirements partially fulfill the criteria leading toward the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in speech-language pathology. In addition, a student must satisfy the specific requirements established by the Ohio Board of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology to obtain a license in Speech Language Pathology. Students must meet with their assigned advisors each semester to ensure that all clinical and academic requirements for national certification and state licensure are fulfilled by the time they plan to complete their program of study. This is a five semester graduate program.

Degree Requirements

54 Credit Hours without Teaching License

64 Credit Hours with Teaching License

Required grade-point average

Students must earn a 3.0 grade-point average or higher in all required graduate courses, including any required graduate course(s) taken as a non-degree student.

Minimum clinical hours

Students must complete a minimum 375 of supervised clinical hours of direct contact with a client/patient and 25 hours of documented clinical observation.

Students must successfully complete the following courses:

Licensure for public school speech language pathologists (10 Credit Hours)

Students who plan to work in a public school as a speech language pathologist must take additional courses that reflect knowledge in cultural differences and federal laws. A student teaching externship is required.

Specific ASHA Guidelines

  1. The student must earn at least 36 semester credit hours in a program that addresses the knowledge and skills pertinent to the ASHA Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology. In accordance with the Council on Academic Accreditation Standards, students must demonstrate all clinical competencies as defined by the program.
  2. Students must show documentation of the 25 observation hours prior to beginning graduate school. All supervision and documentation must be provided by an individual who holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in the appropriate area of practice.