MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Application opens July 15, 2018
*Please use GRE code 5180 for submitting scores to East Carolina University*

General Information

Distance Education Students

Our distance education (DE) MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a three year full-time program. The (DE) MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a clinical degree that offers students the necessary academic and clinical training to earn eligibility for the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The DE MS degree is the exact same degree as the campus program. We require the same admission criteria and use the same training procedures. Academic and clinical experiences gained while in the DE Master's program will serve as the foundation for future clinicians to offer specialized services that address a wide range of complex disorders of communication and swallowing. In addition, it is our expectation that students will develop the collaborative leadership and problem solving skills necessary to address the ever changing problems of communication and swallowing experienced by children and adults.

Student Handbook (pdf)

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement

All applicable ECU academic programs prepare students to sit for licensure in North Carolina. In order to comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations regarding distance education and professional licensure ECU is required to make the following disclosure with respect to professional licensure outside the state of North Carolina. ECU cannot confirm whether a particular program meets requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of North Carolina. Please contact applicable licensure board(s) in any state you may want to pursue licensure prior to beginning the academic program in order to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm program eligibility for licensure in any state outside North Carolina.

Important Note to Residents Outside North Carolina

Admission of applicants outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree, certificate or individual online course offered by East Carolina University, is dependent on ECU’s ability to secure authorization from the applicant’s state of residence, if such authorization is required.

East Carolina University delivers online education programs and courses throughout the United States and internationally. All programs have been approved by the University of North Carolina General Administration. Many states have prescribed an "authorization" process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents to ensure quality post-secondary education, to preserve the integrity of an academic degree, and to instill greater consumer protection for its student citizens.

East Carolina University has taken steps to protect its students and operations through nationwide compliance: by participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA); obtaining authorization, approval, exemptions and waivers; or confirming that East Carolina University can operate without such authorization because the state’s laws do not pertain to a public institution, to an accredited institution, or to the ECU’s activities in that state.

As of November 14, 2016, East Carolina University is approved by to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. Institutions that are members of SARA are authorized to provide online education to students from all SARA member states. States and institutions that choose to become members of SARA operate under a set of policies and standards overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and administered by four regional higher education compacts. For more information about the SARA initiative and the progress of state and institutional membership.

Because authorization is an evolving area, please check this site again for the latest statement from ECU. For questions or concerns specific to the state authorization process, contact us at

Program Description

The MS degree is a 3 year, 54-60 credit hour program of study. The academic coursework is delivered mostly on-line; the clinical component is accomplished by completing direct patient contact hours in a variety of clinical settings. Graduation requirements include completion of at least 54 graduate credit hours and 400 clinical hours. Students must also achieve a passing score (162) on the PRAXIS II examination in speech-language pathology. Students may take additional electives which, in some public school systems, may result in placement on a higher pay scale.

Program Delivery

The basic course delivery method is asynchronous utilizing an electronic learning model which consists of actual course lectures. Students can view the lectures live or on demand on their own computers. Course documents (syllabi, hand-outs, exams) are made available through the use of Blackboard, typically. Some courses provide for synchronous learning through the use of online technologies such as Centra or discussion boards. Some instructors may require proctored examinations. Clinical internship experiences are required to earn 400+ clock hours of diagnostic and therapy experiences. These internships are done in the student's geographical location 2-5 days per week, typically. Some courses require assignments or projects to be completed out in the community.

Equipment Requirements and Required Computer Skills

Students enrolled in the program must have a computer capable of running Microsoft Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2013 Professional or newer.

Minimum requirements for a Microsoft Windows based laptop:

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8 GB memory
  • 256 GB hard drive
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Professional or newer
  • Specialty software (depending upon major)

Minimum requirements for an Apple MAC OS X based laptop:

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8 GB memory
  • 256 GB hard drive
  • Apple OS X El Capitan
  • Capable of running Microsoft Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
  • Capable of running Microsoft Office 2013 Professional or newer
  • Specialty software (depending upon major)
  • Boot Camp or Parallels (required to run software for Windows