MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Distance Education

Admission Information

Admission to the degree program is open to all eligible candidates residing in the continental United States and Alaska.** Priority will be given to residents of North Carolina. We typically admit 20 students each Fall. We do not admit students at any other time of the academic year. International applicants should apply only to the on-campus program. We cannot provide the DE program internationally.

** Important Notice to Residents Living Outside the State of 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.

Due to evolving changes in higher education regulations, ECU will no longer be able to offer distance education online programs or courses for students residing in District of Columbia (DC), Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon, or Utah. We are also unable to offer distance education online programs or courses that have experiential learning activities to students residing in Ohio, except for those taking courses to pursue ECU's Nursing - MSN - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program and Nursing - CNS - Clinical Nurse Specialist. ECU continues to work with state authorities to allow students in these states who are currently enrolled in an ECU online or certificate program to complete their degree.

Additionally, students enrolled in programs or courses that require internships or supervised clinical placements will be unable to complete these activities in the state listed.

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, or if you cannot access the link, please contact us at Thanks.


A background of undergraduate courses in speech and hearing sciences is essential. For those students who do not have an undergraduate degree in the field, specific undergraduate courses must be taken prior to formally beginning the MS degree sequence. The following undergraduate courses or their equivalent must be taken prior to enrolling in graduate courses:

  • Phonetics
  • Anatomy of Speech and Hearing
  • Neural Process for Speech and Language
  • Language Development
  • Introduction to Audiology
  • Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation
  • Acquisition and Development of Articulation and Phonology
  • Speech Science
  • A graduate or undergraduate statistics course
  • At least 6 credits in biological/physical sciences (preferably physics)
  • At least 6 credits in social/behavioral sciences
Undergraduate Prerequisites

CSDI 3010. Phonetics (3) (F) P: CSDI major or minor,CSDI 2100; PSYC 1000; or consent of instructor. Applied phonetics using International Phonetic Alphabet and pertinent modifications. Detailed descriptions of American English speech sounds and transcription of contextual speech representing mainstream and nonmainstream dialects. Transcription abilities developed to assess and treat speech disorders.

CSDI 3020. Language Development (3) (F) P: CSDI major or minor, CSDI 2100; PSYC 1000; or consent of instructor. Normal acquisition and development of language from birth through preschool years, components of language, cognitive and communicative prerequisites and language learning theories.

CSDI 3040. Anatomy of the Speech and Respiratory Mechanism (3) lecture and 1 lab hours per week. P: BIOL 1050 , BIOL 1051 ; CSDI 2100 ; or consent of instructor. Anatomy of speech production mechanisms. Central and peripheral nervous systems, respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation.

CSDI 3045. Speech Science (3) P: CSDI 3040 or consent of instructor. Physiology and acoustic correlates of speech production mechanism.

CSDI 3050. Acquisition and Development of Phonology and Articulation (3) (S) P: CSDI 3010, 3030 or consent of instructor. Emphasis on birth to five years and critical periods through the early teen years. Content areas include birth cry, babbling, cross linguistic and universal patterns of acquisition, morphophonology, metaphonology, historical and contemporary normative data issues and interrelation of normal phonological development with other areas of language growth.

CSDI 4100. Introduction to Audiology (3) (S) P: CSDI 3030 or consent of instructor. Concepts related to normal hearing, causes and effects of defective hearing and hearing testing procedures.

CSDI 4110. Aural Rehabilitation (3) (S) P: CSDI 4100 or consent of instructor. Habilitation, rehabilitation of the hearing impaired as related to hearing aid use, speech-reading, auditory training and total communication. Management philosophies related to children and adults.

CSDI 4440. Neural Processing in Speech and Language (3) P: CSDI 3030 or consent of instructor. Study of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology including current research of nervous system structures and functions important for speech and language. Critical analyses of current theories of the neurophysiology utilized in speech and language.

Application Procedure

All master's degree applications (campus and distance education) are due January 15.

View application instructions (pdf)

Candidates for the MS Degree must meet the University Graduate School's and Department's Admission standards. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score no older than 5 years is required for consideration.

Completed application (i.e. GRE scores, Official Transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation and supplemental application) must be received at the Graduate School by January 15 in order to be considered for the Fall class (no admissions are made for Spring or Summer). Initial review of applicants will occur by March. An interview may be required (phone or face-to-face).

Admission is primarily determined from GPA and GRE scores. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better in undergraduate work is required with a minimum of 3.2 in the major area of study and GRE scores higher than the 30th percentile for each subtest: Verbal, Quantitative and Writing.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) has modified the GREs and a new scoring system was implemented in August 2011. Our requirements are based on percentile ranks in order to compare the old and new GRE scores.

The MAT scores are not acceptable for our program and can not be substituted for the GREs.

General information about the Graduate School can be found at the Graduate School.