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MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders

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)

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 destateauth@ecu.edu. Thanks.

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 (160) 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