MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders


MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders Program Open House Dates:  10/9, 10/23 and 11/20 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM.

Detailed application procedures and other program information for the master’s degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders can be found in our program booklet (pdf).

Programs within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders allow students to concentrate in speech-language pathology, speech and hearing sciences, communication sciences and disorders, or audiology. They prepare students for clinical, academic, and research positions. Our excellent faculty are well grounded in both research and clinical practice.The renown of the faculty is underscored by the fact that they were the first to offer the Ph.D degree in communication sciences and disorders in North Carolina.

The MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders program will continue to build a strong foundation in practicing collaborative leadership skills, develop flexible and positive views of the future, and identify and build on existing strengths, opportunities, and resources to engage in the community and enact positive change.


On-Campus Programs

For a traditional, on-campus experience, the Master's degree programs in Communication Sciences & Disorders have 2 major emphases: Speech-Language Pathology (clinical) and Communication Sciences (non-clinical).

The clinical program is accredited by the Council for Academic Accreditation, a semi-autonomous body, of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The Speech-Language Pathology master's degree program is designed to be a clinical degree in which the student accrues clinical clock hours to earn eligibility for the Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA.

The Communication Sciences master's degree program is a non-clinical master's degree designed for the individual who wishes to pursue a science based degree.  Students applying for the NON-CLINICAL TRACK should contact before applying.


Admission Requirements

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

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 graduate program in speech-language pathology or communication sciences requires completed coursework in the following areas at the undergraduate level for admission:

  • Phonetics
  • Anatomy of Speech and Hearing
  • Neural Processes 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

Application to the program is initiated with the Graduate School at East Carolina University. The deadline for a completed application (including receipt of GRE scores and transcripts from all schools attended is January 15 each year. The Department requires transcripts of all college coursework, letters of recommendation and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The ECU Graduate School requires a score in the 30th percentile for admission to ECU. The Department of CSDI is recommending applicants strive for a score above the 50th percentile. CSDI will not accept anyone who scores less than 30th percentile on either Verbal or Quantitative subtests.

Admission Instructions (pdf)

Our application process moved to CSDCAS effective Sept. 17, 2014. Below is some helpful information regarding the change:

1) CSDCAS Customer Service information.  

Customer Service is available Monday thru Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM EST

Phone: 617-612-2030  Email:

2) CSDCAS Applicant Portal Link. 

To access our application portal visit

3) CSDCAS Address.  

All official transcripts MUST be sent to CSDCAS at the address below:

CSDCAS Verification Department

P.O. Box 9113

Watertown, MA  02471

4) CSDCAS Application Deadlines

The application deadline for Fall 2016 enrollment is January 15, 2016

The 2016-17 CSDCAS application will open to applicants on September 17 and programs will begin to have access to the 2016-17 applicant pool once WebAdMIT launches.


Required Courses

Sample Curriculum in Speech-Language Patholgy at East Carolina University

The student will be required to complete both part-time and full-time clinical internships in addition to traditional classroom and online instruction. Both face-to-face and online coursework is present in the degree; there are additional tuition charges in the semesters when online courses are required.

Typically, the student will graduate with a minimum of 400 clinical clock hours of experience (25 of the total clock hours are observation hours, obtained prior to first semester as a graduate student).

The communication sciences (nonclinical degree) curriculum has fewer class requirements; however, completion of a thesis is required for this program of study. Please see the ECU graduate catalog for further information and contact the Director of Master's Education directly at if you are interested in the non-clinical track.


Clinical Hours Requirements (DE and On-Campus)

The Clinical Hours Requirements pertain to students in the speech-language pathology emphasis; it is not part of the non-clinical communication sciences emphasis. This pertains to both the on-campus and DE programs.

Each graduate student in the speech-language pathology track of the master's degree in communication sciences & disorders is required to accrue clinical clock hours through clinical courses. There are slightly different requirements for the different types of students in the program: On-Campus (OC), Distance Education (DE), and Alaskan Distance Education (AKDE).

Observation Hours (25 clock hour minimum)
All students (campus or DE) are required to submit documentation of at least 25 clock hours observation of SLP or Audiology sessions by July 31st before the Fall semester of enrollment. Students must submit proof of these hours to the Director of Master's Education for verification and approval.

Clinical Clock hours in Speech-Language Pathology (375 hour minimum)
Clinical internships and on-campus clinic are used to accrue clinical clock hours.

On-campus students are enrolled in clinic each semester of the program (typically five semesters). On-campus students typically have 3 semesters of on-campus clinic, one part-time internship, and one full-time internship. Alterations of this schedule may occur based on the needs of the student and the clinical case load in the on-campus clinic. Alterations typically require students to add additional semesters to the program.

DE students complete clinic hours through clinical internships in their geographical location. In extreme circumstances, students may be required to return to Greenville for clinical placement (e.g., deficient skills or lack of sites in geographical location is delaying program). DE students are required to obtain a minimum of 12 credits of clinic over a minimum of 4 rotations at 3 separate sites; one clinical internship must take place in the final year of the program. Typically students achieve >400 hours by completing 4-6 rotations across 4-6 semesters. The Director of Master's Education and the Director of Clinical Operations will make the final decision about when DE students will be required to come to Greenville for a clinical rotation.

Alaskan DE students follow the clinical program of the University of Alaska - Anchorage.

Arizona DE students follow the clinical program of the Arizona State University.

All students (campus or DE and AKDE) are required to obtain a minimum 375 clock hours of speech-language pathology diagnostics and/or treatment sessions during their program; 375 is a minimum and 400-500 is recommended. Students may request up to 50 hours accrued at the undergraduate level be counted in their 375 total. Hours worked as a speech-language pathology assistant cannot be counted. Students must submit proof of up to 50 hours to the Director of Master's Education prior to their first semester of enrollment for verification and approval.

Hour Distribution Requirements for On-Campus and in-state DE students

All campus and in-state DE students are required to meet NC licensure requirements. As such, campus students are required to obtain hours in specific categories (at least 20 hrs. each of child diagnostics – speech, child diagnostics – language, adult diagnostics – speech, adult diagnostics – language; child treatment – speech, child treatment – language, adult treatment – speech, adult treatment – language; this accounts for 160 of the 375 minimum required hours). DE students that begin the program in NC and move out-of-state will have the option of meeting the 160 hour distribution, if they choose or meeting the requirements for out-of-state DE students.

Required Hours for Out-of-State DE Students

All out-of-state DE students (including AKDE) must review state licensure requirements of the state in which they plan to seek licensure; it is the student's obligation to ensure they meet all state licensure requirements including those related to clock hours before they apply for a state license.

Clinical Clock hours in Audiology/Screenings (2 hour minimum above & beyond the 400 hour requirement)

All students (campus or DE) are required to obtain a minimum 2 clock hours of hearing screenings above and beyond the 400 hour requirement during their program. To comply with NC Licensure and practice law, campus and in-state DE students must have hearing screening hours supervised by an audiologist (CCC-A). Out-of-state DE and AKDE students may have hearing screening hours supervised by an audiologist or speech-language pathologist, depending upon licensure laws in that state. It is the student's responsibility to determine if they need CCC-A or CCC-SLP supervision for their hearing screening hours if living outside of NC. Alaskan students are required to follow the policy of the University of Alaska – Anchorage regarding hearing screenings. 

Hours of observation Minimum 25
Speech-language pathology hours (50 at undergraduate level, if applicable) Minimum 375
Audiology hearing screening hours Minimum 2
Minimum Total (Department may require additional hours beyond this minimum) Minimum 402
All hours listed above are MINIMUMS.  The department of CSDI reserves the right to require additional hours based on student performance, state licensure requirements, and ASHA certification requirements.

Please download our program booklet (pdf) for complete information about our MS programs. If you have additional questions after you review the booklet, please email us at


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Department of Communication 
  Sciences and Disorders
3310 Health Sciences Building
Mail Stop 668

MS, Communication Sciences and Disorders

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