Communication Disorders, M.S.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog.

The Department of Communication Disorders at Marshall University is participating in the central application system known as CSDCAS. Applicants will apply online using the CSDCAS application. To learn more about the CSDCAS application process, visit

Completed applications along with all supporting materials, including official transcripts with courses and grades from the preceding term, must be received by the January 15 deadline to receive priority consideration for admission the following fall. Official transcripts must be received by CSDCAS by January 15 for priority consideration. In addition, applicants must also meet the requirements below: 

  1. An undergraduate degree (or pending degree) in Communication Disorders from an accepted, accredited institution is required. Students with deficits in undergraduate coursework, or those wishing public school certification, may need to complete additional requirements. Applicants must submit their most recent transcript, including grades for the fall semester that precedes the application deadline. Students admitted to the graduate program will be required to submit final, official transcripts following completion of the undergraduate degree.
  2. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in a field other than communication disorders will be required to take foundational/leveling-up courses. Courses which are required include:
    ​a. CD 101 : Introduction to Communication Disorders
    b. CD 228: Language and Speech Development
    c. CD 239: Phonetics
    d. CD 229: Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
    e. CD 322: Developmental Speech Disorders
    f. CD 328: Developmental Language Disorders
    g. CD 460: Audiology
    h. CD 427: Therapeutics (with 25 hours of observation)
  3. An Overall and Communication Disorders Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for full-time admission. A student may be admitted for provisional enrollment with an overall or Communication Disorders GPA between 2.5 - 3.0 when the applicant possesses a degree and shows academic promise but does not meet the criteria for full admission. Refer to the Graduate College for further explanation of "provisional enrollment."
  4. All applicants must submit a personal statement or letter of intent.
  5. All applicants must have three individuals, each of whom can comment on the applicant's academic and/or clinical performance and potential, submit letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from one of the applicant's classroom instructors in communication disorders or other relevant field of study.
  6. All completed applications which are "verified" via CSDCAS are reviewed on an ongoing basis in the spring semester each year. Generally, the program receives more applications than exists capacity, therefore, the selection process is competitive.
  7. Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a formal interview with faculty during the spring semester.

Note: Applicants who are selected by the program will receive further instructions from the Communication Disorders Graduate Program Director regarding formal application to Marshall University Graduate College. All admissions are term specific. 

International applicants will be required to submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score in addition to the other requirements described for consideration. The minimum TOEFL scores to  be considered for admission must be a Total Score of 105 with the minimum section requirement of "Speaking" of 26; an IELTS score of 7.5 with at least 7.5 on the speaking and listening segment is required. The English requirement is waived for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree from an accepted, accredited college or university in the United States. 

International applicants who hold a bachelor's degree from a college or university outside of the United States must complete their credential evaluation WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICA) from the World Education Services (WES) and have the report sent to CSDCAS. Official or attested transcripts, diplomas and/or other required credentials from all foreign institutions attended may also be required by the Marshall University International Admissions Office, for the determination of GPA, degree level, and course equivalencies. For additional information, visit

Early Assurance Program

The Marshall University Master of Science in Communication Disorders allows high school seniors to apply for acceptance to the Communication Disorders Master of Science Early Assurance program. Successful applicants will have guaranteed admission pending completion of all undergraduate requirements and meeting all Communication Disorders M.S. admission requirements.


  • Applications for Early Assurance Program Open: September 15 of the student's high school senior year.
  • Early Assurance Application Deadline: January 15 of the student’s high school senior year.
  • Letters of Recommendation/Official Transcript/ACT or SAT Score Report Deadline: January 15 of the student's high school senior year.
  • Interviews for the MUCD Early Assurance Program (required): March through April.

Admission Requirements

This program is designed for highly motivated high school students (in-state or out-of-state) who want to become speech-language pathologists and have achieved the following criteria:

Minimum composite ACT score of 25 or SAT composite score of 1200. Super scores permitted. (The ACT Super score takes the average of the four best subject scores from each ACT test attempt and counts it as your official score).

  • Cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Personal Essay
  • Two letters of reference/recommendation from high school teachers
  • Invitation for on-campus interview in February or March with the Marshall University Communication Disorders Early Assurance Committee

Continuing Requirements

  • Students must declare an undergraduate major in Communication Disorders
  • Students may consider two curricular options, (3yr+2yr or 4yr+2yr). Students who begin their freshman year with 20-24 hours of college credit may be considered for a 3yr+2yr curriculum. A 4yr+2yr track allows for a traditional four-year undergraduate experience before entering the graduate program
  • Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA each semester (CD and overall)
  • Must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in all prerequisite courses. Follow this link for more details
  • Students should complete at least 25 hours of clinical observation by the end of their senior year
  • Students must meet all regular Communication Disorders M.S admission requirements

Application Process

  • Students must apply and be accepted into the undergraduate program and declare a major at Marshall University prior to applying to the MUCD Early Assurance Program
  • Students must complete the Early Assurance Program application which can be found on the department's webpage no later than January 15. Within the application students will be asked to submit:
  1. Application form
  2. Essay detailing why the student wishes to pursue a degree in communication disorders
  3. Official high school transcripts
  4. ACT or SAT scores
  5. Two letters of recommendation from high school teachers who have had the applicant in class and are familiar with the applicant’s academic performance
  • Students should also send formal high school transcripts and ACT/SAT scores to Marshall University.
  • Students should be aware that an incomplete application package could negatively impact the selection process.
  • Applicants will be reviewed by the MUCD Early Assurance Committee.
  • All applicants will be notified in writing if they have been selected for an interview by the end of March.
  • Finalists will be required to participate in an on-campus interview.
  • The MUCD Admissions Committee will select the applicants who will be accepted into the program.
  • During the last year of the student’s undergraduate program, they must submit an application for admission to the CD M.S. program and meet all CD MS admission requirements.

Program Features

  • Personal advising by faculty in the Department of Communication Disorders in addition to College of Health Professions advising.
  • Mentoring from a current graduate student in Communication Disorders
  • Access to programming and activities that provide a firsthand look into the field of speech-language pathology
  • Early clinical shadowing experience across multiple professions for an interprofessional experience

Program Requirements

The six-semester (two-year) graduate program is comprised of 36 graduate academic credit hours in addition to 18 graded and 6 CR/NC clinical practicum hours. Academic courses are sequenced to assist students with development of specific knowledge and skill sets. Faculty with extensive clinical expertise assist students as they link academic, research and clinical experiences.

The student and advisor will develop a Plan of Study or blueprint for graduation requirements. If a student has any transfer courses (up to 12 transfer credits may be allowed), a completed Application for Approval to Transfer Graduate Credit to this Plan of Study must be attached. Your advisor or other designee at the Graduate Studies office MUST approve in writing any change in coursework or completion date on this Plan of Study.

A GPA of 3.0 in graduate work is required for graduate students to be considered students in good standing in the program and in the Graduate School, to be admitted to candidacy, and to graduate. To ensure that students have maximal opportunity to achieve and maintain a graduate 3.0 average, graduate course load limits may be placed on students who earn less than a 3.0 during any semester of graduate work. These course load limits may be lifted when the student earns a 3.0 for a semester of graduate work but may be reapplied if the student's work drops below a 3.0 for any subsequent semester. Additional course load restrictions may be applied to students who earn a GPA of less than 3.0 for two or more semesters of work.

Students will construct a comprehensive portfolio demonstrating their acquisition of knowledge and skills required by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. A score of 80% on the portfolio and a score of 80% on the oral defense of the portfolio is required for graduation. Students are also required to take the Speech Language Pathology specialty area exam of the ETS Praxis Series prior to graduation.

Students should consult the department chair, their Communication Disorders academic advisor, and the clinic handbook regarding all academic and clinical requirements and standards specific to the program.

Thesis Option

Students in the department may elect the thesis option which will be documented on the Plan of Study. If a student elects this option, the student in conjunction with their advisor, will amend six hours of course requirements. The student will still be responsible for meeting the knowledge and skills outcomes for those courses. A candidate who writes a thesis will be required to pass an oral examination on the thesis in addition to constructing a comprehensive portfolio with a score of 80%, and taking the Speech Language Pathology Praxis Exam.

The thesis is approved by the major professor and the thesis committee, as well as a final review by the Graduate Studies office or other designee. The thesis must be accepted by the Graduate Studies office or other designee by the published deadline. Please note that IRB approval is required for all theses.

Required Courses

CD 570Clinical Practicum I3
CD 570LIntro Clinical Principles1
CD 601Intro to Graduate Studies3
CD 602Counseling in CSD2
CD 624Foundations Neuro Comm Dis3
CD 571Clinical Practicum II3
CD 571LClin Prin of Assessment1
CD 622Phonological Disorders3
CD 625Acquired Aphasia3
CD 629Chld Lang Dis: Sch/Adoles3
CD 628Child Lang Dis: Inf/Presch3
CD 691Dysphagia & Assoc Motor Sp Dis3
CD 630Cognitive Comm Disorders3
CD 660Sp Pop: Clinical Consideration2
Students register for 3 1-hour sections of CD 6703
Advanced Clinical Practicum I 1
Advanced Clinical Practicum I
Advanced Clinical Practicum I
Students register for 2, 1-hour sections of CD 670L2
Clin ISS In Health Care 1
Clin ISS In Health Care
Students register for 3 1-hour sections of CD 6743
Clin Pract in the Schools 1
Clin Pract in the Schools
Clin Pract in the Schools
Students register for 2 1-hour sections of CD 674L 2
Consideration in Public School 1
Consideration in Public School
CD 620CD: Cleft Palate & Voice3
CD 623Fluency Disorders3
CD 692Seminar2
Students register for 3 1-hour sections of CD 6753
Advanced Clin Pract II
Advanced Clin Pract II
Advanced Clin Pract II
Students register for 3 1-hour sections of CD 675L3
Prof Considerations
Prof Considerations
Prof Considerations
Total Credit Hours60

CD 670/670L and 674/674L are offered in the fall and spring. Students will enroll in one of these clinical courses in Fall II and one in Spring II.

Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
CD 601 Intro to Graduate Studies 3
CD 624 Foundations Neuro Comm Dis 3
CD 628 Child Lang Dis: Inf/Presch 3
CD 570 Clinical Practicum I 3
CD 570L Intro Clinical Principles 1
 Credit Hours13
CD 622 Phonological Disorders 3
CD 625 Acquired Aphasia 3
CD 691 Dysphagia & Assoc Motor Sp Dis 3
CD 571 Clinical Practicum II 3
CD 571L Clin Prin of Assessment 1
 Credit Hours13
CD 629 Chld Lang Dis: Sch/Adoles 3
CD 692 Ped Feeding & Swallowing Dis 2
 Credit Hours5
Second Year
CD 660 Augment Alternative Comm 2
CD 630 Cognitive Comm Disorders 3
CD 602 Counseling in CSD 2
CD 670 Advanced Clinical Practicum I 4
CD 670L Clin ISS In Health Care 1
 Credit Hours12
CD 623 Fluency Disorders 3
CD 620 CD: Cleft Palate & Voice 3
CD 674 Clin Pract in the Schools 4
CD 674L Consideration in Public School 1
 Credit Hours11
CD 675 Advanced Clin Pract II 5
CD 675L Prof Considerations 1
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours60