Master of Science in Communication Disorders
701-858-3031 / 1-800-777-0750 ext. 3031
The Department of Communication Disorders offers a master's degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology and is accredited in Speech-Language Pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). All faculty members hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence for their respective areas. Faculty are also licensed by the North Dakota Board of Examiners in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
The Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology provides theoretical knowledge as well as clinical, and research experiences to prepare graduates for the diverse field of speech-language pathology. Academic course work along with practicum experiences on campus, in schools, hospitals, and various clinical environments are integral parts of the learning experience at Minot State University.
Mission of the Department of Communication Disorders
The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders is to provide state-of-the-art preservice training, engage students in clinical/research activities, and maximize the quality of life for people with communication problems.
Goals of the Speech-Language Pathology Program
The goals of the master's program in speech-language pathology are as follows:
- To provide course offerings and clinical experiences reflecting pertinent and current content necessary for personal growth and professional competence in the field of speech language pathology.
- To provide information and experiences in multicultural, ethnic, and social issues that foster the students' abilities to serve a diverse clientele.
- To facilitate student understanding of hearing, speech, and language development and disorders across the life span.
- To create intellectual excitement, curiosity, and student involvement in research activities and encourage application of research evidence into everyday clinical practice.
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates completing the master's program in speech-language pathology will fulfill ASHA's KASA standards, specifically demonstrating the knowledge and skills needed to provide assessment, intervention, and prevention services in the areas of articulation, language, voice and resonance, fluency, communication modalities, social aspects of communication, cognitive aspects of communication, hearing and swallowing.
Additionally, graduates completing the program will demonstrate the following clinical skills:
- Effective provision of appropriate clinical services to all persons with communication disorders with minimal need for direct or prescriptive instruction;
- Professionalism including honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, sensitivity to cultural differences, and maintenance of all ethical standards;
- Application of previous course work and experience to all clinical assignments;
- Appropriate verbal language skills with clients, supervisors, family members, and other professionals;
- Effective written language skills in all professional writing; and
- Awareness of clinical practices appropriate for multicultural, diverse, and special needs populations.
Prior to being awarded the master's degree in speech-language pathology, students must meet all of the following university and program requirements:
- Complete the required coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher;
- Complete 400 practicum hours, including 25 observation hours;
- Complete a minimum of one semester of clinical externship in an off-campus setting after completion of all academic and campus clinic requirements (hours earned apply to the 400 practicum hours) earning a grade of B or better;
- Complete the national praxis examination in speechlanguage pathology; and
- Complete all requirements for the thesis OR comprehensive examination option:
- Comprehensive Examination Option. This is a nonthesis option which requires the student to pass a four-hour written and a one-hour oral comprehensive examination.
- Thesis Option. This option requires the student to complete and successfully defend a master's thesis. Students who plan to pursue advanced graduate training are strongly encouraged to choose the thesis option.
Retention Requirements and Clinical Practicum Policy
All graduate school policies regarding probation and retention apply. Graduate students must meet the academic retention requirements specified by the MSU Graduate School, maintaining a GPA of 3.00 or better at all times.
In addition, the department holds the following clinical practicum policies.
- Students admitted with a C grade in an undergraduate practicum course will be placed on probation and must receive at least a B in their first clinical practicum course in the graduate program to be retained within the master's program.
- Students must repeat, during the next enrolled term, any graduate level clinical practicum course in which a C was earned. The deficiency must be removed prior to enrolling in additional practica.
- Only one clinical practicum in which a C was earned may be repeated, and it may be repeated only once. Students earning a grade of C in two clinical practica will be discontinued from the Graduate Program in Communication Disorders.
- Students earning a grade of F in any clinical practicum may not repeat the practicum and will be discontinued from the Graduate Program in Communication Disorders.
Department Application and Acceptance Policy
Acceptance as a candidate for the Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology at Minot State University requires an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with an academic grade point average as specified in the criteria below.
Students who have an undergraduate degree in communication disorders and meet the course and competency requirements of Minot State University may be able to complete the master's program in five terms, including a one-semester off-campus final externship.
Since an undergraduate bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders is required for acceptance to the master's degree program, students who do not have such a degree must complete one of the following options before applying:
- Complete a second undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders
- Apply to the Post- Baccalaureate in Communication Disorders program at MSU. This is a three-semester leveling program which provides students with prerequisite information necessary for graduate study in the field of speech-language pathology. Additional information about the Post-Baccalaureate program can be found in the Minot State University Undergraduate Catalog.
- Complete a similar leveling program at another university.
Potential students are advised of the following:
- Applications received by February 15 will receive priority considerations.
- Applications received after February 15 will be considered only if student slots remain available.
- Admission to the Communication Disorders Graduate
Program is a competitive process. To be considered for
admission, applicants must have
- a minimum 3.25 grade point average for the last four years or last 60 hours;
- completed the GRE with a minimum of 3.5 on the writing portion; and
- three positive letters of recommendation from previous instructors and/or supervisors who can attest to the individual's ability, skill, inter-personal relationships and characteristics which will lead to success in a graduate program.
- Under special circumstances, with substantial evidence that a person's undergraduate record does not appropriately and accurately represent a student's abilities and promise, the Department Faculty may recommend and the Department Chairperson may approve the acceptance of persons who do not meet the listed minimum requirements for acceptance.
Communication Disorders Program Academic Honesty Policy
When there is supported evidence of cheating on examinations or other course assignments, the student will receive a failing grade for the course and will not be retained in the graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology.
Academic Honesty Appeal Policy
Dismissal for academic dishonesty can be appealed. A student who wishes to appeal his/her dismissal should follow the appeal process established by the Graduate School and listed in this catalog under Graduate School Policies and Regulations.
Grade Appeal Policy
The process and conditions for a grade appeal follow the definitions and schedules of the Graduate School. All requests for review of a grade must be submitted according to the timelines established by the Graduate School for this process.
Required Courses: Speech Language Pathology CD 501 Introduction to Graduate Studies 3 SH CD 502 Early Intervention & Interdisciplinary Studies 2 SH CD 511 Clinical Practicum: Therapy 3 SH CD 511 Clinical Practicum: Therapy 3 SH CD 511 Clinical Practicum: Therapy 3 SH CD 513 Assessment Practicum 3 SH CD 516 Public School Practicum: Speech-Language Pathology 9 SH OR CD 517 Advanced External Practicum: Speech-Language Pathology 9 SH CD 520 Fluency Disorders 3 SH CD 522 Neurogenic Communication Disorders 3 SH CD 524 Neurologically Based Speech Disorders 3 SH CD 526 Applied Phonology 3 SH CD 528 Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology 3 SH CD 532 Voice Disorders 4 SH CD 534 Adolescent Communication 2 SH CD 535 Dysphagia 3 SH CD 536 AAC: Multiple Disabilities 3 SH CD 538 Language and Literacy 3 SH CD 539 Audiology for the SLP 2 SH CD 540 Supervision and Professional Issues in SLP 2 SH Optional Courses CD 503 Graduate Seminar in Research 1-3 SH CD 521 Speech-Language Development and Disorders 4 SH CD 545 Public School Methods in SLP 2 SH CD 592 Special Topics 1-3 SH CD 597 Independent Study 1-3 SH CD 589 Continuing Enrollment CD 599 Thesis 3 SH Minimum Total Graduate Program Credits Required 60 SH