2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    May 31, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences & Disorders, MS

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Dr. Shannon Salley, Chair
434.395.2966, salleysw@longwood.edu

Dr. Alison King, Graduate Program Director
434.395.2996, kingar2@longwood.edu

The major in Communication Sciences and Disorders leads to the Master of Science degree and provides in-depth course work and practicum experiences designed to provide students a scholarly foundation and expertise in areas of articulation-phonology, infant and child language disorders, voice disorders, craniofacial anomalies, motor speech disorders, stuttering, aural rehabilitation, dysphagia, and aphasia. Advanced training will involve practicum experiences with a diverse population of adults and children, in a minimum of three different practicum settings. The Master’s degree is the entry-level degree for employment as a speech-language pathologist and prepares students for the remediation of communication disorders. Successful completion of the program meets current eligibility requirements for the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology.


The master of science (M.S.) program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), associated with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).


Program Completion

Longwood’s Communication Sciences & Disorders program is a full-time residential program. Full-time study for this program requires a minimum of nine (9) credit hours per semester. Students with an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders, or who have completed the prerequisite courses through another means, complete the program in 5 - 6 semesters.  All students matriculate during the fall semester and generally graduate after 5 semesters.  Students without an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders, or who have not completed the prerequisite courses, generally complete in 8 - 10 semesters.  These students also matriculate in the fall semester, completing the prerequisite courses during their first year on campus.


Applicants to this program must have either an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences or Disorders or an undergraduate degree in an unrelated discipline. Students who do not have a degree in Communication Sciences or Disorders may enter the program and take all of the undergraduate prerequisite courses prior to beginning the graduate level coursework.

  • All students must complete the following with a grade of B- or better: Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms, Phonetics (Transcription), Speech Science, Introduction to Audiology and Hearing Science, Language Development Across the Lifespan, Phonology and Language Disorders, Neurology of Human Communication, Morphology and Syntax, and Introduction to Clinical Practice (or courses deemed comparable by the CSD Graduate faculty).
  • Students who have not successfully completed all of these courses may take them after admission to the graduate program; however, these courses must be taken for graduate credit.
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice must be taken prior to enrollment in CSDS 580 .

In addition to the above, applicants must have the following:

  • a 3.00 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or a master’s degree
  • the general test of the GRE not more than 5 years old
  • a minimum of 3 recommendations.
  • All applicants must complete the CSDCAS application in addition to the Longwood University application.

Admission to the Communication and Sciences program is required to enroll in all graduate level courses.

Policy for Dismissal

Admitted students will become academically ineligible to continue in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders under any of the following circumstances:

  1. Academic ineligibility
  2. Grade of F received in any course
  3. Grade of C+, C, C- received in more than 6 credit hours

Clinical Experience

All students are required to participate in the Speech, Hearing and Learning Services (SHLS). All students must complete a minimum of 325 hours of supervised clinical experience at the graduate level and a minimum of 400 hours, including 25 observation hours, from the combined undergraduate and graduate programs. The 400 hours will include experience in the evaluation and treatment of children and adults and with a variety of types and severities of disorders of speech, language and hearing. Students must complete a minimum of two off-campus practicum experiences approved by the Communication Sciences and Disorders program.

Admission to the graduate program does not guarantee admission to off-campus practicum placements. Admission to these placements depends on the quality of the graduate student’s academic record, clinical performance in the University clinic, and possession of characteristics necessary to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. Permission to engage in an off-campus practicum or externship requires application by the student, and successful completion of clinical clock hours at the SHLS. The CSDS Clinical Affairs Committee makes the final decision for all off-campus practicums/externships. See the CSDS Clinic Handbook for further details.

A minimum letter grade of B- must be earned in each CSDS practicum and externship course in order to count the clinical clock hours. To graduate with a Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, a student must accumulate a minimum of 13 credit hours of practicum/externship (CSDS 580 , CSDS 680 CSDS 683  & CSDS 685 ), acquire a minimum of 400 clinical clock hours, take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam, and have earned the ACADEMIC requisite competencies for knowledge and skills outcomes required for certification by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (a semiautonomous body of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association). Each student will plan practicum experiences with an advisor; however, each student will assume responsibility for the accumulation of the necessary ASHA clock hours. In addition, any student wishing to receive a license as a speech-language pathologist in a state other than Virginia should check the requirements for licensure. If there are any unique competencies required for that state, the student must monitor their acquisition of competencies to ensure they will acquire the necessary competencies for licensure in that state.

Any student participating in a Longwood University, College of Education and Human Services course-or program-related extended field placement shall present evidence prior to placement that a criminal record background check has been completed in accordance to the requirements of the agency where the student is placed. Students should confer with their specific program faculty to understand the placing agency’s requirements and the procedures they should follow to comply with these requirements.


The writing of an acceptable thesis, CSDS 600 , is an option for the Communication Sciences and Disorders major as the culminating experience and exit requirement for the program. The thesis proposal will summarize the proposed study and give research methodology or critical framework for the study. The thesis proposal is formulated by the student in consultation with an advisor and submitted to the student’s thesis committee. The student’s thesis committee will be composed of three graduate faculty members; adjunct faculty will not serve on this committee. The Longwood University Human and Animal Subjects Research Review committee must approve the proposal prior to commencement of the research.

Students must remain continuously enrolled in a minimum of one (1) credit hour of thesis per semester until completion. The required total credit hours of thesis with a grade of pass (P) for completion of the degree is three (3), but there is no limit to the number of credits a student may earn in this course while pursuing completion of the degree. The grading system for the evaluation of the thesis will be pass (P)/satisfactory progress (SP)/not pass (NP) and will not be used in calculating the grade point average (GPA). A grade of incomplete (I) may not be assigned.

General Requirements:  The thesis must be completed and in the hands of the examining committee no later than four weeks before the end of the semester in which it will be completed. After the thesis has been accepted by the examining committee and after the candidate has passed his/her oral examination (thesis defense), the candidate will upload a digital copy of the approved thesis to the Digital Commons repository and provide an original copy of the signature page to the Greenwood Library. The signature page must carry the signatures of all members of the thesis committee.  Your thesis will be made available electronically, and you do have the option for an embargo on the date the thesis would be available. The student will provide an abstract of the thesis of not more than 400 words to be filed in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies and to be used in the Digital Commons.

Administrative procedures for culmination of the process are:

  • student in conjunction with the Thesis Director schedules a date for the thesis defense;
  • student submits an Oral Examination form a minimum of 30 days prior to the scheduled defense to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies;
  • thesis defense takes place;
  • thesis director submits written notification to the Registrar of the successful defense including the thesis title;
  • thesis director awards the final grade in Thesis Research;
  • student delivers the signature page to the Library and uploads his/her thesis to the Digital Commons
  • Library submits written notification to the Registrar of the receipt of thesis; and
  • student submits the abstract to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies and to the Digital Commons.

Professional Portfolio

The completion of an acceptable professional portfolio, CSDS 691 , is an option for the Communication Sciences and Disorders major as the culminating experience and exit requirement for the program. Students are scaffolded by their advisor throughout the program regarding professional portfolio requirements. Grading is Pass/Not Pass.A grade of incomplete (I) may not be assigned.  A student who earns a Not Pass is allowed to retake CSDS 691  once. Should the student earn a second Not Pass, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Continuous enrollment is required until completion with a maximum of one credit with the grade of P counted toward degree requirements.

General Requirements: Students should consult with their advisor for program specific requirements. Development of a portfolio provides each candidate opportunities for reflection and self-evaluation with the graduate program as well as within his/her professional position that demonstrates proficiency in their chosen field. The Portfolio is submitted electronically and should represent an extensive record of progress, and a collection of well-documented learning and professional achievements.

Administrative procedures for culmination of the process:

  • portfolio completed under instructor supervision during Intersession before the final semester.
  • student registers for CSDS 691 - Professional Portfolio  
  • portfolio will be reviewed and evaluated by program faculty members.
  • candidate will present a synopsis of the Professional Portfolio to the faculty committee and his/her program peers on a date selected within the semester enrolled in CSDS 691 .

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