Communication Sciences and Disorders (M.S.)

Communication Sciences and Disorders (M.S.)

Communication Sciences and Disorders masters students collaborating in the CSD neuroscience lab
The master's (Master of Science) education program in speech-language pathology at the University of New Hampshire is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.  

 

Why get a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders?

The communication sciences and disorders M.S. prepares students for a career in the growing field of speech-language pathology. Speech-language pathologists help individuals from birth through old age to improve their communication related to speech, language, hearing and other communication disorders. Speech-language pathologists also help clients with feeding and swallowing difficulties. Our program provides a broad general curriculum, while also allowing you the flexibility to take elective courses that deepen your knowledge within your area(s) of interest. From your first full semester, you will gain valuable hands-on clinical experience. Whether you’re interested in healthcare, educational settings or research, you’ll find numerous rewarding career opportunities in this high-demand field. 

Why choose UNH’s communication sciences and disorders degree program?

Our program places strong emphasis on education, clinical experience and research. All graduate students have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research in the department’s comprehensive research labs, as well as participate in a variety of clinical training opportunities, including supervised clinical experiences through the UNH Speech-Language-Hearing Center and the Clinic for Neurogenic Communication Disorders. Students also complete two externships which are available in a variety of settings, including early intervention programs, language-based preschool programs, public and private schools, private practices, and healthcare facilities. Our master’s degree students enjoy a 100 percent Praxis exam pass rate and 94 percent placement rate after graduation.

Potential career opportunities 

  • Clinical practice 
  • Education 
  • Faculty research 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Skilled nursing 
  • Speech-language pathology

Contact

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-0965
Email: csd.department@unh.edu

Curriculum & Requirements

The graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders prepares students for professional practice with individuals who face communication challenges across the life span in any practice setting. Students complete a combination of required and elective courses and clinical practicum to apply theory to practice. Students complete a variety of practicum experiences in the university clinic as well as educational, rehabilitative, and private practice settings to enhance applied learning.  The Graduate Program of Study includes two full years of study, including two summers and J-term.  

All graduate students will complete a combination of required and elective courses and clinical practicum to earn a minimum of 63 credits.  Clinical practicum meets the requirements of the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, including a minimum of 400 clinical clock hours.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
SummerCredits
COMM 801 Principles of Assessment 2
COMM 802 Principles of Intervention 2
 Credits4
Fall
COMM 803 Ethical and Professional Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders I 1
COMM 805 Research Methods in Communication Sciences and Disorders 3
COMM 811 Brain and Behavior 3
COMM 821 Speech Sound Disorders 3
COMM 831 Early Childhood Language Disorders 3
COMM 870 Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits14
January Term
COMM 804 Counseling Clients and Families with Communication Disorders 2
COMM 823 Voice Disorders 3
 Credits5
Spring
COMM 812 Dysphagia 3
COMM 822 Stuttering 3
COMM 832 School-Age & Adolescent Language Disorders 3
COMM 833 Aphasia in Adults 3
COMM 851 Advanced Audiology for Speech Language Pathologists 3
COMM 870 Clinical Practicum 1
 Credits16
Second Year
Summer
COMM 870 Clinical Practicum 1
Elective Course (Optional)
 
 Credits1
Fall
COMM 824 Motor Speech Disorders 3
COMM 872 Externship 4
COMM 870 Clinical Practicum (Diagnostic Clinic, taken Fall or Spring) 1
Elective Course 2
Elective Course 2
 Credits12
Spring
COMM 843 Augmentative and Alternative Communication 3
COMM 872 Externship 4
Elective Course 2
Elective Course 2
 Credits11
 Total Credits63

All graduate students will complete a combination of required and elective courses and clinical practicum to earn a minimum of 63 credits total.  Clinical practicum meets the requirements of the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, including a minimum of 400 clinical clock hours.  

REQUIRED COURSES (minimum of 55 credits)
COMM 801Principles of Assessment2
COMM 802Principles of Intervention2
COMM 803Ethical and Professional Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders I1
COMM 804Counseling Clients and Families with Communication Disorders2
COMM 805Research Methods in Communication Sciences and Disorders3
COMM 811Brain and Behavior3
COMM 812Dysphagia3
COMM 821Speech Sound Disorders3
COMM 822Stuttering3
COMM 823Voice Disorders3
COMM 824Motor Speech Disorders3
COMM 831Early Childhood Language Disorders3
COMM 832School-Age & Adolescent Language Disorders3
COMM 833Aphasia in Adults3
COMM 843Augmentative and Alternative Communication3
COMM 851Advanced Audiology for Speech Language Pathologists3
COMM 870Clinical Practicum (Minimum of 4 rotations)1-3
Diagnostic Clinic (Fall or Spring of Year 2)
COMM 872Externship (Minimum of 2 sessions)1-4
ELECTIVE COURSES (minimum of 8 credits)
COMM 841Cognitive Communication Disorders2
COMM 842Autism Spectrum Disorders2
COMM 895Special Topics2
Special Topics include: Language Acquisition, fMRI and the Human Brain, Social Communication Disorders
COMM 899Master's Thesis6

Clinical Practicum

All students are required to complete a minimum of four practicum rotations and two externships during their graduate studies. UNH requires students to have 15 documented observation hours prior to the start of clinical work. Since the UNH CSD Graduate Program is a full-­time program, we expect students to be available for clinical assignments when not in class.

In year 1, practicum assignments take place at the UNH Speech-­Language­-Hearing Center and the Clinic for Neurogenic Communication Disorders during the fall, spring, and summer sessions.  In year 2, students complete one semester of diagnostic clinic at the UNH SLHC along with two externships at two different settings. Externships are available at a broad range of department-­approved settings, including early intervention programs, education, rehabilitation, health care settings, and private practices. 

Students are responsible for transportation to externship locations and other community learning experiences. Externship sites may require a physical, including a tuberculin test; proof of immunizations such as poliomyelitis, rubella and hepatitis; health insurance; and drug/urine testing. In addition, students are responsible for meeting the criminal record clearances established by the practicum site. Failure to pass required medical and other clearance checks could render a student ineligible for a practicum assignment and thus unable to complete program requirements.

Capstone Experience

All graduate students are required to complete a capstone experience - either the Comprehensive Examination or a Master's Thesis. 

Comprehensive Examination (Non-thesis)

All students (except those writing a thesis) must pass a Comprehensive Examination designed to assess their mastery of and ability to integrate information from the two­-year curriculum. Students will write for six hours, answering four integrated questions including one case study.  To participate in the comprehensive examination students must be in their final semester of graduate studies, have no incompletes or unremediated course failures, be in their final semester for externship experiences, and have no unfilled clinical improvement plans.  Students must pass all four questions to pass the comprehensive examination and be eligible to receive the master's degree. 

Thesis

Students may conduct research and write a thesis in lieu of the Comprehensive Examination. Upon completion of an original research project, students must defend the thesis in an oral examination and must gain approval of the thesis committee. In addition to required coursework, students must register for 6 credits of COMM 899 Master's Thesis.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the academic and clinical requirements, the UNH Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders requires students to demonstrate certain essential skills needed to practice as a speech-language pathology.  These Essential Functions, as distinguished from academic standards, include communication, motor, cognitive, sensory, and behavioral-social abilities that are necessary for satisfactory completion of the curriculum and for professional practice. Some of these abilities should be in place when students begin the program, while others will be developed throughout the program.

Students accepting an offer of admission as well as students in the program are expected to demonstrate these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations to successfully complete degree requirements. Early each fall, the Essential Functions Policy will be reviewed with new students beginning our program. Students are expected to sign that they have reviewed and understand the policy and will follow the stated guidelines.

Deadline

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: N/A
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: Jan. 15
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores, including waiver requests and current COVID related impacts, please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement

In no more than two pages, respond to the following prompts:

  1. We are interested in learning about you as a person. Describe your unique talents, interests, and/or experiences that make you who you are. Speculate about how these might contribute to your experience in our graduate program and/or to your future career.
  2. Describe your career path for the next 10 years - where do you see yourself professionally five years from now? Ten years from now?
  3. Discuss one issue in the field of communication sciences and disorders that currently interests you most. Why does this issue interest you?
  4. Briefly discuss how research is important to the field of communication sciences and disorders.

  5. OPTIONAL (may increase page limit to a total of three pages) If you currently have interest in participating in research, pursuing a master thesis, and/or wish to be considered for a graduate research assistantship, briefly describe:
    1. why you are interested in research,
    2. any prior research experience you may have, and/or
    3. any knowledge or skills you have that would support your participation in research.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

The academic and clinical components of the graduate program are inherently linked. As a result, students may participate in clinical activities within academic courses as well as clinical experiences. Likewise, students participating in a clinical experience may be assigned a client whose specific needs do not correspond to a course. In this case, students will have to research the diagnosis, intervention approaches, etc. in consultation with their clinical supervisor.

All students are required to complete at least three practicum rotations and two externships during their graduate studies. During fall and spring semesters of year 1, students complete clinical work at the Speech-Language-Hearing Center (SLHC) and/or the Clinic for Neurogenic Communication Disorders (CNCD). During year 2, students complete one semester of diagnostic clinic at the CSD clinical programs along with two externships at two different settings. Students are responsible for transportation to externships and other community learning experiences.

UNH requires students to have 15 documented observation hours prior to the start of clinical work

Practicum assignments take place at the CSD clinical programs during year 1 of the graduate program. Students may be assigned clients from the Speech-Language-Hearing Center and/or Clinic for Neurogenic Communication Disorders. Since the graduate program is a full-time program, we expect students to be available for clinical assignments when not in class. Students must meet the criminal records clearance for participation in the CSD clinical programs.

Thumbnail image of Externship Location Map

During year two of their graduate studies, students complete two externships at two different settings. Externships are available at a broad range of department-approved settings including public and private schools, language-based preschool programs, early intervention programs, healthcare settings and private practices. Externship sites may require a physical, including a tuberculin test; proof of immunizations such as poliomyelitis, rubella and hepatitis; health insurance; and drug/urine testing. In addition, students are responsible for meeting the criminal record clearances established by the site. Failure to pass required medical and other clearance checks could render a student ineligible for an assignment and thus unable to complete program requirements.

This map shows a sample of available externships in New Hampshire, Maine, and northern Massachusetts. The map is color coded for setting type. Health care settings are displayed in red, private practices in blue, early intervention in green and educational settings in yellow. Select a marker on the map for more information about the setting.

View Map

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus

LEARN HOW TO APPLY

Thompson Hall

SCHEDULE A VISIT

student at Career Event

REQUEST INFORMATION