Communication Disorders, MS

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The Master of Science (MS) in Communication Disorders degree program at ASU is based on a research-to-practice philosophy and is designed to prepare speech-language pathologists for autonomous clinical practice. The training model at ASU stresses the integration of academic classroom learning and practicum experience across a broad spectrum of clinical specialties and practice environments. We believe that our graduate curriculum provides a strong foundation in the scientific knowledge base and a wide range of clinical field experiences that will prepare our graduates with essential tools for evidence-based clinical practice. The successful graduate will have the diagnostic and rehabilitative skills that fulfill the current Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology specified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The ASU graduate curriculum also is designed to enable MS degree students to meet current standards required for ASHA certification in Speech-Language Pathology. Our program has multiple and varied opportunities for students who are admitted to our program. Students have the option to tailor their training to increase their competencies in early intervention practice, school service delivery, medical settings, and working with multicultural/multilingual setting. For more about our program, clinical training opportunities and admission requirements, please explore and read all of our program webpages including our FAQ page. Contact for more information.

Prospective Students

The MS in communication disorders is a full time, 20-month residential program that prepares students to become certified speech-language pathologists. The master's degree program trains students to evaluate and treat clients in nine disorder classification areas.  The first three semesters focus on developing knowledge and skills across the lifespan.  The final two semesters allow students to focus their interests in specialty areas and acquire clinical skills in external clinical placements. The MS program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


Applications are due Jan. 15. Applicants must fulfill requirements of both the ASU Graduate College and the College of Health Solutions.

Applicants with degrees from foreign institutions must meet the Graduate College and College of Health Solutions English proficiency requirements.

The College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University enrolls one first-year Master of Science in Communication Disorders class per year, and the program starts in the fall semester. The program is two years in length, and all students study on a full-time basis. Each year, the College of Health Solutions receives far more applications than the program can accommodate. Thus, admission is competitive , and admission decisions are based upon all information contained in the applicant's file.

To be considered for admission , applicants must have:

  • Taken the GRE
  • Earned, or expect to have earned by the time of program enrollment, a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Completed the application for admission and submitted all required application materials
  • Submitted the application, transcripts and letters of recommendation to the Graduate College at ASU  

If an applicant has not earned an undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science, the following prerequisite courses or equivalents must be completed prior to the start of the MS in Communication Disorders program:

  • SHS 250 Phonetics (3 credits)
  • SHS 310 Anatomical/Physiological Bases of Speech (3 credits)
  • SHS 311 Physical/Physiological Bases of Hearing (3 credits)
  • SHS 367 Language Science (3 credits)
  • SHS 375 Speech Science (3 credits)
  • SHS 401 Introduction to Audiology (3 credits)
  • SHS 402 Clinical Methods and Treatment of Communication Disorders (3 credits)
  • SHS 465 Speech and Language Acquisition (3 credits)
  • SHS 496 Aural Rehabilitation (3 credits)

These courses are available at Arizona State University via the Communication Sciences and Disorders certificate program.

The College of Health Solutions will provide full file review to all applications that are fully complete. Successful applicants to the program typically have at least a 3.5 GPA and a GRE score near 300 or above. While the applicant's undergraduate record and GRE score are important predictors, no admission decision will be based on quantitative criteria alone. Other factors considered by the admission committee include:

  • Ability to communicate
  • Diversity of experience and background
  • Extracurricular or community activities
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Geographic diversity
  • Honors and awards
  • Rigor of the undergraduate course of study
  • Clinical experience

Application Deadline: Jan. 15

For an application to be considered complete, it must include all of the following items by the published deadline:

  • Graduate admission application and application fee
  • Contact information for three recommenders (academic/faculty recommenders preferred)
  • GRE score (ETS program code: R4007)
  • Personal statement that does not exceed 300 words
  • Resume
  • Proof of English proficiency, when applicable
  • Official transcripts

Official transcripts and other documents should be sent to:

If sending by U.S. Postal Service:

Arizona State University
Graduate Admission Services
PO Box 870112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112

If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS:

Graduate Admission Services
Arizona State University
1151 S. Forest Avenue, #SSV112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112

A complete application must be on file by Jan. 15 to be considered for fall admission. For more information, visit the FAQpage or email


52 credit hours and a written comprehensive exam, or
52 credit hours, a thesis and a written comprehensive exam**
Required core classes (23 credits)
Electives (4 plus thesis or 10 without a thesis)
Research (1)*
Clinical practicum (8)
Internship (10)
Culminating experience: a non-thesis option of a written comprehensive exam OR a thesis for 6 credit hours with oral defense and a written comprehensive exam
Students in the thesis option take four credit hours of electives. Students in the non-thesis option take 10 credit hours of electives.
*One credit hour of SHS 500 Research Methods is required.
**Both the thesis and non-thesis options require the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Praxis national exam in Speech Language Pathology. This is the comprehensive exam for the thesis option. For the non-thesis option, a department-administered comprehensive examination in speech-language pathology is required along with the national exam to fulfill the requirements of the comprehensive exam.


Clinical Opportunities

The master's level clinical training program has faculty supervised clinics that service adults and children and a wide variety ofopportunities acrossthe Phoenix community. We set a high standard of excellence for our clinical partners to ensure our students are prepared and have maximal opportunities upon entry to the professional job market.


The Part-time Employment Programis a way to complete ASU's master's degree program in speech-language pathology while working part-time in the public schools.
Once admitted to the master's program in communication disorders, students work part-time as Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) or Speech Language Technicians (SLTs) while they complete their master's degree over a three-year period.
For more information visit our FAQpage, or email

ECU/ASU Joint Program

Master's Degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders students from East Carolina University can take a minimum of 42 credits through online/Distance Education from East Carolina University. Those students take a minimum of 12 credits of clinical courses through the Part-time Employment Program in the Department of Speech and hearing Science at Arizona State University. To apply visit
For more information contact Kelly Ingram, MS, CCC-SLP, Clinical Director, Speech & Hearing Clinic at ASU at

Multilingual Multicultural Program

Master's students accepted in to the Multilingual Multicultural Programwill receive a partial tuition waiver and a stipend. Completion of the two-year program earns students a multilingual/multicultural specialty certificate.

Bilingual Track

Students completing the two year Bilingual Training Program (BTP) are master's students in Arizona State University's Speech & Hearing Sciences department. It is designed for those interested in working with bilingual children, and provides students with the opportunity to get a Certificate of Bilingual Competency in Speech-Language Pathology.

Financial Support


Tuition and fee information can be found on the ASU's general tuition webpage.

Fellowships and awards

There are scholarships available to incoming graduate students. Speech and Hearing Scholarship applications are due by February 1. For more information visit College of Health Solutions Scholarships

Financial aid

There is no financial aid available through the department, although such aid is available through the Office of Graduate Education; visit their siteto explore financial aid opportunities.



The Masters of Communication Disorders education program in speech-language pathology at Arizona State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Curriculum Overview

Core courses during the first year are required and all the students take the same scope and sequence of courses. Student may not wave any of the core courses in year one because these courses are designed to develop new learning skills, problem-solving skills, integration skills and clinical skills that are paired with the background course. Year two is designed for the student to take electives that align with their interest, while obtaining more depth beyond the core courses. Therefore, the students have different choices to specialize or maintain a more general focus.

Core Courses

  • SHS 567: Neural Bases of Communication Disorders
    Neuroscience and its application to matters of normal and disordered communication.
  • SHS 572: Language Assessment and Intervention in Infants and Toddlers
    Focuses on the birth to 3-year-old population who are at risk for or who have communication and language disabilities.
  • SHS 585: Articulation and Phonology: Assessment and Intervention
    Assessment and treatment of developmental articulation and phonological disorders.
  • SHS 587: Language Assessment and Intervention with Preschool Populations
    Focuses on preschool language disorders and assessment and intervention strategies for preschool children.
  • SHS 500: Research Methods
    Course on research methods in a specific discipline.
  • SHS 538: Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology
    Provides the knowledge and skills in clinical methods for treatment and diagnosis in speech-language pathology. Topics cover essential information to participate in screening and prevention opportunities, to structure and implement therapy goals and strategies, to apply for internships, and to administer and interpret informal and formal diagnostic tests.
  • SHS 582: Differential Diagnosis of Communication Disorders
    Procedures for assessing speech/language disorders in children and adults.
  • SHS 573: Language Assessment and Intervention with School-Age Populations
    Focuses on later language development, linguistic demands of academic settings, assessment and intervention strategies for older children and adolescents.
  • SHS 575: Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Language Disorders
    Assessment and treatment of acquired neurolinguistic impairment.
  • SHS 574: Management of Voice and Swallowing Disorders
    Focuses on assessment and intervention of people with voice, swallowing, and craniofacial disorders.
  • SHS 571: Augmentative Communication and Language Programming
    Focuses on individuals across the age span who are unable or who are at risk for being unable to communicate with spoken language.
  • SHS 539: Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology
    Covers professional issues in speech-language pathology to ensure that students meet the professional knowledge requirements set forth in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification standards. The topics cover essential information that the student needs to have in order to meet graduation requirements, comply with ASHA's ethical requirements, complete ASHA certification requirements, comply with Arizona state licensure requirements, prepare for a Clinical Fellowship Year and be involved in education and advocacy for the profession of Speech-Language Pathology.
  • SHS 580: Clinical Practicum
    Structured practical experience in a professional program, supervised by a practitioner and/or faculty member with whom the student works closely.
  • SHS 584: Clinical Internship
    Structured practical experience following a contract or plan, supervised by faculty and practitioners.


  • SHS 505: Survival Sign Language
    Facilitates effective manual and alternative methods of communication with deaf individuals in clinical settings.
  • SHS 524: Counseling in Communication Disorders
    Theories of counseling emphasizing the psychological and emotional impact and management of individuals with communication disorders and their families.
  • SHS 577: Communication Disorders in Autism
    Addresses communication disorders in children and adults with autism, as well as evaluation and intervention across a variety of settings and theoretical frameworks.
  • SHS 512: Topics in Management of Medical Aspects of Speech-Language Pathology
    Focuses on varying topics in management of medically based speech and language disorders.
  • SHS 598: Special Topics
    Topical courses not offered in regular course rotation--e.g., new courses not in the catalog, courses by visiting faculty, courses on timely topics, highly specialized courses responding to unique student demand.
  • SHS 570: Communication Disorders and Multicultural Populations
    Studies racial and ethnic biases and the communication behaviors and disorders in various cultural groups.
  • SHS 588: Spanish Language Acquisition
    Examines Spanish language acquisition in children and adults in the context of monolingual and bilingual language acquisition.
  • SHS 597: Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology
    Reviews speech and language assessment and intervention practices with bilingual populations from infants to adults.
  • SHS 581: Right Hemisphere Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Dementia
    Studies the nature, characteristics, and clinical management of cognitive and communicative impairments accompanying right hemisphere damage, TBI, and dementia.
  • SHS 576: Neuromotor Speech Disorders
    Evaluation and treatment of the dysarthrias and apraxia of speech. Emphasizes acquired adult disorders.

Clinical Placements

The mission of the Communication of Disorders MS program is to provide each student with clinical training across the lifespan and across nine disorder areas.  Most students complete three rotations in a practicum setting with ASU clinical supervisors and an additional two off campus internship placements.  Advanced five week clinical rotations are also available to increase student exposure to a wide range of settings, assessment methods and intervention programs. Some students in specialized programs may vary slightly in the order of their rotations but all students will complete a minimum of five semesters of clinical practicum.

Practicum Rotations options for Year 1:

  • ASU Speech & Hearing (SHS) Clinic: Students will gain experiences treating adults who have acquired neurogenic communication disorders (e.g., aphasia, dysarthria, cognitive-linguistic disorders). Students may work with children who have severe communication challenges due to developmental disabilities, as well as with adults and/or children with fluency, voice and/or speech disorders. Some students in this rotation will provide accent modification services to individuals enrolled in an accent modification class on Friday mornings.
  • Pediatric Communication Clinics (PCC): The PCC offers early childhood intervention services within the context of phonology groups, toddler groups, preschool groups and individual therapy sessions. While in this rotation you will be part time at our off campus clinic location and part time at Educare.
  • Educare : This off-site center serves a large number of toddler and preschool children as well as their families.  Students in the PCC rotation will be assigned to a classroom but will also participate in diagnostic testing for a range of children onsite.  Some students who are in other rotations (e.g. Public schools) will also provide diagnostic services at Educare.
  • Public School Setting:  Students will spend 2 days/week at either an elementary school or high school working with children who have communication goals.  An ASU faculty supervisor as well as the onsite supervisor will provide mentoring within this site.  Focus areas include bilingual/multilingual intervention, autism and severe-profound disabilities.   
  • Banner Baywood Medical Center:  Students participate in a one day a week rotation for 5 consecutive weeks during the year.  This rotation is typically concurrent with a placement in the ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic.  Students are supervised by the Banner Baywood SLP while he evaluates and treats clients in an acute medical setting.
  • Specialized summer camps and Hearing for Humanity: Our program offers a range of opportunities that are only available in the summer semester.  These include a Summer Program for Elementary Language and Literacy ( SPELL), a ASU Peer Program for Socialization ( APPS) and a travel abroad Hearing for Humanity ( HFH) program in Malawi.

Practicum Rotations for Year 2:

  • Public School Internship: All students complete an internship in the public school setting. Depending on interest, students may choose to work in an elementary, a high school or a combined caseload district. Students may also choose an internship in the schools with an emphasis on specific populations (e.g., preschoolers, children with autism, hearing impaired, bilingual learners etc).
  • Elective Internship: Students choose their elective internship to suit their clinical training emphases. The program maintains affiliation agreements for internships with a wide range of private agencies serving children and adults including adult and pediatric hospitals and rehabilitation centers, private practice settings, special private schools.  
  • 5 Week Clinical Rotations:  This is a one-semester rotation taken concurrently with the public school internship.  Most 5 week opportunities will be on Tuesday and Thursday.  Students enrolled in the clinical rotations will pick from an array of choices including  Valley ENT, Neuromuscular clinic, Mayo Voice, Acute Care Rotations, Pediatric Medical rotations and Diagnostic evaluations in the campus clinic. This rotation is optional depending on your program of study and needs but it is highly recommended for increasing your exposure to a range of settings and disorders.

Our Practicum Partners



Thesis Option

Students in the thesis option must register for a total of 4 semester hours of thesis. This is usually done in two, 2-credit registrations of SHS 599. These hours count toward the total number required for the degree. Thus, the credit hour degree requirement is met through completion of 24 credits of required core coursework, 18 credits of practicum, 6 credits of graduate-level elective coursework in speech-language pathology, and 4 credits of thesis (resulting in a total of 52 semester hours).

Non-thesis Option

Students in the non-thesis option meet the 52-credit hour degree requirement through completion of 24 credits of required core coursework, 18 credits of practicum and 10 credits of elective graduate-level professional coursework in speech-language pathology. Normally, only those courses listed below may be used to satisfy the elective professional coursework requirement. Occasionally, specialized seminars may be offered and, if approved by a students committee, may be used to satisfy 3 credits of the professional electives requirement. All non-thesis students must pass a comprehensive examination that is administered by the department during their LAST year of enrollment.

National Certification Exam

All students pursuing the MS degree must pass the Education Testing Service (ETS) Praxis Examination in speech-language pathology prior to graduation from the program.  A passing score must be on file in the Department office in order for processing of final graduation forms. 

Non-thesis Option Comprehensive Examination

All non-thesis students are required to pass a comprehensive examination that is administered by the department. The exam will be offered three times yearly.  Graduate Education standards stipulate that no more than two attempts at the examination are allowed, and they must be separated by a minimum of 3 months.  Our three scheduled examinations are separated by at least a 3-month interval, allowing students who fail to pass the examination the opportunity to take it in the following semester. The examination content focuses on core clinical and academic knowledge expected of a speech-language pathologist who is ready to begin their CF year. 


Communication Disorders, MS Program Handbook

Career Information

Clinical Fellowship

The Clinical Fellowship (CF) is the period of time between graduation and being an independent provider of speech-language pathology clinical services.
learn more Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship


State requirements for speech-language pathologists vary from state to state.
Learn more


This degree will prepare students for a career as a speech-language pathologist, a field expected to grow rapidly in the next several years.

Job Search Resources

Visit Campus

Due to the high volume of visit requests we receive each year, we are unable to offer individual tours. In addition, to protect the time of our clinic staff and privacy of our patients, we do not allow unsupervised guests to enter clinic facilities. Please consider the opportunities below to visit our program.

Information Sessions

These events are open to all prospective students and include a program overview, admission requirements, application tips, Q & A with faculty member and a clinic tour. Please email with your name and desired date below to reserve your seat.


  • November 16, 2018 1-2 p.m.
  • February 15, 2019 1-2 p.m.
  • March 15, 2019 1-2 p.m.
  • April 19, 2019 1-2 p.m.
  • June 21, 2019 1-2 p.m.
  • July 19, 2019 1-2 p.m.

Fall Open House

This event is geared toward current applicants to the program and includes an all-campus tour, program overview, Q & A with academic and clinical SHS faculty, graduate student panel, and a clinic tour. Space is limited.

Date: October 19, 2018 1-5 p.m.

Spring "Top Admits" Open House

This event is made available by invitation-only for students offered admission to the program.

Date: March 22, 2018 11-5:30 p.m.

The MS in communication disorders is a full-time residential program that can be completed in 20 months and prepares students to become certified speech language pathologists. The master's degree program trains students to evaluate and treat clients in speech, language, cognitive and communication disorders.

The first year of the program focuses on developing knowledge and skills in assessment and treatment of communication disorders across the lifespan. Hybrid courses use €"flipped classrooms"€ and problem-based learning to develop skills needed in the field. The second year of the program allows students to focus their interests in specialty areas and acquire clinical skills in external clinical placements. The program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

This program provides a wide range of research and clinical opportunities. Clinical settings include inpatient and outpatient medical sites, public schools, early intervention programs and private practices. A part-time employment program is available for speech language pathology assistants who are working in a public school setting.

Degree Offered

Communication Disorders, MS
Health Solutions, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

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