communication sciences

communication sciences Master of Arts


Master of Arts Program

Our philosophy is to develop highly competent clinical practitioners. The intent is to educate students to embody the best of the clinician’s rigorous approach to problem solving using the scientific method. The academic program provides a broadly-based fund of knowledge in communication sciences and disorders, with emphasis on a processing framework that helps the students analyze and synthesize information.

Our mission is to graduate future leaders in the clinical and research community of communication sciences and disorders that is in-line with the unique mission of the department. Our program objectives are 1) to graduate students who demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to synthesize fundamental concepts and apply them to clinical practice at the professional level; 2) to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation utilizing state-of-the-art technology, experiential learning, and research training; and 3) to provide students with a foundation in professional ethics, an understanding of the need for self-reflection, and an understanding of the importance of life-long learning.

The M.A. program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Upon completion of the master’s degree program, graduates will meet the academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology from ASHA and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 42 credit hours of graduate coursework and 375 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum. In addition, they must satisfactorily pass written and oral examinations or complete a master’s thesis. Students who select the thesis option must enroll in six hours of thesis credit and pass an oral defense of their thesis.

An individual plan of study is designed with each student, based on his or her undergraduate background and professional goals. Students interested in applying to the graduate program are not required to have an undergraduate degree in communication disorders, however they are required to take additional undergraduate coursework to meet the requirements for ASHA certification. Although the actual number of classes will vary depending on the student’s prior area of study, the following courses or their equivalent are required:

COSI 211 Phonetics and Phonology COSI 313 Language Development
COSI 321 Speech and Hearing Sciences COSI 325 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
COSI 352 Introduction to Clinical Practice

Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology - Sequence of Courses (42 Credit Hours)

First Year — Fall Semester
Neuroanatomy Lecture & Lab (4)
Language Disorders 1: Birth - 5 years (3)
Articulation & Phonology Disorders (3)
Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders (3)
Graduate Clinical Practicum: Case Management (1)

*Based on the student's Undergraduate record, the following courses may be suggested: Phonetics & Phonology, Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Hearing Mechanism, Introduction to Clinical Practicum in SLP, Language Development, Introduction to Audiology

First Year — Spring Semester
Evidence-Based Practice (4)
Acquired Adult Language & Cognitive Disorders (3)
Dysphagia (3)
Graduate Clinical Practicum: Counseling (1)

*Based on the student's Undergraduate record, the following course may be suggested: Speech & Hearing Science

First Year — Summer Semester
Graduate Clinical Practicum — Medical Speech Language Pathology (1)
Seminar in Speech Language Pathology (1)

Second Year — Fall Semester
Language Disorders 2: Language & Literacy (3)
Fluency Disorders (2)
Augmentative & Alternative Communication (2)
Graduate Clinical Practicum: Diagnostics 1 (1)

Second Year — Spring Semester
Voice Disorders (3)
Neuromotor & Craniofacial Disorders (4)
Graduate Clinical Practicum: Diagnostics 2 (1)

*Based on the student's Undergradaute record, the following course may be suggested: Aural Rehabilitation

Find Descriptions for the Courses Here

Clinical Training

The clinical training component of the M.A. program is unique and is consistently cited as a strength of the program by outside reviewers.

Training Sites

The Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) serves as the primary training site for the Department of Communication Sciences. Students are supervised by practicing speech-language pathologists and audiologists at the CHSC for part of their practicum experience. The clinical staff provides beginning graduate students with one-one-one supervision to help develop clinical skills through a variety of specialized CHSC programs.

Students also participate in an externship program that includes medical and educational clinical placements at sites throughout the greater Cleveland area. Students are assigned to at least two different externship sites in the Cleveland area.

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

A graduate certificate in gerontology is available to master's students at CWRU. This multidisciplinary program is coordinated through the University Center on Aging and Health and prepares students for careers in geriatric speech-language pathology.

Early Intervention Related Services Training Program

The Early Intervention Related Services Training Program, sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, jointly trains students in the Master’s program in Speech Language Pathology and in the Master’s program in Social Work to provide high quality services to infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children with disabilities. Training emphasizes evidenced based practice, multidiscipline collaborative teams, and family-centered practices. Students complete their own disciplinary specific coursework as well as a carefully planned series of interdisciplinary course work and field experiences. Eight students are enrolled in the program annually. Students receive partial tuition, stipends and books.

The courses for the Training Program are:
COSI 600 - Special Problems and Topics: Autism Seminar
COSI 600 - Special Problems and Topics: Medical Aspects of Disability
COSI 431 - Early Intervention Related Services Training Program
PSCL 453 - Seminars in Psychology: Child Development
SASS 539 - Early Intervention: Theories and Practice

For more information regarding admissions, click here.

The master’s Communication Sciences education program in speech-language pathology at Case Western Reserve 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.