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Communication Disorders - MCD, MS

Degree Programs:

The Department of Communication Disorders offers master’s programs in speech-language pathology accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Two degree options are available: Master of Science in Communication Disorders (MS) and Master of Communication Disorders (MCD). The MS requires a thesis, while the MCD has no thesis requirement. Neither degree requires expertise in a foreign language. Information about these degrees is available at http://www.cla.auburn.edu/communicationdisorders/.

The plan of study for either degree may be designed according to the student’s career interests; however, the curriculum planned must conform to academic and practicum requirements for ASHA certification and Alabama licensure. Students then are prepared for careers in school systems, clinics, hospital/rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices, and private practice and for pursuing the doctoral degree.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are the same for both degrees because the choice of degree program is not made formally until the first semester of graduate study.

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university is necessary. Those with a degree in communication sciences and disorders, or equivalent, complete the Master of Communication Disorders (MCD) degree with 55 semester credit hours; additional thesis hours are optional for the Master of Science (MS) degree. Highly qualified students from any undergraduate discipline are considered for admission; however, certain foundation courses are necessary and may bring the MCD degree total to 95 semester hours. General education courses on the undergraduate transcript should include at least one course in each of the following areas: math, statistics, life science, physical science, and behavioral science. As this background is expected by the program’s accreditation agency, any deficiency must be fulfilled before conferral of the master’s degree in this program. Students who do not have an undergraduate course in neuroanatomy will be required to take that course as part of their graduate program.

Some application materials are sent directly to the Graduate School and other materials are sent directly to the Department of Communication Disorders (1199 Haley Center, Auburn, AL 36849-5232). 

Materials sent to the Graduate School web application include:

  • Graduate School application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Official scores from the General Test of the GRE

Materials sent directly to the department include:

  • Applicant Information Form, available on departmental website
  • Three letters of recommendation, completed on the form downloaded from the departmental website and sent to the department by the recommender
  • Application for graduate assistantship, available on departmental website

All application materials are reviewed by the departmental committee in speech-language pathology.

The application deadline for all materials is February 15 of each year with the degree program starting each fall semester.

Graduation  Requirements

The MS in Communication Disorders requires a minimum of 54 hours of graduate course work, including at least four hours of CMDS 7990 Research and Thesis, and an appropriate internship experience, CMDS 7920 Internship in Speech-Language Pathology.

The Master of Communication Disorders requires a minimum 55 hours of graduate course work and appropriate internship experience, CMDS 7920 Internship in Speech-Language Pathology.

Required Courses 

This is the course schedule for both degrees, with the exception of CMDS 7990 Research and Thesis (4 hours), which is required only for the MS students.  Although they are required to write a thesis, MS students do not take comprehensive exams. CMDS 7990 Research and Thesis is not required for MCD students, who take comprehensive exams rather than write a thesis.

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
CMDS 7570 Evaluation of Research in Speech Pathology and Audiology3CMDS 7550 Adult Aphasia3CMDS 7540 Advanced Voice Disorders3
CMDS 7860 Speech Science3CMDS 7720 Clinical Problem Solving II2CMDS 7840 Augmentative and Alternative Communication3
CMDS 7700 Clinical Problem Solving I2CMDS 7530 Advanced Fluency Disorders3CMDS 7590 Language Disorders: School-Age3
CMDS 7970 Special Topics Seminar1-3CMDS 7500 Clinical Problems in Speech1CMDS 7500 Clinical Problems in Speech1
CMDS 7500 Clinical Problems in Speech1CMDS 7820 Dysphagia3 
CMDS 7520 Language Disorders: Birth to Five3  
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
CMDS 7810 Motor Speech Disorders3CMDS 7920 Internship in Speech-Language Pathology5
CMDS 7560 Craniofacial Anomalies3 
CMDS 7740 Clinical Problem Solving III2 
CMDS 7510 Advanced Articulation/Phonological Disorders3 
CMDS 7970 Special Topics Seminar1-3 
CMDS 7500 Clinical Problems in Speech1 

Clinical Experience Requirements

In addition to academic course work requirements, both the MCD and MS degree programs require a minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of speech-language pathology.

Financial Aid

The department has a limited number of graduate assistantships available. These assistantships must be applied for using the Application for Assistantship form downloaded from the departmental website. Assistantships are awarded based on academic performance and research experience.