Apr 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences and Disorders (M.S.)

The School of Family Studies and Human Services  offers a Master of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Services with a specialization Communication Sciences and Disorders. Communication Sciences and Disorders is an area of professional specialization that developed out of concern for people with speech, language, and hearing disorders. The program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) has been an established presence at Kansas State University for more than 45 years. The goal of the CSD program is to educate clinicians who are competent to help children and adults with difficulties in any aspect of oral and written communication or swallowing. It is part of the School of Family Studies and Human Services, a multidisciplinary department in which sociologists and psychologists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists, economists, gerontologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists address the broad social issues affecting the development of individuals and families.

The Master’s degree offered in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Kansas State University is focused on speech-language pathology. It is a full-time, two-year program, starting either in the summer/fall or spring semesters. The majority (about 90%) of CSD undergraduate majors complete the program in 6 semesters (includes 2 summers). The exceptions typically relate to students who have deficiencies in their undergraduate curriculum from another program. The objectives of this professional education program are to:

1. Prepare speech-language pathologists to fill diverse roles in the broad area of speech-language pathology and in a variety of professional environments consistent with evidence-based practice;

2. Provide the student with knowledge about the changing role of the speech-language pathologist within our society and with opportunities to learn how research informs that change;

3. Facilitate an interdisciplinary view of disorders of human communication;

4. Provide speech-language pathologists with the coursework and practicum experiences needed to meet national standards for clinical knowledge and skills and to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Kansas State University is fully accredited by the North Central Accrediting Association. In addition, the Master’s-level program in Speech-Language Pathology at Kansas State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Please review the following website to read more specific information about graduate application procedures and forms for communication sciences & disorders: http://www.he.k-state.edu/fshs/programs/grad/csd-grad.php.


For the Master of Science degree, the following requirements must be met:

1. Completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours in academic coursework with additional credits from practica and externships. (See the section on Required Graduate Courses for Speech-Language Pathology.)

2. Completion of two unique externships, typically full-day placements extending throughout the semester at an approved off-campus site.

3. Completion of a minimum of 400 total clinical hours (including 375 direct clinical contact hours).

4. Demonstration of clinical competency as judged by the Program faculty.

Students selecting the non-thesis option must also successfully complete the comprehensive written examination and oral examination if indicated.

Students selecting the thesis option must also complete six hours of thesis credit, design, implement, and produce a written thesis on a research topic in accordance with Family Studies & Human Services guidelines and successfully defend the thesis in an oral examination.

The graduate curriculum in Communication Sciences and Disorders prepares students with the basic course requirements for certification as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and also prepares students to pass the national examination in speech-language pathology & audiology (NESPA). The pass rate of KSU graduates (first try) is 100% since 2004.

Clinical Experiences

Clinical Hour Requirements

Specific clinical contact hour requirements for the Master’s degree are in accordance with the guidelines for certification as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (Some of these requirements may be obtained at the undergraduate level): 

1. 25 clock hours of clinical observation (typically completed prior to practicum enrollment). 

2. A minimum of 375 hours of practicum, including 325 hours at the graduate level. 

3. Assignments are made to provide clinical experiences with individuals across the life span and with as many types of disorders and differences as possible.

Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology

All students must complete 25 hours of supervised observation of clinical service for speech, language, swallowing, or hearing impairments. (The requirement of 25 observation hours is typically fulfilled at the undergraduate level.) Following the clinical observation experience and the completion of appropriate coursework, students are assigned clients at the K-State Speech and Hearing Center. Graduate students from other institutions must provide evidence of any clinical contact hours signed by their supervisor(s) at the institution where the hours were obtained. Those supervisors must hold the CCC in the appropriate area. 

Students must complete a minimum of 100 clinical clock hours at the K-State Speech and Hearing Center, and the first 25 clock hours of direct clinical experience will always be completed there, even if clinical contact hours were obtained earlier at a different training program. When sufficient clinical experience has been completed and competency levels demonstrated, the student may be assigned to an off-campus practicum site. Students are expected to enroll in at least two credit hours of practicum (CSD 705 or 706) during each semester or term (summer) of enrollment. Students typically complete a minimum of 4 on-campus semesters of practicum prior to externship placements. Clinical contact hours are counted toward the total number required (375) only if the student earns a practicum grade of A or B.

Externship in Speech-Language Pathology

All students are required by the program to complete two externships at off-campus sites and accrue a minimum of 50 clock hours and appropriate clinical competencies at each site. The Clinic Director and program faculty must approve all external placements. For students hoping to obtain certification from any State Department of Education, it is highly recommended that one of the two externships be in a public school setting. Clinical contact hours will be counted toward the total number required (375) only if the student earns a grade of A or B in the externship in which the hours were accrued. During the semesters that students are completing externships, they are expected to enroll for six credit hours (CSD 847) unless otherwise approved by the faculty. 

The Clinic Director of the program has negotiated contracts with several area schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. All externship supervisors are licensed speech-language pathologists with their certificate of clinical competence. At many of the extern sites, former graduates of the program supervise current KSU graduate students. Students should expect to travel or relocate to the communities where the approved off-campus sites are located. Some current and past extern sites include: 

-Public Schools of Manhattan, Salina, Topeka, Kansas City and others
-St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Topeka)
-Stormont-Vail Hospital (Topeka)
-Geary Community Hospital (Junction City)
-Mercy Regional Health Center (Manhattan)
-Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City
-Saint Luke’s South Hospital (Kansas City)
-Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital (Gardner)
-Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City)
-Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital (Topeka)
-Veterans Administration Hospitals (Kansas City or Topeka)
-Salina Regional Health Center (Salina)
-Newton Medical Center (Newton)
-Central Kansas Speech Services (McPherson) 

**Graduate students are expected not to hold daytime jobs during their externships. Graduate students do not hold a GTA during their externship.

Master’s Comprehensive Examinations

Graduate students have the option of completing the non-thesis or thesis option. The non-thesis option involves a two-part written comprehensive exam over a maximum period of 5 working days. A graduate student who selects the thesis option completes an original research project instead of the written comprehensive examination. The student should declare his or her interest in the thesis option as soon as possible following acceptance into the graduate program. The CSD handbook at the program web site provides specific guidelines for each option.


Please review the following website to read more specific information about graduate application procedures and forms for communication sciences & disorders: http://www.he.k-state.edu/fshs/programs/grad/csd-grad.php.

Students interested in this option with general questions should contact:

Becky Wolfe, Office Manager
School of Family Studies and Human Services
Communication Sciences & Disorders
139 Campus Creek Complex
1405 Campus Creek Road
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-6879

Information concerning academic grievances and grievances against faculty can be found on line at: www.k-state.edu/grad/graduate_handbook/appendixa.html.   

Program complaints or grievances can be forwarded to the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Details are available on line at: http://www.asha.org/academic/accreditation/accredmanual/section8.htm.

K-State notice of nondiscrimination policy can be accessed at: http://www.k-state.edu/nondiscrimination.html.