May 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences and Disorders (M.S.)

The department of Applied Human Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. 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 (i.e., speech-language pathology). The master’s degree program is a full-time, two-year program, starting either in the summer/fall or spring semesters.

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 of Science (M.S.) program in Speech-Language Pathology at Kansas State University 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, 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: Graduate Program (


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

1. Completion of a minimum of 31 graduate credit hours in academic coursework with additional credits from practica and externships.

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 (which includes 25 clinical observation hours and 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 complete six hours of thesis credit, design, implement, and produce a written thesis on a research topic in accordance with graduate school 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 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 Courses (5-18 credit hours)

Total required hours to graduate: 51

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

2. A minimum of 375 hours of direct clinical contact practicum, which requires 325 of the 375 hours to be completed 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. Externship 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.

Master’s Comprehensive Examinations

Graduate students have the option of completing the non-thesis or thesis option. 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: Graduate Program (

Students interested in this option with questions about the curriculum or admission should contact:

Dr. Jeridy Oetken or Dr. Jane Garcia

Communication Sciences & Disorders
139 Campus Creek Complex
1405 Campus Creek Road
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-6879 or


Information concerning academic grievances and grievances against faculty can be found online at: Graduate Student Rights and Grievances Procedures (

Program complaints or grievances can be forwarded to the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Details are available online at: Complaints (

K-State notice of nondiscrimination policy can be accessed at: Notice of Nondiscrimination (