Program Details

Communication Sciences and Disorders [CSDS] M.S. (Graduate)

Regina Grantham, chair
Professional Studies Building, Room 2201
Fax: 607-753-5940
Communication Disorders


The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders integrates theory and content with strong clinical experience to prepare students for careers in communication sciences and disorders, often referred to as speech-language pathology. Students are prepared for clinical work in teaching or non-teaching professional positions and for further graduate study.

The M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at SUNY Cortland is a candidate for accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). This is a pre-accreditation status with the CAA, awarded to developing or emerging programs for a maximum period of five years.

Program Highlights

The program develops critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that assist students in applying theoretical knowledge to the clinical setting. Theoretical and research-based information on communication disorders, educational principles, technological aspects and multicultural aspects are explored in an experiential/active learning environment. The academic core is 36 credit hours and includes required courses in language disorders, phonology and articulation disorders, voice disorders, fluency disorders, neuromotor speech disorders, auditory disorders, dysphagia and communication disorders in older adults. There are also required courses in augmentative and alternative communication, diagnostics, speech science and research and design. In addition, electives may be selected from areas of literacy, early intervention, multiculturalism and bilingualism and cleft palate/craniofacial disorders.

Career Potential

The degree provides the academic and clinical preparation necessary for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) and New York state licensure as a speech-language pathologist.

Students who complete the necessary course work at the undergraduate and graduate levels would also fulfill requirements to qualify for New York State Education Department Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities initial certification and the academic preparation for the professional certificate.

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience is the student's choice of either a master's thesis for three-six credit hours or a comprehensive exam for three credit hours.

Graduate Admissions

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland, we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application – Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office
    Note: Candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor's degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. A typewritten personal statement of 250 words or less demonstrating commitment to, and interest in, the profession of speech-language pathology. The applicant should demonstrate an ability to write clearly and well.
  4. A resume, submitted online with the application
  5. A minimum of three recommendation forms, including at least two from academics. The recommendation form is available through the online application.
  6. Official score report for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) — verbal, math and writing.

Admissions Criteria

  1. Minimum 3.0 or higher grade point average both in the major and cumulatively
  2. GRE scores
  3. Must be in the process of earning or have earned an undergraduate B.S. or B.A. in any of the following: speech-language pathology and audiology, speech pathology, communication disorders, communication disorders and sciences, communication sciences and disorders.
  4. Two semesters of undergraduate foreign language study or equivalent
  5. The completion or equivalent of the following courses:
  1. Normal Language Development
  2. Phonetics
  3. Speech Science
  4. Audiology
  5. Articulation and Language Disorders
  6. Diagnostics Procedures
  7. Clinical Methods
  8. Aural Rehabilitation
  9. Hearing Science/Anatomy and Physiology
  10. Biological Science
  11. Physical Science (chemistry or physics)
  12. Statistics

Once the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office receives all of the required documents, your application will be forwarded to the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department. A committee consisting of a minimum of two department representatives will evaluate the applications.


Fall semester applications: July 1

Teaching Certification for Students with Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate Degrees

The master's program in communication sciences and disorders also will offer the option of New York state teaching certification.

Graduates of SUNY Cortland with a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Students who have completed the speech and language disabilities major also have completed requirements for the initial New York state teaching certificate and therefore would take the master's option for CCC, New York state licensure and the academic requirements for the professional certificate. Students who are in the speech and hearing science program would need to complete additional undergraduate course work or the equivalent for the initial teaching certificate.

Students in the speech and hearing science program are advised to take the following courses as electives if they are interested in obtaining a New York state teaching certificate in the future.

  • HLH 110: Personal and Community Heath or HLH 199: Critical School Health Issues. One of these courses would be taken prior to beginning the graduate program. At the graduate level, HLH 510: Proseminar in Health Foundations also meets this requirement.
  • EDU 496 or EDU 596: Organization of Speech, Language and Hearing Programs in the Schools. If EDU 596 is selected as an option, it must be completed during the first year of the graduate program, as student teaching will occur in the second academic year.
  • PSY 332: Educational Psychology or PSY 501: Advanced Educational Psychology.
  • SHH 360: Teaching Children with Limited English Proficiency or SHH 641: Clinical Practicum and Seminar: Multiculturalism or SHH 651: Multicultural and Bilingualism. SHH 360 would be taken at the undergraduate level. SHH 641 and SHH 651 would be taken at the graduate level.
  • SHH 475: Technology in Communication Disorders or SHH 643: Clinical Practicum and Seminar: Instrumentation or SHH 675: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR), Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) and Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) workshops
  • Fingerprinting

Graduates from Other Institutions

Student transcripts will be reviewed to determined admissions requirements or additional course work to be completed while in the program. These students would need to have completed a literacy course at the undergraduate level or a literacy course such as LIT 540 or LIT 550 as one of their electives in the graduate program. Students would also need to meet the State Education Department requirements for foreign language and liberal arts and sciences. These students would also complete the requirements outlined above for the speech and hearing science majors from SUNY Cortland.

A summary of the undergraduate certification requirements for SUNY Cortland speech and hearing science graduates and graduates from other institutions is included in the following table.

Summary of Requirements for Initial Teaching Certification
State Education Department (SED) Requirement Core (component)

SED Requirement
SUNY Cortland Speech and Hearing Science (SHS) graduates
Graduates of Other Programs
Health HLH II0/HLH 199, HLH 510 or equivalent HLH 110/HLH 199, HLH 510 or equivalent
Educational Psychology PSY 332 or equivalent or PSY 501 PSY 332 or equivalent or PSY 501 or equivalent
Instrumentation/Technology SHH 475 or SHH 643 or SHH 675 SHH 475 or equivalent or SHH 643 or SHH 675
Foundations of Education EDU 496 or 596 EDU 496 or 596 or equivalent
Pedagogical Core - Culture and Heritage SHH 360 or equivalent or SHH 641 or SHH 651 SHH 360 or equivalent or SHH 641 or SHH 651
Literacy Sequence of SHH 300, 370, 360, and EDU 496 or equivalent Pedagogical Core - Culture and Heritage Prior undergraduate course in literacy or LIT 540 or LIT 550 or equivalent pedagogical core - Culture and Heritage
Foreign Language Completed as Program Requirement Equivalent of two semesters (prior to program entrance)
Liberal Arts and Sciences Completed as Program Requirement Minimum of 30 credit hours of liberal arts and sciences


A. Required Core: 36 credit hours
  • SHH 668 - Language Disorders - Birth to Five Years (2 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 669 - Language Disorders - School Age (2 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 670 - Phonology and Articulation Disorders (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 671 - Voice Disorders (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 672 - Fluency Disorders (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 673 - Communication Disorders in Adults (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 674 - Neuromotor Speech Disorders (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 675 - Augmentative and Alternative Communication (2 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 676 - Dysphagia (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 677 - Advanced Diagnostics (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 679 - Research Methods (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 681 - Advanced Speech Science (3 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 683 - Auditory Disorders (3 cr. hr.)
B. Clinical Hours: 16 credit hours
  • SHH 640 - Clinical Practicum and Seminar: Clinical Issues (1 cr hr.)
  • SHH 641 - Clinical Practicum and Seminar: Multiculturalism (1 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 642 - Clinical Practicum and Seminar: Counseling (1 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 643 - Clinical Practicum and Seminar: Instrumentation (1 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 645 - Externship in Communication Disorders (6 cr. hr.)
  • SHH 646 - Practicum in an Educational Setting (6 cr. hr.)
C. Elective Courses: Six-seven credit hours

Select two courses

Literacy Development: select either

  • LIT 540 - Current Issues in Assessment and Instruction Birth to Grade 6 (4 cr. hr.) or
  • LIT 550 - Current Issues in Assessment and Instruction: Grades 5-12 (4 cr. hr.)

Or, select from the following:

D. Culminating Activity

Students may have the option for either the comprehensive exam or a master's thesis.

  • SHH 688 - Comprehensive Examination in Communication Disorders (3 cr. hr.) or
  • SHH 689 - Master's Thesis in Communication Disorders (3 cr. hr.)
Special Note

Students who do not successfully complete SHH 688 or 689 must register for

  • SHH 697 - Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (1 cr. hr.)
Total Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 58

Additional Requirements

For students seeking NYSED Initial Teaching Certification (if equivalents are not completed at the undergraduate level) the following courses are required:

  • EDU 596 - Organization of Speech/Language/Hearing Programs in the Schools (3 cr. hr.)
  • PSY 501 - Advanced Educational Psychology (3 cr. hr.)