Program Details

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

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


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.

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 are interested in teaching certification may utlize program course work to meet requirements.

Culminating Experience

The culminating experience is the student's choice of either a master's thesis or a comprehensive exam.

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
  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 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 department 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 the same language) of undergraduate foreign language study or equivalent
  5. The completion or equivalent of the following courses:
  • Normal Language Development
  • Phonetics
  • Speech Science
  • Audiology
  • Articulation and Language Disorders
  • Diagnostics Procedures
  • Clinical Methods
  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Hearing Science/Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biological Science
  • Physical Science (chemistry or physics)
  • 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

Individual Pathway for Teaching Certification

For students interested in New York State initial teaching certification in Speech and Language Disabilities, the master's program in communication sciences and disorders will provide the opportunity for relevant course work. An institutional recommendation is not available. Students must apply for New York State Department of Education Certification via the Individual Pathway.

If a student is interested in teaching certification, they should review the state requirements for their intended certification, including course work and required non-credit workshops. For New York State Certification information, visit the Department of Education Office of Teaching Initiatives.

The Communications Disorders and Sciences department will provide advising support to assist students seeking teaching certification.

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.)