The graduate program in Communication Disorders is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and has been offering the Master of Arts degree since 1967. ASHA explicitly recommends that the best preparation for graduate work in communication disorders is a strong undergraduate background in liberal arts and science. Building on such a background, the graduate program provides the specialized coursework and practicum experiences that prepare and qualify successful candidates for careers in speech-language pathology.
The chief components of the program are
1) Advanced coursework in the assessment and treatment of disorders of speech, language, and hearing;
2) Advanced clinical practicum experiences with a diverse clinical population including children and adults in the Truman State University Speech and Hearing Clinic;
3) Pursuit of topics of special interest through either a thesis or non-thesis (coursework and comprehensive exam) option;
4) Full-time, off campus internships in two diverse clinical settings.
The Truman graduate program in Communication Disorders is characterized by high academic and professional standards, close collaboration between students and faculty, and strong, broad-based professional preparation.
Students who wish to pursue graduate study in communication disorders should contact the Program Director in Communication Disorders (660-785-4669) for information. Students who have undergraduate majors in related fields of study such as English, linguistics, psychology, biology, or others are encouraged to obtain information early, so that an appropriate individualized plan of study can be planned.
1. To recruit highly qualified students who demonstrate the academic potential, interpersonal skills, emotional stability, and commitment requisite for success in a clinically-oriented graduate program in communication disorders.
2. To ensure that all program graduates meet the rigorous requirements for obtaining a complete set of professional credentials: national certification, state licensure, and public school certification.
3. To prepare graduates who will be qualified to meet the ongoing state and national shortage of speech-language pathologists in rural and urban schools, medical centers, rehabilitation facilities, private practice, and other work settings.
4. To provide academic and clinical experiences, in accordance with program accreditation standards, that prepare graduates to provide comprehensive speech-language pathology assessment, consultation, intervention, and rehabilitation services.
5. To explicitly validate the concept of the clinician researcher and encourage the possibility of doctoral study by providing research experience for all graduate students. In addition, to provide opportunities for students to form mentor relationships with faculty, collaborate closely with peers and faculty, and explore topics of individual interest through learning communities, special assignments, independent study, and/or selection of the thesis option.
6. To model and promote ethical principles and procedures in the conduct of clinical practice, academic achievement, and research.
7. To model and promote professional values that include a respect for diversity, the importance of lifelong learning, and the rewards of service to clients, the community, and the profession.
To read more about the Master of Communication Disorders program, please see the Communication Disorders section of the Graduate Catalog.
Special Facilities and Services
The Communication Disorders program staffs and maintains the Truman State University Speech and Hearing Clinic. The clinic has individual and group therapy rooms, observation facilities, and modern closed-circuit TV and videotaping capabilities to facilitate supervision and observation by student clinicians and client family members. An audiological testing suite is available for complete hearing evaluations. The Kenneth M. McGuire Clinical Media Center houses the Clinic's extensive collection of diagnostic and therapy materials and is used by student clinicians as they prepare for therapy and complete other case management tasks. Student clinicians make use of the Clinical Computing Lab to explore and prepare clinical applications of computers for direct use with clients. Additional multimedia technologies readily available for use include interactive videodisc, CD-ROM, as well as both sound and video digitizing. The Clinic is open throughout the academic year and summer semesters, serving a local and regional population of all ages. Members of the university community including students, faculty, staff and their families are also served by the Clinic. All Clinic services are provided under the supervision of faculty who are licensed by the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
1. Minimum overall grade point average of 3.00.
2. Strong performance on the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing components of the GRE.
3. Excellent oral and written language ability.
4. Strong personal commitment to advanced study and service in communication disorders.
5. Submit online application and $40 application fee.
6. Submit three letters of recommendation.
7. Submit all transcripts.
8. Submit a Personal Statement (Upload in the online application)
9. No student will be permitted to transfer graduate level coursework toward a degree in Communication Disorders in which a grade lower than a "B" was achieved.
- CMDS 561G – Advanced Speech Pathology Credits: 3 hours*
- CMDS 562G – High Risk Infants Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 563G – Special Topics: Dysphagia Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 564G – Voice Disorders Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 566G – Diagnosis of Communication Disorders Credits: 3 hours*
- CMDS 568G – Phonological Disorders Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 578G – Clinical Applications of Computers in Communication Disorders Credits: 3 hours*
- CMDS 660G – Stuttering Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 661G – Language Disorders: Children Credits: 3 hours*
- CMDS 662G – Language Disorders: Adults Credits: 3 hours*
- CMDS 663G – Oro-facial Anomalies Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 669G – Neurogenic Motor Speech Disorders Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 671G – Advanced Clinical Audiology Credits: 3 hours*
- CMDS 672G – Seminar: Hearing Disorders Credits: 1-3 hours
- CMDS 676G – Clinical Process Commentary 1 Credits: 1-3 hours*
- CMDS 677G – Clinical Process Commentary 2 Credits: 1-3 hours*
- CMDS 679G – Seminar: Advanced Topics in Language Development and Language Disorders Credits: 1-3 hours
- CMDS 680G – Seminar: Speech Disorders Credits: 1-3 hours
- CMDS 681G – Advanced Clinical Practice Credits: 1-3 hours*
- CMDS 682G – Internship in Hospital/Clinic Credits: 4 hours*
- CMDS 683G – Internship in Public School Credits: 4 hours*
Students majoring in Communication Disorders must demonstrate clinically appropriate speech/language/hearing skills prior to enrollment in clinical practicum.
This requirement must be met by all Communication Disorders Master’s graduates from Truman. Normally, this requirement is met by completing ED 621G Psychology of Reading. However, students who can demonstrate mastery of this material through coursework completed at another university may, with the consent of their advisor, substitute these credits with electives.
Clinical Process Commentaries
- Emphasize strong ties between the academic and clinical curricula,
- Provide opportunity for formative and summative evaluation, and
- Provide opportunity for students to demonstrate depth of knowledge and expertise through both oral and written presentation.
The CPC will be required at two (2) different times in the course of graduate study, usually the second semester (spring) and the last semester (fall) prior to internship.
(See course description. A prerequisite 3.5 graduate GPA and CMDS faculty approval required.)
- CMDS 689G – Research in Communication Disorders (Thesis) Credits: 1-6 hours
Clinical Hours Requirement:
Students are required to complete a minimum of 400 clinical contact hours of which 325 must be completed at the graduate level. The curriculum is designed to qualify master’s degree candidates for state school certification, Missouri Licensure, and the Certificate of Clinical Competence awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Undergraduate Requirements for Non-Majors:
Students who wish to earn a master’s degree in Communication Disorders and have earned a bachelor’s degree in some other major or from another institution must meet the requirements or equivalents of one course of not less than 2 semester hours from each of the following areas: Phonetics, Audiology, Aural Rehabilitation, Introduction to Communication Disorders, Language Development, Clinical Practice, Education or Psychology of the Exceptional Child, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism, and Child Psychology or Child Development. The following Truman courses are recommended to satisfy these requirements:
- CMDS 200 – Introduction to Communication Disorders Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 261 – Phonetics Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 380 – Principles of Clinical Management Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 460 – Language Development Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 470 – The Speech Mechanism Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 472 – Audiology Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 473 – Aural Rehabilitation Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 474 – Speech and Hearing Science Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 477 – Articulation and Phonology Credits: 3 hours
- CMDS 490 – Organization and Administration of Speech Pathology Services Credits: 3 hours
- PSYC 332 – Child Development Credits: 3 hours