Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Students in the program at Missouri State have the opportunity to work with internationally respected and diverse faculty members who teach in addition to being actively involved in research.
The program in Communication Sciences and Disorders offers three areas of concentration: Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology and Education of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. The curriculum focuses on the academic, clinical, classroom and research foundations for a career in communication sciences and disorders. The nationally certified faculty members maintain a personal commitment to the standards of caring and concern that are upheld by the university.
The speech-language pathologist works primarily with persons who exhibit speech and language disorders. The audiologist is concerned with the diagnosis and management of hearing disorders, and the educator of the deaf and hard-of-hearing is responsible for directing the educational, psychological and communication needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults. Further information may be found at www.asha.org and www.deafed.net.
Graduates of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program enter a variety of employment settings: public schools, special schools, special school districts, colleges and universities; clinical settings, such as hospitals, guidance centers, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and other health care facilities; or research centers, industry or private practice centers. The employment outlook is excellent. As society continues to improve services for the handicapped, an increasing number of employment opportunities become available. Information on employment options and salaries can be found at www.bls.gov/.
The Communication Sciences and Disorders program includes a broad spectrum of academic and practicum experiences. The coursework emphasizes normal communicative processes, as well as disorders of communication. The bachelor’s degree at Missouri State includes a 40 to 55 semester-hour concentration in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Additional coursework in education, psychology and special education may be recommended/required.
Because many states and agencies require a Master's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders prior to employment and because the State of Missouri requires more than 60 hours of professional coursework, both undergraduate and graduate programs are offered at Missouri State. The Master's degree with an emphasis in speech-language pathology is a 2-year program requiring a minimum 58 semester credit hours. Students must acquire a minimum of 400 clock hours of practical experiences during their clinical training. An accelerated Master's degree with an emphasis in education of the deaf/hard of hearing is available with a minimum 46 semester credit hours required. For the Deaf Education program, additional Education coursework may be required to meet state teacher certification requirements. Audiology requires study at the doctorate level. The doctorate degree in Audiology is a 4-year program comprised of both academic and clinical experiences. Specific program information is available in the Missouri State Catalog. Students in Speech-Language Pathology completing both the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are prepared to apply for American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certification, Missouri state licensure and Missouri public school certification. Students in the area of Education of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing are prepared to apply for national Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) certification and Missouri public school certification. Students in Audiology completing both bachelor’s and doctorate degree programs are prepared to apply for American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certification and Missouri state licensure.
In order to enter the graduate program in speech-language pathology, the student must hold a bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders or be prepared to complete the Communication Disorders prerequisite coursework before starting graduate studies. A student entering the education of the deaf/hard of hearing program must meet the prerequisite coursework in Communication Disorders and may have a Bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders or one of the several education degrees (Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Early Childhood or Special Education). In order to enter the Doctorate program in Audiology, a student must hold a Bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders or a related field.
The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology specializations are fully accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The Education of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing specialization is fully approved by the national Council on Education of the Deaf.
The following is a representative list of the more than 40 undergraduate courses offered by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for course descriptions and specific degree requirements.
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has 20 full-time and 7 part-time faculty. Teaching and research interests of the faculty include: language, deafness, neurological and swallowing disorders, hearing disorders and augmentative and alternative communication.
Department offices are housed on the second floor of the Professional Building on the Missouri State campus. Faculty offices, research areas and laboratories, as well as student areas are also located here. The Missouri State Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic is found on the ground floor in the Professional Building on the Missouri State campus and serves as the major practicum site. In addition, students will be scheduled in practicum sites such as diagnostic centers; special schools for children with cerebral palsy, hearing loss and mental handicaps; community speech-language and hearing centers; nursing homes; public and residential schools; hospital settings and others.
Missouri State has an active chapter of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA). This organization is composed of Communication Sciences and Disorders majors. Activities of the local chapter include educational meetings, public awareness activities, social events, parties for clients of the clinic, money-making projects and involvement in national events. For example, several members of the local chapter were able to attend an ASHA convention in Boston, and a "10K Walk/Run" was recently sponsored to raise money for handicapped services. All new Communication Sciences and Disorders majors are encouraged to join NSSLHA.