Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)
The Master of Science degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Central Arkansas 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. Phone: 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. Graduates from the program earn a Master of Science degree and meet academic and clinical practicum standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Speech-Language Pathology license issued by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Graduates also meet the requirements for the Speech-Language Pathology credential from the Arkansas State Department of Education.
The Master's program in Communication Sciences and Disorders completed the re-accreditation process during the 2008-2009 school year. The CAA voted to re-accredit the program for a period of 8 years beginning December 1, 2008 through November 30, 2016.
Fifteen Speech-Language Pathology faculty members hold Certificates of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. All faculty are licensed by the Arkansas Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. In addition to teaching, faculty are actively involved in scholarship and research.
Achievement Data for students completing the Master's program from Fall 2009 to Summer 2012
99% of the students achieved a passing score on the Praxis II Speech-Language Pathology Area test.
90% of the students were employed in the profession within one year of graduation.
94% of the students completed the program in six semesters.
See link Student Outcome Data.
Admission to the M.S. Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is competitive, selective, and limited. A Bachelor's Degree is required prior to enrolling but can be in related fields. Admission is granted without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication prior to admission to practicum courses. Criteria considered for admission include but are not limited to:
- Undergraduate grade point average: The UCA graduate college requires 2.7 overall for admission; higher GPAs are typical of students admitted to the CSD master’s program (priority is given to students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement)
- Graduate grade point average: Grade point average for graduate courses must be at least 3.0. Credit hours may be transferred from another master’s program, subject to the approval of the Graduate Advisor.
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (Quantitative, Verbal and Writing)
Application Deadline For Master's Program Is February 1st
Centralized Application to the Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Beginning this year, applications to the M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders will be administered through the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service for Clinical Education in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology.
In order to apply for the master's degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders, prospective applicants should go to http://portal.csdcas.org. This link will allow you to make application to the program and monitor your application. As part of this process you will need to supply the following:
- Submit an official transcript from each college from which you have received course credit even if past course work appears on a later transcript. Please send all transcripts for the program application to the following address: CSDCAS, P. O. Box 9113, Watertown, MA 02471. Provide copies of the CSDCAS transcript request form to each school's registrar. This form can be downloaded from your CSDCAS Application on-line. Just click the orange button to the left of each university you list that you've attended on the CSDCAS Application.
- As part of the application process, you will also need to provide via the Centralized Application Service:
- Letters of recommendation: minimum of three. At least two of these recommendations should be from academic faculty members who know your work.
- GRE scores. You must give ETS both of the following codes when taking the GRE: UCA: 6012 and CSDCAS: 0738. If you do not do this, you will be charged additional fees from ETS to have your scores sent to either UCA or CSDCAS.
Only students admitted to the graduate program by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are required to apply to the UCA Graduate School.
The Centralized Program Application must be completed by Feb. 1. Incomplete applications will not be considered in the admissions process.
If you are admitted to the program, please notify the admissions committee (Dr. Robert Logan, firstname.lastname@example.org) of your acceptance by April 15. Our department abides by the following resolution from the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders which states in part that students have until that date to consider offers from other institutions; however, acceptances in force after that date are considered binding. A student may certainly withdraw an acceptance by writing a letter of resignation of the appointment to the institution anytime through April 15. An offer by an institution after that date is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. If you would like to view the resolution in it’s entirety, please see the following website: http://www.cgsnet.org/?tabid=201 and follow the link to the PDF version of the resolution.
This is a state-of-the-art, web-based application that offers applicants a convenient way to apply to any number of participating clinical education programs in either the Audiology or the Speech Language Pathology concentration by completing a single application. The on-line application was specifically designed for your ease and convenience. With far less paperwork, streamlined processing, and ongoing communication with applicants, CSDCAS offers you the ability to apply to multiple programs across the country.
Prior to beginning your CSDCAS application, please carefully read all Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Instructions to better understand how the process works and what to expect. If you are reapplying, please review these again as this information has been updated.
CSDCAS Customer Service is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. Phone: 617-612-2030; Email: email@example.com.
Applicant Documents & Links:
|Information Session Flyer||Plan to attend the Information Session about the graduate program. Tour the facility, meet the faculty and students. Use this link for specific information on day and time.|
|Applicant Letter||Link to welcome letter for program applicant|
|Admission Process||Link of online application for UCA's Graduate School-MUST include application fee|
|Information About Financial Assistance||Link to a description of financial aid & Assistantships available to Graduate students|
|Information to Apply for Assistantship||Link to form to apply for Assistantships|
Completion of the Master's degree requires six consecutive semesters of full time enrollment. Students must complete a minimum of 54 semester credit hours of academic and clinical courses including 40 hours of academic study and 14 hours of practicum. Students enroll in academic courses during the first 3 semesters and enroll primarily in clinical practicum courses during the last 3 semesters. Students should be advised that having a job requiring more than 10 hours a week will make degree completion considerably harder. Faculty strongly recommend not working if possible.
Students may begin their Master's program in Summer or Fall.
During the initial advising meeting the graduate advisor and the student review the student's undergraduate transcript to ensure that she/he will meet the requirements for ASHA Certification when the graduate program is completed. In addition to the required graduate courses listed above, students must complete at least one course in each of the following areas with a grade of "C" or better:
Additionally, students must complete courses in basic human communication processes and the nature of speech, language, swallowing and hearing disorders as well as courses in the following areas: phonetics, normal speech and language development, anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanism, speech and hearing science, clinical methods, audiology, research, cognition and cultural diversity.
Undergraduate deficiencies are identified and a program of study is developed for each student. Students who want to substitute a course completed at the undergraduate level, that is similar in content to a required graduate course, should meet with the instructor of the graduate course to review course content. If substitution is approved, the student can enroll in a different course.
A maximum of 17 to 18 credit hours may be transferred from another CAA approved Master of Science program, subject to the approval of the Graduate Advisor. Verification of any transfer work (official transcript) must be submitted by the student and is placed in the academic advising file.
M.S. Thesis Option
Students who choose to complete a thesis enroll in 3 or 6 hours of thesis credit (6336 Thesis). The thesis option does not require the student to take more than the 54 required credit hours. Typically thesis hours are selected in place of electives. Selection of a thesis topic is the responsibility of the student. All members of the thesis committee must be approved and appointed by the department chair. The thesis committee shall be composed of a minimum of three members who hold graduate faculty status: the major professor, a second faculty member in the department, and a third member from outside the department.
The Thesis and Dissertation Preparation Guide is published by the Graduate School. After the thesis has been read and approved and before the student is recommended to the Graduate Dean for graduation, the thesis committee meets with the student for an oral examination. The oral exam focuses on a defense of the thesis but may include other questions. A majority of the student's committee must approve the thesis and its defense. If approval is denied, the student will not be recommended for graduation. However, the student may be re-examined at a later period no sooner than three months after the initial examination.
Clinical Practicum (14 credit hours)
Students enroll in Advanced Clinical Practicum during the 2nd year of graduate study. A total of 400 clinical practicum hours must be accrued with a minimum of 325 completed at the graduate level. During one of the three clinical semesters, students complete screenings, diagnostics and therapy at the UCA clinic. The other two semesters are completed at off-campus sites. During their clinical practica, students will gain experience with culturally diverse clients who vary in age.
Students completing clinical research or an independent study will be required to complete the comprehensive examination. Students who successively complete a thesis meet the comprehensive requirement.
Post Graduate Employment Data
Our graduates have a very high rate of employment following the completion of degree requirements. See link Student Outcome Data.
Students may file complaints according to the policies and procedures outlined in the UCA Student Handbook. These include policies for academic complaints, sexual harassment, and standards of student conduct. Processes for complaints/appeals vary depending on the category. Students may consult with the department chair regarding appropriate procedures as outlined in the UCA Student Handbook.
Complaints related to graduate education should be submitted to the Chair of the Council on Academic Accreditation. Procedures for submitting complaints have been posted in the department.
See link Complaint Procedures.
Once admitted, a student's progress in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program is reviewed each semester. To remain in good standing:
- The student must maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0. A student whose cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 is on academic probation. In the next semester of attendance, the student must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0. If the cumulative 3.0 is not met, the student is ineligible to continue graduate studies at UCA. A GPA of 3.0 or above is required for graduation. Up to 6 hours beyond the degree requirements can be used to meet this GPA, but these hours must be approved by the student's advisor.
- The student is expected to have acquired the knowledge and skills delineated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that are necessary for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). See document Professional Dispositions and Essential Functions (student document) and Professional Dispositions and Essential Functions (departmental policy).
- Students are evaluated with both formative and summative assessments to ensure they are achieving the skills required for certification and licensure.
Assessment of students’ compliance with non-academic requirements involves the professional judgment of faculty and administrators who have the responsibility for insuring that appropriate speech and language services are provided to the public. It is the University's responsibility to protect both students and the clients they serve. To insure student compliance, faculty review student progress on a regular basis. Potential problems are raised as soon as possible with the student and when appropriate, remediation procedures are suggested. Students are given time to respond and a fair opportunity to succeed. However, on rare occasions, it is necessary to counsel students out of the program for non-academic reasons.
Course Documents and Links:
Interested in the Master's Program at UCA?
- Robert Logan
- Chair of Graduate Admissions
- Phone: 501-450-3176
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org