Becoming a Communication Disorders Major

In order to become a CMD major, a student is first admitted as a CMD major. This requires a minimum cumulative GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 and a grade of B or better in ENG 112. A student who has met these requirements will be given permission by the department to take one of the two CMD introductory courses, CMD 200 (Introduction to Developmental Communication Disorders) or CMD 201 (Introduction to Communication Disorders in Medical Settings). Following completion of this course with a grade of B or better, the student will be eligible to take the second introductory course. Transfer students with at least 45 credits may be allowed to take both CMD 200 and CMD 201 in the same semester. A minimum grade of B in both of these courses must be achieved in order to become a CMD major. 

After becoming a CMD major, the student must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA both within the major and overall each semester. A student who fails to meet these criteria will not be eligible to continue as a CMD major and will need to meet with an adviser in Academic Advisement in order to select another major. A student may return to the CMD major in a subsequent semester if both the department and overall GPAs are brought up to the requisite 3.o. 

Students who do not maintain this GPA will no longer be considered as CMD or CMD majors and will not be able to register for classes in the major. Students who have registered for CMD courses in an upcoming semester will be required to drop those courses if they fail to achieve the required 3.0 GPA in the previous semester.

Students who are further along in their studies when they apply may not be able to complete their undergraduate degree in four years.

How many communication disorders courses are required for the undergraduate degree?
Eleven communication disorders courses are required in order to complete the undergraduate degree.

Is there a required Grade Point Average (GPA) in order to be an undergraduate student of of Communication Disorders?
Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in order to become CMD majors. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained departmentally and overall throughout the program.

Can I find employment with a bachelor's degree in communication disorders?
Students who complete the degree requirements and do not intend to pursue a graduate degree may find immediate entry into positions such as speech assistant, paraprofessional, or aide in public and private school systems. Students might also use this degree as a base for general educational and special education graduate studies or other human services professions, academic programs and clinical experiences.

Will I do "hands-on" clinical work as an undergraduate student?
Our undergraduate students do not provide "hands-on" clinical services. All undergraduate students are required to observe 25 hours of therapy as part of their program.

How are the 25 undergraduate observation hours obtained?
Students will obtain many of the 25 observation hours as part of their course work requirements. Observation hours may take place within the SCSU Center for Communication Disorders Clinic, through the Master Clinician Network, or at an outside site. The therapy must be conducted or supervised by a speech-language pathologist or audiologist who is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

How many students are accepted into the SCSU Communication Disorders master's program each year? Where are other master's programs located?
The SCSU Department of Communication Disorders master's program has an incoming annual class of approximately 40-45 students. There are numerous programs throughout the United States that offer master's degrees in communication disorders. For a complete listing of accredited programs, consult the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) web site.

I am a transfer student. Will I be able to graduate on time if I major in communication disorders?
Whether or not a student graduates "on time" (defined here as within four years after entering college) depends on many factors. The earlier a student begins the communication disorders program, the greater the chances of finishing on time. Transferring sophomores can usually complete the program and graduate within four years of starting college (taking at least 15 credits per semester), while juniors and seniors may typically need an additional semester or more in order to complete all requirements. However, if students are willing to take additional courses during the summer and/or spring or winter breaks, it is usually possible to accelerate completion of the program.

What is the role of the academic adviser in the Department of Communication Disorders?
The CMD academic adviser meets with all students at least twice a year, in order to plan courses for each semester. The adviser maps out the program so that students can anticipate when they will take each course. The adviser can also provide valuable career counseling for students.

Who should I contact to obtain information about the Department of Communication Disorders ?
Further information may be obtained from Dr. Kelly Mabry, Undergraduate Adviser, at mabryk1@southernct.edu, 203-392-5986.

Graduate Program

As part of the Graduate School at Southern Connecticut State University, the Department of Communication Disorders offers a program leading to the Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology.  Learn more in the Academic Catalog.

Applicants must meet the admissions requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Communication Disorders.

Fall semester - February 1
Spring semester - not offered

All application materials must be processed by the Office of Graduate Admissions and listed as "received" in the graduate application portal by the deadline or the file will not be considered. Be sure to submit application materials well in advance of the deadline to allow for processing to occur. Applications completed after the deadline can be retained for consideration for the following year if the applicant makes this request in writing by April 1. Incomplete applications are not retained.

PLEASE NOTE: Review BOTH the application procedures below and visit the Graduate Admission's website for detailed document submission information.

Once the Graduate Application is submitted, applicants will be given access to the graduate application portal. Applicants MUST check the graduate application portal to make sure all materials have been processed by the Graduate School. Applicants will be able to upload materials to the graduate application portal. Any materials not listed as "received" on the graduate application portal have not been processed.  If materials are mailed to the graduate processing center in New Hampshire, it takes up to 2 business days to process materials once they are received, so please submit ALL materials well in advance of the deadline.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure ALL required documents have been received by the February 1 deadline. Applications not completed by the deadline will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. 


Submit to the Office of Graduate Admissions: 

  • The Graduate school application and fee (online submission)  If you have any questions, please call the Office of Graduate Admissions at 203-392-9670. 
  • Official undergraduate and graduate degree transcripts from all accredited colleges or universities attended. Even if only a few credits were taken at an institution, those transcripts MUST be submitted as well. A total undergraduate degree quality point ratio of 3.0 or higher is required. Any transcripts submitted from education completed outside the United States must be evaluated by an appropriate accrediting agency (e.g., World Education Service, WES) in order to equate credits and grades with United States standards.
  • Recent scores obtained on the Graduate Record Examination(GRE), including Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections.
  • All students for whom English is not their first language must submit recent scores of at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Follow guidelines regarding who should take the TOEFL.
  • A resume, no more than two pages, highlighting personal strengths with a specific focus on leadership, volunteer efforts, extracurricular activities and work experiences must be submitted.  Applicants are encouraged to include weekly/semesterly/yearly time commitments to help concretely quantify levels of commitment and involvement.
  • A 250-300 word well-written essay on a personal challenge and how it was handled or a project initiated and maintained independently that demonstrated your skills in interpersonal communications, initiative, problem solving and/or organization.
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to professional promise and academic ability.  Recommendations should offer support for academic characteristics such as critical thinking and writing skills as well as potential to succeed in a graduate program.  Letters should also offer support for personal characteristics such as enthusiasm, dependability, initiative, adaptability as well as ability to interact with peers and faculty. Recommendations from professors are encouraged, although not required. 



Admissions decisions are made on a competitive basis. By April 1, letters are mailed to applicants indicating that they have been accepted, wait-listed or rejected to the program. Accepted students have two weeks to reply before their admission status will be revoked. Letters of acceptance or rejection will then be mailed to wait-listed applicants.

All students accepted to the Communication Disorders Program must interview with the Graduate Program Director at the time of program planning during the spring or summer following admissions. They must subsequently be formally admitted by the Office of Graduate Admissions and the School of Education upon final review of transcripts and application materials in order to finalize the admissions process.

Accepted students begin their studies in the fall semester.  Students who have completed all of the required prerequisite coursework will be offered the option of beginning courses in the summer following admission, space allowing.

The Department of Communication Disorders offers a limited number of graduate assistant positions on a competitive basis. Graduate assistants support the research and/or teaching needs of the department.

Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in communication disorders in order to apply to the master's program?
No. The completion of undergraduate courses in communication disorders is not required in order to apply to the master's program.  Students who are admitted to the program will meet with the program adviser early in the summer to design a planned program of study that will include any undergraduate prerequisite courses that have not yet been completed.

How long is the master's program if I have not completed the prerequisite coursework?
Approximately three years of full-time study.  The typical program includes one year of prerequisite coursework followed by two years of graduate coursework.  

Do I need to submit the PRAXIS® Core, formerly PRAXIS® I, SAT or ACT scores?
No. The GRE scores are sufficient for the Connecticut State Department of Education requirements for Special Services Endorsement.  All students complete clinical placements in a public school system, so all students must meet the university's requirements for school certification. 

Are there minimum undergraduate GPA and GRE scores required in order to be considered in the admissions process?
The minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA to be considered is a 3.0, however, the average cumulative GPA for the most recent incoming class was a 3.63.  No minimum exists for GRE scores, however, the average GRE scores for the most recent incoming class were around the 50th percentile for the quantitative and verbal sections and the 65th percentile for the written section.  

Office of Graduate Admissions:
Southern Connecticut State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
501 Crescent Street 
Wintergreen Building, Rm 105 
New Haven, CT 06515 
Phone: (203) 392-9670


Department of Communication Disorders:
Department of Communication Disorders/Admissions Committee 
Southern CT State University
501 Crescent Street 
Davis Hall B-012 
New Haven, CT 06515 
Phone: 203-392-5954 Fax: 203-392-5968


For further information contact: Mrs. Patricia McMahon, telephone 203-392-5954 or via email at mcmahonp1@southernct.edu.