Communication Disorders and Sciences Graduate Program

Office: W123 Thompson Hall

(716) 673-3202

Kim L. Tillery, Chairperson and Graduate Advisor



The graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology is designed to enable students to meet requirements for: (1) a Master of Science degree, (2) New York State Department of Education academic and clinical requirements for Initial and Professional Certification as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD), (3) New York State Department of Education academic and clinical requirements for licensure in Speech Pathology, and (4) American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) academic and clinic practicum requirements for the Certificate for Clinical Competency in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).

The master's education program in Speech-Language Pathology at SUNY Fredonia is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The CDS department does not accept non-matriculated students into the master’s program.

Requirements for Admission to the Program without Deficiencies:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited program whereby an applicant has completed a minimum of 15 credit hours in courses related to the normal development of speech-language-hearing and/or the sciences related to the use of speech, language and hearing; 9 credit hours in speech-language pathology; and 6 credit hours in audiology.
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  • GRE exam
  • Submission of a completed application, including all required documentation to the Office of Graduate Studies by the due date posted on Graduate Studies website.
  • Complete SUNY Fredonia's graduate study application requirements.

Mission of the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences

The Mission of the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences is to prepare students to become competent professionals in the field by developing a foundation of knowledge and a repertoire of effective clinical skills, demonstrating a positive attitude for learning, participating in a cooperative relationship with faculty and fellow students, and demonstrating ethical and professional behavior in the academic and clinical environment. The graduate program teaches the professional knowledge and skills through the departments Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree program. Students are exposed to the knowledge and skills required for professional development including curricula covering basic human communication, speech sciences and technology, professional issues, research methods, speech-language and hearing disorders, theoretical and applied approaches to assessment, intervention, and educational pedagogy.

Research opportunities augment the instructional programs by ensuring that faculty, staff, and students are aware of the contribution they all make to the production of knowledge within the field of speech studies. The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences actively supports students in research, scholarship, creative processes, clinical practice, and service to the community. In order to achieve these goals, the program provides supervised diagnostic and outpatient services to communicatively disordered clientele at the Henry C. Youngerman Center for Communication Disorders on the SUNY Fredonia campus. The Speech-Language Pathology master's degree is built around two equally necessary sectors: the academic program and the clinical program.

The Communication Disorders and Sciences department consistently fulfills SUNY Fredonia research challenges, holds to the standards of excellence in teaching set forth by the State University of New York, and provides an invaluable public service to the university and its surrounding community. The program remains committed to enhancing academic experiences for graduate students through ongoing self-study, outcomes assessment, and attention to cultural diversity in the curricula.

Program Goals:

  • Recall knowledge and demonstrate comprehension of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, linguistic, and cultural aspects.
  • Recall knowledge and demonstrate comprehension of the nature of speech, language, hearing, and communication disorders/differences and swallowing disorders, including their etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates.
  • Recall information and demonstrate comprehension of the principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with communication and swallowing disorders, including consideration of their anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates of the disorders.
  • Complete diagnostic evaluations of speech, language and hearing disorders for culturally, economically and linguistically diverse populations of persons with communication and swallowing disorders in all age groups across the life span, including screening and prevention, collecting and integrating case history information, using appropriate evaluation procedures and adapting these as necessary, interpreting, and synthesizing evaluative data, reporting, and referring when necessary.
  • Plan and execute treatment programs for diverse populations of persons with communication and swallowing disorders in all age groups across the life span, including developing and implementing setting-appropriate intervention plans; selecting, developing, and using appropriate materials and instruments; measuring and evaluating; modifying plans, strategies, materials, and instruments when needed; reporting; and identifying and referring when appropriate.
  • Integrate current developments in methodology and technology into clinical practice.
  • Read and become familiar with current research and critical reports and relate findings to the improvement of clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ASHA's code of ethics, professional standards, scope of practice, and preferred practice patterns.
  • Satisfy the academic and practicum requirements for obtaining the ASHA Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), the New York State Professional License in Speech Pathology, and New York State Initial/Professional Certification for a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities at the completion of the M.S. degree requirements.

Program Requirements

One choice of the following is required:

CDS 619Comprehensive Exam


CDS 629Directed Studies in Research Methodology - Thesis Research


Other required courses for all graduate students (exceptions by permission of chairperson):

CDS 555Dysphagia


CDS 598Voice Disorders


CDS 500Child Language Disorders


CDS 530Augmentative and Alternative Communication


CDS 582Fluency Disorders


CDS 583Speech Sound Disorders and Language Intervention


CDS 589Professional Issues


CDS 606Research Design in Communication Disorders and Sciences


CDS 608Neurogenic Language Disorders


CDS 611Motor Speech Disorders


Electives as advised

Clinical experiences (Capstone experiences):

CDS 502Clinical Practice, Communication Disorders


CDS 605Advanced Clinical Methods and Practice


CDS 632Graduate Student Teaching


Total Credit Hours:21


A minimum of 375 clock hours of supervised clinical practice is required for program completion, of which 325 hours must be completed at the graduate level.

Other course content required for application for New York State Department of Education initial certification for the TSSLD certificate:

Literacy, foreign language other than English, language acquisition, and in learning processes of motivation, communication and classroom management of students with disabilities and autism. Seminars in 1) child abuse reporting and abduction prevention, 2) alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse prevention, 3) fire safety and 4) school violence protection; and CDS 632 Graduate Student Teaching.

Total Credit Hours: 62