May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Professor   Pamela Hart, PhD, CCC-SLP (Graduate Program Director and Co-Chair)
Associate Professor   Shatonda Jones, PhD, CCC-SLP (Undergraduate Program Director and Co-Chair)
Assistant Professor   Stephanie Becker, PhD, CCC-SLP
    Michelle McOsker, PhD, CCC-SLP
Visiting Assistant Professor   Abby Eubank, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Coordinator   April Jardes, SLPD, CCC-SLP
Clinical Educator   Julia Patnode, MA, CCC-SLP
    Courtney Shillcutt, MS, CCC-SLP

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Rockhurst University prepares students for careers as speech-language pathologists in all practice settings. Students learn to integrate foundational knowledge with clinical practice skills to provide evidence-based assessment and intervention services to clients of all ages across the scope of practice in speech-language pathology. Established in the Jesuit tradition, students are prepared as ethical, culturally responsive speech-language pathologists who respect the uniqueness of all individuals and strive to create a more just, humane, sustainable world.  


Graduates of the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program meet the academic and clinical training requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) and are eligible for licensure in the state of Missouri among others.  


The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at Rockhurst University 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, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Admission to the Program

The CSD Program accommodates multiple points of acceptance for interested students. For the Rockhurst undergraduate CSD major, these include Freshman Pre-Admission, the CSD Graduate Scholars Program, and regular acceptance during the final year of undergraduate coursework.

Freshman Pre-Admission

Exceptional students may be awarded a freshman pre-admission status based on a combination of ACT or SAT scores, high school grades, and ability to complete the essential functions of the program. Once admitted, students must fulfill specific requirements for maintaining pre-admission status. Students complete their graduate school application to the CSD graduate program according to published deadlines. Contact the department for additional information regarding the Freshman Pre-Admission program.

CSD Graduate Scholars

Rockhurst undergraduate students with outstanding academic work may apply for advanced admission status through the CSD Graduate Scholars program. To apply for acceptance into the CSD Graduate Scholars program, students complete the application for admission according to published deadlines. If admitted, students must fulfill specific requirements for maintaining CSD Graduate Scholar status.

Post-Baccalaureate Candidates

Candidates who possess an undergraduate degree in a field other than Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) must have completed appropriate post-baccalaureate leveling coursework to be eligible for application to the graduate program. Coursework in language development, speech science, anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing systems, phonetics, and audiology are required. Other coursework will be reviewed by the faculty to determine if the student meets requirements to apply to the graduate program. Additionally, post-baccalaureate candidates must show evidence of having completed the ASHA required prerequisite courses in order to be considered for admission.

Post Bachelor’s Leveling Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers a Post Bachelor’s Leveling Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The post bachelor’s leveling program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is designed to give individuals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline a path to earning a graduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).

The leveling program allows admitted students to complete the necessary prerequisite coursework to begin graduate studies in speech-language pathology. Students accepted into the leveling program are provisionally admitted to the graduate program in CSD. Applicants to the leveling program must submit a completed graduate application.

Leveling Coursework:

Fall Spring
CD 2605 Language Development CD 3350 Neural Bases of Communication
CD 3250 Anatomy & Physiology of Speech & Hearing Mechanisms CD 3650 Introduction to Audiology
CD 3260 Transcription Phonetics CD 4450 Clinical Management: Pediatrics
CD 4655 Speech & Hearing Science CD 4550 Clinical Management: Adults
  CD 4526 Clinical Observation
12 credits 13 credits

Admission to the CSD graduate program will be determined by a faculty committee. Admission is competitive and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Meeting the minimal requirements for entrance to the program described below, therefore, does not guarantee a place in the class. For information concerning the program contact:

Office of Graduate Admission
Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Rockhurst University
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64110-2561
(816) 501- 4097

Requirements for Application

The applicant to the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program must submit official undergraduate transcripts, official GRE records, three recommendation forms, and a personal statement. All are to be submitted to the CSDCAS:

  1. An undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from an accredited college or university; or an undergraduate degree in another discipline plus appropriate leveling coursework in communication sciences and disorders that prepare students for entry into the Master of Science program. Undergraduate preparation should consist of at least 36 semester credit hours and reflect a well-integrated program.
  2. Completion of the prerequisite courses in biological, physical, and behavioral sciences and statistics as required by ASHA for application for certification. (See following)
  3. A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) and a 3.00 or better in the undergraduate major are required.
  4. Completion of the GRE.
  5. Excellent oral and written communication skills and appropriate interpersonal skills.
  6. A personal interview with the CSD faculty may be required.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to fulfill the essential functions of the profession.

Note: Requirements may be subject to change without notice.

Applicants to the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders must complete an online application through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS).

As part of their undergraduate CSD coursework at Rockhurst, students must have completed the following coursework (or equivalent) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and no less than a grade of “C” in each of the courses below (a grade of C- will not fulfill the requirement):

  • Language Development (CD 2605)
  • Anatomy & Physiology of Speech/Hearing Mechanisms (CD 3250)
  • Transcription Phonetics (CD 3260)
  • Neural Bases of Human Communication (CD 3350)
  • Introduction to Audiology (CD 3650)
  • Speech and Hearing Science (CD 4655)
  • Foundations of Aural Rehab (CD 4840)

ASHA Certification

The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national credentialing body for speech-language pathologists. ASHA certification means the individual holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence which requires completion of a rigorous set of training standards. One of the requirements is completion of the following set of foundational courses, outside the field of CSD:

  • One Biological Science Course
  • One Physical Science Course in Either Physics or Chemistry
  • One Behavioral Science Course
  • One Stand Alone Statistics Course

Completion of the ASHA foundational coursework must be confirmed through receipt of an official transcript that indicates each course was passed and credit awarded. Students who have not completed all required foundational coursework at the time of application must complete the coursework prior to graduation from the Master of Science program. Students must complete the courses prior to beginning the Clinical Fellowship Year. Successful completion of the Clinical Fellowship Year is required to be eligible for ASHA Certification.  Students with questions about this requirement should contact Graduate Admissions for guidance.

Promotion in the Program

To progress toward the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, a student must:

  1. Maintain a 3.0 semester and cumulative GPA for all courses within the graduate CSD curriculum, with no more than one course in which grade of “C” is earned;
  2. Show evidence of satisfactory progress toward meeting all academic and clinical requirements in compliance with CAA and ASHA standards;
  3. Demonstrate consistent professional behavior when interacting with faculty, students, clinical supervisors, and clients. These behaviors reflect the capacity to deliver a high standard of service and are as important as traditional academic standards for determining criteria for promotion and continuation in the program.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to meet the essential functions of the profession as outlined in the Essential Functions document.
  5. Students should be aware that a criminal background check will be required. The presence of any criminal conviction on the student’s record may affect his/her eligibility for participating in clinical internships, becoming certified or licensed, and/or securing a job in the student’s field.

In accordance with the graduate programs at Rockhurst University, a letter grade of “F” in any course automatically results in dismissal from the program.