Oct 01, 2023  
2014-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Graduate & Professional Studies


Clinical Instructor   Katherine Ermgodts, M.A. (Chair)
Associate Professor   Pamela Hart, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor   Grace McConnell, Ph.D.
    Catherine Torrington Eaton, Ph.D.
Visiting Instructor   Shatonda Jones, M.A.

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders incorporates interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives and integrates coursework, research and clinical practica. As an educational program rooted in the Jesuit tradition, it  challenges students to accept the responsibilities and rewards of life-long learning, leadership and service. The focus of this program is to provide a broad range of basic science courses and specialized offerings covering the evaluation and treatment of problems of articulation, language, voice, fluency, and neurophysiologic and structural disorders affecting speech, language and swallowing in culturally diverse populations across the lifespan. This degree program prepares speech-language pathologists for roles as competent clinical practitioners and for entry into doctoral programs.

The goals and objectives of the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders are as follows:

Program Objectives:

The graduate with a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Rockhurst University will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to:

  • Develop a philosophy of practice that reflects professional, ethical, and culturally sensitive behavior as defined in cardinal documents of the American Speech Language Hearing Association.
  • Apply knowledge of the principles of biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and the social/behavioral sciences.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including their biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, linguistic and cultural foundations.
  • Provide evidence-based prevention, assessment and intervention services to children and adults from diverse backgrounds across the range of etiologies served within the scope of practice of Speech-language Pathologists.
  • Engage in professional development and scholarly activity to advance the science and knowledge base of the profession of speech-language pathology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of state and national certification, specialty recognition and other relevant professional credentials.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skill in oral and written communication with consumers, professionals and the general public.

Admission to the Program

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


Exceptional students may be awarded a freshman pre-admission guarantee based on a combination of ACT or SAT scores and high school grades. Once admitted, students must fulfill specific requirements for maintaining Pre-Admission status. Students complete their application to the CSD graduate program prior to September 1 of their senior year.

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 by September 1 of their senior year. CSD Graduate Scholars must achieve and maintain a cumulative and major GPA of 3.40. Once 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 evience of having completed the ASHA required prerequisite courses in order to be considered for admission.

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. Information concerning the program and an application for admission to the program may be obtained from:

Office of Graduate Admission
School of Graduate and Professional Studies
Rockhurst University
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64110-2561
(816) 501- 4097

Or you may contact the department at: www.rockhurst.edu/academic/csd

Requirements for Admission

The applicant to the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program must submit official undergraduate transcripts, official GRE records, three letters of recommendation (at least two of which much be from current or former instructors), and an essay as evidence of the following in order to be considered for admission:

  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.

As part of their undergraduate CSD coursework, 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)

Candidates must have completed the following prerequisite courses. Once a student has been accepted into the graduate program, he or she must maintain a 3.0 cumulative and semester GPA.

Basic Proficiencies:

English Composition I (EN 1110) and II (EN 1120)
Public Speaking (CT 2000 or CT 2040)

Behavioral Sciences:

One course in the Social/Behavioral Sciences, such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology.

Biological Sciences:

One course in the Biological Sciences such as Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology, Genetics.

Physical Sciences:

One course in the Physical Sciences such as Physics or Chemistry.


One course in statistics.

Prerequisite and professional coursework requirements may change as a reflection of changes in American Speech and Hearing Association certification standards and accreditation. (See www.asha.org for certification and accreditation standards.)

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 two courses in which grades of “C” are 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 consumers. 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.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Graduate & Professional Studies