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Communication Disorders and Sciences (M.A., M.S.)

McKay Moore Sohlberg PhD., CCC-SLP
HEDCO Endowed Professor, Graduate Student Director


Mailing Address: 
5284 University of Oregon
HEDCO Education Building, 2nd floor

Effective communication plays a key role in the achievement of academic, social, and vocational success and, in turn, in the development of productive and contributing citizens.

The philosophy of the Communication Disorders and Sciences (CDS) program is that the ability to communicate effectively is a fundamental right of all human beings. When this right is compromised through circumstances affecting any child, adolescent, or adult, society suffers along with the individual.

The CDS program is committed to the goal of preparing students to become speech-language pathologists who can work successfully with individuals of all ages who are challenged by communication disorders and who represent diverse cultural, linguistic, social, and economic backgrounds.

The ability to apply empirical evidence, logic, and a scientific perspective to the process of enhancing communication skills in meaningful and ecologically valid contexts is emphasized throughout the program.

Graduates assume positions in direct service, leadership, and research in educational, clinical, and consultation settings.

Master's Degree:

The primary goal of the master's degree program in Communication Disorders and Sciences (CDS) is to develop professionals who are prepared to make significant contributions as speech-language pathologists.

The master's degree program in speech-language pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The master's degree program provides students with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for work with individuals of all ages and of varying social, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Training Model:

The CDS program uses CHARTR (Charting Rational Treatment), which is an explicit model for clinical decision-making developed at the University of Oregon Speech-Language-Hearing Center. It provides a method to improve systematic training for student clinicians by making the clinical process more concrete and increasing the consistency of supervisor training and feedback.

It is important that clinicians provide clear, rational explanations for their decisions based on the best available research evidence and current theory. Evidence-based practice (EBP) encourages clinicians to integrate research evidence and current theory with a client's values and preferences using their clinical expertise and experience.

Students will be prepared to work in a variety of work settings, such as schools, hospitals and clinics.

The master's program is a full-time, 2-year program that offers all of the courses and clinical experiences required for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence (ASHA CCC).

The program also offers course work and clinical experiences required to obtain an Oregon teaching license to work in the public schools, and state licensure. 

Graduate Student Clinical Training Graduate students provide intervention and evaluation services to children and adults with communication and cognitive disorders. Students are supervised by faculty members who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA and who are licensed by the state.

Faculty supervise in their area of specialty, including pediatric and adult speech and language disorders, adult neurogenics, voice, augmentative communication, and audiology. Students provide services in the on-campus SLHC. In addition, students have the opportunity to work with university supervisors in a variety of off-campus placements. Placements range from early intervention classrooms, public school settings, nursing homes and assistive living.

During the last two quarters of the CDS master's program, graduate students are placed in a full-time public school and medical setting. Placement locations include schools and medical facilities in the Eugene-Springfield area, Portland metro area and additional sites around the state and out of state.

Program Prerequisites:

Each year when we review the applicant pool for our masters program we rank applicants on the following criteria: GPA, GRE, letters of recommendation, and clinical experience. In general, the applicants that we accept in our program gain a score of at least 3.6 on their total GPA and at least 3.8 on their major GPA. Scores on the GRE are usually above the 70th percentile for the GRE Verbal, above the 50th percentile for the GRE Quantitative, and above the 60th percentile for the GRE Analytical Writing. Although these cutoff scores may vary slightly from year to year, it should give you some idea of how you measure up against the students who typically get offered places in our program.

The number of students admitted each year varies according to available resources. On the average, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences admits 20-25 master's degree applicants each year.

Students for whom English is not the native language must also pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 600 or above for the paper version, a score of 250 or above for the computer version. There is also an Internet version, for which score must be 100 or above.

International students who plan to participate in clinical practicums and work toward national certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association must pass the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test with a score of 50.

If an applicant does not have an undergraduate degree in CDS, s/he will need to fulfill prerequisite coursework in a postbaccalaureate CDS program in order to enter the master's program. A prerequisite course checklist can be found at CDS Postbaccalaureate.

Program Description:

Graduate school and program requirements are described during the new student orientation week at the beginning of each academic year. Students should also obtain and review the University of Oregon Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin.


Students who complete the master's program will qualify for the ASHA CCC-SLP.

Graduate School Master's Degree Requirements:

In addition to program requirements, students must meet requirements established by the graduate school.