Master of Science in Communication Disorders and Sciences

Master of Science Degree Requirements

Students seeking a master’s degree in communication disorders and sciences (CDS) must complete the prescribed academic and practica requirements.

The completion of the CDS master’s degree allows students to fulfill the requirements for:

  • ASHA certification
  • Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) and program competencies
  • Oregon state licensure

Practicum Experience

To ensure all our students receive in-depth clinical training and experience in addition to coursework, students are required to complete practicum experiences each term at the University Speech Language Hearing Center (UOSLHC) and in a variety of off-campus sites.

Graduate students provide intervention and evaluation services to children and adults with communication and cognitive disorders in the University of Oregon HEDCO Clinic and partnering community sites.

Students are supervised by faculty members who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA and who are licensed by the state. Students rotate through immersion clinics to gain experiences across ASHA competencies, the life span, and with diverse populations.

Faculty supervise in their areas of expertise including early intervention, school-age speech language and social communication, acquired brain injury, acquired speech and language disorders, alternative and augmentative communication, fluency, and voice.

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.


During the second year, students participate in two full-time externships, typically one in an educational setting and one in a medical setting.

Placement opportunities include public and private schools, early intervention, outpatient clinics, hospitals, home health settings, and skilled nursing facilities. Students are placed in all areas of the state of Oregon and in sites across the country.

Practice Project

Equivalent to a thesis, master’s degree students complete an evidence-based practice project. All students identify a clinical technique or procedure that interests them during their second year, and then apply it to an appropriate client. This project includes a literature review analyzing the evidence supporting the target intervention or procedure and a comparison of the research findings to their own clinical outcomes.

Two resulting products will be prepared:

  1. Formal written paper
  2. Oral presentation to students, faculty, and community members

In addition to program requirements, students must also meet all requirements established by the Graduate School.

Students should also familiarize themselves thoroughly with the ASHA Membership and Certification Handbook, which details academic and clinical clock hour requirements.

Finally, students must take the PRAXIS II exam in Speech-Language Pathology prior to or shortly after graduation as a requirement for ASHA certification and TSPC licensure.

Program Plan

In addition to the following courses, ASHA requires course work in statistics, biological and/or physical sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, etc.), behavioral/social sciences, and basic communication processes.

First Year - Total Credits: 54

Fall Term - Total Credits: 16

CDS 609 Practicum I (Speech-Language-Hearing)2
CDS 611 Clinical Methods1
EDUC 611 Surv Educ Res Methods3
CDS 652 Speech Sound Disorders4
CDS 665 Lang Disorders in Young Children4
CDS 609 Practicum (Micro Counseling)2

Winter Term - Total Credits: 14

CDS 609 Practicum I (Speech-Language-Hearing)4
CDS 663 Management of Acquired Cognitive Disorders4
CDS 627 Fluency Disorders2
CDS 651 School Age Lang Disorders4

Spring Term - Total Credits: 15

CDS 609 Practicum I (Speech-Language-Hearing)5
CDS 654 Management of Adult Language Disorders4
CDS 660 Motor Speech3
CDS 631 Prac of Speech-Lang Path with Culturally Diverse Population
(INICIO students take CDS 631 for 1 credit)

Summer Term - Total Credits: 9

CDS 609 Practicum I; Speech/Lang/Hear7
CDS 657 Augmentative Procedures for Communication Disorders2

Second Year - Total Credits: 46

Fall Term - Total Credits: 14

CDS 609 Practicum (September Experience)1
CDS 609 Practicum II (Speech-Language-Hearing)5
CDS 608 Evidence-Based Practice Project1
CDS 656 Voice Science Disorders3
CDS 649 Swallowing4

Winter Term - Total Credits: 16

Choose one of the following tracks:

Medical Externship

CDS 608 Workshop (Evidence-Based Project Research)2
CDS 609 Practicum (Externship)14

Student Teaching

CDS 608 Workshop (Evidence-Based Project Research)2
CDS 625 Final Full Time Practicum Clinical Faculty14

Spring Term - Total Credits: 16

Choose one of the following tracks:

Medical Externship

CDS 608 Workshop (Evidence-Based Project Research)1
CDS 609 Practicum (Externship)15

Student Teaching

CDS 608 Workshop (Evidence-Based Project Research)1
CDS 625 Final Full Time Practicum Clinical Faculty15