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Communication Sciences and Disorders

Our master's degree in communication sciences and disorders is ideal for those who wish to specialize in speech-language pathology. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to assist those who struggle with speaking, understanding, or expressing themselves. We foster innovative faculty-student collaborations and a supportive environment to inspire student success.

two adults helping a child using a yoga ball

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts
with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology

  • A thesis is a requirement for the Master of Arts degree. An oral defense of the thesis is required during the last semester of enrollment.

Master of Science
with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology

  • Master of Science candidates are required to pass a final written comprehensive examination during the last semester of enrollment.  The Graduate Program Coordinator will provide additional information regarding requirements for the comprehensive exam at the start of the program.

Two Year Track

The department’s graduate concentration in Speech-Language Pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The program offers academic and clinical curricula that provide students with the knowledge and skills required for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). This nationally recognized professional credential is issued to individuals who present evidence of their ability to provide independent clinical services to persons who have disorders of communication.

The program’s curricula also provide students the opportunity to meet the requirements of the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology for licensure in speech-language pathology.  

Three-Year Leveling Track

Students who have not earned an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders are encouraged to apply for the 3-year leveling track.  This option allows students to complete 28 credit hours of supporting coursework in the first year of study prior to transitioning into the graduate course sequence. Students accepted into the three-year track have graduate student status and must remain in good standing.

After completion of prerequisite coursework, "levelers" will transition into their graduate course sequence for either the Master of Science track or the Master of Arts track.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

COSD 301. Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech, Language, and Hearing Mechanism


COSD 323. Speech Science


COSD 330. Introduction to Audiology


COSD 421. Language Development: Birth to Five Years


COSD 425. Later Language Development


COSD 438. Phonetics


COSD 454. Speech-Language Disorders: Prevention and Assessment


COSD 455. Speech-Language Disorders: Intervention Methods and Application


COSD 459. Introduction to Articulation and Phonology                


Official undergraduate transcripts and syllabi must be submitted for review to determine course deficiencies.  Programs of study may vary depending on individual prerequisite deficiencies as determined by the graduate program coordinator and COSD faculty as appropriate.

Why Study Communication Sciences and Disorders at Radford University?

  • We currently have 190 clinical externship sites nationwide. For your final fieldwork experience you can choose to stay local or request a placement in another state. We work with students to set up placements in settings based on their preferences.
  • You will graduate from an accredited program in Speech-Language Pathology.
  • We have a traditional two-year track for applicants who have completed all required undergraduate CSD coursework and a three-year track for those who with a degree outside of the Communication Sciences and Disorders major.
  • Our goal is to be inclusive, and the admissions process involves a holistic review of applicants considering: personal experiences and attributes, overall and major GPAs, and scores from a situational-judgment test (Casper).

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Master of Science Degree Requirements

Careers and Internships

The Communication Sciences and Disorders master’s degree helps you gain the skills to prepare for a variety of possible work environments and settings, including hospitals, acute care, outpatient, skilled nursing, long-term care, schools, and private practices as a speech-language pathologist.

Speech-language pathology ranks #10 in the top 100 Jobs and #3 in Best Healthcare Jobs in the US News and World Report (2022). Not only is it one of the top-ranked career paths, but also the job outlook for speech-language pathologists is 19% growth from 2022 to 2032. The median pay in 2022 for SLPs in the US was $84,140 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Learn more about speech-language pathology career insights and outlook.

Students complete their first three semesters of clinical practicum in the Radford University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. During these first three semesters, clinical training is provided by the COSD faculty at the on-campus clinic. For the last two semesters of the graduate program, students are assigned to external practicum sites and receive their clinical training from ASHA certified speech-language pathologists. We currently have 190 externship sites across the nation.

Clinical Practicum

Programs of study are developed so that each student has the opportunity to acquire the academic knowledge and clinical skills needed for ASHA certification. In the Radford University COSD program, students acquire a minimum of 375 clinical clock hours of supervised practicum during their graduate studies. Most students actually complete more than the minimum number of hours required for ASHA certification.

Typically, students complete their first three semesters of clinical practicum in the Radford University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. During these first three semesters, clinical training is provided by the COSD faculty at the on campus clinic. For the last two semesters of the graduate program, students are assigned to external practicum sites and receive their clinical training from ASHA certified speech-language pathologists.   

Students can learn more about the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, including requirements for professional certification, by visiting the website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Clinical Externship Sites

  • Adler Therapy Group
  • Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland
  • Aegis Therapies, Inc.
  • Alleghany Health District
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • Alliance Physical Therapy Group, LLC
  • Ashe County Schools
  • Augusta Health
  • Aveanna Healthcare
  • Ballad Health
  • Bedford County Public Schools
  • Benchmark Rehabilitation Partners, LLC
  • Benchmark Therapies, Inc.
  • Blue Mountain Therapy, LLC
  • Blue Ridge Therapy Associates
  • Botetourt County Public Schools
  • Buford Kids’ Spot, LLC
  • Carilion Clinic
  • Carolina HealthCare System
  • Caroline County, Maryland Public Schools
  • Center for Pediatric Therapies, Inc.
  • Centra Health
  • Charleston County School District
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools
  • Charlottesville City Schools
  • Chelsea, Michigan School District
  • Chesapeake Virginia Public Schools
  • Cheshire Center
  • Child Development Resources
  • Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, Inc.
  • CHS Therapy, LLC
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
  • Clark-Pleasant Community Schools
  • Coastal Virginia Rehabilitation, LLC
  • Coastline Therapy Group
  • Continuum Therapy Partners
  • Craig County Child Care Center
  • Craig County Department of Social Services
  • Craig County Public Schools
  • Crawford Central Pennsylvania School District
  • EBS Healthcare
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Cardinal Hill, LLC
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Fredericksburg, LLC
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Kingsport, LLC
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Largo, LLC
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Virginia, LLC
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Petersburg
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Princeton
  • Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sunrise, LLC
  • Encore Rehabilitation Services, LLC
  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Falls Church City Public Schools
  • Fauquier Health
  • First Quality Rehabilitation
  • Floyd County Public Schools
  • Frederick County Maryland Public Schools
  • Friendship Health & Living Community
  • Frye Regional Medical Center
  • Galax City, Virginia Public Schools
  • Galax Department of Social Services
  • Gormas Speech Pathology, Inc.
  • Grayson County Public Schools
  • Greenbrier VMC, LLC
  • Guggenheimer Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • H2Health
  • HCA Capital Division, Inc.
  • HCA Healthcare - Mountain Division, Inc.
  • HCA South Atlantic Division
  • Heritage Hall – Blacksburg
  • Heritage Healthcare, Inc.
  • Highland Ridge Health and Rehabilitation
  • Hispanic Services Organization of Southwest Virginia
  • Innovative Healthcare Group, LLC
  • Inova Health System
  • Iredell Health System
  • Ivy Rehab Network and Southeastern Therapy for Kids
  • Jeanes Hospital
  • Johnston Memorial Hospital
  • Kids First Therapy
  • Kissito Healthcare
  • Language Fundamentals, Inc
  • Legacy Healthcare Services, Inc.
  • Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District (Illinois)
  • Linguacare Associates Inc.
  • Loudoun County Public Schools
  • Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Mary Washington Hospital, Inc.
  • Medical Facilities of America, Inc.
  • Medical Facilities of North Carolina, Inc.
  • MedStar Health, Inc.
  • Miami County Educational Services Center
  • Mini Miracles Pediatric Therapy
  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Neuro Restorative Virginia
  • Novant Health
  • Occupational Therapy Associates
  • Odyssey Rehabilitation
  • Pender County, North Carolina Schools
  • Powerback Rehabilitation/Genesis Eldercare Rehabilitation Services, Inc.
  • Prince William County Public Schools
  • Professional Therapies of Roanoke
  • Pulaski County Schools
  • Radford City Public Schools
  • Rehab Without Walls NeuroSolutions
  • RehabCare
  • Renewal Rehab
  • Resolute Therapy
  • Results Physiotherapy
  • Richfield Living
  • Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc.
  • Russell County Public Schools
  • Salem VA Medical Center
  • Sea Pines Rehabilitation Hospital Limited Partnership
  • Select Rehabilitation, LLC
  • Sentara Hospitals
  • SLC Loudoun
  • Smyth County Community Hospital
  • Smyth County Public Schools
  • Southern Healthcare Management LLC
  • Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute
  • Speechcenter, Inc.
  • Stafford County Public Schools
  • Stonerise Therapy, LLC
  • Surry County, North Carolina Schools
  • The American Oncologic Hospital
  • The Chateau at Moorings Park
  • The Glebe
  • The Rehab Department, LLC
  • The Shandy Clinic
  • The Speech and Language Center
  • The Speech and Language Connection
  • Therapy Talk, Inc.
  • Total Communication, Inc.
  • Trinity Rehab
  • UNC Rockingham Health Care
  • Upper Arlington Speech Therapy Services
  • UVA Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital, LLC
  • Valley Health System
  • VCU Medical Center
  • Vidant Health
  • Virginia Beach City Public Schools
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Virginia Lutheran Homes, Inc.
  • Vita Healthcare Group, LLC
  • Waddell Nursing and Rehab Center
  • Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
  • Washington County, Virginia, Public Schools
  • Waterman Speech-Language Pathology
  • Waynesboro Public Schools
  • Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
  • Wise County Public Schools
  • Wythe County Community Hospital


Opportunities for Communication Sciences and Disorders students at Radford

When getting your degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Radford, you will work closely with your professors and have opportunities to work on faculty-student research collaborations.

The experience we offer in this program is very hands-on: we have an on-campus clinic that provides training and clinical services to 60-80 adult & pediatric clients from the community each semester. Students will provide therapy in this clinic for their first 3 semesters with clinical training provided by our faculty.

Beyond hands-on learning, we have 15 graduate assistantships ($4,500 per AY) and 6 department scholarships ($5,000-7,000) to award with additional funding available.

Students in COSD can join the Radford University Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

Apply for Admission

Applications to the graduate program with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are due February 1. Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall, and 3.0 in all major core courses.  


  • Students are required to complete an application directly through CSDCAS (
  • All academic transcripts must be sent to CSDCAS for verification, including any community college transcripts and dual-enrollment coursework. Applicants enrolled in coursework while applying may choose to submit transcripts prior to the completion of the fall semester to begin the verification process. However, grades from the fall semester MUST be submitted before the application deadline of February 1st. In this case, an Academic Update request with updated transcripts must be submitted to CSDCAS for verification. CSDCAS will not verify updated transcripts unless an academic update is requested.
        o The cost for CSDCAS is $135 for the first program and $54 for each additional program.
  • A personal essay is required, using one of the prompts below. Essays should be approximately one page, single-spaced with 1-inch margins in font types Arial or Times New Roman.
    1. "Please demonstrate your motivation for pursuing a career in speech-language pathology by reflecting upon a clinical research article you have recently reviewed that you feel may positively contribute to your future clinical practice. Please also discuss how a master’s degree earned at Radford University will help you achieve your educational and career goals." References for sample articles are listed on CSDCAS.
    2. “Please identify a population you wish to serve as a practicing speech-language pathologist and discuss your motivation for serving this population. Please support your discussion using clinical observation experiences, course assignments, research, or other learning opportunities. Please also discuss how a master’s degree earned at Radford University will help you achieve your educational and career goals.”
  • Contact information for three recommenders must be submitted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit information of faculty within their major who can speak to potential success in our graduate program. Recommenders will be contacted as needed upon application review.


  • All applicants are required to complete Casper as part of their application through Acuity Insights.
  • Acuity Insights Assessments is a standardized, multi-part online assessment that measures different competencies and attributes that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. The assessments will complement the other tools that we use for applicant review and evaluation. In implementing Acuity Insights Assessments, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. 
  • Acuity Insights Assessments consists of:
    • Casper: 90-110 minute online, open-response situational judgment test
    • Duet: 15-minute value-alignment assessment (Duet is NOT required to apply to our program). 
  • Access to create an account and for more information on requirements.
  • Applicants must take the test by February 11, 2025. The available test dates are:

May 2, 2024, 8 p.m.
May 14, 2024, 8 p.m.
May 30, 2024, 6 p.m.
May 30, 2024, 8 p.m.
June 11, 2024, 6 p.m.
June 11, 2024, 8 p.m.
June 27, 2024, 6 p.m.
June 27, 2024, 8 p.m.
July 9, 2024, 6 p.m.
July 9, 2024, 8 p.m.
July 21, 2024, 1 p.m.
July 21, 2024, 4 p.m.
July 31, 2024, 6 p.m.
July 31, 2024, 8 p.m.
August 13, 2024, 6 p.m.
August 13, 2024, 8p.m.
August 27, 2024, 6 p.m.
August 27, 2024, 8 p.m.
September 17, 2024, 6 p.m.
September 17, 2024, 8 p.m.
September 29, 2024, 4 p.m.
October 17, 2024, 8 p.m.
October 29, 2024, 8 p.m.
November 14, 2024, 6p.m.
December 5, 2024, 8 p.m.
January 7, 2025, 8 p.m.
January 14, 2025, 8p.m.
February 11, 2025, 8p.m.

To ensure equitable treatment of all applicants to our graduate program, applications will be evaluated on the requirements outlined above. No exceptions to the program's admissions requirements will be made.

ASHA Certification Requirements

Although not a requirement for admissions, students must demonstrate knowledge of the biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and statistics in order to satisfy criteria for ASHA certification.  This coursework must be completed before the student graduates from the master's program.  More information regarding certification standards can be found on the ASHA website.

Admitted Students

Students who are recommended for admission and admitted to the graduate program must notify either Dr. Diane Millar (Chair) or Dr. Lauren Flora (Graduate Program Coordinator) of his or her decision by April 15th.  For those students accepting the offer of admission, a non-refundable $500 seat deposit must be paid by end of day on April 15th as well.  This seat deposit goes towards fall tuition.

Graduate assistantship positions are awarded at the time of admissions decisions.  Students who are awarded a graduate assistantship will be notified in their decision letters. Admitted students who do not initially receive funding at the time of decision may be notified of receipt of funding following the April 15th deadline.

Tentative programs of study and advising sheets will be sent to the incoming class at the beginning of summer.  Students are strongly encouraged to register for classes once they have received their programs of study and advising sheets.

A mandatory 2-day new student orientation will be held on the Thursday and Friday before classes start.  Information regarding dates, time, and location of the orientation will be e-mailed over the summer. Incoming students moving to the area are encouraged to ensure housing lease dates do not conflict with the orientation dates.

Questions regarding decision deadlines, seat deposits, programs of study, and orientation may be directed to Dr. Lauren Flora.  Students are encouraged to contact the Bursar's Office or the Financial Aid office for questions concerning tuition or additional funding.

Student Outcome Data

Pass Rate on Praxis Examination Series

The 3-year average for the pass rate of the Praxis Examination is 100%.


# of students taking exam

# of students with passing score

RU COSD pass rate (%)















Program Completion Data

The 3-year average program completion rate is 93%.


# of students who completed program within expected timeframe 

% of students who completed program within expected timeframe

# of students who required additional time to complete the program*

Number not completing program (due to academic or clinical circumstances)


















*not including those students affected by a public health emergency or disaster, that is natural, deliberate, or accidental in nature (Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology, Standard 5.5) 

Employment Rate for Program Graduates

The 3-year average employment rate for graduates is 100%.

Academic Year

Number of Graduates

Employment Rate in Professions (%)

















The Master of Arts (M.A.) and The Master of Science (M.S.) education programs in speech-language pathology (residential) at Radford University are 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.

Complaint Statement: Any student, instructional staff member, speech-language pathologist, audiologist, and/or member of the public may submit a complaint about any CAA accredited program or program in candidacy status. All complaints must be signed and in writing to the Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Additional information is available at:

  • 28 students is the average cohort size creating an optimal student-faculty ratio

  • 100% average Praxis Exam pass rate of our students

    (2019-2020 through 2021-2022)

  • 100% average employment rate of our students

    (2019-2020 through 2021-2022)

  • 95% average program completion rate of our students

    (2019-2020 through 2021-2022)

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.