Communication Sciences and Disorders

About the Master of Science Degree

The Master of Science (MS) degree is designed to equip students with the academic and clinical skills required to function as a competent entry-level speech-language pathologist.

Our graduate program is located in the SIERR Building on the Health Peninsula in Spokane at 850 E Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA.

Feel free to contact the program director, professor Lesli Cleveland, PhD CCC-SLP at

The Master of Science (M.S) education program in speech-language pathology {residential} at Eastern Washington University is accredited (9/1/2019 through 8/31/2027) by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800.498.2071 or 301.296.5700.

CMSD Student Outcome Data

Academic YearStudents GraduatedStudents in CohortCompletion Rate
Completion rate is determined by dividing the number of students who completed the requirements for a master’s degree within five semesters by the total number of students who entered the program together as a cohort.

The established criterion for timely completion of the graduate program is five semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring). It is anticipated that most students will complete the program within this time frame. Past experience indicates that student who do not finish the program within the established time frame require an additional Summer term to complete the research requirement and/or practicum requirements for certification.

Student Pass Rates on the National Praxis Examination

Academic YearStudents PassedStudents Taking TestPass RateAverage Score
Pass rate on the Praxis Examination is determined by dividing the number of students who earned a score of 162 or better on the exam by the total number of students who took the exam during the academic year. These rates may include students who retook the Praxis, as long as the exam was retaken in the same academic year.

Job Placement Rates

Academic YearStudents EmployedStudents GraduatedPlacement Rate
Job placement rate is determined by dividing the number of students who either had a job, chose to not seek employment or continued their education within one year of graduation by the total number of students who graduated at the end of the academic year. (Table updated as of June 2023.)

What will I study?

The graduate curriculum includes exposure to science and research areas, as well as to clinical disorders and related practice.

To meet ASHA certification standards, the graduate curriculum in Communication Sciences and Disorders reflects a wide array of courses and clinical experiences.

Students are expected to complete a thesis or research project and pass an oral comprehensive examination. Regardless of which research option the student chooses, graduation is contingent upon the student earning at least 78-81 quarter credits. Although the Eastern Washington University graduate catalog refers to “core” and “elective” credits, the student can expect to enroll in most courses the program offers because of the new certification standards. There are relatively few courses that can be taken on a purely “elective” basis.

Elective courses are placed on the course schedule only when demand is great enough to justify them being offered.

On average, the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders requires five semesters of study.

EWU Graduate Catalog Listing

Students who graduate with a Master in Science (MS) in Communication Sciences and Disorders will be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge necessary to practice as entry-level clinicians
  • Demonstrate competency in speech-language pathology client professional management skills
  • Demonstrate competency in speech-language pathology assessment
  • Demonstrate competency in speech-language pathology treatment
  • Communicate effectively about communication sciences and disorders in spoken language
  • Communicate effectively about communication sciences and disorders in written language

Clinical Practicum

Clinical training is designed to provide the student with a wide array of experiences working with persons presenting the full spectrum of cognitive, speech, language, swallowing and hearing disorders. A variety of sites and settings provides speech-language pathology services across the lifespan. Multiple practicum experiences focus on developing clinical skills in evaluation and treatment of both adult and pediatric patients.

Clinical practica during the first year of graduate study are obtained in the University Speech and Hearing Clinic as well as in various community-based facilities. During the first semester, students complete all clinical experiences under the supervision of university faculty and clinical educators. Students may be placed in an off-site practicum during the spring or summer semesters or continue in the University Speech and Hearing Clinic. Clinical placements are assigned based on student needs and available clinic sites.

Students in their second year of graduate study complete a clinical experience in a community-based facility. In addition, a full-time clinical internship is completed during the student’s final semester. Students may select this experience and site based on their area(s) of interest.

Upon completion of the graduate program, students will have accumulated a minimum of 400 clock hours of clinical practicum in a variety of settings. Following the completion of their clinical education, students will be qualified to practice in a variety of areas including early childhood programs, schools, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals.

Summative Assessment of Student Learning

The Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program requires a summative assessment for all students expecting to earn the M.S. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders: defense of thesis or research project.

Defense of Thesis or Research Project

Every student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program must conduct some type of research activity, whether it take the form of a thesis or research project. All thesis and research projects must be presented at a special Research Day (which may actually take place over more than one day) scheduled during the spring semester immediately prior to graduation.

Whether engaged in a thesis or research project, the student must have a research committee comprised of a minimum of two faculty members from the University Programs in Communication Disorders (UPCD). For the Research Day where students must defend their research, an additional committee member is assigned by the Office of Graduate Studies to serve as an external observer.

All theses must be presented by way of a platform presentation to the student’s research committee and any other interested parties. A student who conducts a research project must create a poster that is then presented to their research committee and any other interested parties. The candidate for the master’s degree must pass the oral defense of their research in order to graduate.

Program Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree (or post-baccalaureate course series) in Communication Sciences and Disorders or Speech-Language Pathology from an appropriately-accredited college or university with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in the last 90 quarter-hour or 60 semester-hour credits.
  2. Participate in an interview. Applicants selected for an interview will be notified after the admissions committee has reviewed all applications.
  3. Although graduate programs does not specify a cut-off score for the GRE, the Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program strongly recommends that the student earn a combined score of approximately 300 points. In addition, the student should earn a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing section of the GRE.

Prospective applicants: For academic year 2022/23 we received 120 applications to our graduate program. Fifty-six applicants were offered admission and 25 enrolled in classes for Fall Semester 2022. The average GPA for these acceptances was 3.79. GRE scores were not required for the 2022/23, nor the 2023/24 application cycle, and GRE scores will not be required for this upcoming Fa24 application cycle.

For further information regarding admission to the Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Graduate Program Director, Doreen Nicholas by email at:

Graduate Admission Process

The application deadline for Fall Semester 2024 is January 15, 2024. The CSDCAS application process will be available beginning September 15, 2023. We accept application using only CSDCAS.

CSDCAS (pronounced “SID-CAS”) is a service that allows applicants to use a single online application and set of materials to apply to participating graduate programs.

Complete the application and submit the nonrefundable $125 application fee.

Apply to CSDCAS

The GRE code for EWU is 1788.

Application Materials:

  • GRE scores (not required for the Fa24 application cycle)
  • Official transcripts
  • Three Letters of Reference that support the applicant’s suitability for a career in speech, language and hearing. At least two of the letters must be from a university instructor in SLP.
  • A typed written response to question prompts listed within CSDCAS application.


CSDCAS Verification Department
P.O. Box 9113
Watertown MA 02471

CSDCAS Customer Service information is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) at 617.612.2030 or email at:

The application process

Students who would like to be considered for admission into the Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program must meet the admissions requirements of both the EWU Office of Graduate Studies and the Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program.