Home Students Academics Admissions Faculty & Staff Research Retention Grant Programs Directory  


Graduate Program in Communication Sciences & Disorders

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is unique in that it offers three degrees including a bachelors of science degree program in speech-language pathology and graduate programs leading to the master’s and doctoral degrees in speech-language pathology. The master’s degree program is fully accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. With a focus on issues pertaining to cultural diversity, Howard University is an ideal place for you to continue your education in speech-language pathology and audiology, SLP Praxis pass rates and employment rates for the SLP master’s degree program.

The program in communication disorders is located near the health sciences complexes at Howard University. Clinical research experiences are available to students at this complex and throughout the University including the Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic, as well as numerous government and private institutions in the Washington Metropolitan Area.


Preparation for graduate studies in audiology or speech-language pathology is the major thrust of our undergraduate program. We provide students with a strong scientific foundation to succeed in graduate school. The master’s degree program in speech-language pathology offered in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and meets all of the requirements needed to train students upon graduation for a career as a speech-language pathologist.

This department is a national leader because of its outstanding faculty, concentrated focus on multiculturalism, quality of comprehensive training and well-organized curriculum. The training that is provided by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard is considered a model for other universities throughout the country.



Admission Requirements

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred, and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in major course work is required. Each graduate department may have additional “special admission requirements” which are noted on this page.

  • Completed on-line application and signature page
  • The non-refundable $45 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars)
  • Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended
  • GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date) www.gre.org
  • Statement of Academic and Research Interest
  • Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation Word

For International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above you must meet the following:

  • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (www.wes.org) or AACRAO (www.aacrao.org) and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
  • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date) www.t


Program Descriptions

Master’s Program
The Master’s degree program prepares students to become clinicians in speech-language pathology and to advance to doctoral study if desired. Students engage in academic study, as well as clinical practicum in order to obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and state licensure.  Students select a specialization in the Education, Medical or Technology track.  The master’s curriculum is organized as follows:

The following courses are taken by all students regardless of specialization track: 


A. Research Core (9 credits)
Three courses are taken including Research I, Research II and Statistics. (Statistics may be waived if taken at the undergraduate level).

B. Culture Diversity Core (3 credits)
Cultural diversity is the hallmark of Howard University’s curriculum. Students enroll in Applied Sociolinguistics.

C. Speech Disorders (13 credits)
Six courses are taken including Neurogenic Speech Disorders, Voice Disorders, Stuttering, Phonological Disturbances and Introduction to AAC.

D. Language Disorders (7 credits)
Three required courses include Neurogenic Language Disorders, Language and Literacy and Early Intervention.

E. Professional Practice (16 credits)
A variety of didactic and practicum courses include Differential Diagnosis, Dysphagia, Private Practice and Administration, Praxis Review and Clinical Practicum, 1 – V.

Specialization Track (3-4 credits)
The specialization courses are required electives.  Students in the Education Track enroll in School-Age Language Disorders.  Students in the Medical Track take Communication Disorders in Aging or Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as Medical Speech-Language Pathology.  Students in the Technology Track take AAC Evaluation and Treatment.

Thesis Option (1-6 credits)
Completion of a thesis is not required for the master’s degree.  Students who wish to advance to the Ph.D. program enroll in additional credits of Thesis I/II wherein the student conducts research, and prepares and defends a thesis.

3-Year Master’s Program (Prerequisites)
Students who are admitted without the undergraduate major in speech-language pathology are required to take prerequisites before enrolling in the master’s curriculum.  A total of 15 courses are required if not taken at the undergraduate level. The 3-year Master’s program is organized as


A. Basic Science Coursework (12 credits)
Basic science coursework may be taken at any accredited institution.  Areas of coursework include Biological Science, Physical Science, Statistics, and Behavioral/Social Science.

B. Physical and Psychophysical Bases of Communication (10 credits)
These courses are offered in the Department and include Anatomy & Physiology/Lab, Speech & Hearing Science, and Phonetics.

C. Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Bases of Communication (3 credits)
The following course is offered in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders: Introduction to Language Acquisition.

D. Speech-Language Pathology (12 credits)
These courses are offered in the Department and include Introduction to Fluency & Voice, Introduction of Articulation & Language, Teaching Methods and Tests & Measurement.

E. Audiology (6 credits)
These courses are offered in the Department and include Introduction to Audiology and Aural Rehabilitation.

Ph.D. Program
Doctoral study involves a minimum of 72 credits beyond the Baccalaureate, of which 24 credits may be carried from the master’s degree.  The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders requires additional credits for the PhD. Degree.  Students select a specialization in either the Child Language Track or the Adult Neurological Track.  The doctoral curriculum is organized as follows:

A. Core Courses
The following courses are taken by all students regardless of specialization: 

esearch Core (12 credits) includes Experimental Research, Research Design, Advanced Seminar in Research, and Statistics.

Cultural Diversity Core (3 credits) includes Multicultural Issues in Communication Disorders.

Speech-Language Pathology Core (6 credits) includes Biological and Cognitive Foundations of Communication Disorders, and Contemporary Policies in Education and Health.

B. Specialization Seminars (6 credits)
Two Specialization Seminars are taken in either the Child Language or Adult Neurological track. 

Students in the Child Language Track take Topical Seminar in Child Language where they select one course in Language Development, Bilingualism, or Language and Literacy.  In addition, for Topical Seminars in Language Disabilities, students select a seminar in AAC, Autism/ABA or Auditory Processing Disorders.

Students in the Adult Neurological Track take Topical Seminar in Communication Science where they select one course in either Speech Science, Diseases of the Head and Neck, Laboratory Instrumentation, or Aging.  In Topical Seminar in Neurological Disorders, one course is taken in either Swallowing or Traumatic Brain Injury.

C.  Cognate Courses (9 credits)
Three graduate-level cognate courses are required to augment the doctoral curriculum.  It is suggested that students take these courses in areas such as Psychology, Special Education, Neurophysiology, Linguistics, Reading, etc.  Students may opt to take Topical Readings in Communication Disorders in lieu of one cognate course.

D.   Dissertation (12 credits)
Satisfactory completion of a dissertation is the culmination of the student’s doctoral study.  Through the dissertation process, students demonstrate the ability to conduct an original, in-depth research project.

E.   Support Courses
A variety of 1-credit support courses undergird the doctoral experience and prepare students for the demands of their careers.  Support courses include Research Practicum, Dissertation Writing, Social and Professional Ethics, Grant Writing, Scientific Writing, and Academic Career Preparation.

F. Unclassified Courses
Unclassified courses allow students to construct and modify their curriculum according to their particular interests, and to receive credit for activities outside the curriculum. Unclassified courses include Independent Study, Doctoral Internship, and Semester Abroad.



Course Descriptions

Master’s Courses

COSD 531, 532. Clinical Practicum I and II. 3 crs each. Supervised development of basic and intermediate clinical skills in diagnostics and treatment with internal placement. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 533. Clinical Practicum III. 2-4 crs. Supervised  development of intermediate and advanced clinical skills in diagnostics and treatment within internal and external placements. (Summer)

COSD 534, 535. Clinical Practicum IV and V. 3 crs each. Supervised  development of advanced clinical skills in diagnostics and treatment within external placements. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 559
. School Age Language Disorders. 3 crs. Traces the theory, assessment and management of language disorders in school aged children. (Fall)

COSD 560
. Early Intervention. 2 crs. Examines the nature, assessment, and management of language disorders from infancy through pre-school. (Spring)

COSD 561
. Neurogenic Language Disorders. 3 crs. Presentation of communication abnormalities resulting from neurological damage, with emphasis on examination and management. (Fall)

COSD 563
. Phonological Disturbances. 3 crs. Includes the theory, assessment, and management of articulation and phonological disorders. (Fall)

COSD 564
. Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication. 2 crs. Basic theory and use of technology of alternative communication systems for non-speaking populations. (Fall)

COSD 567
. Neurogenic Speech Disorders. 3 crs. Analysis of speech and motor problems resulting from neuropathology, with emphasis on examination and management. (Spring)

COSD 566.
Language and Literacy. 2 crs. Theoretical issues and research in language and literacy acquisition and impact on reading disabilities. (Spring)

COSD 569.
Medical Speech-Language Pathology. 2 crs. Rehabilitation roles of speech-language pathologists in medical settings including neuroimaging techniques and health care reform. (Spring)

COSD 570.
Dysphagia. 2 crs. General overview of the assessment and treatment of swallowing disorders with procedures for diagnosis and treatment in adults and children. (Fall)

COSD 571.
Voice Disorders. 2 crs. Analysis of the theoretical framework undergirding normal and pathological vocal behavior, with emphasis on examination and management. (Fall)

COSD 573.
Stuttering. 3 crs. Includes the theories, assessment, and management of stuttering and related disorders. (Spring)

COSD 577
. Differential Diagnosis. 3 crs. Theoretical and practical application of diagnostic procedures for assessment of communication disorders. (Fall)

COSD 579
. Aural Rehabilitation. 3 crs. Analyzes the impact of hearing loss on communication and its effect on speech perception training. (Spring)

COSD 586
. Private Practice and Administration. 3 crs. Principles and practices necessary to organize a private practice, and professional and ethical issues. (Spring)

COSD 589
. Augmentative and Alternative Communication Evaluation and Treatment. 3 crs. Includes evaluation and treatment models, principles and techniques. (Spring).

COSD 591
. Research I. 3 crs. Introduction to research methodologies regarding communication problems. (Fall)

COSD 592
. Thesis I. 3 crs. Supervised execution of thesis research. Prerequisite: COSD 591. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 593
. Thesis II. 1 cr. Continuation of Thesis I. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 594. Research II. 3 crs. Introduction to data collection and analysis tools and
interpretation.  (Spring)

COSD 601
. Independent Study. 3 crs. Opportunity for students to engage in an independent program of reading under the supervision of a faculty member. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 602.
Independent Study. 1 cr. Opportunity for students to engage in an independent program of reading under the supervision of a faculty member. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 607.
Communication Disorders and Aging. 2 crs. Research on normal and pathological conditions associated with aging. (Fall, Even year)

COSD 608.
Applied Sociolinguistics. 3 crs. Application of sociolinguistic data and theory to the resolution of practical problems and issues. (Spring)

COSD 611
. Praxis Review. 1 cr. Provides the necessary skills and attitudes needed for successful performance on the Praxis certification examination. (Online Fall/Spring)

COSD 612
. 2 crs. Traumatic Brain Injury. Nature, course, diagnosis and rehabilitation of communication disorders associated with closed head injury. (Fall, Odd year)

3- Year Prerequisite Courses

COSD 541. Intro to Language Acquisition. 3 crs.  Non technical survey of the nature of language and language varieties in a multicultural environment. (Fall)

COSD 542. Intro to Fluency & Voice. 3 crs. Introduction of disorders of voice and stuttering, with an overview of diagnosis and therapeutic management. (Fall)

COSD 543. Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms. 3crs.  Examines the skeletal, muscular and neurological systems involved in the processes of respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance and audition. (Fall)

COSD 544. Speech & Hearing Science. 3 crs.  Treats acoustic phonetics and the relation of acoustics to articulatory description of sounds; also introduction to psychophysics. (Fall)

COSD 545. Intro to Audiology. 3 crs.  Involves the descriptive anatomy and physiology of hearing along with testing habilitative and rehabilitative methodologies of hearing pathologies. (Fall)

COSD 546. Anatomy & Physiology Lab. 1 cr. (Fall)

COSD 551. Intro to Articulation & Language. 3crs.  Discussion of disorders and language, diagnosis and treatment overview. (Spring)

COSD 556. Teaching Methods. 3 crs.  Presents clinical methodologies of speech and language problems with emphasis on public schools. (Spring)

COSD 557. Tests & Measurement. 3 crs.  Examines screening and diagnosis tools used in assessing communication disorders, with emphasis on nonmainstream populations. (Spring)

COSD 562. Phonetics. 3 crs.  Teaches use of the International Phonetic Alphabet for transcription of normal and disordered speech, with emphasis on English sounds. (Spring)

COSD 579. Aural Rehabilitation. 3crs.  Analyzes the impact of hearing loss on communication and its effect on speech perception training (Spring)

Ph.D. Courses

COSD TBA. Contemporary Policies in Education and Health. 3 crs.Examines new legislation and policies, the expanding scope of the field, as well as changing practices and new innovations in service delivery.

COSD 701.
Experimental Research in Communication. 3 crs. Involves empirical research methods and procedures and critical analysis of selected research documents. (Fall, Even year)

COSD 702.
Research Design, Data Collection, and Analysis. 3 crs. Presents behavioral research designs in communications, including statistical and computer procedures for analyzing data. (Fall, Odd year)

COSD 703.
Advanced Seminar in Research. 3 crs. Examines advanced experimental research paradigms including single subject research, ethnography and discourse analysis. Prerequisite:
COSD 701 or 702. (Spring, Odd year)

COSD 708.
Topical Seminar in Child Language. 3 crs. Review and analysis of issues and research on language acquisition in children. Topical sections include Language Development, Bilingualism, and Language & Literacy.  (Fall, Even year)

COSD 759.
Multicultural Issues in Communication Disorders. 3 crs. Issues and research on cultural/linguistic variation with emphasis on identifying and treating communication disorders. (Spring)

COSD 762
. Topical Seminar in Language Disabilities. 3 crs. Current research on the nature, course, diagnosis and management of language based communication disorders in children. Topical sections include AAC, Autism and Auditory Processing. (Fall, Odd year)

COSD 764
. Neurological and Cognitive Foundations in Communication Disorders. 3 crs. Examination of the neurological bases of communication and disorders, with special reference to auditory, proprioceptive, symbolic, and cognitive functions (Fall, Even year)

COSD 771. 
Topical Seminar in Neurological Disorders. 3 crs. Review of research on the nature, course, diagnosis and rehabilitation of communication disorders associated with neurological conditions. Topical sections include Aging, Swallowing and Traumatic Brain Injury.  (Fall, Odd year)

COSD 772.
Topical Seminar in Communication Science.  3 crs.  Review of the nature and etiology and measurement of specific conditions in communication sciences and disorders. Topical sections include Seminar in Speech Science, Diseases of the Head and Neck and Laboratory Instrumentation. (Spring, Even year)

COSD 780.
Topical Readings in Communication Disorders. 3 crs. Readings in selected topical areas related to communication disorders.  This course may substitute for one cognate course. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 790 through COSD 791
. Independent Study (Doctoral). 1-3 crs. Independent readings of particular interest to the student. Prerequisite: Approval of study outline by selected instructor and department chairman. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 795. Research Practicum. 1 cr. Activities related to active research under supervision by a faculty member. Two 1-credit courses are required for the doctoral qualifying examination. (Fall/Spring)

COSD 796
through COSD 799. Dissertation. 1-6 crs. Supervised execution of the doctoral dissertation. Prerequisite: Successful completion of doctoral qualifying examination and admission to candidacy. (Fall/Spring)

Dissertation Writing. 1 cr. Explores the format, style and process of writing the dissertation. (Fall, Even year)

COSD TBA. Grant Writing. 1 cr. Prepares students to submit research and training grants to federal government and other agencies. (Spring, Odd year) 

COSD TBA. Social & Professional Ethics. 1 cr.  Provides the moral reasoning and foundation for ethical practice in personal and professional practice.  (Fall, Odd year)

COSD TBA. Scientific Writing. 1 cr. Prepares students to submit scholarly research papers to professional journals.   (Spring, Even year)

COSD TBA. Academic Career Preparation. 1 cr. Provides orientation to the academic environment and processes to ensure success in faculty positions.  (Fall, Odd year)

COSD TBA. Semester Abroad. 1-9 crs. This course allows students to remain enrolled while conducting off campus study. (Fall/Spring)

COSD TBA. Doctoral Internship. This course allows students to receive credits for practicum internships in teaching and administration. 1-3 crs.  (Fall/Spring)



Program Requirements

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will admit doctoral applicants to the Fall and Spring semester. Applicants to the master’s program are admitted for the Fall semester only.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted from persons with the doctoral degree. It is preferable that the recommendations come from persons familiar with the student's academic work.

Master's degree applicants must have a GPA of 3.2, and Ph.D. degree applicants must have a GPA of 3.5.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required, however the minimum score is considered in relation the applicant’s GPA, letters of recommendation and other admissions documents.

M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology

Students wishing to specialize in speech-language pathology or audiology who have not previously earned a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology/audiology are admitted provisionally as graduate students until they have completed the following undergraduate prerequisites: CSD2 - 241, 261, 262, 361, 362, 361, 367, 467, 468, and 469. Students with bachelor's degrees in speech-language pathology or audiology must have completed these same prerequisites, as well as courses in statistics and aural rehabilitation upon entry to the program, or take these courses during graduate study.




Personal Potential Index (PPI)

The PPI measurement is designed to evaluate a prospective student’s potential for graduate study based on six (6) non-cognitive characteristics. The PPI allows applicants the opportunity to provide an enhanced range of attributes often valued as indications of success in graduate school. The applicant may select three (3) faculty recommenders to submit PPI evaluations for review by the prospective program.

If you are currently registered with the ETS for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), you may designate the three (3) PPI evaluations at no additional cost. To submit the PPI reports to the Graduate School at Howard University, visit the ETS website at


The programs that are reviewing ETS/PPI evaluations as part of the fall 2013 admissions review are listed below:

African Studies
Communication and Media Studies
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Genetics and Human Genetics
Mechanical Engineering
Pharmaceutical Science

For more information, please call 202.806.4676.


Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

Howard University Graduate School
Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
4th and College Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059





Copyright © Howard University, Graduate School, All rights reserved.
4th and College Streets, NW, Washington DC 20059 |
Contact Webmaster
Tel.:202-806-6800 Fax.:202-462-4053 Contact Howard - WWW Disclaimer - Graduate School Archives