2022-2023 Samford University Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Samford University Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Sciences & Disorders (Graduate)

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Angela B. Barber, Chair, Professor
Carol L. Koch, Professor; Program Director, Speech Language Pathology
Karen L. Flynn, Associate Professor
Kelly F. Jackson, Assistant Professor, Clinical Lab Coordinator
Laura S. Promer, Assistant Professor; Director, Undergraduate Studies
Sarah H. Szynkiewicz, Assistant Professor
Anna Webb, Instructor; Director, Clinical Education

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDS) in the School of Health Professions is to prepare highly qualified speech-language pathologists and audiologists through faith-based academic coursework and clinical placements designed to foster lifelong learning, attainment of personal career goals and high moral and ethical competency so that practitioners will be of service to others in their community and throughout the world.

Vision for the CSDS Department
  • Learning through commitment
  • Preparing professionals for service
  • Distinctive education for the 21st century clinician
  • Helping and serving others through educational experiences
  • Creating leaders as speech-language pathologists
CSDS Code of Values and Philosophy
  • Faith - we live our faith by our words and actions
  • Excellence - we strive for excellence in our academic programming and in our students’ learning outcomes
  • Integrity - we embrace persons who hold themselves to a higher standard
  • Learning - we provide a platform for becoming lifelong learners
  • Teamwork - we believe that together we are stronger
  • Service - we believe in serving others as our gifts and talents allow

“Don’t be jealous or proud; be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Jesus thought.” - Philippians 2: 3-5


The master of science (M.S.) in speech language pathology (SLP) at Samford University is 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.

Graduate Programs and Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)
          Speech Language Pathology (M.S.)   

Non-Background M.S. in Speech Language Pathology (Bridge Program) (M.S.)


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDS) offers the master of science degree (M.S.) in speech language pathology (SLP) and a non-background M.S. in speech language pathology. The M.S. degree is designed to help students become highly qualified speech-language pathologists with the skills, compassion, and motivation to make a difference in their community. Faith-based academic coursework and clinical placements are designed to help students reach their career goals, while emphasizing life-long learning, high moral, and ethical competencies. As students graduate, they will be prepared to impact people’s lives in truly meaningful ways.

Master of Science: Speech Language Pathology (M.S.)

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Language Pathology has both an on-campus traditional didactic component and a distance education component in the last two semesters. Candidates who complete this program will be eligible for both state licensure and national certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Students are required to complete clinical rotations in each semester of their program.

Admission Requirements

Two options of admission status are designated:

  1. Possess a CSD/SLP baccalaureate degree.

    Conditional admission: A completed bachelor’s degree is required prior to enrollment, as evidenced by a final official college/university transcript. Applicants may receive conditional acceptance with a letter from the registrar stating they have completed the requirements for the degree. The “conditional” status is removed once an official transcript is received.

    Prerequisite courses:
    Biological science (must be human) (4 credits)
    Physical science (must be chemistry or physics) (4 credits)
    Statistics (math, psychology, health sciences accepted) (3 credits)
    Social/Behavioral Science (i.e., sociology, psychology, anthropology) (3 credits)

  2. Possess a baccalaureate degree or higher in a related field such as education, health sciences, psychology, or family sciences.

    Prerequisite courses for Non-Background Bridge Program:
    Biological science (must be human) (4 credits)
    Physical science (must be chemistry or physics) (4 credits)
    Statistics (math, psychology, health sciences accepted) (3 credits)
    Social/Behavioral Science (i.e., sociology, psychology, anthropology) (3 credits)
    CSDS 211 Clinical Phonetics (4) 
    CSDS 212 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism (4) 
    CSDS 213 Development of Language in Children (4) 
    CSDS 312 Principles of Audiology (3) 
    CSDS 314 Rehabilitation Audiology (3) 
    CSDS 414 Clinical Methods in Communication Sciences and Disorders (4) 

    Transcripts will be reviewed for prerequisite courses and an individualized plan of study will be created for each student.

Additional requirements:
  1. Obtain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale and a minimum of 3.25 on a 4.00 scale in the last 60 hours. Undergraduate CSD or major area; no grade in a “major” area less than a C. 
  2. Submit GRE scores earned within the past five years (GRE minimum scores: Verbal: 160; Quantitative: 140; Analytical Writing: 4.0; CSDCAS Code: 6967.)
  3. Submit three letters of reference submitted through the application system. The three required references should be from a) current or previous professor, b) work supervisor, c) professional colleague.
  4. International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  5. Attend an on-campus interview.
  6. Exceptions to any admission requirements will be handled on an individual basis.
  7. If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $500 is required to secure admission into the program. This fee is applied to the first semester’s tuition.
  8. The application may be found at https://portal.csdcas.org/.
Transfer Credit

At this time, students may not transfer in any credit to count towards the speech language pathology program.

Time Limit

Students must complete all requirements for this master’s degree within six years of taking the first MS-SLPA graduate course at Samford University. The time limit excludes a leave of absence granted by the program/university for just cause. Additionally, should there be a Council of Academic Accreditation (CAA) change that affects the number of courses or credit hours required, the student must fall within those guidelines.

Academic Progression Monitoring


Academic progression monitoring involves several components of the graduate program: pre-enrollment, clinical education, and academic coursework. All incoming MS-SLP students must submit an official transcript showing completion of all prerequisite and baccalaureate coursework to the director of graduate admissions and student services. Throughout the program, academic advising will be conducted by the director of graduate admissions and student services as needed. Departmental academic and clinical monitoring will take place every semester with the student, faculty mentor, program director, and/or director of clinical education to ensure that students are on track toward degree completion and are meeting all clinical and course knowledge and skill competencies.

Graduate students are responsible for monitoring their own course and clinical outcomes and should speak with the academic instructor and/or the clinical instructor/preceptor should a problem become evident.

Students who do not meet knowledge and/or skill competencies will have a formal or informal intervention plan in place so that they have an opportunity to improve in the deficient area. After an intervention plan has been established, the student will remain responsible for meeting all criteria stated in the plan and updating the instructor on progress made. 

In order to be a student in good standing and progress in the MS-SLP program, the student must complete the following for:

Enrollment Management and Student Services: 
  • Have completed health and immunization forms and on file in the CSDS department’s compliance management system. 
  • Submit proof of health insurance while enrolled at Samford. 
  • Submit to a background check and drug testing. 
  • Obtain an acceptable drug screen result prior to matriculation, as required by a facility placement, at random, or for cause. (See substance abuse policy.)
Academic Coursework:
  • Carry a cumulative GPA of a 3.00 or higher. 
  • Earn no less than a B in each course in the curriculum; if a student should make a grade of C+ or lower, it is the expectation that the student will meet with both the academic course instructor and their faculty mentor to discuss a remediation plan. 
  • All knowledge and skill-based competencies must be met by the date that final grades are due each semester in order to participate in clinical practicum assignments in the following semester.
  • Successfully complete all semester coursework before progressing to the next semester. Individual exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances. These requests must be submitted first to the course faculty and then to the department chair for final approval.
Clinical Education:
  • Have achieved a passing grade of greater than or equal to 80% HIPAA, OSHA, and Bloodborne Pathogens Quizzes located on Canvas. 
  • Provide current documentation of Basic Life Support Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (BLS-CPR) Certification prior to clinical placements. 
  • Adhere to the Code of Ethical/Professional Conduct as specified in the Samford University Student Handbook.  
  • Successfully complete all semester coursework (including knowledge and skill competencies) before progressing to the next semester. Individual exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances. These requests must be submitted to the chair of the CSDS Department.
Academic and Clinical Dismissal 
  • A student who receives two final course grades below a B will meet with their faculty mentor, the program director, and/or the chair of the CSDS department to discuss academic performance, and may be subject to dismissal.
  • A student who receives a third C will be dismissed from the program.
  • A student who has a GPA below 3.00 for any two consecutive academic terms will be dismissed from the program.
  • A grade of F in an academic course may be grounds for dismissal from the program. If the student remains in the program, the course must be retaken where an F was earned.
  • Students that receive a grade of F in a clinical course may be dismissed from the program.
  • Students have up to three opportunities to demonstrate a knowledge and/or skill competency. Failure to demonstrate either knowledge or skill competencies prior to the due date of final grades may result in delaying clinical practicum assignments. 
  • If the student does not pass the knowledge and/or skill competency on their third attempt, a formal intervention plan will be developed and the student may not attend their next clinical assignment.
  • The intervention plan must be signed and agreed upon by the student, course instructor, program director, DCE, and chair. If the student does not follow the agreed upon plan, the student is at risk of not being placed for the upcoming clinical course and/or at risk of dismissal from the program.
Additional Circumstances that could Lead to Dismissal 
  • Failure to comply with academic expectations. 
  • Failure to comply with clinical expectations. 
  • Failure to comply with professionalism expectations.




      Speech Language Pathology

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