Communication Sciences & Disorders FAQs

What does a speech-language pathologist do?

A speech-language pathologist (SLP) provides therapy services for children and adult clients who exhibit a wide range of communication disorders including articulation, language, swallowing, fluency, and voice disorders, as well as communication difficulties related to a hearing loss. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has detailed descriptions of potential responsibilities of SLPs in different employment settings.

Where do speech-language pathologists work?

Speech-language pathologists are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, clinics and rehabilitation companies. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has detailed descriptions of potential responsibilities of SLPs in different employment settings.

Do I need a master's degree to work in the field of speech-language pathology?

Yes, a master's degree is required for almost any position in this field.

How long will it take me to complete a master's degree at Rockhurst University?

The program can be completed in two years by full-time students and three years by part-time students. This time may vary depending on prerequisites.

What minimum GPA do I need to enter the master's program?

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is recommended when applying to the master's program.

Do I have to take the GRE exam to be admitted into the master's program?

Yes, you must take the GRE exam to be admitted to the master's program. The GRE score is one of the criteria used in the selection process, along with letters of recommendation, letter of intent, overall and major GPA.

What prerequisites do I have to fulfill to apply to the graduate program?

You are required to have an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

What if I earned a grade below a "C" in one of my prerequisites?

A grade of "C" in a prerequisite course is acceptable, but if a student earned any grade below a "C", including a "C-", that prerequisite course must be retaken. The prerequisite course could be re-taken at Rockhurst early in your program or at a community college.

Can I take my prerequisites or any deficiencies I have at another university or a local community college?

Yes, you can. Several local colleges offer many of the prerequisites and you can get information from your advisor at Rockhurst about this option.

How can I check on the status of my admission to the program?

To check on the status of an application in progress, please contact Michele Huiatt in Graduate Admissions at 816-501-3590.  

To check on the status of a completed application that has been submitted to the department for review, contact Mary Cary, the CSD Department Secretary, at 816-501-4791.

Can I take classes in the department of CSD as a non-major?

You can take classes in the CSD department as a non major as long as you have fulfilled any prerequisite course requirements.

Can I earn a minor in CSD?

Yes, a minor is completed by taking 18-19 hours in the CSD department and these courses are outlined in the catalog. This minor works well for students majoring in education, foreign language, psychology, rehabilitation and numerous other majors.

What organizations exist for speech-language pathologists?

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association on the national level. The Missouri Speech-Langauge Hearing Association (MSHA) and the Kansas Speech-Language Hearing Association (KSHA) are the state organizations for our area. There are many other state organizations across the United States.

Where do your students complete their clinical practicum hours?

Students at Rockhurst University complete the required clinical practicum hours in an externship program at a variety of sites in the Kansas City area. These sites include schools, hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation facilities.  This allows students to obtain real-world clinical experience starting in their first semester of graduate school.

Who will help me plan my program of study?

Every student in the program is assigned a faculty adviser in the CSD department to help plan an individual program of study.

Is Rockhurst's CSD Program accredited?

Rockhurst's master of science program in CSD began in 1999 and is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).  For a student to be eligible to apply for national certification with ASHA, the student must initiate and complete coursework and clinical practicum at an ASHA CAA accredited institution.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes, the Financial Aid Office offers financial assistance. The CSD department may also have funds available through work-study, graduate assistantships, grants, other awards, and scholarships. 

Do many of the CSD graduate students hold part-time jobs?

While having a part time job is not discouraged, many students find most of their time during the week taken up with classes, clinical experiences, and studying.  It is important that students considering taking a part-time job seriously consider their time management skills, as strong academic and clinical performance are imperative to continuation and completion of the program. 

What if I need information about off-campus housing?

The graduate students in CSD live in a variety of areas in Kansas City. We keep a roommate list within the CSD program; if you would like to be added to this list, please email Mary Cary.