Communication Sciences & Disorders FAQs

Speech pathology

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.

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

Yes, you must take the GRE 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.

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

To check on the status of a graduate application for admissions please contact Mary Cary at 816-501-4791 or

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-Language 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?

The Master of Science education program in speech-language pathology at Rockhurst University is accredited 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.

Is financial assistance available?

Please contact the Financial Aid Office for information regarding financial assistance.

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.