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The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers an undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, a graduate degree in Speech Language Pathology, as well as a minor, in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Clarion University's main campus. We also now offer a quicker path to graduating with a master's degree with our five-year B.S. to M.S. program. These acclaimed and accredited programs continue to be popular as graduates find rewarding careers in varied fields of speech language pathology or audiology.

B.S. Speech Pathology and Audiology

Swallow testThe B.S degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, this pre-professional program is designed to prepare the student for graduate study and the completion of professional requirements at that level. Full professional status, including certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and appropriate state licensure,  requires completion of the master's degree. In addition to the undergraduate program, the department offers a graduate degree in speech pathology and makes provisions for teacher certification following the completion of the Master of Science degree. The graduate program is accredited in speech language pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


B.S. to M.S. in Speech language Pathology

The Five-Year Bachelor's to Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology is a program that will be offered to highly motivated, academically talented incoming freshman who are interested in completing their bachelor's and master's degrees in Speech Language Pathology at an accelerated pace. Each year a limited number of freshmen are selected for this program. Students who qualify for this special track and remain in good academic standing are guaranteed an uninterrupted continuation into their graduate studies by securing a seat in the Master's program. The GRE requirement which is necessary for application into the traditional graduate program will also be waived for students admitted into this program.

Please note: This is an invitational alternative to the traditional course of study (pre-professional to graduate program over six years) that continues to be offered in the program.

Academic Requirements

  • A composite math and verbal SAT score of at least 1050 or 20 ACT.
  • A minimum high school QPA of 3.5 out of 4.0.
  • Evidence of extracurricular activities in high school.

Academic Maintenance

  • Maintain a 3.3 out of 4.0 cumulative GPA and 3.5 out of 4.0 GPA in core courses (see last page).
  • Meet with assigned academic advisor once every semester.
  • Participate in a speech, language and hearing screening by their fourth semester.
  • Successfully complete a progress interview upon completion of their fourth semester.

Failure to Maintain Requirements

  • Student falls below a 3.3 out of 4.0 cumulative GPA and/or a 3.5 out of 4.0 GPA in core courses.
  • Student failed to participate in the speech, language, and hearing screening by their fourth semester.
  • Student did not pass the speech, language, and hearing screening and did not follow screening recommendations by their fourth semester.
  • Student did not successfully complete the progress interview upon completion of the fourth semester.

If a student falls below a 3.3 out of 4.0 cumulative GPA and/or a 3.5 out of 4.0 GPA in core courses he/she will be placed on a one semester probation for a chance to improve their GPA up to required standards. Failure to maintain one or more of these requirements will result in placement on the traditional track as long as the minimum requirements for the customary program are met. The student will also forfeit their guaranteed seat in the graduate program and will complete the customary application process that accompanies the traditional program.


  • Students in the Five Year B.S. to M.S. Program track will follow a designated cohort designed by members of the Five-Year B.S. to M.S. Program Committee and will be assigned an advisor whom is a member of the committee.
  • The designated cohort will result in completion of undergraduate studies in three years (which may include summer and/or winter intersessions) and completion of graduate studies in two years (ASHA satisfied). Students wishing to opt out of the Five Year B.S. to M.S. program must contact their advisor and will continue in the traditional program track.
  • Students in this program must complete all of their undergraduate credits prior to taking graduate courses. The 120 credits must be completed within three years (transfer credits may count toward this requirement). Students should understand that in order to complete their undergraduate requirements in three years, they may need to enroll in summer and/or winter intersessions at CUP or another institution which may be subject to scholarship guidelines and may not be covered by financial aid. Program may vary depending upon dual enrollment and/or college credits completed in high school.
  • We currently are not accepting transfer students into this program.


 B.S. to M.S. students

(From left) Victoria Swetoha, Karleigh Aaron, Alaina Goldberg and Sabrina Swetoha were on hand at a recent orientation. They are members of the first class accepted into the five-year B.S. to M.S. in Speech Language Pathology starting this fall.


M.S. Speech Language Pathology (50 credits)

College FactualThe Communication Sciences and Disorders Department offers a graduate program for a Master of Science degree in speech language pathology. The degree also makes provisions for a teacher certification following the completion of the master's degree.

Upon completion of the master's degree, students are eligible for:

  • Certification by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 
  • Pennsylvania license to practice speech language pathology
  • Pennsylvania teaching certificate in speech-language impaired or
  • Pennsylvania Speech and Language Educational Specialist


Minor in speech pathology and audiology

Students also may obtain a minor in speech pathology/speech and hearing science. To learn more go to the SPA Minor Checksheet.


Accreditation: The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania 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.

Student Outcomes Data


Dr. Kristina Dworek
111 Keeling
(814) 393-2581

Office Hours:
By appointment


Alison Downs
1 814 393 2581

2019-2024 Strategic Plan

The mission of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department is to provide a high quality, academic and clinical education which enables program graduates to become competent, fully credentialed speech-language pathologists serving the needs of the region and Commonwealth.

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department is dedicated to: 1) preparing students, using evidence-based best practices, with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively work with communicatively impaired individuals in a variety of clinical environments, 2) academic and clinical teaching excellence within the program, offering students quality, inter-disciplinary educational opportunities and experiences, 3) providing a variety of effective clinical services to the community at-large, and 4) developing educated consumers of research who are committed to lifelong learning and professional development.


  1. The program will recruit, retain and graduate academically qualified undergraduate and graduate students.
  2. The program will provide a high quality academic and clinical experience to program students.
  3. The program will work to insure that program graduates are well-prepared for entry level into the profession.
  4. The program will provide an adequate number of opportunities for clinical experiences for students, including inter-professional practices by establishing and maintaining partnerships with programs in the community, with university centers and with university departments.
  5. The department will serve as a regional resource for continuing education by sponsoring at least two day-long continuing education activities annually for the faculty and area professionals.
  6. The faculty will provide opportunities for faculty-student research projects and presentations at local, state and national conferences.
  7. The program will work to ensure access to adequate resources including faculty and student computers, equipment for clinic and research to achieve the program's mission and provide a quality educational experience. Clinical diagnostic and therapeutic materials will be updated annually.
  8. The program will work to recruit and retain well-qualified tenure-track faculty who are committed to teaching, scholarship and service.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Executive Summary of the Strategic Plan 2019 - 2024

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department works to recruit, retain, and graduate academically qualified students and provides a high quality academic and clinical education which enables program graduates to become competent, fully credentialed speech-language pathologists. The department maintains a highly visible profile with the Admission's Office through a variety of Admission Open House events. The department's graduate curriculum ensures that all students have the requisite knowledge and skills for the Master of Science degree, the ASHA CCC, state licensure and teaching certification and maintains accreditation through the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Student/alumni feedback, graduate completion rate, Praxis pass rate and employment rates are utilized to continue program improvements to ensure that the quality of the program meets the highest standards. The program provides opportunities for quality clinical experiences, including inter-professional education, for students by establishing and maintaining partnerships with clinical sites in the community, with university centers and with university departments. The program works to recruit and retain well qualified tenure-track faculty who are committed to teaching, scholarship, and service. The department serves as a resource for continuing education, encourages student involvement in research and ensures faculty and student access to adequate resources to achieve the program's mission and provide a quality educational experience.

Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

Division of Graduate Studies admission requirements apply with the following additions:

A baccalaureate degree from an acceptably accredited college or university. Official transcripts from all institutions attended must be submitted.

For full admission consideration:

  • An overall GPA for the baccalaureate degree of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, including all grades for repeated courses. 
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in CSD undergraduate coursework, including all grades for repeated courses.

A full-admission status is required for graduate assistantship consideration.

  • In addition to above, for provisional admission consideration for those with less than a 3.0 overall GPA:
    • An applicant must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
    • Provisions of the admission will be outlined in the admission letter.

For those whose first-language is not English, we require official test scores less than 2 years old.  International students must have a minimum total score of 89 on the TOEFL iBT with the following minimum section requirements:

• Reading 18
• Speaking 26
• Listening 21
• Writing 24
• or minimum total score of 573 on the paper-based test

In addition to the above requirements, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A resume is required. 
  • Writing proficiency as demonstrated by a one page letter of intent.  
  • Three faculty and/or professional recommendations; recommendation forms should document the applicant's potential and/or effectiveness in specialization area and/or professional performance. 
  • Successful personal interview.
  • Twelve semester hours of credit in courses related to normal development and the sciences related to the use of speech, hearing, and language; three credits in speech pathology; three credits in language disorders; six credits in audiology, including three credits in aural rehabilitation; three credits in augmentative and alternative communication; 25 clinical observation hours; three credits in statistics; three credits in behavioral/social sciences; three credits in biological sciences and three credits in physics or chemistry. Students may make up undergraduate deficiencies.
  • Post-baccalaureate students must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA in the undergraduate pre-requisite courses in order to progress into graduate coursework. Failure to meet this minimum requirement will delay the start of the student's graduate program up to one year and may result in dismissal from the program.

Requirements for matriculated students

Graduate students in the program must successfully pass a comprehensive examination during the third semester of enrollment, prior to leaving campus for the externship experience.

In addition to scholastic requirements, students must undergo a physical examination at the university health center before completing any clinical assignment or at an off-campus site.

The physical examination must include a record of immunity to or freedom from:

  • tetanus
  • rubeola (red measles)
  • mumps rubella (German or three-day measles)  
  • varicella (chicken pox)
  • Hepatitis B active tuberculosis

Note: Students who do not show proof of current immunizations will not be permitted to enroll in CSD 522 Externship.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The student must fulfill all academic and clinical education requirements for the degree and the ASHA CCC-SLP.  A minimum of fifty semester hours is required for the degree. The graduate student majoring in speech-language pathology must complete a minimum of thirty-eight credits in speech pathology courses and twelve credits of off-campus externship.  Students must complete 25 hours of clinical observations, and 375 hours of clinical practicum.  At least 325 of the minimum 375 clinical practicum hours must be acquired at the graduate level (while a graduate student in the program)

Timeliness of Enrollment and Progress towards Degree Completion

It is expected that an applicant admitted to graduate study will enroll for course work at once. Students who do not enroll at Clarion for graduate courses in programs to which they are admitted within 12 months following admission will be required to reapply before they can enroll.  Students may be enrolled as full-time (9-13 credits per semester) or part-time (6 credits per semester).  The time to degree completion is dependent on credit hour status and completion of admission requirements. Part-time students will not be able to complete their degree by attending only evening and summer classes.  A degree must be completed within six years from the date of initial enrollment. Extensions may be allowed only by approval of the department chair and the dean of the college in which the student's program resides.

Time to Degree Completion

Full-time with CSD undergraduate major               4 semesters
Full-time without CSD undergraduate major         6 semesters
Part-time with CSD undergraduate major              8 semesters/6 credits per semester
Part-time without CSD undergraduate major      12 semesters/6 credits per semester

Grad Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships

Each year a limited number of graduate assistantships are awarded to individuals with regular full-admission status to a graduate program.  Graduate assistants work 10 hours a week in assignments related to academic programs or university-wide service.  They are paid an hourly stipend.  There are no departmental summer assistantships.  Recipients of a graduate assistantship must take at least 6 credits a semester, perform assigned duties in a satisfactory manner, and remain in good academic standing. Graduate assistantships are one year appointments only, therefore, students must apply each year for one.


Externship Info

At the end of CSD coursework, the student will complete 22 weeks with 12 weeks in school placement and 10 weeks in a medical setting.

All students enrolled in CSD externships must complete all of the following activities and forms prior to beginning the externship:

  • Checklist of Requirements 
    This document lists all requirements needed prior to the externship. (HTML)
  • Confidentiality Statement (PDF)
  • Liability Insurance 
    This insurance is required prior to the beginning of the actual classroom field experience. This coverage can be obtained through personal insurance or by purchasing insurance through one of the following professional associations: Proliability or HPSO. The liability requirement coverage is $1,000,000.
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Student organizations

There are a variety of ways students become involved for their academic benefit outside of the classroom.

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, commonly known a NSSLHA, is an organization for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the study of normal and disordered human communication.

Club Smile is an organization that works with Operation Smile to raise awareness and funds for the repair of cleft palates and cleft lips.

American Sign Language Club is an organization that raises awareness for individuals who are hearing impaired/deaf and for anyone interested in learning/practicing skills in American Sign Language.

TBI Tuesdays is a brain injury support group for the community and university that works to prevent brain injury through education and advocacy. This group also works to improve the quality of life for people who have experienced brain injury and their family members. CSD students provide support for Brain Safety Fairs held each spring in the region.

Last Updated 1/6/22