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Communication Sciences and Disorders
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Degree Requirements > Master of Science

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Master of Science

This degree program leads to professional licensing, professional certification, and if elected, to teacher of speech and hearing handicapped certification. Students are required to complete academic and practice requirements for the New York State License in Speech-Language Pathology and the Certificate of Clinical Competence offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to be eligible for graduation with the Master of Science Degree.

This requirement means that it is the responsibility of the student to satisfy the required 74 points of coursework in appropriate specified areas for the ASHA CCC-SLP before completion of the M.S., either through coursework taken at Teachers College or through an approved distribution of courses completed at Teachers College and at another regionally accredited institutions (including undergraduate coursework).

This requirement is in addition to the specific courses and minimum points required by  Teachers College faculty to satisfy the Master of Science degree requirements. Although course points from other institutions are not transferred to the student’s program, courses taken elsewhere and approved by the student’s academic advisor as equivalent to coursework required to satisfy the ASHA certification requirements or selected departmental requirements do not need to be repeated at Teachers College.

The minimum number of points for completion of the Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is approximately 50, including practicum courses. Students who have no previous applicable coursework in the field typically require 74 points to complete the requirements for graduation.

Students admitted to the program with undergraduate majors in speech and language pathology or with substantial prior coursework can expect to complete the program within two calendar years (four semesters and two summer sessions) of full-time study.

Students admitted with little or no prior coursework can expect to complete the program in two and one-half calendar years of full-time study. Some accommodations can be made for part-time study during a portion of the program, but students must be enrolled in practicum experiences (BBSQ 5331/2) from their first semester and in all subsequent semesters of their enrollment.

 Academic and Practicum Requirements

Basic Human Communication Processes: 

In the area of normal human communication processes, students are required to take two courses in each of three areas of speech, language, and hearing, including:

  • anatomic and physiologic bases
  • physical and psychophysical bases
  • linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects

These courses will total at least 15 points. This coursework may be taken at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Students with an undergraduate degree in communi-cation disorders will have taken some or all of this coursework as part of their under-graduate preparation.

Material covered in the following courses must have been included as part of the student’s prior coursework or must be taken at Teachers College:

  • BBSQ 4030 Speech science (3)
  • BBSQ 4031 Anatomy and physiology for speech, language and hearing (3)
  • BBS 4032 Neuroscience of human speech and language (2)
  • BBS 5068 Brain and behavior I: Communication in the nervous system (1-2)

 The remainder of the normal human communication processes requirement can be fulfilled through a variety of course options such as: BBSQ 5044, Speech and language perception and processing; A&HL 4101, Phonetics and phonology; HBSE 4079, Language development and habilitation; HUDK 5024, Language development; HUDK 5090, The psychology of language and reading; A&HL 4000, Introduction to linguistics; A&HL 4003, Linguistic analysis; ITSF 4024, Linguistic foundations of bilingual/ bicultural education; and other courses listed in the program materials.

 Professional Coursework

In professional area coursework, students are required to take 7 points in hearing disorders and a minimum of 30 points in speech-language disorders. The professional area course-work in speech-language pathology must be at the graduate level and must include a minimum of 6 points in courses within the program that are not part of the core requirements. In addition, only 3 points of practicum coursework can be used to fulfill the 30-point professional area requirement. Only courses for which a grade of at least a C has been earned can be used to fulfill these requirements.

 Core Coursework

The following core courses must be taken at Teachers College or the equivalent course material must have been taken as part of a student’s prior coursework and approved by the student’s academic advisor:

 Speech-Language Pathology

  • BBSQ 4040 Speech and language disorders (2)
  • BBSQ 5111 Assessment and evaluation (3)
  • BBSQ 5112 Articulation disorders (3)
  • BBSQ 5113 Voice disorders (3)
  • BBSQ 5114 Stuttering: Theory and therapy (3)
  • BBSQ 5115 Language disorders in children (3)
  • BBSQ 5116 Language disorders in adults (3)
  • BBSQ 5130 Assessment and intervention in dysphagia (2)


  • BBSQ 4042 Audiology (2-3: Majors take course for 2 points only)
  • BBSQ 5125 Clinical approaches to aural habilitation of children (3)
  • BBSQ 5129 Audiological concepts and principles (1)
  • BBSQ 5343 Hearing measurements (1)

 Additional Coursework

Students are required to take a minimum of 6 points of professional area coursework within the program in Communication Sciences and Disorders in addition to the required core courses. Some additional courses are offered yearly, while others are offered on a less regular or a one-time basis. There are also seminars that are open to advanced master’s students. The following is a list of additional courses:

  • BBSQ 4046 Introduction to augmentative and alternative communication (1)
  • BBSQ 4047 Early motor behaviors in children: Normal and abnormal (3)
  • BBSQ 5118 Cleft palate and speech habilitation (2-3)
  • BBSQ 5119 Alaryngeal speech (1)
  • BBSQ 5130 Assessment and intervention in dysphagia (2)
  • BBSQ 6111 Current issues and practices in speech-language pathology (1-3)

 Research Methods

Students are required to take BBSQ 5940, Evaluating research in speech-language pathology, and audiology or to have previously taken equivalent coursework. This course is offered during the fall term.

 Breadth Courses

Students in this program are required to take two Teachers College courses (for at least 2 points each) in departments other than their major program area. These courses may be used to fulfill the requirements for coursework in normal human communication processes or may be in related professional areas. Breadth courses may be taken pass/fail. Currently, any advisor approved non-BBSQ course meets the breadth requirement.

Bilingual-Multicultural Program Focus

The Bilingual-Bicultural Program Focus is for students who wish to develop expertise in working with culturally and linguistically diverse children and adolescents with communication disorders. Following the Bilingual -Multiicultural Program Focus will satisfy the coursework and field placement requirements for the bilingual extension to the New York State teachers of students with speech and language disabilities certificate. Under New York State Education Department regulations, the bilingual extension certificate is required to provide speech and language intervention for bilingual children and adolescents ages 3 through 21. This includes working in a school system in New York State as well as providing bilingual therapy in a private practice where funding comes from the New York City Department of Education or the New York State Education Department.

The requirements for the New York State bilingual extension certificate, as integrated into the Master’s of Science program in speech-language pathology, are:

  • BBSQ 5041 School speech-language-hearing programs (2-3)
  • BBSQ 5111 Assessment and evaluation (3)
  • BBSQ 5115 Language disorders in children (3)
  • BBSQ 5120 Communication disorders in bilingual/bicultural children (3)
  • Fifty hours of bilingual therapy/evaluations with children and/or adolescents supervised by a certified bilingual speech-language pathologist as part of the total hours required by ASHA.
  • A passing score on the New York State Education Department’s Bilingual Education Assessment in the student’s non-English language and in English. Students must pass the test before their last semester at Teachers College. 

Practicum Requirements

Therapy practicum. Students enroll in Practicum (BBSQ 5331 and BBSQ 5332) starting with their first semester at Teachers College and continue in Practicum during each subsquent semester, including at least one summer (BBSQ 5315 and BBSQ 5316). Assignment and participation in each of these Practicum experiences is determined by and at the discretion of the Clinic Program Coordinator.

Students continue in Practicum until a satisfactory level of clinical competence appropriate for entry into the Clinical Fellowship Year has been demonstrated. Students without background in the field typically enroll for six or seven semesters of Practicum, while students with background tend to enroll for five or six semesters of Practicum. Students accrue a minimum of 400 supervised clinical hours within a minimum of three service sites in addition to the on-campus Edward D. Mysak Clinic for Communication Disorders. These field placements typically include a school site, a hospital, and a rehabilitation site.

Diagnostics. Students are required to enroll in one semester of diagnostic Practicum (BBSQ 5312). This Practicum experience follows BBSQ 5111, Assessment and evaluation, and is contingent upon satisfactory completion of academic coursework and therapy Practicum experiences in a variety of disorder areas. Assignment to this Practicum is also determined by and at the discretion of the Clinic Program Coordinator.

Clinic Lab. Students must enroll in BBSQ 5333 or BBSQ 5334, depending on previous academic background. This is a one-semester course in Laboratory Methods and Instrumentation in Clinical Practice that is taken for 1 point. All students meet once a week for a lecture/presentation. Students are also assigned to small group workshop sessions during the day.

Hearing Practicum. Students are required to enroll in BBSQ 5343, Hearing measurement. This is a one-semester, 1-point practicum that fulfills the New York State requirement for clinical hours in Audiology.

Degrees Offered

  • Degrees Offered

    Communication Sciences and Disorders
    Master of Science (M.S.): MS-CSDR
    Doctor of Education (Ed.D.):  EDD-CSDR
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): PHD-CSDR

    Communication Sciences and Disorders- Initial Certification
    Master of Science (M.S.):  MS-CSDR-IN

    Communication Sciences and Disorders - Professional Certification
    Master of Science (M.S.): MS-CSDR-PF

    Communication Sciences and Disorders-Bilingual Extension-Dual Certification
    Master of Science (M.S.):  MS-CSDB-DU

    Bilingual extension institute
    Certificate: CSDB