FAQ The Program | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Biobehavioral Sciences

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Communication Sciences & Disorders

In the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

About the Program

Five prerequisite courses are needed: 1. Anatomy and physiology for speech, language and hearing, 2. Phonetics, 3. Speech science (acoustic phonetics), 4. Language development, and 5. Audiology.

You may complete some or all of these prerequisites prior to starting our program. Alternatively, you can take some or all of the prerequisites during your masters program. The addition of prerequisite coursework can extend your program by 1-2 semesters.

Please note that ASHA requires that you show competency in the following subjects in addition to your graduate coursework: statistics, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences.

We do not require specific prerequisite courses in the field before matriculation. It is possible for students who enter the program without coursework in the field to accomplish all the required coursework as part of their masters program, usually requiring two additional semesters (one summer and one fall).

If you are interested in working in the schools as a speech and language pathologist, you need a Teaching Certificate for Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (the TSSLD).  Most of our students obtain this certification.  In our program, it is accomplished by the addition of one two-point course, plus a school-based practicum experience. All the other content information required by the state is infused within the curriculum.  For more information, please see the website for the Office of Teacher Certification.

Yes. You can obtain a bilingual extension on the Teaching Certificate for Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) that enables you to work with bilingual students.  One additional course is required, and a practicum experience with bilingual children.  For more information please click here.

Additionally, a unique part of our program is the chance to participate in the Transcultural Speech-Language Pathology practicum experiences. At present we have programs in Bolivia and Ghana.  For more information, please click here.

Completion of the program is most directly related to the student’s completion of the clinical requirements after they have become fully matriculated students with full-time status. Once the full-time student begins clinical training, presuming continued full time enrollment and satisfactory progress through the clinical sequence, a student who enters the program with an undergraduate major in speech pathology (or communication sciences and disorders) will likely be eligible for graduation at the end of the second spring or second summer semester. A student who enters the program with an undergraduate major in an area other than speech pathology (or communication disorders) regardless of the number of relevant courses they may have completed elsewhere prior to assuming full-time status in our program, will likely be eligible for graduation at the end of the third fall semester.

More than 95% of our students graduate within the predicted time frame. Please click here for additional information.

During the past three years, 100% of our students have passed the Praxis Exam.  Please click here for additional information.

Our Master of Science degree qualifies graduates to obtain the state license in speech and language pathology and, if they so choose, the Teaching Certification for Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). 

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders ensures that you meet the academic and practicum requirements for certification with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). However, there are additional requirements post-qualification in order to obtain the ASHA certificate of clinical competence (CCC-SLP). For more information about ASHA Certification requirements, please visit the ASHA website.

Information regarding employment rates can be found here. You can also find more information about the career paths of our graduates from our Office of Career Services.

Getting a license in New York State requires proof of your legal status in this country - a work visa or H1B status.

The Teaching Certification for Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities is different. For initial certification, a work visa or H1B visa is required. However, for permanent or professional certification, you need permanent residency (a green card), or U.S. citizenship.

There are several Professional Certification levels available for registration. Your academic advisor can help if you have questions about which certification is appropriate for you.

  • MS-CSDR: Master of Science is for students who do not plan to obtain teacher certification following graduation
  • MS-CSDR-IN: Master of Science Initial Certification is for students who do plan to obtain teacher certification following graduation
  • MS-CSDB-DU: Master of Science Bilingual Extension - Dual Certification is for students who plan to obtain teacher certification following graduation and also plan to complete the bilingual extension
  • MS-CSDR-PF: Master of Science Professional Certification is for students who have extensive professional teaching certification and who already have NY state teacher certification.

We involve our student in research when we can. We recommend researching ongoing research projects on our website and contacting faculty you might be interested in working with to see if there are opportunities available.

Living on campus is a personal choice, and is certainly not required.  We have students who live on campus and others who commute from the local area, including the five NYC boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut, and New Jersey.  You may wish to look at the housing options on our website for more information at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/housing/.

International programs vary from year to year depending on a variety of factors.  Your ability to participate in a particular international trip will depend on how many students are interested at the time and whether or not you are fluent in another language.  Please see our program website for additional information about the international programs

No, our program is a Masters degree program only. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders must first complete a Masters degree and then apply directly for those programs.

No. This is a clinical program, not a research program.

The incoming class is typically 50-60 students. This includes students with and without backgrounds.

Tours of our on-campus clinic, the Edward D. Mysak Clinic for Communication Disorders (EDMCCD), will be offered during Admitted Students Day.  Unfortunately, due to HIPPAA and FERPA regulations, we cannot offer tours on alternative days/times.  If you are interested in a tour of campus on alternate days, you should contact the Office of Admissions

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