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Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Prepare for a Career in Speech-Language Pathology

Ruiying Ding, the M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders program director, talks about how a degree from Elmhurst prepares you for your career in speech-language pathology.

The master’s program in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) at Elmhurst University prepares students for rewarding careers as speech-language pathologists in professional settings such as schools, hospitals, clinics, research institutions, private practice and more.

Designed primarily for students with bachelor’s degrees in CSD, the graduate program prepares students for national certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and for state licensure.

In addition, students are prepared for employment in the Illinois public school system and endorsed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), provided they have met the requirements for the master’s degree in speech-language pathology and have completed coursework in teaching methods of exceptional children and reading methods.

A Unique Program Format

Students attend classes full time, and most can complete the program in 21 months. The program takes a cohort approach, fostering teamwork skills and strong bonds among classmates.

State-of-the-Art Simulation Center

Students also can experience medical placement preparation in the state-of-the-art Elmhurst University Simulation Center.

Other Real-World Experiences

Opportunities abound for clinical experiences in a variety of locations, from public schools to hospitals to rehab facilities to Elmhurst University’s own Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.

In addition to the Clinic and Simulation Center, our students have unique training opportunities, such as:

  • Serving individuals with developmental disabilities and adults with brain injury with our partner centers.
  • Serving adult students with autism and other disabilities in the University’s Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA).
  • Supporting adults through an aphasia support group run by Elmhurst faculty.
  • Receiving hands-on training in fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES).

I just want to take a moment to brag about Haley, she is absolutely amazing!! I have been a supervisor for 5 years and she is by far the most qualified and knowledgeable new graduate I have had until this point. Our company would love to have more of your graduates due to their knowledge! Again, thank you for educating Haley to be an amazing clinician and all-around outstanding person!

Jacquelyn McGhee, M.S., CCC-SLP, Sidekick Therapy Partners

Opportunities to Specialize

In addition to the stellar graduate program, graduate students may also choose to pursue one or more of our remarkable professional emphases.

Multicultural/Multilingual Emphasis
Poster image of the Elmhurst University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The master’s program offers a remarkable multicultural/multilingual emphasis in speech-language pathology with many unique features.

This emphasis is designed for students who wish to pursue specialized academic, research, and clinical experiences to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations, including bilingual populations, in a variety of settings.

Several of our faculty are experts in multicultural/multilingual issues, and students in this emphasis have the opportunity to work with them all.

Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Emphasis

This emphasis is designed for students who possess a significant background or interest in a related health field, and who wish to integrate this through interdisciplinary research activities during their CSD graduate program of study. It is designed for students who may wish to pursue future leadership in health service delivery in order to meet the demands and challenges of health care service delivery.

This emphasis is consistent with Elmhurst University’s mission to prepare students to pursue intellectual excellence through collaborative and innovative partnerships leading to novel research, preparing them to address the unique challenges of healthcare service delivery in a diverse and global society.

Fluency Concentration

An image of an iceberg above and below sea level illustrates the Fluency Emphasis at Elmhurst University's Communication Sciences and Disorders program.The master’s program at Elmhurst University also offers specialized training in applying a differential approach to fluency disorders.

This concentration is designed for students who want to pursue focused academic, research, and clinical experiences to meet the needs of individuals with fluency disorders. Students will receive advanced training in differential assessment and treatment, perform specialized clinical work with this population, and participate in research laboratory experiences.

Goodban Fellowship and Assistantship

The Goodban Fellow is available to undergraduate students who have been admitted to the master of science in communication sciences and disorders program who have completed all prerequisite SLP requirements, including ASHA sciences, and who are involved with NSSLHA or show leadership potential.

Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher. Completed applications must be received by Jan. 15 to be considered. This fellowship is renewable for a second year depending on academic progress. For more information, contact the CSD department.

We also offer up to two graduate assistantships. A graduate assistantship is designed to defray a portion of the total graduate tuition and involves research, teaching, and/or administrative work that will benefit the department and the student.

Accreditation Information

The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Elmhurst University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The program is accredited through June 30, 2022.

U.S. Department of Education Compliance

The MS in CSD program is compliant with Federal regulation 43CFR 668.43. View the list of applicable states.

Reaccreditation and Public Meeting Announcement

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) will be completing a site visit to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication Sciences and Disorders program of Elmhurst University for the purpose of reaccreditation on February 21-22, 2022. A Public Meeting will be held on Monday, February 21 from 6:00-6:30 pm via Zoom. All interested parties (e.g., clinic clients, former students, community members and academic members of Elmhurst University) are welcome to join the Zoom meeting with accreditation site visit team and to provide personal observations and experiences related to the graduate program’s compliance with the CAA’s accreditation standards.

The CAA is a nationally recognized accrediting agency. As part of the CAA’s recognition by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the agency is encouraged to develop a method for allowing public input about the accreditation process and about graduate education programs prior to final decision by the CAA. Accordingly, individuals who wish to provide input about a program seeking initial accreditation may do so in two ways: (1) submitting written comments prior to the accreditation site visit in accordance with the procedures specified below or (2) attending and providing comments at a public meeting during the program’s scheduled site visit. All comments provided must: 1) relate to a program’s compliance with the published Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (Standards) in effect at the time comments are submitted, and 2) identify the specific program seeking reaccreditation with the CAA. Comments not meeting these requirements will not be considered, and the individual or group commenting will be so notified.

Individuals who wish to submit written testimony about any program scheduled for a site visit must adhere to the following procedures: 1) All comments about education programs are due in the Accreditation Office no later than 15 days before the first day of the scheduled site visit. Comments received after this time will not be forwarded to the site visit team for consideration during the accreditation review, 2) All written testimony—including comments faxed or submitted as e-mail attachments–must include the commenter’s name, address and telephone contact information and the commenter’s relationship to the program in order for Accreditation staff to verify the source of the testimony. All comments must be signed.

Comments should be submitted to: Accreditation Public Comment Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2200 Research Boulevard, #310 Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301-296-8570

A copy of the Standards for Accreditation and/or the CAA’s Policy on Public Comment may be obtained by contacting the Accreditation Office at ASHA, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, calling ASHA’s Action Center at 1-800-498-2071, or accessing the documents online at

Please contact Dr. Ruiying Ding, Professor and Graduate Program Director, at (630) 617-3107 or to RSVP and a link with be provided for the Zoom meeting.

The Elmhurst University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, gender identity/gender expression, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability with regard to the evaluation and treatment of clients and dissemination of scholarship funds.

Ruiying Ding, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Program Director, M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

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