Communication Disorders

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Master of Science: Communication Disorders - Credits: 56 (program code: 0303) 

Program Description

The Master of Science degree provides specialized training in all areas of communication disorders. Graduates are qualified to provide clinical services to individuals of all ages in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, government agencies, private practice, etc. The University has excellent facilities, including a large clinic and a Learning and Language Center located within the department, along with a technologically advanced Communication Science Laboratory. This academic program can be completed in two years (five consecutive terms).

Delivery Mode

Traditional  (face-to-face delivery with some online/distance elements)


The master's program in communication disorders (speech-language pathology) at California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by:

Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Blvd.
Rockville, MD 20850-3289
Phone: 800-498-2071
Fax: 301-296-8580

Criteria for Continuing in the Program

Students move through the program as a cohort. Each cohort completes an identical core of required courses that are critical to successful functioning as a speech-language pathologist (SLP). In addition to those courses, each cohort completes a unique combination of additional courses, guaranteeing that there are SLPs throughout the nation to provide the many areas of specialized service needed by very diverse patient populations. Students must maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA while in the program. Students who fail to maintain a 3.00 GPA will not be permitted to complete the candidacy interview or register for an externship placement. Failure to reacquire a 3.00 during the single probationary semester may result in dismissal from the program.

Curriculum - Master of Science: Communication Disorders

Course Credits
Area I: Core Courses Required 36
CMD 600  Research and Professional Practice in SLP 3
CMD 701  Language Disorders in Adults 3
CMD 702  Language Disorders in Children 3
CMD 703  Fluency Disorders 3
CMD 705  Voice Disorders 3
CMD 707  Phonology and Articulation 3
CMD 708  Neurology 3
CMD 718  Advanced Audiology for the SLP 3
CMD 765  Dysphagia
CMD 766  Traumatic Brain Injury  3
CMD 772  Augmentative and Alternative Communication  3
CMD 785  Seminar in Medical Speech-Language Pathology 3
Area II: Clinical Experiences Required 15
CMD 711  Applied Therapeutic Procedures in Preschool Setting  1 to 3
CMD 712  Applied Therapeutic Procedures in Outpatient Setting 1 to 5
CMD 713  Applied Diagnostic Procedures in Speech Pathology 1 to 3
CMD 714  Applied Audiologic Diagnostics and Rehab Procedures 1 to 3
CMD 715  Applied Therapeutic Procedures in Educational Setting 1 to 3
CMD 716  Applied Neurogenic Procedures in Healthcare Facilities 1 to 3
Area III: Rotating Elective Courses 3
CMD 731  Early Intervention in Speech-Language Pathology 3
CMD 732  Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology 3
CMD 763  Communication Problems of Special Groups 3
CMD 764  Instrumentation in Speech Language Pathology 3
CMD 773  Communication and Diversity 3
Area IV: Research Course Required 2 (min.)
RES 829  Research Project 2
RES 849  Master's Thesis 3 to 6
Total 56

Program Requirements

  • 25 clinical observation hours
  • 375 supervised clinical hours
  • Successful completion of candidacy
  • Praxis 5331 passing score

Note: All academic coursework and clinical practicum must be completed before beginning the CF experience. If any coursework or practicum is incomplete, which includes all prerequisites (i.e., basic biology, chemistry or physics, etc.) and core coursework, the hours completed toward your CF experience will not count toward your minimum 1,260 hours. (Retrieved from


Students in the communication disorders program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time they are accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Program Website

Program Coordinator

Ralph Belsterling, Au.D. (University of Florida), M.S. (Clarion University), M.Ed., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Department Chair, Associate Professor, specializes in audiological assessment, aural rehabilitation, amplification and hearing conservation

Phone: 724-938-4175

Program Faculty

Nancy Carlino, M.A. (University of Pittsburgh), B.A. (Duquesne University), Assistant Professor, specializes in neurogenics and articulation, phonology, and traumatic brain injury

Joseph Constantine, Ph.D. (University of South Florida), M.S. (University of South Florida), B.A. (University of South Florida), Associate Professor, specializes in stuttering, autism spectrum disorders, selective mutism and language intervention

Patricia Falk, M.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), B.S. (Penn State University), specializing in child language, AAC, pediatric dysphagia and clinical supervision

Denise Joseph, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh), M.S. (Syracuse University), B.S.Ed. (Duquesne University), Associate Professor, specializes in pediatric language disorders, traumatic brain injury, pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, and communication disorders in special populations

Samantha Procaccini, CSc.D. (University of Pittsburgh), M.S. (Columbia University), B.S. (University of Rhode Island), Assistant Professor, specializes in evidence-based practice, dysphagia in medically complex populations, and clinical supervision

Robert Skwarecki, Ph.D., M.S. (University of Pittsburgh), B.S. (Duquesne University), Professor, specializes in vocal pathologies, dysphagia, speech science, assistive technology, anatomy and physiology, and neurogenesis

April Wright, M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Assistant Professor, specializes in geriatric and adult neurogenic populations, serving those with communication, voice and swallowing disorders, in addition to clinical supervision

For faculty bios, visit: