May 26, 2019  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

Communication Sciences and Disorders, Department of

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Communication Sciences and Disorders

Phone: (540) 568-6440

Academic Unit Head
Dr. Cynthia R. O'Donoghue

Graduate Program Directors
Dr. Ayasakanta Rout
Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Dual Au.D./Ph.D.

Dr. Carol C. Dudding
Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech-Language Pathology (Clinical) Combined M.S./Ph.D.

Dr. Rory DePaolis
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Post-Au.D. Ph.D.
Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Research)

Dr. Geralyn R. Timler
Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech-Language Pathology (Residential Program)

JMU Coordinator
Erin Clinard
M.S., CCC-SLP DLVE-SLP-Distance Learning in VA Educating Speech Language Pathologists

R. DePaolis, L. Gray, C. O'Donoghue, J. Spindel

Associate Professors
C. Clinard, C. Dudding, S. Pavelko, A. Rout, G. Timler

Assistant Professors
S. Ingram, E. Kamarunas, C. Kuo, J. Lee, M. Longerbeam, Y. Nie, E. Piker

Admission Criteria

Specific admission requirements and pre-requisite course work for individual programs are listed with each program description. Applications will be reviewed in accordance with slots that may be available. Using the submitted material, the department admissions committee will rank eligible candidates for a limited number of admissions.

Students applying for admission to either the M.S. program in Speech-Language Pathology or the Au.D. program should be aware that some of the clinical placement sites in which students are required to complete clinical practica in order to graduate will require the student to produce a current criminal records check. It is the student's responsibility to arrange for the check, to keep it current in order to comply with the requirements of the various clinical sites, and to advise the university and department if the status of the student's criminal record changes at any time during the student's program.


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art undergraduate pre-professional education that includes discipline-specific course work and observation. In keeping with university requirements, this includes a broad-based General Education component.

The department also provides graduate-level course work and practicum experiences for those interested in entering professional practice in either speech-language pathology or audiology, university teaching and research positions, or management/administrative positions in service delivery settings. The department is committed to advancing the state of knowledge in both basic and applied aspects of communication sciences and disorders through its master's and doctoral research degrees and the research activities of its faculty and students, and to providing service to the profession, university and client communities at local, state, national and international levels. The Department's Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic provides outreach services to the region as part of the clinical teaching component of its mission and provides a clinical research resource for students and faculty.

The audiology and speech-language pathology clinical training graduate programs in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic

The JMU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, operated by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, provides evaluation and clinical intervention services for individuals with speech, language and hearing problems. The priority for services offered through this clinic is determined by the needs of practicum students. Appointments for a consultation or evaluation may be made by any member of the general public or university community. Professional services are provided by expert certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists who supervise the practicum of students.

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis to graduate students. In addition, fellowships funded by the Scottish Rite Foundation of Virginia are available to graduate students admitted to the graduate program with the concentration in speech-language pathology. Scottish Rite Fellowships are restricted to Virginia residents who intend to pursue positions working with children who have speech and language impairments in the state of Virginia. Contact the graduate director in the department for information.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers two concentrations in the Master of Science program. One is the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. This is a clinical concentration designed to prepare individuals to practice as speech-language pathologists. The second is the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. It is a non-clinical concentration designed for individuals who seek concentrated study in one or more areas of human communication sciences and/or communication disorders without clinical preparation as audiologists or speech-language pathologists.

Because this concentration provides the opportunity for more in-depth study in selected concentrations and involves students in active participation in research, it is one avenue to lay a solid foundation in communication sciences and disorders research, particularly for those individuals wanting to pursue further study at the Ph.D. level but not interested in the clinical credentials.

M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Research)

The master's degree program in communication sciences and disorders is a non-clinical program that combines concentrated study in selected areas of human communication sciences and/or communication disorders and active research participation and research training. For individuals who wish to pursue further study at the Ph.D. level, the program offers a solid foundation in communication sciences and disorders research. Students select one area (Category C course work) from among four possible areas and complete the course work in that area in addition to the course work in the three other categories (A, B and D), as indicated below, for a total of a minimum of 36 credit hours. Completion of a thesis and participation in directed research experiences are essential parts of the program.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.25 grade point average in major course work.
  • General GRE scores (verbal, quantitative and writing).
  • Three letters of recommendation on letterhead stationery.
  • Personal written statement regarding career goals, reasons for pursuing a research degree and areas of research interest.


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