Communication Sciences & Disorders

Admission Information for Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program


Applying to the MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program


Applicants need to apply directly to CSDCAS (a centralized application service).  Applications or materials sent directly to CSU will not be considered.

All application materials including all transcripts, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation must be received with a status of "verified" in CSDCAS by the January 15 deadline.  Applications with materials received after January 15 will not be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Check your application information and materials' receipt status in CSDCAS early and be sure to contact CSDCAS promptly if any information appears incorrect.

Our program's admission is highly selective, as there are hundreds of applicants each year but only a small number of seats available.  So that your application gives you the best chance of gaining a seat, please ensure that your application materials are complete and submitted as early as possible so that you can address any issues or errors with the CSDCAS verification before the deadline. 

Applying to CSDCAS (Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service):

  • Applicants should follow the directions found on the CSDCAS website.
  • CSDCAS applications will require three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (also known as a personal statement), and official transcripts.  [GRE scores are no longer required as of the application cycle for admission in Fall 2021]


Applicants who are completing their undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (formerly Speech and Hearing) at CSU will likely have attained the below prerequisite courses while finishing their major courses.  If you pursued Communication Sciences and Disorders at another university, you should check the courses below carefully to make sure your curriculum contained the required components.  Applicants who completed their undergraduate degree in another field may need to take the courses below as a post-baccalaureate student. 

You will need to have at least four of the following prerequisite courses completed by January 15 in order to have your application considered by the admissions committee.  Additionally, you should have completed all six of the following courses before entering our program:

  • CSD 231 - Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • CSD 349/549 - Speech and Language Development
  • CSD 228 - Phonetics
  • CSD 335 - Clinical Methods
  • CSD 351 - Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
  • CSD 232 - Introduction to Audiology

It is strongly recommended that you also complete the following undergraduate courses before entering our graduate program as you cannot graduate without them:

  • CSD 485 - Speech and Hearing Science
  • CSD 481 - Aural Rehabilitation
  • Physical Science (chemistry or physics)
  • A stand-alone statistics course
  • Biological Science (e.g., biology, human anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, human genetics, veterinary science)
  • One course in behavioral sciences or social sciences (in area of psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health).

Our CSU course designations are listed but equivalent courses from other universities may be acceptable.  Please see the current CSU Undergraduate Course Catalog to review course descriptions and compare them to what you have taken.  You may need to review your syllabi from the institution where you took the course in order to determine equivalencies.  CSDCAS will review and match up your courses with ours once you have applied.  If you are accepted, during orientation and the following weeks, you will meet with a faculty advisor who will review all of your previous coursework to make sure you meet ASHA requirements for graduation.  You may be asked to supply syllabi at that point for the faculty member to review.

If your undergraduate degree was in a different field, please take a look at our more detailed post-baccalaureate section.

Clinical Observation Hours

In addition to coursework required before beginning the graduate program, 25 verified clinical observation hours are required before beginning the program.  These hours do not have to be completed before applying for the program.


Transcripts should be sent to CSDCAS (following directions on their website).  Transcripts must be sent to CSDCAS in advance of the January 15th deadline.  Originating universities need time to process your transcript request, and CSDCAS will need time to process the incoming transcripts.  Refer to the originating university's policy on how long it takes them to send transcripts, then add a couple of weeks to that timeline for CSDCAS to review the transcript.  For most applicants, sending in your transcripts by early December at the latest would be advisable.

If you are concerned that by sending your transcript to CDSCAS in early December, you may not be capturing your grades for fall classes, please review the CSDCAS option for "Academic Update" which will allow you to submit your updated transcripts as long as your application and materials (including original transcripts) were completed and had a status of verified by the original deadline.  This means you would submit preliminary transcripts before early December, then send updated transcripts as soon as fall grades are posted.  If you select this option, be sure to send updated transcripts as soon as possible in January, so that your additional grades can be considered.  We pull final grade reports a week or two after the January deadline.

Current/recent CSU students:  You must also send your CSU transcripts to CSDCAS.  CSDCAS records look "incomplete" if you do not have transcripts submitted on time.  While your program can look up your information in CSU systems, we cannot upload it to CSDCAS for you.  Your record will be incomplete without CSU transcripts.

International students:  Follow the instructions on this CSDCAS Help page for a breakdown of how to get foreign transcript evaluations to CSDCAS.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should be double-spaced between one to two pages in length.  Use one inch margin and a 12 point font.  The following questions should be answered in the body of the essay:

  • What attracted you to the profession of speech-language pathology?
  • Why do you think you would be successful in this profession?
  • What influenced you to apply to CSU?
  • What would you like for the Admissions Committee to know about you that may not be reflected in your application materials?

The Statement of Purpose should be uploaded with your other materials to CSDCAS, this information is provided here for reference.

Check your application

Please note that it is the responsibility of applicants to check the status of their own applications.  You will need to verify that all application materials have been received by CSDCAS, prior to the deadline.

Admission process timeline

Review begins after the January deadline for application.  If you have an incomplete application at that time, your application will not be considered.  Please be sure to apply early to ensure that all required materials have been received and verified by CSDCAS.

  • Late July:  CSDCAS portal opens to begin accepting applications and materials
  • August-November:  You should complete your application and get all of your materials and letters of recommendation submitted.
  • December:  Double-check CSDCAS to be sure all your materials have been received.  If you have not sent in transcripts by mid-December at the latest, they may not successfully get verified in CSDCAS.
  • January:  Make sure CSDCAS has your correct email address because our program will contact you via CSDCAS email tools if there are any questions or updates.
  • mid-January:  Materials are reviewed for verification at CSDCAS.
  • February:  CSU interviews to top applicants.
  • February-March:  CSU reviews materials to consider first round offers.
  • March-April:  First offers of admission are made.  First waitlist is made.
  • April-early July:  Offers continue to be made until the class has reached capacity.  As more admission offers are accepted, the process slows down as a diminishing number of seats are available.

Admission FAQ

  1. What is the cost of the program?
  2. When do students begin on-campus clinic and off-campus placements?
    • Graduate students begin on-campus clinic and off-campus placements starting the first semester of graduate study.
  3. Where are off-campus placements located?
    • Our graduate students can complete up to three semesters of off-campus placements. Our program offers a variety of placement settings including schools, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. Some examples are Metro Hospital, the Cleveland VA Medical Center, and the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland.
  4. Are there any funding opportunities?
    • Our program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships during the first year of the program.
  5. How many students are enrolled in the program each year?
    • Incoming class sizes are typically about 35 students.
  6. What are the exit requirements?
    • An exit project or thesis is required.

More information about our program

If you are interested in learning more about our program, please check out the links in the left-hand navigation bar.