The Master of Science program in Communication Disorders offers students unique clinical and academic opportunities. The program is housed at the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders, known internationally for its programs of clinical service and research. The curriculum is designed around a core of critical competencies, but we understand choice is important in the development of clinical interests and career goals, so our students have ample opportunity to select from a broad array of elective courses.
Our extensive use of community resources provides students experience in a variety of real-life settings and gives them many options in the selection of on and off-campus practicum and internship placements. Many research opportunities are available to students in areas such as child language, autism, speech-sound disorders, aging, and cognitive neuroscience.
Our program is ranked among the top 5 percent of graduate programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and our graduates have an employment rate of 100 percent.
The master's degree program in Communication Disorders at The University of Texas at Dallas is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.
|Applying to the Program||Program Contacts|
|FAQ's about the degree||Program Resources|
|Graduate Outcomes||Strategic Plan|
|FAQ's about student life|
The first step in the application process is to complete the online application. In addition to the online application, you will need to submit the following materials:
Admission to the Communication Disorders program is based on a review of the applicant's GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and statement of purpose.
If you are applying for the summer or fall semester, these materials are due by February 15.
If you are applying for the spring semester, these materials are due by September 15.
UT Dallas/Callier Center
1966 Inwood Rd.
Dallas, TX 75235
Questions about the admissions process should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Master of Science in Communication Disorders requires a minimum of 39 credit hours of organized courses. In addition, students enroll in practicum or internships each semester. The program takes five semesters of full-time study to complete. Students entering from out-of-field can complete the program in six semesters of full-time study, including prerequisite courses. Part-time study is not advised because most classes and practicum take place during the day.
There are 6 required courses, which must be completed by graduation and will likely be completed in your first several semesters of the program. These courses are Assessment and Treatment of Child Language Disorders, Motor Speech Disorders, Dysphagia, Stuttering, Voice Disorders, and Neuro I.
In addition, you must take 3 more courses from the areas of Child and Adult Language Disorders. There are 7 courses in Child Language Disorders and 6 courses in Adult Language Disorders from which to choose. Your remaining courses are electives, to a total of 39 coursework hours. In addition, students enroll in practicum or internships each semester.
The graduate catalog provides an overview of the course requirements for the program.
Within your first two semesters in the program, you are required to take a Pediatric Core Practicum and an Adult Core practicum on-campus. In general, students complete their Pediatric Core Practicum in the first semester and Adult Core in the second. Beginning your third semester, you will be able to choose from a variety of on and off-campus practicum settings based on consultation with your advisor and Director of Clinical Programs. One of our goals is to encourage students to obtain experience in a variety of communicative settings. There are also numerous on-campus practicum programs offering in depth experience with particular clinical populations.
The resources available to the students in the Communication Disorders program include the Callier Center-Dallas, in the Southwestern Medical District near downtown and Callier-Richardson on the main UT Dallas campus. Nearly all of the graduate courses and the graduate faculty are located at Callier-Dallas. In addition to clinical programs and research labs, Callier-Dallas includes a large preschool and day care facility which serves hearing children and children with hearing-loss in integrated classrooms. Callier-Richardson houses several of the core and specialized practicum programs and is the primary location of undergraduate courses. Students taking undergraduate prerequisites will have many of their classes at Callier-Richardson or elsewhere on the Richardson campus.
The Communication Disorders program has extensive ties to medical, educational and private practice facilities in the DFW area. Students will have at least 3 semesters of experience in off-campus locations. We encourage students to experience working in a variety of settings as well as with a variety of populations as they develop their interests and career goals.
A list of the faculty members in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences can be found in the People section of our website.
Job opportunities in speech-language pathology continue to expand and speech-language pathology is consistently rated among the best careers for the changing job landscape. Speech-language pathologists are employed in a variety of educational and healthcare facilities including schools, clinics and hospitals.
To learn more about a career in speech-language pathology or audiology, visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's website.
The program has limited resources for supporting incoming students. Most students obtain financial assistance through the University's Office of Financial Aid. They offer need-based loans, grants, and work-study. Competitive scholarships are available which when awarded to non-resident students also allow them to pay resident tuition. All students are considered for these scholarships. There are a few on-campus positions, both clerical and in research. However, they typically require some on-campus experience in practicum or research to be eligible. Students offered work-study as part of their financial aid package will find numerous opportunities for employment at the Callier Center.
The program welcomes visitors any time, before or after admission. However, we request that you apply prior to scheduling a visit. We do not have a visitor's day, but will be setting aside time each week for visitors. If you visit in the morning, you will be able to observe some of the student practicum programs. Be aware that the graduate program is located at Callier-Dallas in the Southwestern Medical District near downtown Dallas, not on the main UT Dallas campus in Richardson. Call or email the Program Office to schedule a visit and for directions to Callier-Dallas. Please note that the address is 1966 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX 75235, but parking and the building entrance is from our driveway off Southwestern Medical Ave. The Callier-Dallas Center is closed on weekends.
We recommend a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and a GRE of 304 or higher, although there is no specific GPA or GRE cutoff for admission. The median GRE score for students entering the program in Fall '13 was 314 and the median overall GPA was 3.8.
We typically enroll 85-90 students in the summer and fall combined. We consider summer and fall to be a single admission point. Students who apply and are admitted for summer may defer to fall and students who apply and are admitted for fall may reverse defer to summer. Deferment is an easy one-page form. We typically enroll 25-30 new students in the spring.
The Program in Communication Disorders welcomes students from out-of-field. We feel that adding students from variety of fields enriches the educational experience for everyone. As a result we make every effort to limit the number of prerequisite courses to those which cover material not taught at the graduate level. Students from out-of-field apply directly to the graduate program. There is no separate "leveling" or "post-baccalaueate" program offered at UT Dallas. Students admitted to the graduate program from out-of-field will have specific prerequisite courses assigned as part of their overall degree plan. It will only take students one additional semester to complete the program. Students may also take prerequisite courses elsewhere and apply to UT Dallas after completing the prerequisites. Contact the program office for more information regarding the prerequisites.
Students with career goals in University teaching and research may earn a clinical master's degree while pursuing a PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Students approved to enroll in both master's and doctoral programs pursue an individualized plan of study leading to both degrees. The PhD is research-intensive, not an advanced clinical degree, although many students engage in clinical research. Students pursuing both degrees may complete their Clinical Fellowship at the Callier Center while continuing their doctoral studies. Time to completion of both degrees varies, but students should anticipate a 3-4 years post-masters.
In general, we recommend that students who are interested in careers in University teaching and research apply first to the masters program. Students may then spend their first year meeting with faculty and doctoral students to determine an area of research and possible doctoral mentor. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in faculty research in both paid and volunteer positions. Students apply to the PhD component at the start of the second year. While a very strong academic record is expected of PhD applicants, it is also essential that the student identify a faculty mentor and that the mentor agrees to become the student's supervisor. A student-mentor agreement is required for admission to the PhD program. See http://bbs.utdallas.edu/csd/ for more information about the PhD program.
Students occasionally inquire about combining a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology and Doctor of Audiology (AuD) sequence. Because the AuD requires 4 years of full-time study and there’s little overlap in coursework or clinical experiences, between the 2 degrees. Completion of both would require 6 years and an additional year for completion of the Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship. Thus, we do not recommend the combination. Students with interests in children with hearing loss may apply for the Pediatric Aural Rehabilitation sequence. Coursework in the AuD program is available for elective credit to students earning the masters in Communication Disorders.
Graduates enjoy excellent outcomes including high program completion, Praxis examination scores, and rates of employment.
The majority (if not all) of your classes will be located at Callier Dallas. There are some practicum experiences and a few elective courses offered at Callier Richardson, but you will be at Callier Dallas most of the time. Plan accordingly when deciding on a place to live. Commuting is relatively easy and many students live in other areas, but an ideal location would be within 20 minutes of Callier Dallas. There is student housing located on the Richardson campus, however the commute is not necessarily desirable and you may prefer apartments that do not cater primarily to undergraduates. The Village and Uptown are two areas where many of our students live. The program office can provide a document listing a number of apartment complexes within reasonable proximity to Callier-Dallas.
You can search the Internet to find apartments or other living spaces that fit your price range and ideal location. If you are having trouble finding a roommate, you may email email@example.com and your request will be forwarded to other students seeking roommates.
UT Dallas has the largest number of full-time students of any program in the country. During the long semesters, there may be as many as 225. While this may sound overwhelming, especially if you have been attending a smaller college, there are many advantages to our size. First, it allows us to offer many more electives than the typical program. Usually, 10-12 electives are available each semester to choose from. You will have ample opportunity to choose electives because half of the courses in your degree plan will be electives. This allows students to develop concentrations, take courses across a broad range, or shift directions as your interests and career goals change (and they almost invariably do.) Second, it allows us to enroll a very diverse group of students from many universities and backgrounds. We feel that the variety of backgrounds and experiences of our students strengthens our classes. We are also very careful to be sure all students have access to faculty and that we have very strong academic and clinical advising. We encourage you to talk with current students and graduates about their experiences.
"Take advantage of the expansive practicum opportunities UTD has to offer. We have the unique advantage of being located the middle of a major metropolitan area that offers placements in so many different settings. Some of my most valued knowledge came from hands-on clinical experiences."
-Taylor Bank, Fall 2012 Graduate
"It's no surprise that the best thing you can do in a communication science program is to communicate with EVERYONE. Become friends with your classmates, study groups will be imperative and will provide the extra support you need in stressful times. Become friends with your professors, advisors, and supervisors. They are truly some of the most amazing people you will meet in your budding career. Do as many different settings as you can, not every graduate program will be able to offer you such a wide array of choices. This is a no-brainer, but you will get the most out of your experience by putting in the most work you can. There are some students who "scrape by" but they're really only hurting themselves. Always put forth your best effort. It will be recognized by peers and supervisors alike."
-Casey Switzer, Summer 2013 Graduate
UT Dallas/Callier Center
1966 Inwood Rd.
Dallas, TX 75235
The Strategic Plan of the program in Communication Disorders is a component of and supports the achievement of the mission, goals, and ideals of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Strategic Plan of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences identifies 3 broad goals consonant with the mission and strategic plan of the University.
Each goal incorporates strategic initiatives developed and approved by the faculty and presented to the University as part of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences periodic self-study. Each initiative will guide the School and its programs for the next 5-years. The specific roles and responsibilities of the masters program in Communication Disorders follow the summary descriptions of the School's strategic initiatives.
Center for Children and Families
The School will develop a new Center which will focus faculty expertise in child development and developmental disorders on interdisciplinary research, student training, and community service for the benefit of underserved children and families.
The program in Communication Disorders will play a pivotal role in the design and implementation of child and family assessment clinics and in the staffing of these clinics. Graduate students will receive enhanced opportunities for training in a multidisciplinary setting with children and families who represent the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of the Dallas Metroplex.
The Callier Center has served children on the autism spectrum for nearly 40 years. However, the number of children identified has having disorders on the autism spectrum has dramatically increased as have the number of facilities engaged in identifying and treating the disorder. A collaborative program joining the UTD Callier Center and Center for BrainHealth, UT Southwestern Medical School, and Children’s Hospital of Dallas will link the diagnostic, treatment, and referral system at each institution and a major research effort on causes, differential diagnosis, and outcomes of autism spectrum disorders.
The Program in Communication Disorders and Callier Center will take a lead role in the design and implementation of coordinated, diagnostic, treatment, and referral services. The model project will provide the foundation for enhance speech, language, and developmental options and establish a permanent service network for children on the autism spectrum and their families.
Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience Expansion
Neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience are disciplines which intersect all of the School's programs. Applications of neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience, including advanced neuroimaging techniques, to address issues in aging, developmental disorders, and cognitive learning are all areas targeted for expansion. Enhanced collaborative relationships with the clinical and basic science departments of UT Southwestern Medical Center will provide greater faculty and student access to laboratories and clinical populations.
The interdisciplinary field of translational cognitive neuroscience has a growing role in the innovative diagnostic and treatment procedures in communication disorders. For example, application of neuroimaging now offers more than differential diagnosis. It can be used to inform clinical decision, monitor treatments, predict outcomes, and in guide development of innovative treatments based on brain function in normal and atypical cognition. Incorporating advances in translational cognitive neuroscience into the masters curriculum through new courses, additions to existing courses, and opportunities for student research participation will enhance the students' preparation in a variety of areas of pediatric and adult neurogenic disorders.
The University's desire to address the issues of the acquisition and improvement of math skills provides an opportunity for the School to make a significant contribution in resolving a national problem. The School will focus on a cognitive neuroscience approach to math skill acquisition using its expertise in neuroimaging, early education, and learning disorders and its close relationship with local public and private schools.
Uncovering parallels in the acquisition of math skills and language/literacy acquisition and may help advance both fields. Faculty through their knowledge and expertise in cognitive learning styles, reasoning, and learning disability are positioned to offer significant contributions in educational domains in addition to language and literacy.
Collaboration with the Department of Bioengineering
The School has supported activities at the intersection of neuroscience and biomedical device creation for some time. Development of a neuroengineering subspecialty in conjunction with bioengineers will encourage research and applications of technology in the field of neuroprosthetics and the development of interdisciplinary graduate training in the field. The investment in bioengineering has the potential to lead to involve the School to a greater degree in mutually beneficial relationships with start-up and establish high tech companies in the area.
Applications of technology designed to overcome communication disorders requires extensive field and laboratory testing by clinicians and scientist working in close collaboration. The model for such activities is already establish through the UTD Advanced Hearing Research Center at Callier and their research on the impact of cochlear implants on auditory perception and speech and language development in children with implants. Further activities focused on high-tech augmentative and assistive technology will expand the School's impact and allow for enhanced experience for graduate students in the high-tech realm of intervention in communication disorders.
Acquiring the Resources to Accomplish the Strategic Plan
Historically, the School has maximized its resources through faculty excellence, carefully-guided and coherent growth, agile responsiveness to opportunities, and unusual efficiency achieved by sharing faculty and curricula, and linking programs with the School's high-profile research centers. The strategic initiatives proposed, however, cannot be accomplished through excellence and efficiency alone. The challenge for the School is to acquire the support, internally and externally, to open new faculty lines and renovate and expand the School's aging and increasingly cramped physical facilities. This will require a combination of University funds, in part supported by increased enrollment, and continued effectiveness in acquiring support from extramural sources (federal, private, and non-profit) and private sector partnerships.
The program in Communication Disorders already operates high profile academic and clinical programs which underpin the School's initiatives and provide a visible example to the community of the impact of the School's activities on persons with disabilities. The University has committed development personnel to assist the program in conjunction with the Callier Center to share its message and accomplishments with those who may choose to offer support. Equally important negotiations are underway to access funding for renovation and expansion of the program's facilities which will allow for activities such as the Autism initiative to be brought to fruition.