Speech-Language Pathology, MS

Department of Special Education, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences

Vision Statement

The mission of the Department Special Education and Communication Disorders is to prepare dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who are unique in their ability to facilitate, design, implement, and evaluate programs for individuals with disabilities. This is accomplished by creating opportunities for the acquisition and maintenance of knowledge, skills, and dispositions as prescribed by the Council for Exceptional Children, the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and state and federal regulations.

Program Contact Information

Shari DeVeney PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
512 Roskens Hall (RH) 
402.554.2993
sdeveney@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Other Program Related Information

Program Description

The graduate program in speech-language pathology is designed to prepare speech-language pathologists for Nebraska teacher certification, state licensure, and certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The Master of Science (MS) in speech-language pathology at University of Nebraska at Omaha 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. 

The next CAA re-accreditation on-site review will be in 2028.

The program also is accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Admissions

General Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Program-Specific Requirements

Application Deadlines (Fall 2022)

  • Fall: January 15 for all application materials

Other Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology or communication disorders; or if bachelor's degree in another field, must have completed the following undergraduate courses in communication disorders: CDIS 4420, CDIS 4460, CDIS 4750, CDIS 4450, CDIS 4430, CDIS 4370, CDIS 4330, CDIS 4390, CDIS 4490, CDIS 4500, CDIS 4380, CDIS 4470 & CDIS 4480 and a chemistry or physics, statistics, biological sciences (e.g., biology, human anatomy or physiology),  social/behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology or public health) courses.
  • Entrance Exam: Graduate Record Exam is required, the exam must have been completed within within the last five years
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English. Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the United States, OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a predetermined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission. 
    • Paper-based TOEFL: 550, Internet-based TOEFL: 80, IELTS: 6.5, PTE: 53, Duolingo: 105
      • If scores are more than two years old the applicant may be required to retake the exam
  • Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose should cover your long range goals in the profession, a summary paragraph of a research-based article in your area of interest, a brief description of what distinguishes you from other highly qualified applicants, and your experience with individual(s) with special needs
  • Personal Fitness Statement (form is online with graduate application materials)

  •  Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required 
  • The program may conduct applicant interviews.

Degree Requirements

  • In order to acquire the knowledge and skills requisite to the practice of speech-language pathology to function in a broad variety of clinical situations, and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, individuals must have skills and attributes in five areas: communication, motor, intellectual-cognitive, sensory-observational, and behavioral-social. These skills enable a student to meet graduate and professional requirements as measured by state licensure and national certification. (Council of Academic Programs in Communication and Sciences and Disorders, 2007).
  • Candidates must complete a speech-language-hearing screen within the first 30 days of enrollment.
  • Academic integrity is expected for all interactions and requirements. This includes, but is not limited to: original work on exams, accountability and completion of requirements, maintenance of confidentiality for individuals and class discussions when appropriate, and accurate citation for original work. Plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade for the assignment. Please refer to the UNO Academic Integrity Policy for more specific descriptions of academic integrity violations.
    • The Praxis I - CORE Academic Skills for Educators test must be successfully passed per NDE requirements within the first 30 days of enrollment or the student will be prohibited from registering for classes. Scores must be sent to UNO directly from ETS, using code RA6420.
  • A background check and Nebraska Adult and Child Abuse & Neglect Registry Release must be successfully completed prior to enrollment and prior to each externship.
  • Each candidate must take the Praxis II - Subject Assessment test. Scores must be submitted prior to applying for graduation. Scores must be sent to UNO directly from ETS, using code RA0174.
Required Courses
CDIS 8240LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN3
CDIS 8410MOTOR SPEECH DISORDERS3
CDIS 8420VOICE DISORDERS3
CDIS 8430FLUENCY DISORDERS3
CDIS 8440APHASIA & RELATED LANGUAGE DISORDERS3
CDIS 8500BASIC CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY 16
CDIS 8510EDUCATIONAL EXTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS 44
CDIS 8520MEDICAL EXTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS 44
CDIS 8540AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER2
CDIS 8560AUGMENTATIVE & ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION2
CDIS 8570DYSPHAGIA3
CDIS 8590EARLY INTERVENTION: BIRTH TO FIVE3
Electives
Student, in consultation with an advisor, will select an elective. The 3 hours of elective credit will be waived if the thesis option is chosen. The following list is a sampling of recommended electives:3
MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS: RISK FACTORS AND INTERVENTIONS
TEACHING STUDENTS WITH EXCEPTIONALITIES
HIGH INCIDENCE DISABILITIES
LITERACY ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
TRANSITION PLANNING
PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION
SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS FROM DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES
CHARACTERISTICS OF EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS
SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW
MENTAL HEALTH AND AGING
LEGAL ASPECTS OF AGING
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY
WORKING WITH MINORITY ELDERLY
Total Credits42

Exit Requirements

Non-Thesis Option

  • Successfully complete the comprehensive exam.

Thesis Option

  • Complete 6 credit hours of SPED 8990
  • Successfully complete the SLP Praxis exam.

Speech-Language Pathology Intervention Policy for Content and Clinicals

Every course/clinic assignment in the speech-language pathology program is connected to the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) along with the Council on Academic Accreditation Standards (CAA). CFCC and CAA standards are found in each course syllabus and must be successfully met for the course to count toward certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Please refer to ASHA’s website for more information on CFCC and CAA standards (links below).

2020 Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology

Academic Accreditation Standards for Graduate Programs

Updated Graduate Intervention Policy

CDIS 8240  LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN (3 credits)

This course focuses on the relationship between spoken and written language and its role in language-based learning disabilities in school-age students. It addresses the characteristics of language and reading impairments; the subtypes of these disorders including dyslexia; and the different diagnostic strategies, assessment tools, and intervention approaches used with them. Various models of language and reading as they relate to development and disorders will be reviewed.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing in Speech-Language Pathology and a course in later (school age) language development. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8396  HEARING SCIENCE (3 credits)

This course is designed for undergraduate majors in speech-language pathology and audiology and for graduate candidates in education of the deaf/hard of hearing. The course will include basic terminology, anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism, acoustics and physics of sound, the processes of human hearing, elements of basic hearing measurements, psychophysics. This course will prepare speech-language pathology candidates as dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who can meet the challenges of their profession in a changing world. (Cross-listed with CDIS 4390).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Admission to Graduate College

CDIS 8410  MOTOR SPEECH DISORDERS (3 credits)

This course is designed to integrate background information from neurophysiology related to motor speech disorders (MSD). The term motor speech disorders refers to speech deficits and differences resulting from injury to the human nervous system. This course will focus on acquired movement-based disorders of speech production that impact one or more of the following subsystems of speech: respiration, phonation, resonation, and/or articulation, including the dysarthrias and apraxia of speech. This course will entail clinical description and characteristics of the impairments as well as on the psychosocial changes in life activities and participation of individuals who live with MSD.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SPED 4470/CDIS 4470 or SPED 8470/CDIS 8470 or equivalent; graduate standing in Speech-Language Pathology. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8420  VOICE DISORDERS (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide candidates the opportunity to study the disorders of voice in depth so that they are able to effectively orchestrate caseloads including this disorder type. Voice disorders of both organic and functional etiology will be studied. Candidates will have opportunities to conduct instrumental voice evaluation techniques. The disorders will be discussed to cover the range of topics including etiology, symptomology, assessment and diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, both medical and non-medical.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing in Speech-Language Pathology. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8430  FLUENCY DISORDERS (3 credits)

This course examines the types and causes of rate, rhythm, and stress pattern differences as they relate to child, adolescent, and adult fluency disorders. Theory, current research, and contemporary practice information will constitute the foundation within which to address issues of identification, general assessment, differential assessment, prescription, and the implementation and evaluation of treatment strategies. The course is intended for graduate students in speech-language pathology.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing in Speech-Language Pathology. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8440  APHASIA & RELATED LANGUAGE DISORDERS (3 credits)

This course is designed to integrate background information from neurophysiology to aphasia and related disorders such as right hemisphere syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and dementia. The term aphasia refers to linguistic deficits and differences resulting from injury to the human nervous system. This course will focus on acquired cognitive and linguistic-based disorders of the human communication system. This course will entail clinical description and characteristics of the impairments as well as on the psychosocial changes in life activities and participation of individuals who live with aphasia and/or related disorders.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SPED 4470/SPED 8470, CDIS 4470/CDIS 8470 or equiv; grad standing in SLP. Grad SLPs without SPED 4470/CDIS 4470 can concurrently enroll in SPED 4470/SPED 8470 or CDIS 4470/CDIS 8470 with advisor permission. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8470  NEUROPHYSIOLOGY OF SPEECH AND LANGUAGE (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide speech-language pathology graduate candidates an introduction to human neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the speech, language and hearing mechanisms, across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the neurophysiological underpinnings of human communication and its disorders. Ultimately, the course will prepare speech-language pathology graduate candidates as dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who can meet the challenges of their profession in a changing world.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate Standing Speech-Language Pathology Majors in the CDIS 4380 or equivalency. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8486  RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS (3 credits)

This course will provide candidates with an introductory set of skills to interpret and evaluate research in communication disorders and closely related fields. In addition, this course will provide candidates with basic knowledge regarding research designs and analyses commonly used in communication disorders and related fields. The content addressed in this course will prepare candidates to judiciously evaluate evidence-based practice and apply the scientific method to clinical decision-making. It offers an opportunity to cultivate critical thinking skills imperative to becoming dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who can adeptly meet the ever-evolving challenges of their profession.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): This course is designed for graduate and undergraduate students majoring in speech-language pathology and is a required course for speech-language pathology candidates.

CDIS 8500  BASIC CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (2 credits)

These courses are designed to provide the speech-language pathology candidate clinicians with diverse clinical experiences prior to full-semester clinical externships in the educational, and medical settings.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing in Speech-Language Pathology Program, completed any previous semester of 8500 with a B or above, currently maintain at least a 3.0 GPA overall. Permission from program faculty. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8510  EDUCATIONAL EXTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS (4 credits)

This course is designed to provide the speech-language pathology candidate with experiences of a clinical nature in educational settings. The purpose of the course is to advance the candidate's skills in the evaluation and management of communication and swallowing disorders.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Successful completion of "Foundation Block" (CDIS 4550/8556; SPED 8030, 8120 or equivalent) and three semesters of SPED 8500/CDIS 8500 unless otherwise indicated. Permission required. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8520  MEDICAL EXTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION DISORDERS (4 credits)

This course is designed to provide the speech-language candidate with experiences of a clinical nature in medical settings. The purpose is to advance the candidates' skills in the evaluation and management of communication and swallowing disorders.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Three semesters of SPED 8500/CDIS 8500 unless otherwise indicated plus permission. Not open to non-degree students.

CDIS 8530  SEMINAR IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide intensive discussion of research or problems of current professional interest based on current literature in speech-language pathology. This course will prepare candidates as dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who can meet the challenges of their profession in a changing world.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing

CDIS 8540  AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (2 credits)

This course is designed to familiarize candidates with the features of, and interventions for, individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The course will emphasize evidence-based practices when utilizing various methodologies for supporting social and communication skills.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Co-requisite: SPED 8560/CDIS 8560. Admission to the Graduate College. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8556  SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS FROM DIVERSE COMMUNITIES (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to study the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity on communication, learning, and behavior. The contrast between what is considered 'normal' language / learning development and in the presence of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) P-12 students will receive special emphasis.

CDIS 8560  AUGMENTATIVE & ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION (2 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the nature and process of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), current theories and models of AAC, basic elements of AAC systems, and contemporary AAC clinical practices and principles. Topics will be examined from educational and rehabilitation perspectives as they relate to assessment, prescription, implementation and evaluation. The course will emphasize practical solutions in AAC for children and adults using both high technology and other less-complex communication strategies. Students will explore high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech options of AAC and gain knowledge of and experience with assessment of clients for AAC needs, prescription of an appropriate level of AAC, practice with implementing various AAC systems, and on-going evaluation of the AAC system's effectiveness with clients.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing in Speech-Language Pathology program; co-requisite: SPED 8540/CDIS 8540.

CDIS 8570  DYSPHAGIA (3 credits)

This course is designed to integrate background information from neurophysiology to dysphagia. The term dysphagia refers to swallowing disorders resulting from congenital birth anomalies (i.e., cleft palate, cerebral palsy, etc.) as well as acquired injury to the central nervous system (i.e., stroke, head injury, etc.). This course will introduce candidates to bedside, radiographic, and endoscopic assessment procedures as well as direct, indirect, and medical management techniques of dysphagia. Additionally, this course will provide clinical description and characteristics of swallowing impairments as well as on the psychosocial changes in life activities and participation of individuals who live with dysphagia.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SPED 4470/CDIS 4470 or equivalent, graduate standing in speech-language pathology. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

CDIS 8590  EARLY INTERVENTION: BIRTH TO FIVE (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide candidates with knowledge about supporting communicative disorders in young children, and their families, within a multicultural and global framework. It will cover assumptions underlying current approaches to the evaluation and treatment in the developing child. Major emphasis will be upon the theoretical foundations of the study and treatment of communication disorders in children from birth to age five.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): SPED 4420/CDIS 4420 or equivalent. Admission to Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology. Not open to non-degree graduate students.