2018-2019 Academic Catalogs

Master of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech Language Pathology


(701) 858-3031/1 (800) 777-0750 ext. 3031

Department Chairperson and Communication Disorders Graduate Program Director: Dr. Ann Beste-Guldborg


The Department of Communication Disorders offers a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Disorders, a Master's Degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology, and Post-Baccalaureate Program for individuals with an undergraduate degree in another discipline who wish to pursue graduate level study in speech language-pathology .

The Master’s of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology program at Minot State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

The Master of Science Degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology provides theoretical knowledge as well as clinical, and research experiences to prepare graduates for the diverse field of speech-language pathology. Academic course work along with practicum experiences on campus, in schools, hospitals, and various other clinical environments are integral part of the learning experience at Minot State University.

All faculty hold the ASHA Certificate for Clinical Competence for their prospective area and are licensed by the North Dakota State Board of Examiners in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Mission of the Department of Communication Disorders

The mission of the Department of Communication Disorders at Minot State University is to provide entry level speech language professionals who meet the needs of the state and region by:

  1. Providing students with high quality educational and clinical experiences
  2. Encouraging active engagement through a variety of community service and clinical experiences
  3. Delivering integrated experiences that allow students the opportunity to connect theory with practice, work in teams, respect the diversity of today’s world, and understand connections between research, evidence-based practice, and the therapeutic environment

Goals of the Graduate Program in Communication Disorders: Speech Language Pathology:

1. To provide course offerings and clinical experiences reflecting pertinent and current content preparing students for personal
    growth and professional competence as a beginning practitioner in the field of speech language pathology.

2. To offer information and experiences in factors that foster students’ abilities to serve a diverse clientele considering cultural and social variables as well as language exposure/acquisition on clients/patients and their families.

3. To facilitate student understanding of communication, cognitive, hearing, speech, language, literacy, and swallowing
    development and disorders across the life span.

4. To create intellectual excitement, curiosity, and student involvement in community service and inter-professional activities as
    well as encourage application of research evidence into everyday clinical practice.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Graduates completing the Master of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech Language Pathology program will have fulfilled ASHA Standards I through V necessary for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology, specifically students will:

1.      Demonstrate knowledge of the biological/physical sciences, the social/behavioral sciences and statistics. 

2.      Demonstrate the ability to integrate information pertaining to normal and abnormal human development
         across the life span.

3.      Demonstrate knowledge of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including the appropriate biological,
         neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and cultural/linguistic bases.

4.      Demonstrate knowledge of communication and swallowing disorders/differences, including appropriate etiologies,
        characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic/cultural correlates in:

  •          Articulation 
  •          Fluency 
  •          Voice and Resonance,
  •          Receptive and expressive language for speaking, listening, reading & writing
  •          Hearing
  •          Swallowing
  •          Cognitive and social aspects of communication  
  •          Augmentative and alternative communication modalities

5.      Demonstrate current knowledge of the principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people
         with communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan.

6.      Demonstrate knowledge of ASHA’s current Code of Ethics, ethical conduct standards; ASHA’s practice
         polices/guidelines, contemporary professional issues, entry level and advanced credentialing/licensing; as well
         as local, state, and national regulations relevant to professional practice.

7.      Demonstrate knowledge of research processes and integration of research principles into evidence-based clinical

8.      Demonstrate skill in oral, written and other forms of communication sufficient entry into professional practice.

9.      Demonstrate skill in prevention, evaluation, intervention of communication and swallowing disorders.

10.    Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with others, counsel, and behave professionally.

Graduation Requirements

Prior to being awarded the Master of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology degree, students must meet all of the following university and program requirements:

  • Complete required coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher;
  • Complete 400 practicum hours, including 25 observation hours;
  • Complete a minimum of one semester of clinical externship in an off-campus setting following completion of all academic and campus clinic requirements earning a grade of “B” or better;
  • Complete the national Praxis examination in speech language pathology; and
  • Complete all requirements for the thesis OR comprehensive examination option:

A.    Comprehensive Examination Option: This option requires the student to pass a four-hour written and, if required
       based on written examination results, a one- to two-hour oral comprehensive examination.

B.     Thesis Option: This option requires the student to complete and successfully defend a master’s thesis. Students
        who plan to pursue advanced graduate training are strongly encouraged to choose the thesis option.

Retention Requirements and Clinical Practicum Policy

All graduate school policies regarding academic probation and retention apply. Students must meet the academic retention requirements specified by the MSU Graduate School, maintaining a GPA of 3.00 or better. Students in the CD: SLP graduate program will be allowed only one semester of academic probation at any time throughout their program of study.

In addition, the department holds the following clinical practicum policies.

  1. Students admitted with a “C” grade in an undergraduate practicum course will be placed on probation and must receive at least a “B” in their first clinical practicum course in the graduate program to be retained within the program
  2. Students must repeat, the following semester, any graduate level clinical practicum course in which a “C” was earned. The deficiency must be remediation prior to enrolling in additional clinical practicum experiences.
  3. Only one clinical practicum with an earned grade of “C” may be repeated, and only one repetition is allowed. Students earning a grade of “C” in subsequent practicum experiences will be discontinued from the program.
  4. Students earning a grad of “F” in any clinical practicum experience may not repeat the practicum and will be discontinued from the program.

Department Application and Acceptance Policy

Acceptance as a candidate for the Master of Science Degree in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology at Minot State University requires an earned bachelor’s degree in communication disorders or completion of post baccalaureate coursework in communication disorders from an accredited college or university with an academic grade point average as specified in the criteria below.

If a student enters the Master’s Program in Communication Disorders: Speech-Language Pathology as a full-time student with an undergraduate degree or Post Baccalaureate classes in Communication Disorders, and has met ASHA requirements for the biological sciences, basic chemistry or basic physical science, statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences, then it is generally possible to complete the degree in five semesters. Students will be on campus for four semesters and will complete an external practicum in their fifth semester.

Students who don’t meet coursework requirements have the following options:

Potential students are advised of the following:

A.    Applications received by February 15 will receive priority consideration.

B.    Applications received after February 15 will be considered only if student slots remain available.

C.    Admission to the Communication Disorders Graduate Program is a competitive process.

To be considered for admission, applicants must have

  •  A minimum 3.25 grade point average for the last four years or in the last 60 semester hours of study;
  •  Completed the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with a minimum score of 3.5 on the writing portion; and
  •  Three letters of recommendation from academic instructors and/or supervisors (two from within the communication disorders major and one external evaluator) who can attest to the individual’s ability, skill, inter-personal relationships, and characteristics that lead to success in the graduate program.

Qualified applicants will then be rank-ordered based on GPA, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. When two or more students receive the same ranking, priority consideration will be given to students with North Dakota residency. In addition, students who have completed an undergraduate degree or post-baccalaureate program at Minot State will receive additional priority consideration.

D.    Under rare circumstances, with substantial evidence that a person’s undergraduate record does not appropriately and accurately represent a student’s abilities and promise, the Faculty may recommend and the Department Chairperson may approve the acceptance of persons who do not meet the listed minimum requirements for acceptance.

Master of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech Language-Pathology Program Academic Honesty and Clinic Ethics Policy

The department of Communication Disorders follows Minot State University policies regarding academic honesty. When there is supported evidence of cheating on examinations or other course assignments or a serious violation of privacy laws or the ASHA Code of Ethics, the student will receive a failing grade for the course or practicum and will face possible dismissal graduate program.

Academic Honesty and Clinic Ethics Appeal Policy

Dismissal for academic dishonesty or serious clinical violation can be appealed. A student who wishes to appeal his/her dismissal should follow the appeal process established by the Graduate School and listed in this catalog under Graduate School Policies and Regulations.

Grade Appeal Policy

The process and conditions for a grade appeal follow the definitions and schedules of the Graduate School. All requests for review of a grade must be submitted according to the timelines established by the Graduate School for this process.

Master of Science in Communication Disorders: Speech Language Pathology (60 SH Minimum)

Required Courses
CD 501Introduction to Graduate Studies3
CD 502Early Inter-Interdisciplinary Study2
CD 511Clinical Practicum: Therapy3
CD 511Clinical Practicum: Therapy3
CD 511Clinical Practicum: Therapy3
CD 513Assessment Practicum3
CD 520Fluency Disorders3
CD 522Neurogenic Communication Disorders3
CD 516Public School Practicum: Speech-Language-Pathology1-12
or CD 517 Adv External Practicum: Speech-Language-Pathology
CD 530Cleft Palate1
CD 524Neuro Based Speech Disorders3
CD 526Applied Phonology3
CD 528Assessment in SLP3
CD 532Voice Disorders3
CD 534Adolescent Communication2
CD 535Dysphagia3
CD 536AAC: Multiple Disabilities3
CD 538Language and Literacy3
CD 539Audiology for the SLP2
CD 540Professional Issues2
CD 545Public School Methods in SLP2
Optional Courses
Grad Seminar In Research
Speech-Language-Pathology Development and Disorders
Special Topics
Independent Study
Continuing Enrollment
Total Hours54-65



Dr. Lesley Magnus

Associate Professors

Dr. Ann Beste-Guldborg
Department Chair & Graduate Program Director

Assistant Professors

Ms. Leisa Harmon

Ms. Lisa Roteliuk

Ms. Erin Holt

Ms. Mary Huston

Dr. Eileen Savelkoul

Ms. Robyn Walker

Ms. Kayla Fisher


Ms. Chelsie Haaland
Clinical Supervisor

Dr. Edward Malazdrewicz
Adjunct Professor, Audiology