MHS in Communication Science and Disorders with Emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology

The Master of Health Science (MHS) degree program prepares students for professional practice in speech-language pathology. Students in this program receive a strong academic and clinical background in current theory and application in the field of communication disorders from faculty who are committed to excellence in teaching and who are involved in clinical and basic research. Candidates for the MHS degree must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate coursework plus at least 375 hours of clinical practicum that is supervised by certified clinical faculty. In addition to the MU Speech and Hearing Clinic, the city of Columbia and surrounding communities in mid-Missouri provide for a wide range of clinical practicum opportunities as well as a diverse client population. Students who wish to also may pursue clinical practicum experiences in other geographical locations during their final semester in the program. A thesis option also is available for students interested in research and/or further study toward the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The MHS degree in CSD typically takes students two full years to complete if their baccalaureate degree is in communication science and disorders. If their undergraduate study was in another field, the degree program requires at a minimum 30 additional credit/semester hours of prerequisite coursework. This coursework may be completed through any college or university that offers an undergraduate degree in CSD and must include courses in both basic communication sciences and some communication disorders. It is recommended that the student have their prerequisite coursework approved by the Department’s graduate program director prior to application to the MHS degree program. Applicants do not have to complete all prerequisite coursework before applying to, or beginning, the MHS program; however, they must be, at a minimum, in the process of doing so. All students must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree (in some field) before beginning the MHS program in Communication Science and Disorders. For more information, contact the Department at

MHS graduates are required to meet all academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) awarded by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). A passing score of 162 on the PRAXIS II Speech-Language Pathology examination is required for graduation from the MHS program in CSD. In addition to serving as the comprehensive examination for masters candidates in CSD, the PRAXIS II also is required for the Certificate of Clinical Competence, for Missouri professional licensure, and for Missouri school certification as a speech language specialist. For well over 20 years, 100% of all graduates from MU's CSD program have passed this national exam and our mean and median scores are significantly higher than the national averages. In addition, graduates of the program have enjoyed excellent job opportunities upon graduation, with many having more than one job offer before finishing their masters program.

The CSD MHS program at MU is relatively small and selective. Students benefit from a low student-faculty ratio, close supervision in the MU Speech and Hearing Clinic, and a challenging yet supportive learning environment. Faculty in CSD are easily accessible, and strong student-faculty relationships are easily developed.

The CSD department welcomes all visitors interested in meeting our faculty and students and touring our facilities. If you would like to visit, we recommend that you schedule an appointment by e-mailing us at


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the MHS in Communication Science and Disorders and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program’s graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process.  Before official admissions to the University of Missouri, your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied.

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