Grad Student Handbook
Information and policies for students in the Speech-Language Pathology M.S. program.
Welcome to the Graduate master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of North Dakota!
The mission of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) is to meet the needs of the University of North Dakota (UND) and its surrounding community in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders, especially in the area of speech-language pathology. Specifically, the mission of CSD is to:
- Provide academic and clinical instruction, supervised clinical practica, and research experiences for undergraduate and graduate-level students.
- Conduct research with the aim of contributing to the body of knowledge concerning communication processes and communication disorders.
- Provide clinical services to individuals, groups, and agencies within North Dakota and the region.
- Participate in the governance of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and the University.
- Provide professional leadership within local, state and national organizations.
About the SLP program
The Program in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology began in the late 1940’s as part of the Department of Speech. In the fall of 1949, three courses on speech correction were offered, and in 1950 a speech and hearing clinic, operating for six weeks during the summer, was established in the basement of Merrifield Hall.
On February 1, 1967, the Speech Correction program separated from the Department of Speech and became the autonomous Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. In 1967, the department moved to specially constructed facilities in Montgomery Hall where it was until the end of summer of 2017. Currently, the department and clinic are on the first floor in the Columbia Hall.
Policies & Codes
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. While parents understandably have an interest in a student's academic progress, they cannot be granted access to a student's records without consent of the student.
- Harassment and Discrimination
- Accessibility for Students
- Student Diversity and Inclusion
- ASHA Code of Ethics for Students
- UND Code of Student Life
- ASHA Ethical Use of Social Media
- CAA Complaint Procedure
At the end of the first year, students can select a graduate faculty member of their choice as their advisor by submitting a change of advisor form.
Students determine if they would like to complete a thesis or independent study with the help of their advisor and follow the steps below depending on their choice of project.
- Form a committee of three faculty via the change form.
- Develop and seek approval of a prospectus.
- Seek IRB approval, if necessary.
- Submit the topic proposal to the School of Graduate Studies.
- Write thesis.
- File notice of defense.
- Defend thesis.
- Bring signature page to defense for committee signatures.
- Submit finished thesis and signature page to the UND Chester Fritz Library electronically through UMI/ProQuest.
Application to Graduate
Students are required to apply for graduation one semester prior to the semester they graduate.
Academic Intervention Policy
- All students take the comprehensive exam at the end of their fourth semester. This exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and covers all graduate coursework completed.
- The individual sections on the test include basic human communication, dysphagia, speech sound disorders, fluency disorders, voice disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, hearing, cognitive and social aspects of communication, AAC, research, contemporary and professional issues including ethics.
- Students must earn an overall score of 70% or higher to pass this exam and 70% or higher in individual sections. If required remediation in individual sections will be conducted by faculty members.
Report your praxis scores to the department.
Required clinical experience is obtained through CSD 584 and CSD 585 courses. Clinical hours and evaluations are documented on an online documentation system, Calipso. All clinical instructors are required to be ASHA certified, following ASHA supervision guidelines.
- Three semesters of CSD 584 clinical experiences are completed primarily on campus in the Northern Prairie Community Clinic (NPCC). Clinical experiences may also be assigned at outpost sites and supervised by clinical faculty. Learn more about NPCC..
- CSD 585 experiences are externship placements. In order to enroll in clinical externships,
students must meet the following criteria.
- Successful completion (grade of “B” or better) of a minimum of three semesters of CSD 584—Advanced Clinical Practicum.
- Selection of a fall externship location within a 100-mile radius from campus in order to attend in-person evening courses.
- ASHA certification requires a total of 400 clinical clock hours across a variety of ages and disorders. They do not specify the breakdown of those hours, except for stating that 375 out of the 400 hours must be direct client contact (rather than clinical observation). UND's policy is to obtain a minimum of 25 child hours and 25 adult hours. See Standard V-C here.
- A criminal background check must be completed prior to starting clinical practicum.
Clinical Practicum Remediation Policy
Students are required to complete 15 hours of service to the department and the community during the course of their training. Graduate students are responsible for maintaining a record of supervised service activities. Service hours log can be found on Blackboard.