Graduate School - Communication Sciences and Disorders

Contact Information

Brenda Bender, Advisor
ACU Box 28058
Abilene, Texas 79699-8058
Don Morris Center, Room 126

Phone: 325-674-4819
Fax: 325-674-2552


Jon Ashby, Professor
Terry Baggs, Associate Professor
Brenda Bender, Assistant Professor
MaLesa Breeding, Associate Professor

Supervising clinical faculty:
Dawna Denise Barnett, Instructor
D’Lyla Kirby, Assistant Professor
Holly Morris, Instructor

Dava Lynn Sullivan, Instructor



Abilene Christian University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in speech-language pathology. The MS in communication sciences and disorders is a 52-hour non-thesis program consisting of 36 hours of academic preparation and 16 hours of clinical practicum. The course work is presented in a two-year sequence. A written comprehensive examination is required.

The Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).

Professional practice in Speech-Language Pathology has increasingly moved into the medical and rehabilitation context. Professional speech-language pathologists provide services to improve communicative ability and the quality of life. As a mission based on service and leadership, this program is clearly consistent with the goals of the university.

The mission of the Communication Sciences and Disorders department is to equip students with knowledge and skills in speech-language pathology for ministry to individuals with communication disorders through a Christian world perspective.

Students and clinical faculty are involved in the provision of diagnostic and treatment services to the community, research into the causes, prevention, and effects of communication disorders, and advocacy for persons with communication disabilities. The training program endeavors to produce speech-language pathologists with professional competency and conduct consistent with the highest national standards. Our goal is to generate moral and ethical professional people of character who lead because of their spiritual involvement and who serve from a value base that comes from nurturing in a Christian environment.

In addition to the Center for Speech and Language Disorders, the department provides opportunity to study neurogenic disorders in voice and swallowing disorders under the supervision of certified speech-language pathologists.

Another popular clinical program at ACU is King David’s Kids – a support program for families and children with pervasive developmental disabilities.

Admission Requirements
Enrollment is limited to applicants who will be full-time students. For admission criteria, please refer to the Graduate School Admission Requirements section of this catalog. In addition to the general Graduate School requirements, the following criteria are required of all applicants for unconditional admission to the MS program in communication sciences and disorders:

          1. A two-year commitment is required from all applicants;
          2. A third letter of recommendation (at least two of the recommendation letters must come
              from professionals in the field and relate to the applicant's potential academic success);
          3. An interview with one or more members of the graduate faculty;
          4. A writing sample (may be submitted as a mission statement).

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Admissions Committee makes holistic judgments based on the evaluation of an applicant’s ability and readiness for graduate work. In conjunction with the Graduate School, the Divisional Committee may recommend conditional admission for an applicant who does not meet all admission criteria.

Back To Top



Major Code: CSD

Requirements for the MS degree in communication sciences and disorders are:    

1. Core courses (36 hours); Practicum (16 hours)
YEAR 1                                                          
COMP 602Aphasia
COMP 610Language Disorders in Children
COMP 620Communication Research Methods
COMP 659Diagnostic and Therapeutic Theory
COMP 693Clinical Practicum
COMP 601Phonology
COMP 603Motor Speech Disorders
COMP 613Dysphagia and Related Disorders
COMP 693Clinical Practicum
COMP 608Multi-Cultural Issues in Speech-Language Pathology
COMP 693Clinical Practicum (Variable credit: 1 or 3 hours)
COMP 604Voice Disorders
COMP 606Fluency Disorders
COMP 693Clinical Practicum (Augmentative/Alternative Communication)
COMP 694Advanced Clinical Practicum
COMP 670Seminar in Speech Pathology: Professional Ethics
COMP 670Seminar in Speech Pathology: Capstone
COMP 694Advanced Clinical Practicum
2. Comprehensive Exam

Back To Top

Vision in Action

Watch the video above to witness the future of Abilene Christian University taking shape.

Learn more 

Connect with ACU