Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

How long does it take to complete the graduate degree?

The length of time required to complete the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree depends on whether a student is full time or part time and how the student performs in class. A full time student taking the recommended course load of graduate credit hours could possibly complete the Master's degree in approximately 5 semesters (21 months) if the student registers for classes during the summer semester. A minimum of 42 graduate credit hours for the thesis option or non-thesis option is required to complete the degree. Clinical practica courses may not be used to satisfy degree requirements; however, practica courses are required for students seeking licensure and/or certification as speech-language pathologists.


Are financial aid and/or assistantships available for students working on a degree in this area?

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree program has a limited number of graduate assistantships available. Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis and are available for every academic semester of the year. Other aid may be available depending on your financial status. Visit (Web site) to learn what is available.


How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?

Students must apply for graduate assistantships through Southeastern's Human Resources web site. All employment, including graduate assistantships, must be completed online. The site is searchable for particular positions, e.g., graduate assistantships.


What is the amount of a graduate assistantship?

Assistantships for Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants begin at $9,000 for the academic year (fall and spring semesters). Students receiving an assistantship also receive a tuition waiver; this includes non-resident fees for students who are not legal residents of Louisiana. The financial package for a Louisiana resident student receiving an assistantship for fall and spring semester including a tuition waiver is valued just over $13,000.


What is required of a student receiving a graduate assistantship?

Job responsibilities and tasks are different depending on which type of graduate assistantship, i.e., TA, or RA,a student receives. All students on graduate assistantships are required to work an average of 20 hours per week and must register for a minimum full course load of graduate credit hours, which is 9 hours per fall and spring semester. Students receiving a graduate assistantship in the summer are required to work an average of 20 hours per week and register for6 graduate credit hours of course work.


How do I know this degree is for me?

Helpful qualities for speech-language pathology majors include:

* A desire to help others
* Interest in health sciences
* Critical-thinking skills
* Good communication skills (oral & written language)
* Good interpersonal skills
* Adaptability
* Motivation to learn
* Independence
* Creativity
* Maturity


What are the employment opportunities for a person with a graduate degree in this area?

An individual with a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree can work in a variety of settings including: Schools; Hospitals and rehabilitation centers; Skilled nursing facilities; Residential care facilities; Home health agencies; Physician's offices and clinics; Specialty clinics (e.g., speech and hearing centers, cerebral palsy centers, autism centers); Private practices; and Universities.


What salary range can be expected with this graduate degree?

Starting salaries vary widely by experience, practice setting, region, and state. Approximate salary ranges include the following, but are frequently changing:

Master-level: Speech-language pathologist

  • Academic Year:...................................$37,000 - $60,000
  • Calendar year... .................................$42,000 - $65,000
  • Hourly rate for less than 25 hrs/wk....$40.00 per hour
  • Hourly rate for more than 25 hrs/wk..$28.33 per hour - Full time hourly rates may appear lower than part-time pay rates; however, full time employees receive company financed benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and paid vacations.


During the more than 20 years that American Speech-Language Hearing Association has been collecting salary data, salaries have increased by about 250%.