CD Graduate Program FAQs

  1. Is the program accredited?
  2. Does Emerson specialize in any disorder or age group population?
  3. What sets Emerson apart from other master’s degree programs in communication disorders?
  4. When are the graduate classes scheduled?
  5. May I start the graduate program in January or in summer school?
  6. Is it possible to complete the graduate degree on a part-time basis?
  7. How long will it take to complete the degree?
  8. How do Emerson students perform on the national Praxis examination?
  9. How I can qualify for license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education?
  10. What proportion of the students who enter Emerson’s graduate program in CD graduate?
  11. What is the post-graduate employment rate for your master's degree students and where do they work?

Is the program accredited?

Yes. The master's program in speech-language pathology at Emerson College is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700, and has been since 1980. It is also a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education–approved program for the preparation of Teachers of Students with Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders (all levels, pre-K through 12). In addition, Emerson is an approved program by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to offer Provisional Certification with Advanced Standing as an Early Intervention Specialist to students who complete our early intervention curriculum and who plan to work in Massachusetts.

Does Emerson specialize in any disorder or age group population?

As with all CAA-accredited master's degree programs, a wide range of academic courses and clinical experiences are available to all students. The coursework and clinical practica in our program provide multiple rich opportunities for students to pursue their interests in working with children or adults having communication disorders and differences. The Robbins Center, as well as the many external sites that are available to our students, provide especially strong clinical experiences across the lifespan. Having said this, we also recognize that the Robbins Center has a well-respected reputation for providing family-focused and child-centered services. This stems from our innovative onsite programs for hearing-impaired young children and children with developmental language disorders. We are also very proud of our adult programs, which focus on neurogenic communication disorders.

(The chart below in the answer to question #11 illustrates where our recent graduates have found employment.)

What sets Emerson apart from other master’s degree programs in communication disorders?

There are a number of ways in which we feel that our academic and clinical programs reflect something special.

We emphasize collegiality among our students, encouraging group learning, non-competition, and mutual assistance and support. We believe this promotes a strong foundation for a life-long network of friends and colleagues.

We approach clinical work with a family-centered philosophy. This means family members and other caregivers are considered integral members of the assessment and treatment team. In our clinic, families and other caregivers work closely with our students and faculty in setting and attaining therapeutic goals for all clients.

Clinical work and academic instruction are closely linked at Emerson. The faculty are scholars as well as clinicians. We continually infuse the presentation of theory with examples from our own clinical practices. Our program promotes students’ ability to apply a core of theoretical knowledge to their clinical practice.

Our approach to graduate education is student-centered. Our faculty are accessible and have an “open door” policy. We are interested in and make an effort to get to know our students individually.

We actively seek student feedback and participation in their education through classroom and clinic interactions as well as student events such as:

  • Regular “feedback forums” for students to ask questions, voice concerns, and make suggestions
  • Scholarly talks and movie events to foster discussions on relevant topics beyond the classroom
  • An annual ASHA orientation for students who are planning to attend the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention
  • Specialized seminars, courses and workshops, sponsored by the department and available to our students

When are the graduate classes scheduled?

As clinical practica require daytime participation, the majority of the 3-credit graduate-level courses are scheduled in the late afternoon and early evenings in order to maximize the available clinical time for our students. The required 1-credit seminars, however, are scheduled during the winter and spring intersessions for two full days each. View Emerson's recent course listings.

May I start the graduate program in January or in summer school?

No. Graduate students are admitted in September only.

Is it possible to complete the graduate degree on a part-time basis?

Emerson’s graduate program in Communication Disorders is designed for full-time study. Full-time is typically three academic courses, a clinical methods course, and clinical assignments (practicum).

How long will it take to complete the degree?

Ordinarily, those entering with an undergraduate major in Communication Disorders who have completed their 25 hours of observation are able to complete the coursework and clinical requirements for the degree in two academic years and the intervening summer. Others need an additional summer to complete all degree requirements.

How do Emerson students perform on the national Praxis examination?

The Praxis examination is a national examination administered by ETS (Educational Testing Service), and is taken by our graduates in order to qualify for ASHA certification, as well as licensure in many states.

Over each of the past three years, 100% of our students pass the examination on their first attempt. The median score of the last graduating class of students (2011 – 2012)  was 730, which is well above the national median score of 690.

Time Period # Students Taking Exam Pass Rate (%)
2010 – 2011 40 100%
2011 – 2012 42 100%
2012 – 2013 43 100%
3-Year Average
(2010 – 2013)
42 100%

How I can qualify for license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education?

To qualify for the license, students need to complete a school practicum placement, pass the Communication and Literacy Skills Test section of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and apply for the license. We strongly encourage all graduate students to become qualified for this credential even if they plan to be licensed in another state. Massachusetts educator license is honored reciprocally in many states. For details, contact Sandy Cohn Thau, the department's program director for educator preparation and licensure.

What proportion of the students who enter Emerson’s CD program graduate?

Time Period            # Students Completed Program within Expected Time Frame # Students Completed Later than Expected Time Frame # Students Not Completing % Students Completing within Expected Time Frame
2010 – 2011 42 1 2 93%
2011 – 2012 43 4 1 90%
2012 – 2013 45 1 2 94%
3-Year Average
(2010 – 2013)
43 2 2 92%

What is the post-graduate employment rate for your master’s degree students and where do they work?

Over the past many years, 100% of our master’s degree program graduates have found Clinical Fellowship positions within three months of starting a search. A sizeable proportion of graduates have jobs prior to commencement.

Period Employment Rate in Profession
# of Graduates % of Graduates
2009 – 2010 43 100%
2010 – 2011 43 98%
2011 – 2012 42 100%
3-Year Average (2009 – 2012) 43 99%

 

Council on Academic Accreditation logo

The master's program in speech-language pathology at Emerson College is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

CSD - Communication Disorders - Jena Casbon MS '05 Video

Meet Alumna Jena Casbon

Jena Casbon, MS '05, discusses how Emerson prepared her for a career as a speech-language pathologist. Watch »