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Student Research in Communication Sciences & Disorders

The Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Department conducts research in several areas including speech and language development, voice disorders, adult neurogenic disorders, cognitive-based disorders, selective mutism and stuttering.

Many opportunities are available for both the undergraduate and graduate level student who wish to be involved in faculty research or pursue a project of their own. The department awards four master’s students part-time (10 hours/week) graduate assistant positions during the first year of their program. Students interested in applying should contact the Graduate Admissions Office.

Undergraduate Student Research

Students interested in pursuing research at the undergraduate level may enroll in an honors research project and are encouraged to contact a faculty member with the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department for guidance.

Why pursue an undergraduate research project?

  • Increase your understanding about a topic of interest
  • Improve your preparedness for graduate school
  • Gain the opportunity to present your work at regional and national conferences

Graduate Student Research

Students seeking a master’s degree in CSD have the opportunity to complete a master’s thesis in addition to their required coursework. The master’s thesis is a research project conducted by the student under the supervision of an advisory committee. The thesis replaces the required comprehensive exam.

The process is as follows:

  • The project includes a comprehensive review of literature on a selected topic and an empirical study.
  • The advisory committee consists of three faculty members, with at least one of those faculty members from the CSD Department and one faculty member from outside the program (e.g. neuropsychology).
  • A written proposal describing in detail the master’s project must be submitted to and approved by all members of the advisory committee before the work is begun.
  • The student will work with the chair of the thesis advisory committee to develop a proposal.
  • When approved the student will carry out the study and defend it in a final oral presentation with a written document.

Why pursue a master thesis?

  • Strengthen your knowledge of a clinical population
  • Strengthen your understanding of research and its importance for clinical practice
  • Provide an opportunity to present your work at regional and national conferences
  • Prepare for a doctorate program
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