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Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education: MS, MA, MEd

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, which houses the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, ranks in the top 2% of all graduate colleges of education. The college was also ranked third in the nation in total research dollars received, according to “America's Best Graduate Schools” U.S. News & World Report.

The department is organized into three divisions: audiology, speech-language pathology, and deaf education.

The speech-language pathology MS degree requires students to complete a research component. The MA degree requires a comprehensive examination. Both MS and MA degrees are recognized as comparable degrees within both clinical and academic speech-language pathology settings.

The MEd is designed for students who plan to work in the deaf educational field.


  • Speech-Language Pathology (MS, MA): The speech-language pathology program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The MS and MA degrees prepare students to work with individuals of any age who have difficulties with communication or swallowing. This may include infants or children with speech, language, hearing, and literacy development problems; children and adults who stutter, have voice disorders; or children or adults who suffer speech, language and swallowing problems as the consequence of neurological disease or stroke. Students may also apply for the listening and spoken language emphasis, working with children who have hearing loss.

Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialization

  • Graduates become teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing

Speech-Language Pathology Specialization

Graduates can work in the following settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing facilities
  • Home health care centers
  • Community centers
  • Private practice settings

Admission Requirements

It is preferred that applicants have undergraduate backgrounds in communicative disorders or deaf education, depending on their desired specialization.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE or MAT  (MAT only accepted upon approval by the department)
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Students interested in the education of the deaf and hard of hearing specialization with a bilingual-bicultural focus must pass an ASL assessment. Contact the department for more information about this assessment.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admission Deadlines

The department has the following deadline:

  • MA, MS - Summer semester - January 15th
  • The education of the deaf and hard of hearing specialization continues accepting students after this deadline if there is room in the program.

Program Requirements

Speech-Language Pathology Specialization:

Students in this specialization must complete clinical practicum and student teaching experiences. The requirements for these experiences are determined by the department, which also arranges each student’s placement with various organizations.

Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialization:

Students in this specialization must complete a practicum and student teaching experience, which is arranged by the department. There is also a unique opportunity to attend residency schools for the deaf throughout the country.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MS, MA, or MEd by pursuing one of three options:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.
  • A third option, Plan C (MA only), does not involve a thesis or a defense meeting and is comprised of coursework only.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education provides funding for many of its graduate students through teaching or research assistantships, available through the department or faculty having contracts, grants, or other awards.

A variety of funding opportunities are available on the graduate school website.

Jill Andrus, MS, Utah State University
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: Speech-language pathology
Office: LILLY 153
Phone: (435) 797-2716

Chad Bingham, MS, Utah State University
Clinical Supervisor, Lecturer
Area: Speech-language pathology
Office: ECERC 212
Phone: (435) 797-2245

Kim Corbin-Lewis, PhD, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Department Head, Professor
Area: Speech-language pathology
Office: LILLY 108
Phone: (435) 797-1302

Beth Foley, PhD, University of Massachusetts
Dean, Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, Professor
Area: Speech-language pathology
Office: EDUC 109 A
Phone: (435) 797-1470

Ron Gillam, PhD, Indiana University
Area: Speech-language pathology
Office: ECERC 224
Phone: (435) 797-1704

Sandi Gillam, PhD, University of Memphis
Associate Professor
Area: Speech-language pathology
Office: ECERC 222
Phone: (435) 797-7028

Heather Jensen, AuD, Arizona School of Health Science
Audiology Clinical Supervisor/Coordinator
Area: Audiology
Office: LILLY 028
Phone: (435) 797-1390

Freeman King, EdD, McNeese State University
Area: Bilingual-bicultural deaf education
Office: LILLY 106
Phone: (435) 797-1343

Jeffery Larsen, PhD, University of Illinois
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: Classroom acoustics, speech perception, audiology
Office: LILLY 032
Phone: (435) 797-2670

Sonia Manuel-Dupont, PhD, University of Kansas
Associate Professor of English and Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department: English Department
Area: Linguistics
Office: LILLY 101
Phone: 435-797-1340

Karen Munoz, PhD, Northern Illinois University
Assistant Professor
Area: Pediatric audiology, amplification, clinical audiology
Office: ECERC 158
Phone: (435) 797-3701

Lauri Nelson, PhD, University of Utah
Division Chair, Assistant Professor
Area: Deaf education, listening and spoken language
Office: ECERC 150
Phone: (435) 797-8051

Cache Pitt, AuD, Salus University
Clinical Assistant Professor
Area: Audiology
Office: ECERC 149
Phone: (435) 797-9311

Amy Porter, AuD, Utah State University
Clinical Audiologist, Clinical Associate Professor
Area: Audiology
Office: Off campus
Phone: (435) 797-1390

Elizabeth Preston, AuD, Texas Tech University
Pediatric Audiologist
Area: Pediatric audiology
Office: ECERC 160
Phone: (435) 797-2507

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally.

Deaf Education Student Association: DESA is a place where future teachers and professionals who work with deaf people gain the opportunity to interact with professionals already in the field. DESA also educates the public about the deaf community through activities and mini-workshops. The professional network allows students to connect with professional communities and search for career opportunities.

National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association: NSSLHA is the national organization for graduate and undergraduate students interested in the study of normal and disordered human communication. NSSLHA has approximately 13,000 members with chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities.

American Sign Language Club: USU is home to an ASL club for students from all majors interested in sign language.

Labs, Centers, Research

Center for Persons with Disabilities: The CPD is a nationally recognized research center that joins the expertise of researchers and faculty with community partners to address the most difficult challenges facing persons with disabilities and their families. Research addresses issues that cross fields ranging from biomedicine to education. In clinical experiences, learners join teams of professionals, family members, and individuals with disabilities to deliver services and supports.

Center for the School of the Future: The CSF is a research center dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of education by identifying effective educational practices and supporting their dissemination and adoption in local circumstances.

Early Intervention Research Institute: The EIRI is an interdisciplinary organization committed to investigating and improving policies and practices that support the well-being of at-risk children as well as those with special needs and their families. The institute conducts research as well as provides training and technical assistance at community, state, national, and international levels.

SKI*HI Institute: The SKI-HI Institute enhances the lives of young children with special needs, their families, and care givers. The institute’s training and services focus on early intervention and early childhood programming for infants and young children, ages birth to five years, with hearing and vision impairments and other disabilities.