Communication Sciences and Disorders

Communication Sciences and Disorders
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Strategic Plan Strategic Plan 2019-2025

The master of science (M.S.) degree program in speech-language pathology at Howard University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

The department offers master of science and doctoral degree programs in speech-language pathology. The master programs include both a two-year traditional degree program in speech-language pathology as well as an accelerated master's degree program in which students matriculate through both the bachelor and masters level coursework in five (5) years. Both programs allow students to complete clinical practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) granted by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). In addition, the program offers a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Communication Science.

Because of its focus on infusing cultural diversity throughout the curriculum, Howard University is an ideal place to pursue graduate education in speech-language pathology.

Students in the Master’s degree programs may choose from one of four tracks for specialization: educational, bilingual, medical speech-language pathology or technology. In addition, the master of science program has excellent graduation, employment, and Praxis pass rates. Doctoral students may choose either the adult neurological track or the child language track. The doctoral curriculum has been updated recently to reflect the most current theory and research in the field. Candidates for the Ph.D. may elect to complete the more traditional dissertation or elect to develop their research project in the form of three (3) peer-reviewed articles. Alumni of the Ph.D. program are acknowledged leaders in the academe, government, research facilities, health care organizations, and ASHA.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is strategically located in Washington, D.C. and near the health sciences complexes at Howard University. Clinical and research experiences are available to students at this complex and throughout the University including the University Speech and Hearing Clinic and Howard University Hospital, as well as regionally in government, educational and health care institutions throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area. We provide students with a strong scientific foundation and mentoring to succeed in graduate school. The department is nationally recognized because of its outstanding faculty, concentrated focus on multiculturalism, quality of comprehensive training and well-organized curricula.

The mission of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is rooted in the increasing need to provide the profession of Speech-Language Pathology with culturally, clinically and academically competent clinicians and researchers at the Masters and Doctoral levels. Howard University has historically been an activist voice for those who have been underrepresented and underserved in our society.

The Department’s mission is in congruence with this historical position. As such, it is the philosophy of the Department that every course and every clinical experience should be infused with information on the current thinking and approaches to service delivery to and research on an increasingly culturally and ethnically diverse society. It is also the position of the Department that Howard University must be in the vanguard of producing research and innovative diagnostic and management approaches for persons who cultural and ethnic differences have been historically under-reported in professional and scholarly literature.

Finally, it is the mission of the department to infuse cultural competence with excellence in didactic and clinical instruction and inherence to evidence-based practice.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as one of the premier programs in the field and one of only six programs at an HBCU will become a center for: (1) student training in the areas of service delivery to individuals with communication disorders; (2) grant writing to serve as a vehicle for research and student scholarships; (3) community service through the establishment of satellite clinics to address the disparity of service delivery to African Americans and other diverse populations who present with communication and swallowing disorders resulting from craniofacial anomalies, pediatric syndromes, developmental disorders, stroke, head trauma and degenerative disease. The following priorities have been established to achieve the Department’s vision:

● Academic and clinical training programs that utilize evidence-based evaluation and treatment approaches.

● Academic programs in speech-language pathology and audiology designed to increase the number of leaders in the discipline who are African American, Hispanic and from other diverse populations.

● Clinical programs that provide services for special populations including individuals with craniofacial anomalies, strokes, head trauma, pediatric syndromes.

● Research addressing issues of concern to individuals from the local communities and underrepresented populations.

● Grant writing designed to provide funding for both the academic and clinical programs. Student mentoring to ensure academic success and program completion as well as to promote leaders in the profession of communication sciences and disorders.

Goal 1: To raise federal funding for the Department’s programs to 2 million per year.

Goal 2: To generate intramural and extramural funds to provide research opportunities for students.

Goal 3: To increase retention of SLP majors in the 5-year program and double the enrollment of males in the doctoral program by 2023.

Goal 4: To increase the enrollment of males in the 5-Year program and graduate Masters programs by 2023.

Goal 5: To establish centers for neurological and child language disorders to address the disparities in service delivery to individuals from diverse and under-served populations.

Goal 6: To utilize Distance Learning as a vehicle to provide continuing education and to attract the nontraditional student.

Goal 7: To review the content of all course offerings and eliminate or modify courses that does not align with current areas of need and stated needs of the community and employers stated needs (from related surveys).

Goal 8: To increase the enrollment of faculty clinicians in the University Private Practice Plan by 2023.

Howard University Graduate School

Howard University Graduate Admissions

Howard University Strategic Plan

Howard University Non-Discrimination Statement

Howard University English Language Policy and Expectations

Accommodating Students with Eligible ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) ADA Accommodation Requirements

Students who have been certified for specific accommodations by the ODSSS must present an official ADA notification of accommodations letter from the ODSSS to their instructor of record. No other form of notification is acceptable. An ADA notification of accommodation letter is required for each course in which a student is seeking an approved ADA accommodation. The ADA notification of accommodation letters must be course-specific and are valid only for one semester.

ODSSS approved ADA accommodations are not retroactive. They are applicable from the date the ADA eligible student presents his or her ADA accommodations notification letter to the instructor of record. In addition, ADA Self-Identification Forms may be obtained by students from the Office of the Dean and the EEO Designee for each school and college. Students must complete the Form and submit it to the ODSSS. No other individual in a school or college is authorized to receive the Form.

Once the ADA notification of accommodations letter is presented by the student to the instructor of record, the instructor is required to adhere to the stipulated and mandated ADA accommodations(s). Instructors must provide the indicated accommodations.

Instructors, who encounter difficulty in responding to students’ ADA requirements, should immediately contact the ODSSS and the Dean of their respective school or college. Instructors may not discuss with students questions that they may have about the existence, nature or severity, or appropriateness of ADA related accommodations. Such concerns must be addressed to the instructor’s Dean or Dean’s designee or to the Dean of Special Student Services for resolution.

Faculty members may not discuss or negotiate approved ADA accommodations with ADA eligible students and must maintain the confidentiality of students’ rights to receive ADA accommodations. Faculty members should not discuss students’ rights to ADA accommodations in the context of a course or any other environment.

When properly notified, faculty members who fail to adhere to the University’s ADA compliance policies and procedures, including failing to provide ADA eligible students with officially approved ADA accommodations, will be subject to sanction and other appropriate action by the University.

Howard University is committed to providing an educational environment that is accessible to all students. In accordance with this commitment, students in need of accommodations due to a disability should contact the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services for verification and determination of reasonable accommodations as soon as possible after admission to the University, or at the beginning of each academic semester.

Howard University Student Accommodations Forms


A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale is required for the Masters applicant, and a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 in major course work is required.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale is required for Doctoral applicants.

Each graduate department may have additional “special admission requirements which are noted on this page. Please note that all students applying for the COSD two-year and three-year Masters program must now also complete an application through CDCAS.

Completed on-line application and signature page

Completed CSDCAS Application

The non-refundable $75 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars)

Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended

GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date)

Statement of Academic and Research Interest

Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)


Three letters of recommendation

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above you must meet the following:

Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received.

Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services ( or AACRAO ( and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.

TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 90 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date)


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will admit doctoral applicants to the Fall and Spring semester. Applicants to the master’s program are admitted for the Fall semester only.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted from persons with the doctoral degree. It is preferable that the recommendations come from persons familiar with the student's academic work.

Master's degree applicants must have a GPA of 3.2

Ph.D. degree applicants must have a GPA of 3.5

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required, however the minimum score is considered in relation the applicant’s GPA, letters of recommendation and other admissions documents.

M.S in Communication Sciences and Disorders Prerequisites

Students interested in pursuing the Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders who do not currently possess a Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology are admitted provisionally as a three-year graduate student.


The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to: Howard University Graduate School Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions 2400 Sixth Street NW Washington, D.C. 20059

The mission of the Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic (HUSHC) is to provide exemplary training to graduate and undergraduate students in the prevention, identification, and remediation of communication disorders. Remaining consistent with the core values of the University, the School of Communications, and the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), the Howard University Speech and Hearing Clinic positions itself to advocate for and empower individuals with communication disorders through a variety of services from a multicultural perspective.

Click Here to Visit: COSD Speech and Hearing Clinic

Contact Information
Dr. Ovetta Harris
Professor and Department Chair
Stay in Touch

Our Courses

COSD 591

Research I (Fall)

Introduction to research methodologies regarding communication problems.
COSD 570

Dysphagia (Fall)

General overview of the assessment and treatment of swallowing disorders with procedures...
COSD 573

Stuttering (Spring)

Includes the theories, assessment, and management of stuttering and related disorders.
COSD 531-01

Clinical Practicum I

Supervised development of basic and intermediate clinical skills in diagnostics and...
COSD 532-01

Clinical Practicum II

Supervised development of basic and intermediate clinical skills in diagnostics and...
COSD 571

Voice Disorders (Fall)

Analysis of the theoretical framework undergirding normal and pathological vocal...

Our Faculty

Alaina Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Alaina Davis, Ph.D.

Education: Ph.D., Communication Sciences & Disorders, Howard University, M.S.,...
Ovetta Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Ovetta Harris, Ph.D.

Education: Ph.D., Communication Disorders, University of Massachusetts, Amherst;...
Jay R. Lucker, Ed.D.
Professor and Director of Five Year Accelerated Program

Jay R. Lucker, Ed.D.

Education: Ed.D., Audiology and Auditory Processing, Columbia University; M.A., Communication...
Silvia Martinez, Ed.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Silvia Martinez, Ed.D.

Education: Ed.D., Applied Psycholinguistics, Boston University; C.A.S. Administration,...
Valencia Perry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Valencia Perry, Ph.D.

Education: Ph.D., Communication Sciences & Disorders, Howard University, M.S.,...
Shameka Stanford, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Admissions Director

Shameka Stanford, Ph.D.

Education: Ph.D., Communication Sciences & Disorders, Howard University, M.Ed.,...
Wilhelmina Wright-Harp, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs

Wilhelmina Wright-Harp, Ph.D.

Wilhelmina Wright-Harp, Ph.D. and ASHA Fellow is an alumna of Ohio State University...
Margaret Evans-Joyce
Clinical Instructor

Margaret Evans-Joyce

Education: M.A., Speech and Language Pathology, University of Iowa, B.A, Speech...
Annette Hines
Clinical Supervisor

Annette Hines

Education: M.S., Communication Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology, Southern Connecticut...
Joseph Kim, MA., CCC-SLP
Adjunct Professor

Joseph Kim, MA., CCC-SLP

Education: MA, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Cincinnati; ABD, Musical...
Joan C. Payne, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita

Joan C. Payne, Ph.D.

Education: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Neurological, Communicative Diseases...
Kay T. Payne, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita

Kay T. Payne, Ph.D.

Education: M.A., Religious Studies, Howard University, Ph.D., Communication Science,...
Ronald C. Pearlman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus

Ronald C. Pearlman, Ph.D.

Education: Ph.D., University of Missouri, M.S., C.W. Post College of Long Island...