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For Future COMD Students

This section provides information for future COMD students on essential functions of master's degree students, financial aid information, tuition and fees, university links, information about the Columbia community, and more. Let us know if you need additional information. 

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders serves to fulfill its mission in educating students who will become leading clinical scientists and researchers in their work settings. Throughout this process, the department does not discriminate against any persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Students within the department are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner-that is, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. The department complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining thereto.

COMD Information

External Clinical Practicum Experiences

In addition to participating in supervised practicum at our University's state-of-the-art Speech and Hearing Research Center, students have numerous opportunities to gain a wide range of professional experiences at any of the 600+ external clinical sites with whom we have ongoing relationships. These are located not only within South Carolina but throughout the United States and include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, community clinics, auditory-verbal centers, public/private schools, and private practices.

The department has two full-time faculty members (Juliana Miller, Director of External Clinical Practicum, and Dianne Dixon, Assistant Director of External Clinical Practicum). Dianne and Juliana go to great lengths to ensure that each practicum assignment is a “good fit” for both the student and supervisor.

We are committed to ensuring that graduates of our master's program leave with a sufficient breadth of clinical experiences to prepare them for any type of professional setting.

Additional Academic and Clinical Opportunities
in the area of Adult Neurogenic Disorders

COMD has a unique opportunity for students to expand their experiences in preparation for hospital and rehabilitation employment.  The department has active research in neurogenic disorders and maintains clinical affiliations with area medical centers. There is an opportunity for a limited number of master’s degree students to receive extra training in all aspects of brain dysfunction - stroke, head injury, dementia, and progressive diseases.

Students pursuing this additional training have the opportunity to participate by:

  • Attending monthly meetings to discuss and learn through use of guest speakers, films, and presentations.
  • Working with stroke support groups
  • Attending workshops, and other special events
  • Completing practicum assignments in neurogenic medical and rehabilitation sites.
  • Completing internships in settings geared toward neurogenic populations.

Students who complete the additional neurogenic coursework and practicum experiences emerge with a certificate that reflects their additional training and expertise working with these populations.

Additional Academic and Clinical Opportunities
in the area of Auditory-Verbal/Cochlear Implants

Our Department offers a program that is perhaps unique across the nation. A limited number of master’s degree students receive specialized training in therapy techniques for individuals having hearing loss and cochlear implants (CIs).

Students pursuing this additional training have the opportunity to participate in a working Cochlear Implant Team by:

  • Conducting pre-implant evaluations

  • Sitting in on team meetings to determine if a patient is a candidate for an implant\

  • Scrubbing in and joining our surgeon in the operating room while the device is implanted

  • Participating in the programming of the external device (ie., Mapping)

  • Participating in AVT and Aural Rehabilitation therapy sessions

  • Assisting in support groups for teens and adults with cochlear implants or hearing aids

  • Attending monthly meetings involving guest speakers and other specialized events

  • Enrolling in specialized coursework on CIs, AVT, and Aural Rehabilitation therapy

  • Completing a 10-week internship geared toward children and adults with hearing loss.

These select students may even be present to observe a parent see their child respond to sound for the first time. Alternatively, they may be present to see an adult hear their loved ones’ voices for the first time in years.

Students graduate with a Certificate that reflects their additional training and expertise. Further, participation can be a stepping stone for those wanting to pursue international certification in AVT (Cert. AVT®).

Participation in these additional and unique experiences are available to only a small number of new students each year. Those interested should so indicate in the “Goal Statement” portion of their application. Click for more information on AVT, our unique AVT opportunities, and our CI program.

PRAXIS Examination Pass Rates,
Employment Rates, and Graduation Rates
for our COMD Students

Passing of the PRAXIS exam is required for national certification and often for state licensure. Learn more about our pass rates, employment rates, and graduation rates here.

Student Health Insurance Requirements

All full-time students are required by the Graduate School [pdf] to be covered by health and accident insurance. Students will automatically have University sponsored health insurance charged to their tuition unless they provide evidence of coverage by their own policy. Such evidence should be presented to the Thompson Student Health Center in order for this fee to be waived.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders provides both professional liability insurance and workman’s compensation policies for all practicum students.For additional information on insurance coverage, click here.

Tuition and Fees

View current Tuition and Fee information. 

Important information about Programs Leading to Licensure

Further information about licensing can be found here.

University Links