Apr 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Communication Sciences and Disorders Department

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Department Chairperson and Graduate Program Director: Jessica J. Messersmith, Ph.D.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Noteboom Hall, Room 104
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-677-5474




Teri James Bellis, Ph.D., Northwestern University. Specialization: Central Auditory Disorders, Clinical Audiology; Audiologic Assessment, Central Auditory Electrophysiology and Neurophysiology, Genetics of Hearing Loss, American Sign Language, Advanced Research Methods, Professional Issues.
Jessica Messersmith, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Specialization: Psychoacoustics, Signal Encoding, Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Devices, Pediatric Audiology, Anatomy and Physiology of Hearing. 

Associate Professors:

Kyle Brouwer, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Specialization: Language Disorders in Children, Advanced Language Disorders, Disorders of Phonology and Articulation, Diagnosis of Speech and Language Disorders.
Elizabeth Hanson, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Specialization: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Neuromotor Disorders, Communication Sciences, Research Methods. 
Lindsey Jorgensen, Au.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh. Specialization:Clinical Audiology, Amplification, Aural Rehabilitation, OAEs and Balance Function Testing, Pathologies of Hearing.
Mandy Williams, Ph.D., University of Nevada-Reno. Specialization: Fluency Disorders, Voice Disorders, Craniofacial Anomalies, Acquired Disorders of Language and Cognition.

Assistant Professor:

Jennifer Phelan, Au.D., Ohio State University. Specialization: Pediatric Audiology, Amplification.

Clinical Instructors:

Stacie Carlson, M.A., University of South Dakota
Elizabeth DeVelder, M.A., University of South Dakota. Specialization: Clinical Speech-Language Pathology, Language Development.
Shelly Grinde, M.A., University of South Dakota. Specialization: Clinical Speech-Language Pathology, Medical Speech Pathology. 
Jane Clem Heinemeyer, M.A., University of South Dakota. Specialization: Clinical Speech-Language Pathology, Dysphagia.
Jess Schneider, M.A., University of South Dakota

Adjunct Faculty:

Katherine Awoyinka, Au.D., University of South Dakota
Adrian Aylor, Au.D., University of South Dakota
Kendra Baily, Au.D., University of South Dakota
Kimberly Homan, M.S., Minnesota State University
Lori Kober, B.S., Gallaudet University
Haley Lutteke, M.S., Minnesota State University
Matthew Rumsey, Au.D., University of Central Michigan
Meghan Solomon, M.S., Minnesota State University


Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology  
Doctor of Audiology  

Program Description

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of South Dakota prepares students for professional positions in the specialties of speech-language pathology and audiology. Speech-language pathology is concerned with the evaluation, diagnosis and rehabilitation of persons with speech and language disorders. Audiology is concerned with the evaluation, diagnosis, and rehabilitation of persons with auditory and vestibular disorders.

The master’s (M.A.) education program in speech/language pathology and the doctoral (Au.D.) education program in audiology at the University of South Dakota are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 toll free or 301-296-5700.


  1. Completed application through the centralized application service for Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDCAS) found at: https://csdcas.liaisoncas.com. You can begin the CSDCAS application on July 15th in the year of the application.
  2. In order to complete your Graduate School application to the University of South Dakota, you must submit a $35 application fee, in addition to the CSDCAS fee. The USD Graduate Application Fee cannot be waived or deferred and it is nonrefundable. The fee can be paid on the USD Deposits and Fees website.
  3. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (with English translation) must accompany an application through CSDCAS. Official transcript of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  4. Completion of a baccalaureate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (speech-language pathology and audiology) or the completion of core foundational coursework in communication disorders after completing and receiving an undergraduate degree in another discipline is required. Contact the department for specific core prerequisites.  An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better based on 4.0 scale in all undergraduate courses as well as in the Communication Sciences and Disorders major is required and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  5. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the following English-speaking countries: United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada (Excluding Quebec), Australia, and New Zealand are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. 
  6. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose or goal statement through CSDCAS.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. The GRE General test is required to be submitted through CSDCAS. There is no minimum score required; the score is considered along with the other application materials. *GRE General Test at Home will be accepted for spring 2021 and fall 2021 applications.
  2. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation are required to be submitted to CSDCAS.
  3. Applicants must successfully complete a criminal background check upon acceptance.

Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall admission January 15th
  • Spring admission (M.A. in Speech Language Pathology only) October 1st

Library, Clinical, and Research Facilities

The University’s I.D. Weeks Library, the Lommen Health Sciences Library, and the program’s specialized Communication Disorders library provide excellent collections of professional journals, texts, and reference material. The University of South Dakota Speech and Hearing Center serves as a clinical education center for students majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. This center contains clinical rooms, clinical observation rooms, audiometric facilities, a speech and hearing science laboratory, videotaping facilities, computer laboratory, classrooms, offices, and lounges and study space for students. Additional clinical education and research opportunities are available through the University Affiliated Program in the School of Medicine, individual Mobile Unit projects, the USD Scottish Rite Children’s Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders Clinic Programs, and numerous off-campus internship opportunities.


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