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Communication Sciences and Disorders

677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 625
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 692-1581
Fax: (808) 566-6292
Web: manoa.hawaii.edu/csd


*Graduate Faculty

*H. Lew, MD, PhD (Chair)—audiology
*C. Fiestas, PhD—speech-language pathology
E. Hirohata, AuD—audiology
K. LeBoeuf, MS—speech-language pathology
C. Tanaka, PhD—audiology
B. Ward, MS—speech-language pathology

Adjunct Faculty

V. Chinen, MS—speech-language pathology
R. Ito, AuD—audiology
D. Kau, MS—audiology
L. Martinez, MS—speech-language pathology
P. Mashima, PhD—speech-language pathology
L. Patrick, MA—speech language pathology

Degrees Offered: MS in communication sciences and disorders

The Academic Program

Communication sciences and disorders (CSD) deals with disorders of speech, language, and hearing. Speech-language pathology is the study of human communication and swallowing disorders. Through this discipline, students have the opportunity to evaluate and treat a variety of disorders affecting people across the lifespan in a variety of settings. The job outlook for the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

The practice of speech-language pathology requires a minimum of a master's degree obtained from a program accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. In addition, the practitioner must obtain clinical certification and, in most states, licensure. Program graduates will be required to meet the national standards for the professions as specified by the American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The CSD program at UH Manoa is an accredited program and recognized nationally for its quality. It is one of the few programs in the U.S. featuring preparation in a multilingual/multicultural environment.


Our program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and provides professional preparation for certification by the ASHA.


Students considering the major in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) may call the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to schedule an appointment with an advisor or get academic counseling from the Pre-Health Pre-Law Advising Center. Additionally, interested students should peruse the CSD website for admission requirements.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The CSD Department offers an MS degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Background preparation for a career in CSD should include course work in speech-language pathology, clinical methodology, audiology, habilitation and rehabilitation of hearing, speech and hearing science, and a minimum of 15 credit hours relating to normal development of speech, hearing, and language. Additionally, coursework is required in the areas of biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and statistics.

For admission as a regular classified graduate student, applicants must present (a) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, (b) a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and (c) satisfactory performance on Graduate Record Exam.


Both Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis) are available for graduate study. The plan to be followed is determined by the student and his or her advisory committee. The decision is based upon the specific interests of the individual student and future educational and occupational objectives.

Under Plan A, 51 credit hours in course work (including a minimum of 12 credits of clinic), a thesis (CSD 700–6 credit hours), and a final oral examination on the thesis subject are required. Plan B requires satisfactory completion of 54 credit hours of course work, including CSD 695 in which a research study is completed. An oral presentation of research findings is also required for Plan B.

The time required for completion of this program by an individual is two years (or six semesters).

Continued enrollment and completion of the master's program require both satisfactory academic progress to maintain minimum Graduate Division GPA standards and demonstrated clinical proficiency in clinical practicum in speech-language pathology and audiology.

The CSD program is designed so that students meet the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology as established by the ASHA.

Students must complete all academic and practical training requirements for national certification, as well as departmental requirements, including successful completion of the national PRAXIS exam, to qualify for the master's degree. Following graduation, students must successfully complete a nine-month clinical fellowship to obtain their certificate of clinical competence. Upon certification (and, in most states, licensure), an individual may practice as a speech-language pathologist.

The UH Speech and Hearing Clinic is operated by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as part of the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Faculty and student clinicians provide diagnostic and therapeutic services to UH Manoa students, as well as children and adults in the community.

CSD Courses