Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Myriam Kornisch

Second Advisor

Heyjin Park

Third Advisor

Ying Hao

Relational Format



The estimated racial/ethnic diversity within the field of speech-language pathology is considered to be less than 10% despite population trends predicting that over half of the United States’ population will be identified as a racial/ethnic minority by 2044 (Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060, 2014). The limited diversity is likely to be coupled with inclusion and equity barriers in higher education (i.e., barriers related to financial and educational demographics, graduate school preparedness/support, etc.). In the field of speech language pathology, little is known about the impact of these challenges experienced by students from different ethnic/racial backgrounds. The current study aimed to study what are the demographic identities of degree-seeking speech-language pathology students in the United States and what inclusion and equity barriers do speech-language pathology students from varying ethnicities experience? A 26-question survey was developed and distributed via Qualtrics to speech language pathology undergraduate and graduate students across the country. It consisted of questions regarding demographics, education, and other information (i.e., diversity, inclusion, and equity barriers). In total, the survey received 259 completed responses from four ethnic groups. Results indicated differences in academics (GPA and GRE scores), environmental and economic factors, and inclusion (i.e., bias, discrimination, microaggression, and imposter syndrome) experiences based on ethnic identities. Results suggest a need for increased academic and inclusion support for students within the field of speech language pathology, and varying levels of support depending on demographic identifiers (i.e., race/ethnicity) as they relate to diversity, inclusion, and equity challenges.

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024