Admission & Program Requirements: Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology
Applicants for the graduate degree in speech-language pathology and audiology must have completed an undergraduate major in communicative disorders including course work in each of the following areas: anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism, human communication development, phonetics, audiology, developmental articulation and phonological disorders, language disorders, clinical procedures, aural rehabilitation, and speech and hearing science.
Deficiencies in the above areas must be completed during the master’s program. These courses will not be counted toward the graduate degree. Potential applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in communicative disorders should consult with the School’s Coordinator of Graduate Programs.
The applicant should have completed a minimum of 25 guided clinical clock hours of observation. If this requirement has not been met, the applicant will be required to obtain the hours prior to enrollment in graduate practicum or during the first semester of graduate practicum.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A minimum of 2.8 (A=4.0) cumulative undergraduate GPA and a minimum of 3.0 in the major are required for consideration of acceptance into the graduate program. If accepted, a student with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.80-2.99 will enter the program on probation for one academic semester. During this probationary enrollment, the student must complete a minimum of nine (9) academic credits with a grade of B or better in each course taken. If students fail to meet this requirement, they will be dismissed from the program.
Application forms must be received by the Coordinator of Graduate Programs by the deadline specified for fall semester enrollment. Current transcripts, three (3) letters of recommendation (a minimum of two (2) must come from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic or clinical performance), a letter of intent, and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must also be filed by the specified deadline.
Applicants will be evaluated for admission to the speech-language pathology program by the faculty and staff of the School of Communicative Disorders based on GPAs, letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and GRE scores.
Students will be required to meet ASHA minimum requirements for clinical certification which are in effect at the time of graduation.
Speech-language pathology graduate students will be required to complete a minimum of 42 graduate credit hours of academic course work. The academic course work will be selected to meet the requirements for the clinical and/or educational certification.
Clinical Practicum/Externship Credits
Students who major in speech-language pathology will complete a total of 21 credit hours of supervised clinical practicum. Three semesters and one summer session of graduate practicum and the clinical externship are required.
The required clinical externship CD 795 (15 semester credits) is an extended clinical assignment on a full-time basis outside the Center for Communicative Disorders for Speech-Language Pathology students. The assignment may be in a school, hospital, or clinical setting.
Clinical Practicum Hours
Students receive a grade for each clinical assignment (i.e., on-campus client(s), diagnostic team, off-campus practicum). Clinical clock hours will be signed and applied toward the graduate degree and ASHA certification requirements if the student earns a grade of B or better. A non-passing grade of B- or below for any clinical assignment will likely result in an extension of the student’s academic program.
Academic and Clinical Practicum Improvement Plans
Students who are having difficulty with essential abilities and/or meeting competencies in coursework and/or clinical assignments will receive a written improvement plan (see example in Handbook). An improvement plan specifies the ASHA standards and competencies that the student has not met, as well as a statement explaining what the student must do to meet competency level and a statement explaining what the faculty will do to provide opportunities for improved performance. If a student has an improvement plan, he/she must meet regularly with each academic instructor and clinical supervisor to discuss the plan each semester the plan is in place. The student must make satisfactory progress on each standard on the improvement plan to be considered for off-campus clinical practicum placements. Changes to practicum assignments and placements could extend the length of the student’s program. All improvement plans must be completed prior to externship placement, as per Handbook section entitled “Approval for the Clinical Externship”. The SCD Faculty determines whether the student has met the standards. If the student does not meet each standard on the improvement plan after a full 15-week semester, he/she will be dismissed from the program.
Students must receive passing grades on all comprehensive exam questions to graduate.
A thesis is optional. Speech-language pathology graduate students who wish to obtain a doctorate degree in the future are encouraged to consider completing a thesis. The student who wishes to consider doing a thesis should discuss their ideas and research plan with a faculty member having similar interests.