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Communication Disorders Master's Degree Requirements

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses


Master’s Degree Program in Speech-Language Pathology

The curriculum leading to a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology is designed to provide the academic and clinical preparation necessary for the performance of scientific, competent, professional services provided by speech-language pathologists. The curriculum also allows the student to meet the academic and clinical requirements for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech-Language Pathology and the Massachusetts Board of Education’s requirements for teachers of children with speech, language, and hearing disorders. The program in Communication Disorders is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of ASHA and by the Massachusetts Board of Education. In addition, the department’s Center for Language, Speech, and Hearing is certified by ASHA’s Professional Services Board.

A minimum of 30 graduate credits, including completion of 14 required core courses, is required for the M.A. degree (non-thesis) in Speech-Language Pathology. While all clinical practica must be taken for credit, no more than 6 credits of clinical practicum may be applied to the minimum degree requirements. In most cases, a student will take more than 30 credits before completing the graduate program.

Students who elect to do a Master’s Thesis are required to complete a minimum of 24 graduate credits (plus thesis). The reduction of the number of required credits from that required of those not engaged in thesis work may not, however, compromise students’ completion of required courses in their major area.

Students must also complete a minimum of 375 hours of supervised, direct clinical experience with individuals representing a variety of communication pathologies and ages. Clinical experience is obtained within the university’s Center for Language, Speech, and Hearing and at least two of its many off-campus cooperating programs (hospitals, clinics, schools, community centers, etc.). In order to be eligible for certification by the Massachusetts State Board of Education, students must complete at least 100 of the required 375 clinical hours in an educational setting, and must also achieve a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test of the Massachusetts Educators Certification Tests (MECT), either before admission to the program or early in their academic program. At least 350 of the required 375 hours must be obtained at the graduate level. In addition, prior to clinical assignment with specific disorders, a student must observe a minimum total of 25 supervised hours of relevant evaluation and management by a clinician holding ASHA certification.

The M.A. degree program typically requires two years of study for those who have completed all undergraduate prerequisites. Those students without the necessary undergraduate background will be required to make up their deficiencies from the undergraduate curriculum and, consequently, may take more than the average amount of time to complete their degree.