A critical component of your professional education is the clinical practicum that begins once you have completed the appropriate undergraduate prerequisites. The practicum is designed to ensure that all students meet the requirements for certification set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Massachusetts Department of Education.

The clinical curriculum for the master of science program is a four-semester sequence (SH 740, 741, 742, and 743), carefully planned to help you develop a broad range of evaluation and treatment skills. You’ll interact with clients of all ages from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Working in diverse clinical, medical, educational, and private settings, you’ll encounter a wide variety of communication and swallowing disorders.

Boston University is fortunate to be in a city with many world-renowned educational and medical institutions that serve as ideal practicum sites for our graduate students. In addition to these facilities, BU Sargent College operates its own clinics, where you’ll gain experience with a variety of communication disorders.

Your first semester of clinical practicum will begin in our in-house clinical education centers which include the Academic Speech, Language & Hearing Center, the Aphasia Resource Center, the Fluency Center, and the Voice Center.  You’ll administer individual and group treatment to communicatively disordered individuals and their families. You’ll also conduct audiological screenings in various community settings under the close supervision and mentorship of department clinical faculty.

During this first clinical experience, you’ll receive considerable support in the form of:

  • a weekly class that targets relevant professional issues
  • small disorder-specific discussion groups where students can discuss and solve case-related problems with a clinical faculty member
  • individual weekly meetings with clinical faculty

During the next three semesters, you’ll continue to develop your clinical skills in our in-house clinical education centers. For example, participating in activities such as diagnostic teams and individual and group intervention in our specialty clinics (i.e., fluency, voice, aphasia, and aural rehabilitation). You will also complete three clinical placements which typically include education, medical, and special interest placements such as an early intervention, private practice, intensive fluency, or voice placement. At the end of each practicum, you’ll participate in an individual conference with the clinical faculty to review your performance and establish future goals.

At BU, students are actively involved in planning their off-campus internships. Before your assignments are made, you’ll interview with the placement coordinator to learn about the many available sites, discuss your preferences for settings and populations, and note any scheduling conflicts.

Sargent Clinical Education Office

To help students arrive at their clinical placement well prepared, Sargent College has a dedicated Clinical Education Services office right in the building. To learn more, please visit Clinical Education Services.

Note: Students who are admitted into Sargent College routinely participate in clinical education experiences as a part of the respective program curricula. Most clinical education facilities require criminal background checks to determine students’ eligibility for participation. History of a criminal background may disqualify students from participating in these experiences, which are required for successful completion of the degree program.