How is graduate school different from undergraduate?
During your undergraduate education, you made decisions about what major to follow and, within that framework, which 20–24 credits in electives to take to complete your degree. Some of your courses were related to one another, but they were largely independent.
In the MS-SLP program, most of your coursework is determined by the certification standards of ASHA and you have a small number of electives. You are expected to integrate material across courses and to retain the knowledge and skills that you are learning. You are also expected to know and apply the scientific evidence of our field with your clients. As you progress through the clinical sequence, you will gain more independence in your critical analysis of multiple sources of information and take on more responsibility for complex cases.
What credentials will I earn upon graduation?
The master of science degree program in Speech-Language Pathology is designed to prepare students to meet the academic and clinical practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. In addition, the program is designed to meet the requirements necessary to qualify for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Initial Teacher License, “Teacher of Students with Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders,” and for Massachusetts state licensure.
Do all your students have an academic background in Speech & Hearing?
No, we welcome students from diverse academic backgrounds. About half of our class is comprised of students from academic disciplines such as psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, special education, English, law, and other majors.
How is your clinical education program structured?
The mission of the program is to prepare graduates for employment in a range of practice settings. All students begin their clinical training 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 under close supervision of the program’s clinical faculty.
In subsequent semesters, students continue to conduct evaluations and provide treatment at the BUASLC and specialty clinics, but they also begin their field placement assignments. Students are assigned to three different placements over the course of their program that typically include education, health care, and special interest placements.
Do students have to find their own external placements?
No, students work with clinical placement coordinators, who are members of the clinical faculty, to arrange clinical placements. Placement assignments are made after discussions about student preferences and needs. Placement coordinators also make on-site visits to all external placements to monitor and support student performance.
Do students need cars to travel to external placements?
No, the greater Boston area has excellent public transportation and the majority of placements are accessible by public transport.
Can MS students participate in research activities?
Students can participate in research in a number of ways. Qualified students have the option of writing a thesis in lieu of taking the comprehensive examination. There are also opportunities for students to be hired a specified number of hours per week in faculty research labs. In addition, the department also sponsors a Research Colloquium and all students are invited to attend lectures by leading researchers from the department and University, as well as from around the country.