The sample program below is for students entering with an undergraduate degree in communication science and disorders.

First Year

Fall Semester

Evidence-based practice in the diagnosis and remediation of speech, language or hearing disorders requires the application of research methods to answering clinical questions. The course includes an introduction to a range of experimental designs, statistical analyses, and measurement approaches in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology. Contemporary journal articles are evaluated for quality and used as examples for sufficiency of evidence in clinical decision making. (Credits: 2)

This course is a comprehensive overview of structure and process in language use and development and includes a review on the structure of language in each of the traditional areas of linguistic analysis. In addition, the course will provide an overview of normal language processing in children by reviewing the stages of typical language acquisition. Finally, experimental methods and analysis tools commonly used in language research will be covered. (Credits: 3)

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills required to elicit, transcribe and analyze conversation, narrative and expository language samples. Analyses in the areas of syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse are presented and the strengths and weaknesses of each of the analyses are discussed. The course also includes a discussion of theoretical and clinical issues related to the use of language sampling and analysis in the assessment and treatment of language disorders. (Credits: 1)

Differential diagnosis in speech pathology. Review of pertinent research, interpretation of test results, and discussion of the implications of the diagnostic findings in a total rehabilitation process. (Credits: 4)

Students are assigned to the Boston University Speech, Language and Hearing center for their first practicum experience. Clinical work is accompanied by regular group and individual meetings with the clinical staff. Acceptable hours may be applied to certification. (Credits: Var)

Clinical practicum for students in the Masters of Speech-Language Pathology program. Students conduct hearing screenings for children and adults under the supervision of an audiologist, following protocols established by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association. Some clinical sites are in local schools. (Credits: 1)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the brain and its neuroanatomy; students will also learn about common models of language processing and the latest advances in neuroimaging studies on language processing in the brain. When students have completed this course, they should be able to (a) be able to identify various structures in the brain and their significance, (b) relate specific communicative disorders to their etiology in the brain, (c) relate models of language processing with specific regions in the brain, and (d) critically evaluate existing neuroimaging studies based on models of language processing and neuroanatomy. (Credits: 4)

Spring Semester

MS Speech-Language Pathology students only. The goal of this seminar is to provide students in public school practicum placements with knowledge regarding school-related issues such as service delivery models, assessment approaches, curriculum frameworks, governing laws and regulations, and the consultation process. (Credits: 1)

This course provides students with a foundation of knowledge about the etiology and characteristics of language disorders in school-age children. Students will discuss the evolving language demands that children encounter as they progress through school, and will explore the impact of language disorders on academic performance and social interaction in the classroom. Students will come to appreciate the relationship between oral and written language development, as well as the role of the SLP in the assessment and treatment of written language disorders. This course gives students the tools necessary to effectively identify, evaluate and treat children with language, reading and writing disorders. (Credits: 3)

This course explores communication disorders from infancy through the preschool period. Topics addressed include theoretical frameworks for the assessment and treatment of childhood language disorders, etiology and characteristics of language/communication disorders in infants and preschool children, principles and methods of assessment and intervention, multicultural issues in assessment and intervention, and current issues in the early childhood language disorders research literature. Class sessions and assignments are designed to facilitate students' critical thinking and problem solving abilities in the area of infant and preschool communication/language disorders. (Credits: 3)

This course will cover current theories of language processing and of language breakdown subsequent to neuropathology. Course topics cover neuroanatomy, neuroimaging and psycholinguistic models of language processing. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of adults with aphasia will be covered. Students will learn how to analyze language disorders in relation to current theories using a variety of diagnostic instruments and how to use the results of this analysis to plan for therapy. (Credits: 4)

This course will provide basic information necessary to understand normal and abnormal swallowing and will impart the knowledge and skills needed to assess and treat patients with dysphagia. Topics include neuroanatomy and physiology of swallowing, the clinical evaluation, instrumental evaluations (fluoroscopy and endoscopy), treatment, swallowing disorders in children, and complications of dysphagia. Videorecorded swallow studies will be shown in most classes to enable the student to become proficient in identifying abnormal findings. (Credits: 3)

Students are assigned to their first field-based experience from a variety of clinical settings. Upon successful completion of SAR SH737, students are assigned to the Boston University Speech, Language, and Hearing Center Diagnostic Team. Students may also be assigned to Boston University specialty clinics. Acceptable clinical hours may be applied to certification. (Credits: Var)

Summer Term

Electives (optional)

Second Year

Fall Semester

Current theoretical models of phonological development and analysis will be applied to decision making processes in assessment and treatment of speech sound disorders. (Credits: 3)

History and theory of non-speech communication. Survey of types of augmentative communication aids, techniques, and symbol systems including sign language, and traditional and nonstandard orthography. Speech, language, and communication assessment and intervention strategies for non-speech communication modes. Funding and advocacy issues and procedures. (Credits: 3)

MS Speech-Language students only. An introduction to the basic principles, theory, skills, and clinician characteristics necessary for counseling clients and their families. Emphasis is placed on the developing self-awareness and clinical presence as foundations for insight into the client's situation and choosing helpful responses. (Credits: 1)

In this course, students will review the neuroanatomy underlying motor speech disorders and will then learn about each type of motor speech disorder in detail. Most of the classes will cover specific types of dysarthria, but two sessions will focus on apraxia of speech. Clinical assessment protocols will be learned and treatment interventions will be covered. Each class will devote some time to listening and scoring audiotapes of patients with a dysarthria or apraxia of speech. (Credits: 2)

Anatomical and physiological bases of voice production. Diagnosis and therapy for phonatory disorders in children and adults. Function of the team philosophy for speech pathologists in vocal rehabilitation. (Credits: 2)

Students are assigned their second field-based experience from a variety of clinical settings. Upon successful completion of SH 741 and SH 737, students are assigned to a Diagnostic Team. Students may also be assigned to Boston University specialty clinics. Acceptable clinical hours may be applied to certification. (Credits: Var)

Establishing written goals for aural habilitation and rehabilitation though sample cases, online. Hands-on training and practice with hearing aids and other assistive listening devices in a workshop format. (Credits: 1)

Spring Semester

MS in Speech-Language Students only. The goal of this seminar is to provide students in medical field placements with knowledge regarding service delivery models, reimbursement issues, documentation requirements, assessment approaches, goal setting, interdisciplinary team approaches, prioritizing treatment concerns and discharge planning. Case study presentations and discussions will be generated from students' field placement experiences. (Credits: 1)

This course addresses professional issues relevant for graduate students preparing to transition into the work world. Topics addressed include preparing for professional certification exams, applying for licensure/certification, ethical challenges in the workplace, continuing education responsibilities, job seeking/interviewing and preparing documentation for graduation. (Credits: 0)

Theories, diagnosis, and approaches to modification of stuttering behavior. Analysis of cases and review of pertinent research. (Credits: 2)

An introduction to the rehabilitation of individuals with acquired brain injury across the recovery continuum from acute care to post-acute rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. Primary focus is on the role of the speech-language pathologist and the knowledge and skills required for diagnosis and treatment of this population. Formal and informal assessment tools, treatment paradigms, function of the interdisciplinary team, prevention, advocacy, and strategies to address the needs of family members are presented. (Credits: 3)

Students are assigned their third field-based experience from a variety of clinical settings. Students may also be assigned to Boston University specialty clinics. Acceptable clinical hours may be applied to certification. (Credits: Var)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to those aspects of speech science that bear on clinical issues in speech-language pathology. Classes are structured to include the presentation of new material followed by an in-class lab session that applies the new concepts. Topics include acoustic phonetics, basic signal processing, speech analysis software, disordered speech analysis, and speech perception. (Credits: 2)

0 credits, either semester (Credits: 0)

Elective (2 credits)


Ontogenetic, anatomic, and physiologic aspects of orofacial anomalies with an emphasis on cleft lip and palate. Issues involving a team approach to diagnosis and treatment including medical, surgical, prosthetic, and therapeutic procedures. (Credits: 2)

This course provides students with the core features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and a description of the fundamental features of associated communication disorders. Students have the opportunity to examine receptive language, expressive language and pragmatics in individuals with ASD through video presentations and review of the literature. Students discuss and evaluate issues associated with ASD including early diagnosis, behavioral challenges, treatment techniques, and current issues in the field. (Credits: 2)

This course will delve more deeply into topics of importance to clinical practice in dysphagia. Topics include evaluation procedures, analysis of FEES and MBS studies, efficacy of novel and established treatments, difficult decision making, dysphagia in head and neck cancer, neurologic disorders, dementia. Lab dissection and hands-on scoping sessions. Case studies to highlight each topic. The size of the class will be limited to encourage class discussion. (Credits: 2)

Case based clinical application of AAC assessment and intervention. This course offers a detailed investigation of varied populations, implementation of high-tech, low-tech and no-tech solutions, partner training and development of measurable goals. A selection of hardware and software solutions that represent appropriate options for emerging, context dependent and independent communicators will be explored with a focus on language support, integration and partner training. As available, students may be paired with consumers of AAC to support implementation and appropriate design of communication options. Format includes lecture and hands on training both at BU and during select Saturday sessions at Boston Children's Hospital's Waltham site. (Credits: 2)

SAR SH710 Advanced Topics Seminar: Clinical Supervision in Communication Sciences and Disorders

SAR SH710 Advanced Topics Seminar: Pediatric Feeding Disorders