MS in Speech-Language Pathology

The mission of the Boston University Master of Science degree program in Speech-Language Pathology is to prepare graduates to meet American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) clinical certification standards and state licensure requirements necessary for entry-level practice positions. We believe that the study of human communication disorders must be built on a strong foundation in the basic sciences and normal processes related to communication, cognition, and swallowing as well as an understanding and appreciation of scientific inquiry. The program strives to create a learning environment that fosters critical and innovative thinking and encourages the development of future leaders. The Master of Science (MS) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at Boston University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

The master’s degree program requires the equivalent of four semesters of full-time study plus a minimum of 4 credits during the summer, the exact number depending on the specific prerequisites that have been completed prior to entering the graduate program. All course plans are individualized based on student needs. Course selection depends upon the student’s undergraduate preparation and professional and certification goals. A minimum of 67 credits plus successful completion of a comprehensive written examination are required. For qualified students, a thesis may be substituted for the written examination.

The program prepares students for employment in healthcare, private practice, educational, and community settings.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an MS degree in Speech-Language Pathology will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in the basic sciences and normal processes related to communication, cognition, and swallowing.
  • Identify, diagnose, intervene, and counsel individuals with communication and swallowing difficulties across the lifespan and from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds within an evidence-based practice framework.
  • Successfully complete a capstone experience that requires the synthesis and integration of acquired knowledge related to communication and swallowing disorders within an evidence-based practice framework.

Admission Requirements

      Applicants should refer to the program website for the most up-to-date admission requirements and application deadlines, as well as for details about Technical Standards.

      Degree Requirements

      Each student’s plan of study must be approved by their faculty advisor. A minimum of 67 credits for courses at the graduate level with at least 59 credits taken at Boston University are required for the degree. At least one semester must be devoted to full-time study and all degree requirements must be completed within five years after initial matriculation in the program.

      Satisfactory performance on the comprehensive examination is required unless the faculty approves a thesis as a substitute.

      Continued enrollment in the graduate program is contingent upon the maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 in any semester are placed on probation and are ineligible to participate in a clinical experience while on probation. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 for more than one consecutive semester will be terminated from the program. This applies to all graduate students enrolled for more than 4 credits in a semester. The acceptability of C or C+ work in required courses is subject to departmental faculty approval. Required courses receiving grades of C– and below must be repeated; a student may repeat a required course only once.

      A clinical practicum experience that receives a grade of B– or below must be repeated. If a student receives a second grade of B– or below in a clinical practicum experience, they will be terminated from the program. To count clinical practicum clock and credit hours toward ASHA certification, the student must receive a practicum grade of B– or better. Matriculating MS students must achieve a grade of B or higher in SAR SH 647 Introduction to the Clinical Process before they are eligible to enroll in SAR SH 740 Introduction to Practicum.


      The sample program below is one possible sequence for students entering with an undergraduate degree in communication science and disorders. Course plans are individualized based on undergraduate background and student needs.

      First Year

      Fall Semester

      • SAR SH 605 Speech Sound Disorders (3 cr)
      • SAR SH 700 Research Methods (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 709 Language Sampling Analysis (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 733 Voice and Resonance Disorders (3)
      • SAR SH 737 Evaluation and Diagnosis in Speech Pathology (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 740 Introduction to Clinical Practicum (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 748 Hearing Practicum I (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 756 Cognition and Neural Bases (3 cr)

      Spring Semester

      • SAR SH 702 Public School Seminar (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 729 School-Age Language Disorders (3 cr)
      • SAR SH 735 Preschool Language Disorders (3 cr)
      • SAR SH 736 Aphasia (3 cr)
      • SAR SH 738 Dysphagia (3 cr)
      • SAR SH 741 Clinical Practicum (3 cr)

      Summer Term

      • SAR SH 691 Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (3 cr)
      • SAR SH 744 Clinical Practicum: Diagnostics (1 cr)

      Second Year

      Fall Semester

      • SAR SH 701 Counseling (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 705 Clinical Reasoning: Case Studies (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 721 Motor Speech Disorders (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 727 Autism Spectrum Disorders (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 728 Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 742 Clinical Practicum (4 cr)
      • Elective(s) (2 cr)

      Spring Semester

      • SAR SH 650 Healthcare Seminar (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 704 Clinical Reasoning: IPE (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 706 Clinical Reasoning: Advanced Case Studies (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 715 Professional Issues (0 cr)
      • SAR SH 732 Fluency Disorders (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 734 Acquired Cognitive Disorders (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 743 Clinical Practicum (5 cr)
      • SAR SH 752 Hearing Practicum II (1 cr)
      • SAR SH 757 Aging and Dementia (2 cr)
      • SAR SH 790 Comprehensive Exam (0 cr)