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 and cognition 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 program in Speech-Language Pathology at Boston University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.
The master’s degree program generally requires the equivalent of four semesters of full-time study for those students who have met the prerequisites before entering the program; many students also enroll for one or more summer terms. Course selection depends upon the student’s undergraduate preparation and professional and certification goals. A minimum of 64 graduate 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 medical, rehabilitation, private practice, educational, and community settings.
A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. The applicant must also complete the following prerequisite speech-language pathology and audiology courses or their equivalents. Some of the prerequisite courses are offered during Summer Term for individuals who wish to complete prerequisite courses prior to matriculation in the graduate program. There are also courses that may be completed on a non-graduate credit basis concurrently with graduate study.
The following seven prerequisite courses must be completed. Three courses, SAR SH 521 Phonetics, SAR SH 522 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism, and SAR SH 524 Language Acquisition, must be completed prior to matriculation. The other four prerequisite courses may be completed prior to matriculation but do not have to be. Once accepted into the program, students may complete these courses on a non-graduate credit basis concurrent with graduate study. Accepted applicants may also complete some prerequisite coursework during the summer before matriculation.
- SAR SH 521 Phonetics
- SAR SH 522 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
SAR SH 524 Language Acquisition
- SAR SH 531 Introduction to Communication Disorders
- SAR SH 535 Introduction to Audiology
- SAR SH 542 Aural Rehabilitation
- SAR SH 547 Introduction to the Clinical Process
The Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology requires that a course be completed in each of the following areas prior to graduation from the master’s degree program. If these courses have not been completed prior to matriculation, they may be completed on a non-graduate credit basis concurrently with graduate study.
- Biological Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- Social/Behavioral Sciences
The applicant must submit evidence of academic and clinical aptitude in the form of previous academic records and aptitude scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (Boston University CSDCAS 0681) and at least three letters of reference from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic ability.
Proficiency in English
Non-native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency in English through the following methods:
- Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a university or college where the primary language of instruction is English or successful attainment of a minimum score of 84 on the TOEFL examination. Students who are most competitive for admission will have a composite score of at least 90–100 and minimum scores of 20 in each section.
- Successful communication during an oral interview with the MS-SLP admissions committee.
The date for submission of all application materials for fall admission is January 1.
Each student’s plan of study must be approved by his or her faculty advisor. Sixty-four credits in courses at the graduate level with at least 56 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.
Candidates must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher, with no more than 8 credits of C or C+ work accepted toward the degree. Required courses receiving grades of C– and below must be repeated; a student may repeat a required course only once.
For prerequisite courses that are being completed by matriculating MS degree students, the first course with a grade of C or below must be repeated. Should a grade of C or below be received in a second course, the student will be terminated from the program.
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 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.
To count clinical practicum clock and credit hours toward ASHA certification, the student must receive a practicum grade of B– or better. A clinical practicum experience that receives a grade of B– or below must be repeated.
The sample program below is for students entering with an undergraduate degree in communication science and disorders (course credits shown in parentheses).
- SAR SH 700 Research Methods (2 cr)
- SAR SH 708 Models of Language (3 cr)
- SAR SH 709 Language Sampling Analysis (1 cr)
- SAR SH 737 Evaluation and Diagnosis in Speech Pathology (4 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 (4 cr)
- 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 (4 cr)
- SAR SH 738 Dysphagia (3 cr)
- SAR SH 741 Clinical Practicum (3 cr)
- Electives (optional)
- SAR SH 605 Speech Sound Disorders (2 cr)
- SAR SH 691 Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (3 cr)
- SAR SH 703 Counseling (1 cr)
- SAR SH 721 Motor Speech Disorders (2 cr)
- SAR SH 733 Voice Disorders (2 cr)
- SAR SH 742 Clinical Practicum (4 cr)
- SAR SH 752 Hearing Practicum II (1 cr)
- SAR SH 650 Medical Seminar (1 cr)
- SAR SH 715 Professional Issues (0 cr)
- SAR SH 732 Fluency Disorders (2 cr)
- SAR SH 734 Acquired Cognitive Disorders (3 cr)
- SAR SH 743 Clinical Practicum (5 cr)
- SAR SH 755 Speech Science (2 cr)
- SAR SH 790 Comprehensive Exam (0 cr)
- Elective (2 cr)