ACADEMICS

  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

    The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at Worcester State University provides you with the academic knowledge and clinical skills to become an in-demand speech-language pathologist.

    With classes available in the late afternoons and evenings, our program is designed for working professionals like you. You can complete your degree on your schedule with the choice of a part-time, full-time, or accelerated pace.

    In small classes, you’ll build upon your knowledge of communication processes and disorders and learn best practices from faculty members who are active practitioners in the field—many of whom solicit student participation in their research and clinical programs.

    An integral component of our curriculum, fieldwork provides you with valuable, real-world experience and helps you establish important professional connections. During your minimum of 3 practicum experiences at our more than 75 placement sites throughout New England—one of which is at the WSU Speech-Language-Hearing Center—you’ll engage in more than 375 hours of hands-on client service.

    Graduates of our program are qualified to apply for the certificate of clinical competence (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Massachusetts state licensure, and teacher certification through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). They are sought after by employers in a variety of educational and health-care settings, including public schools, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, speech and hearing clinics, and private practice. In the past 5 years, our graduates have achieved a 100% employment rate.

    This program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
    American Speech-Language Hearing Association
    2200 Research Boulevard #310
    Rockville, MD 20850
    800-498-2071
    It also is approved by the state DESE.

    Catalog Details

  • Information Sessions
    Monthly information sessions, held between August and May, are led by the graduate program coordinator and give you an opportunity to learn more about the program, including the prerequisites. Due to the large number of requests, we are not able to arrange individual meetings with prospective graduate students outside of these monthly sessions. You are welcome to bring your transcripts to the information session for review by the graduate program coordinator.
    Admissions Requirements

    In addition to the WSU Graduate School's general admission requirements, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    A. Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited (or its equivalent) college or university.
     
    B. Candidates for admission are required to submit a completed application, which is available online, by February 1. Candidates must also print a copy of the Speech-Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet and mail this to the Graduate Admissions Office. Requirements and procedures for admission to graduate studies are specified on the application form. The applicant must comply with these requirements and procedures. Submission of 2 letters of recommendation is required. Submission of a 3rd letter is optional, and all 3 may be submitted online.
     
    C. Candidates must submit official transcripts from all undergraduate programs that were part of the bachelor’s degree and all programs where any prerequisite courses were taken, including Worcester State University. Applicants should have official transcripts sent to themselves, and should mail these official transcripts, along with Speech-Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet, to the Graduate Admissions Office.
     
    D. Candidates applying for admission must have taken or currently be enrolled in the following college-level prerequisite courses at the time of application for the master’s degree program:

    • 12 credit hours in basic human communication processes that include: anatomy of the speech & hearing mechanism, phonetics, normal development of speech and language, speech science, and hearing science*

    * The majority (>50%) of coursework in basic human communication must be completed at the time of application, and if accepted to the program the remaining credits must be completed by May 31. These courses must have been complete within the past 7 years.

    • 3 credit hours in biological sciences** Biological Science must be human and/or animal biology.
    • 3 credit hours in human neuroanatomy** Appropriate course titles include, but are not limited to, Human Neuroanatomy, Human Neuroscience, Physiological Psychology. A neuroanatomy / neuroscience course within a communication sciences and disorders department is acceptable.
    • 3 credit hours in physical science** Physical Science may be either physics or chemistry. Courses covering physics and/or chemistry but not explicitly named as such may be used to fulfill the physical science requirement subject to graduate coordinator approval.
    • 3 credit hours in mathematics**
    • 3 credit hours in statistics**
    • 6 credit hours in the behavioral and/or social sciences** (a course in Developmental Psychology / Child Growth and Development must be included)

    ** 12 of the required 21 credits must be completed at the time of application, and if accepted to the program the remaining credits must be completed by August 31.
     
    Students completing prerequisites at the time of application must provide evidence of enrollment. Prerequisites may be taken at WSU in the evening as a non-matriculated student or as a day student. Please contact the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education for enrollment information. Day students must complete an “undergraduate non-degree” application. Please contact the undergraduate Admissions Office for additional details at 508-929-8040.
     
    E. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) and the TOEFL (if the student’s academic background is not in English).
     
    F. As noted above, applicants must submit a completed copy of the Speech Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet.

    G. If accepted into the program, you must be available from mid-May through mid-June for meetings and introductory course.

    H. Please see the Graduate Catalog for information pertaining to the graduate calendar, grading policy, fees, non-discrimination policy, etc.

    For more information regarding prerequisites and the MS-SLP program, please contact Dr. Melnick at kmelnick@worcester.edu. For questions regarding the electronic application or to confirm receipt of materials, please contact Graduate Admissions, gradadmissions@worcester.edu

    Program Completion Requirements
    1.  The minimum requirement for a master’s degree in speech-language pathology is fifty-five (55) semester hours of credit.
    2. A maximum of six (6) graduate credits of “B” or above taken within two (2) years of the term of admission, at a CAA accredited institution, may be accepted toward the graduate degree.
    3. Courses are taught in the afternoon, late afternoon and evening. A maximum load is four courses per semester and takes at least two full years including summers to complete. A three course per semester load takes two and one-half years to complete. A two course per semester program would take at least three and one-half years. A grade point average of 3.0 is required to remain in the program and to earn the degree. Courses with a grade of C+ or below must be repeated.
    4. All work for the degree must be completed within a period of six years.
    5. The Dean of Graduate Studies reserves the right to periodically review the performance of graduate students in accordance with the academic standards of the Graduate Program and of Worcester State University.
    Program of Study

    There are 3 tracks to the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology program. Upon acceptance, students must select one of the following tracks. Length of each program is included in parenthesis. Note that length of time includes summers.

    • Accelerated (6 semesters)
    • Full-Time (8 semesters)
    • Part-Time (9 semesters)

    Course Requirements

    • CD 901 Introduction to Graduate and Clinical Skills (summer) 2 credits
    • CD 920 Articulation & Phonological Disorders (fall) 3 credits
    • CD 921 Language Disorders in Children (fall) 3 credits
    • CD 922 Language Disorders in Adults (spring) 3 credits
    • CD 923 Fluency Disorders (fall) 3 credits
    • CD 924 Voice Disorders (summer) 3 credits
    • CD 925 Motor Speech Disorders (fall) 3 credits
    • CD 926 Reading and Writing Disabilities (summer) 2 credits
    • CD 927 Audiology (fall) 3 credits
    • CD 928 Aural Rehabilitation (spring) 3 credits
    • CD 929 Dysphagia (spring) 3 credits
    • CD 940 Evaluation & Diagnosis in Speech-Language Pathology (spring) 3 credits
    • CD 946 Organization of S/L Programs in Schools (summer) 1 credit
    • CD 947 Augmentative/Alternative Communication (summer) 1 credit
    • CD 950 Cognitive Aspects of Communication (summer) 2 credits
    • CD 980 Research in Communication Sciences & Disorders (spring) 3 credits
    • CD 987 Selected Topics in Communication Sciences & Disorders – take 2 topics for 1 credit each (summer or spring) 2 credits
    • CD 990 Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: College Clinic (spring, summer, fall): (A minimum of 2 semesters is required in the WSU Speech-Language- Hearing Clinic) 3 credits each time
    • CD 991 Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: Externship. (A minimum of 2 semesters is required in externships) 3 credits each time

    Clinical Clock Hours
    In addition to academic coursework, students are required to complete 25 hours of observation of clinical work and 375 live hours of participation in diagnostic/therapeutic work in three distinctly different clinical settings. Observation hours and 50 of the live hours may be transferred from the undergraduate level. HIPAA training and certification for our students is provided by HIPAA EXAMS, Inc.

    Written Comprehensive Examination
    Students will be expected to submit a passing score from the NESPA examination in Speech-Language Pathology and complete a departmental comprehensive examination.

    Graduate students are strongly encouraged to join the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In addition, they may join the WSU chapter of National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

    Mission Statement
    The Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Worcester State University is dedicated to the education of students regarding communication sciences as well as etiologies, characteristics, prevention, assessment, and remediation of communication and swallowing disorders and differences across the lifespan. The necessity for evidence-based practice is emphasized. Based on the standards established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Speech-Language Pathology, the program prepares students as professionals by developing excellence in academic and clinical skills. The program incorporates the diverse needs of its students to promote their success and encourage life-long learning. In addition, the program is regularly evaluated and modified in response to social, economic, cultural, and professional changes. In collaboration with other professionals and institutions, such as local schools and health care organizations, the members of the speech-language pathology graduate program facilitates community engagement and responsibility.
    Student Outcome Data

    Percentage of our graduate students who passed the PRAXIS examination in Speech-Language Pathology:

    Year Number Took
    Exam
     Number Passed
    Exam
     Pass
    Rate
    2015-2016     26 26 100%
    2014-2015 26 26 100%
    2013-2014  28  28 100%


    Overall pass rate on first attempt = 100%
     

    Employment rate of our graduate students upon graduation:

    Year  Number
    Graduated
     Number
    Employed
     Percentage
    Employed
    2015-2016 26 26 100%
    2014-2015 26 26 100%
    2013-2014 30  30 100%


    Our program completion rates:

    Year  Started  Completed  Completion Rate
    2015-2016 
     29
     
     26
     
     90%
    2014-2015 31 26 84%
    2013-2014 36 30 86%

    Note: Students choose their program of study, which can take 2 to 3.5 years to complete.
    Strategic Plan and Academic Goals

    The strategic plan for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program incorporates the WSU strategic plan. It comprises goals to help prepare students as they enter the field of speech-language pathology as well as connect their services with the community. Download the plan.

    Academic Goals
    In accordance with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 2014 Standards and Implementation Procedures for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, students in the Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology will:

    • Complete a comprehensive graduate training program with a strong theoretical and scientific base with a diversified practicum experience in the areas of:
      • Articulation
      • Fluency
      • Voice and resonance
      • Receptive and expressive language
      • Hearing
      • Swallowing
      • Cognitive aspects of communication
      • Social aspects of communication
      • Augmentative and alternative communication modalities
    • Demonstrate critical thinking
    • Demonstrate ethical practice
    • Demonstrate professional writing and speaking skills
    • Demonstrate knowledge of research and ability to integrate research processes into evidence-based practice
    • Observe, evaluate/diagnose, and treat a variety of clients in regard to age, disorder, severity level, and linguistic/cultural background
    • Develop interpersonal communication skills to work effectively with colleagues, clients, clients’ families, and the general public
    • Provide clinical services, including prevention, assessment, and intervention of communication disorders and differences, for the community
    • Be eligible for ASHA certification, Massachusetts state licensure, and Massachusetts DESE Licensure
    • Demonstrate ability to become lifelong learners to continue to enhance professional knowledge and skills