Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Program Coordinator: Dr. Colleen Karow
Phone: 508-929-8567

Worcester State University offers a graduate program leading to a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. This program is designed to provide a high caliber academic and clinical program for the preparation of speech-language pathologists. The program prepares students for positions in public schools, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, speech-language-hearing clinics, special-care facilities, and private practice. The Master of Science education program in speech-language pathology at Worcester State 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 program is also approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Application forms may be obtained online at Admission is considered for the summer start only.

A monthly information session is held between August – May led by the graduate program coordinator to answer any questions about the program or prerequisites. Due to the large number of requests, faculty members are not able to arrange individual meetings with prospective graduate students outside of these monthly sessions. Prospective students are welcome to bring their transcripts to the information session for review by the graduate program coordinator. More information regarding program requirements, contact information for the graduate program coordinator, and dates for the information sessions can be found at:

Admissions Requirements

APPLICATION DEADLINE is February 1 for a summer start.

In addition to the WSU Graduate School's general admission requirements, and the Technical Skills for Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited (or its equivalent) college or university.

  2. 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 found on the application and mail it 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 two letters of recommendation is required. Submission of a third letter is optional, and all 3 may be submitted online. 

  3. 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 sealed, official transcripts along with Speech-Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet to the Graduate Admissions Office. 

  4. 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. 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.

    1. 18 credit hours in basic human communication processes and audiology that includes: anatomy of the speech & hearing mechanism, phonetics, normal development of speech and language, speech science, hearing science, and audiology1

    2. 3 credit hours in biological sciences Biological Science must be human and/or animal biology.

    3. 3 credit hours in human neuroanatomy2  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.

    4. 3 credit hours in physical science2  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.

    5. 3 credit hours in mathematics, not including statistics2

    6. 3 credit hours in statistics2

    7. 6 credit hours in the behavioral and/or social sciences2 (a course in Developmental Psychology/Child Growth and Development must be included)

  5. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) and the TOEFL (if the student’s academic background is not in English).

  6. Applicants must submit a completed copy of the Speech-Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet found on the application.


The majority (>50%) of coursework in basic human communication processes and audiology 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 completed within the past 7 years.


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. These courses must have been completed within the past 15 years.

General Requirements for Program Completion

  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. These credits must be transferred as part of the admissions process.

  3. Courses are taught in the afternoon, late afternoon and evening. A maximum load is 3-4 courses per semester (i.e. "accelerated" track) and takes two full years including summers to complete. A 3 course per semester load (i.e. "full-time" track) takes two and one-half years including summers to complete. A 2-3 course per semester program (i.e. "part-time" track) would take at least three years including summers to complete.

  4. Students must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA while in the Program. Students receiving a grade of C+ or below in an academic course (excluding CD 990 and CD 991) must successfully repeat that course and change their program of study. Students may only repeat one course in the program. Students receiving a grade of C+ or below in a clinical assignment* will not receive credit for live hours for that assignment. If students receive a C+ or below with one clinical assignment which results in a grade of C+ or below in CD 990 or CD 991, it will count as a single failing grade. Two grades of  C+ or below resulting from any combination of academic courses and/ or clinical assignments will result in dismissal from the Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology.

    *An assignment during CD990 or CD991 within the Center or in the field consisting of an individual client, group of clients, assessment of speech, language, and/or hearing, outside placement, screening (also see Center Manual).

  5. All work for the degree must be completed within a period of six years.

  6. 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.

Curriculum Requirements for a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

Course Requirements(55 credits)
CD-901Intro to Graduate and Clinical Skills2
CD-920Speech-Sound Disorders and Differences3
CD-921Language Disorders in Children3
CD-922Language Disorders in Adults3
CD-923Fluency Disorders3
CD-924Voice Disorders3
CD-925Motor Speech Disorders3
CD-926Reading and Writing Disabilities2
CD-928Aural Rehabilitation3
CD-937Counseling in Communication Disorders2
CD-940Evaluation and Diagnosis in Speech-Language Pathology3
CD-946Organization of Speech Language Programs In Schools1
CD-947Augmentative/Alternative Communication1
CD-950Cognitive Communication Disorders3
CD-980Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders3
CD-987Special Topics in Communication Sciences And Disorders (Take two topics for one credit each)2
CD-990Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: On-Campus Clinic (Practicum 1)3
CD-990Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: On-Campus Clinic (Practicum 2)3
CD-991Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: Externships (Practicum 1)3
CD-991Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: Externships (Practicum 2)3
Total Credits55

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.

Written Comprehensive Examination/Master's Thesis

Students will be expected to submit a passing score from the NESPA examination in Speech-Language Pathology and successful completion of either a departmental comprehensive examination or Master's Thesis prior to graduation.

Communication Disorders Courses

CD-901 Intro to Graduate and Clinical Skills

Students gain foundation skills to engage in graduate level academic and clinical studies. These skills include study behavior, observation, technical and clinical writing, and ethical behavior.

Every year. 2 Credits

CD-910 Speech/Language Development, Differences and Diversity

Students gain an in-depth understanding of speech/language development, knowledge of cultural differences and the disorders of speech/language.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-920 Speech-Sound Disorders and Differences

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of the nature of articulation, phonology, and speech sound differences, development, and disorders across the lifespan and in a multicultural context. Students will learn principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with speech sound disorders, with a focus on articulation and phonology.

Fall only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-921 Language Disorders in Children

Prevention, etiology, characteristics, evaluation, intervention in children's language differences and disorders. Emphasis on spoken language with introduction to written language.

Fall only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-922 Language Disorders in Adults

Study of the neurological basis, etiology, characteristics, prevention, evaluation and intervention of acquired language disorders in adults.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-923 Fluency Disorders

Etiology and characteristics of fluency disorders. In addition, the prevention, evaluation and intervention for people who have fluency disorders.

Fall only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-924 Voice Disorders

Study of etiology, characteristics, prevention, evaluation, and intervention of voice and resonance disorders in children and adults.

Every year. 3 Credits

CD-925 Motor Speech Disorders

Study of the neurological basis, etiology, characteristics, prevention, evaluation, and intervention of motor speech disorders in children and adults.

Fall only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-926 Reading and Writing Disabilities

Reading and writing development/disorders across the lifespan. Topics: Integration of theories, research, practice, etiology, characteristics, prevention, assessment, and intervention.

Every year. 2 Credits

CD-928 Aural Rehabilitation

Prerequisites: CD-927.

Evaluation and management of hearing related communication difficulties across the lifespan, including amplification, speech perception and communication training, speech-language therapy, and counseling.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-929 Dysphagia

Study of the anatomy/physiology of the swallowing mechanism, the etiology of its disorders, and the assessment and management of patients with various diseases/injuries causing these disorders.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-937 Counseling in Communication Disorders

This course will review theories of counseling and counseling strategies. Opportunities will be provided to practice counseling strategies. The course will also provide opportunity for personal growth, a requisite for helping our clients change and grow.

Other or on demand and every year. 2 Credits

CD-940 Evaluation and Diagnosis in Speech-Language Pathology

Intensive study of theory, psychometrics, concepts of assessment, and diagnosis. Focuses on scientific method. Includes planning, interpretation, report writing, recommendations.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-946 Organization of Speech Language Programs In Schools

Issues related to SLP's in schools. Includes state and federal regulations, case selection, referral process, scheduling, collaboration, inclusion, support personnel.

Every year. 1 Credit

CD-947 Augmentative/Alternative Communication

Principles of augmentative and alternative communication, evaluation, and intervention across diverse populations.

Every year. 1 Credit

CD-950 Cognitive Communication Disorders

Etiology and characteristics of cognition; prevention, evaluation, and intervention of acquired cognitive disorders related to communication sciences and disorders across the lifespan.

Fall only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-970 Independent Study in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Students may elect to take an independent study in course content, practicum experience, or independent research.

Other or on demand. 1-3 Credits

CD-980 Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Prerequisites: Completion of a minimum of 18 graduate credits in speech-language pathology.

Principals of research in communication sciences and disorders including ethics, methodology, design, statistics, evaluation and research writing.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

CD-987 Special Topics in Communication Sciences And Disorders

In-depth studies of contemporary issues in human communication disorders.

Every year. 1-3 Credits

CD-990 Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: On-Campus Clinic

Experience in screening, evaluation, and intervention of speech, language and hearing disorders in the on campus clinic with direct supervision.

Every year. 3 Credits

CD-991 Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: Externships

Prerequisites: CD-920 CD-921 CD-922 CD-927 CD-940 CD-946 CD-990

Experience in screening, evaluation, and intervention of speech, language, and hearing disorders in externships with direct supervision.

Every year. 3 Credits

CD-997 Thesis Research in Communication Disorders

Original research in Communication Disorders under the supervision of a member of the faculty, and an acceptable thesis. Three credits per semester for two semesters.

Every year. 3 Credits