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Graduate Students

Graduate Catalog 2015-16


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Contact: Graduate Program Director

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Application Deadlines:
(Fall only - January 15th. Students accepted to the program are eligible for a summer start date.)


The Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders offers a program leading to the Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology. The graduate program in speech-language pathology is accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The program includes academic course work in the basic scientific and clinical aspects of human communication and its disorders.  Students interested in obtaining the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, and Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation License in Speech-language Pathology and/or an Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educator License in Speech-language Pathology (non-teaching) will need to complete additional requirements for each certificate/license.  Students who complete such additional requirements are prepared to provide clinical services as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings.


To be considered for admission to the graduate program, students must submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts, scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) , a résumé and three letters of recommendation.  Transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation are all submitted through the Centralized Application Service.  Students must document a 3.0 grade point average (A=4.0) to apply.  Admission is a competitive process.  Not all qualified applicants will be admitted to the program.

Applicants must be working toward a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology or completion of undergraduate course work in speech-language pathology and audiology.


Thirty-six (36) semester hours of acceptable graduate credit are required to complete the Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology. These hours include twelve (12) core courses, one elective, and a culminating comprehensive examination or twelve core courses, 6 thesis credits, and a culminating thesis.  Students must also complete an average of 22-27 semester hours of on- and off-campus clinical experiences to meet certification and licensure requirements and are referred to their individual plans of study for more information.

Students in the program must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in all academic courses. No credit is allowed toward a graduate degree in courses in which a grade below C is earned. (Students are referred to the Speech-language Pathology Graduate Handbook for more information on clinic policies.) The program has two plans through which the program requirements are fulfilled.

Thesis Plan

Academic courses (34 hours): SPPA 503, 540, 541, 542, 543, 544, 545, 547, 548, 558, 560

Clinical Courses: SPPA 469, 549a, b and/or c

Thesis (6 hours): SPPA 599.

Non-thesis Plan

Academic courses (34 hours): SPPA 503, 540, 541, 542, 543, 544, 545, 547, 548, 558, 560

Electives: (minimum of 2 hours) within the specialization or in related areas. Students having completed an approved course in AAC as an undergraduate student will need to complete an additional 3.0 credit hours of elective requirements.

Clinical Courses: SPPA 469, 549a, b and/or c


All students must pass either a written or an oral comprehensive examination administered by the graduate faculty in speech-language pathology. The examination covers the broad areas of speech and hearing sciences, speech-language pathology, and audiology. Students may choose the thesis option in lieu of a written examination.

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