Orange Alert

Background Course Requirements M.S. in SLP

Background course requirements for incoming SLP graduate students:

Students may be accepted into the SLP graduate program with or without an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD). There are no formal prerequisite course requirements for admission into the program. However, those students who lack specific background undergraduate coursework will have additional requirements to complete, either before or during the graduate program. These background courses include knowledge and skills areas required by ASHA in basic human communication processes as well as basic sciences and mathematics. These courses must be 3 credits each. ONLY courses taken through an accredited college/university for credit will be accepted. Coursework from massive open online courses (MOOCs) are not accepted. Examples of MOOCs include, but are not limited to: Educause,, edX, Coursera, and Khan Academy.

ASHA Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills for SLP:

ASHA standards for certification in Speech-Language Pathology specify basic prerequisite knowledge and skills requirements as described in Standard IV-A: “The applicant must have demonstrated knowledge of the biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics and social/behavioral sciences.” Evidence of at least one course in each of these four areas is required. These courses are typically completed as part of an undergraduate curriculum. Examples of appropriate courses in each of these four areas are listed below.

Course Area Accepted/Strongly recommended courses* Example courses generally not accepted*
Biological Science Courses in human biology including human anatomy & physiology, micro/macro-biology, cellular biology, or other similar human biology topics strongly preferred. Nutrition, plant biology, botany, & cultural anthropology. CSD Courses not accepted.
Physical Science Physics, chemistry, organic/biochemistry Speech science or hearing science from a CSD department unacceptable; earth science, meteorology, astronomy, geology, forensic science, materials sciences

"Statistics" required in the course title.
Stats from psychology/social sciences or mathematics departments accepted.

Regular math courses
Social/Behavioral Science Psychology, sociology, anthropology, cognitive neuroscience accepted. Other social science courses addressing human / societal behavior may be acceptable. Health, wellness

*Exceptions may be considered and other courses may be accepted following individual review of course materials by the faculty.

See the section at the end for determination of fulfillment of these ASHA basic prerequisite courses.

Students entering the master’s program in SLP:

Students entering the master’s in SLP program with a background in CSD are expected to have courses covering the following areas of basic human communication processes:

  • Speech Science
  • Phonetics
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanism
  • Development of Speech and Language
  • Clinical Methods
  • Observation of Clinical Practice
  • Speech Disorders in Children
  • Basic Clinical Audiology

These courses are included in the graduate program for students without an undergraduate degree in CSD, which increases the length and number of credits in the graduate program compared to students enrolling with a full background. Please see the sample programs for students with and without a background. Those who have some, but not all, of these background courses will be advised regarding the sequence of courses needed and the resulting length of the individual’s program. See the section below on determination of fulfillment of these background course requirements.

Determination of fulfillment of background course requirements and course equivalency:

Any courses previously taken for undergraduate (or in some cases graduate) credit will be evaluated by the faculty advisor to determine course equivalencies and fulfillment of ASHA knowledge and skills requirements. No credit is transferred for fulfillment of the background requirements described above, as they are not part of the graduate program. Rather, competencies will be marked as fulfilled or unfulfilled following this review.

Applicants should understand the following regarding the review of courses counting towards these ASHA prerequisite and background course requirements:

  • Courses must be taken at an accredited college or university and official transcript documentation of each course is required.
  • All courses must be a minimum of 3 credits and a passing grade must have been obtained. Courses for which grades of D+, D, D-, F or Fail appear on the transcript will not be accepted.
  • Course descriptions, syllabi, and other materials may be required to demonstrate that a given course fulfills the requirement, which is determined by the faculty of the graduate programs.
  • Courses within Communication Sciences and Disorders programs may not be counted to fulfill the ASHA biological and physical science requirements,
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be accepted for ASHA prerequisites; however AP credit must be recorded on the student’s official undergraduate transcript(s).