Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology
The University of Louisville Speech-Language Pathology program offers a unique opportunity to pursue a Master of Science degree to students with and without undergraduate degrees in speech-language pathology.
The program includes two phases. The Preparatory Program can be completed on a part-time basis, not to exceed two years. The Core program is a full-time program with no options for part-time attendance. Applications for students without a background in speech-language pathology will be submitted automatically to the Preparatory phase of the program.
Applications for students who currently hold the Bachelor degree in speech-language pathology will be submitted automatically to the Core phase of the program.
Current University of Louisville undergraduate students with Junior or Senior standing may enroll in Preparatory phase courses without applying to the program. These courses may be taken as electives for these UofL students only. The University of Louisville does not offer an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology. Completion of the courses does not guarantee admission into the Core phase of the program. Students must formally submit an application to the Graduate School and qualify for admission. Post baccalaureate students must be formally accepted to the preparatory phase.
The Preparatory phase of the program is designed for students with Bachelor’s degrees in fields other than speech-language pathology, who wish to pursue the Master’s Degree. It is a two or three semester sequence in which students take courses that will prepare them to enter the core phase of the program. Students who successfully complete the Preparatory phase with a 3.0 or higher grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) will matriculate into the core program without any additional application steps. The Preparatory Program can be completed on a part-time basis, not to exceed two years. Students cannot complete the core program on a part-time basis.
Students in speech-language pathology must be admitted into either the preparatory phase or the core program. The preparatory phase is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a major other than speech-language pathology. With the exception of University of Louisville undergraduate students (Juniors and Seniors only) enrolled in a degree program, admission into the Preparatory Phase courses is restricted to those students formally accepted into the program. Students with post baccalaureate status will not be permitted to enroll in the Preparatory Phase classes. Admission into the University of Louisville preparatory phase and completion of required courses with a 3.0 or better guarantees matriculation into the core sequence.
The Core phase of the program is a five semester sequence of classes and practical experiences for students who already hold the Bachelor degree in speech-language pathology, or who have successfully completed the Preparatory phase of the program.
Formal application to the core program is required by students who have completed: (a) preparatory courses completed at another university; (b) elective courses while obtaining an undergraduate degree at UofL; and (c) completion of an undergraduate program in Speech Language Pathology. These three classifications of students must meet all core admission requirements and compete with all candidates from other universities who have completed an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology.
Admission into both the preparatory and core programs is competitive. In order to be considered, an applicant must have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grade point scale. The applicant’s combined Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination must be at least 300. At least three letters of recommendation must accompany the application for admission. At least two of the three letters must be from academic advisors/instructors in the student’s undergraduate or graduate school program. For those students who graduated more than five years prior to application, letters of recommendation should address learning ability, work ethic and professionalism. These letters should be obtained from employers or other professional references.
- Project or Comprehensive Exam Options
Students in the Core phase may either elect to conduct a project, which will require the completion of an advanced statistics course, or take comprehensive written and oral competency exams at the end of their coursework. Please see the Graduation Requirements page for more information.
- Teacher Certification Option
In addition to obtaining the Master's degree, students may choose to complete the coursework necessary to obtain teacher certification. Teacher certification is not currently required to work in the Kentucky Public School System, but students may find it to be an asset to their overall qualifications upon graduation. As of September 2013, Kentucky Regulations require 200 field experience hours prior to student teaching. In almost all situations, an additional 1-2 semesters will be required to comply with the 2013 Regulations. The education classes necessary to obtain certification are offered through the College of Education and Human Development. Required education classes are noted on the Course Offerings page. Prior undergraduate credit may be accepted with the approval of the College of Education and Human Development.
The regulations for beginning student teaching in Kentucky changed effective September 1, 2013. The Speech Pathology program at the University of Louisville cannot accommodate the 200 hours of field experience prior to student teaching within the five semester core program. Students who wish to obtain Teaching Certification in speech pathology (p-12) are advised to apply to the College of Education in their first semester. Students should understand that at least one additional semester is estimated in order to complete the field experience hours and the minimum length of student teaching. Please contact Dr. Gay Masters for assistance in working with the College of Education. Speech-language pathologists do not need teacher certification to work in many states, including Kentucky. Some districts in Kentucky do have teaching certification as a requirement for hire, and many indicate that they will hire employees with teaching certification over equally competitive applicants without it. The program will monitor regulations and post any changes about which we become aware.
Students must obtain 60 credit hours to receive Rank I status for employment within the public schools. Rank 1 refers to a pay level in the public school system in the state of Kentucky. School districts are required to award Rank 1 status to individuals who have Kentucky teacher certification and 60 graduate credit hours. Rank 1 status can be awarded, at the discretion of the district, to licensed and certified speech language pathologists with 60 graduate credits. Districts are not required to give Rank 1 status to individuals who lack teaching certification. The Division’s Master of Science degree consists of 56-57 (see Year II Spring semester) credit hours. Most students will qualify for Rank 1 by adding the two courses required by the College of Education for teacher certification. The required courses are: EDSP 637 Transdisciplinary Collaboration for Inclusion and EDSP 540 Introduction to Exceptional Children. However, students may take any graduate course to complete the 60 hours for Rank 1. Other courses recommended at the graduate level are those that add to the student’s knowledge of multicultural issues, human learning and development, counseling and/or special education issues. Students who completed the preparatory phase at UofL before transitioning to our core phase will have enough graduate credits to qualify for Rank 1. Some students may have taken all of the preparatory phase courses as an undergraduate at the University of Louisville. These students will need to request a letter from the Division, documenting that these courses were at the graduate level.
Throughout the Master's program, students will learn the skills and knowledge required for ASHA Certification. To obtain certification upon completion of the program, ASHA requires the submission of a KASA summary form to show competencies achieved in an array of disciplines (for more on KASA, please visit the Certification Frequently Asked Questions page on ASHA's website).
ASHA mandats that students have completed one course in each of the following areas. The University of Louisville requires that students have earned a grade of C- or better in each of the following areas:
- Biological Sciences - not specifically related to communication sciences and disorders
(human or animal sciences; Examples are: Biology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology, Human Genetics, Veterinary Science)
- Physical Sciences
(physics or chemistry)
(college-level statistics that must be math based; research methodology courses in communication sciences and disorders may not be used)
- Social/Behavioral Sciences
(sociology, psychology, anthropology or public health)
Students who have not completed these courses prior to acceptance into the Preparatory or Core phase of the Master's program will need to schedule them into their course load in addition to the classes required for the Master's degree.
Students should familiarize themselves with the certification requirements described on ASHA's Membership and Certification page.
Applying to the Program
For information on applying to the program and prerequisites for admission, please see the Admissions Requirements page.