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Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Graduate Program

The Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology graduate program enables students to develop professional knowledge and clinical skills.

Traditional and non-traditional students will demonstrate leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities professionally and competently in a variety of clinical settings. The graduate program offers a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

The master's (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology at Mississippi University for Women is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

A graduate of the program will meet the academic requirements for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP), licensure from the Mississippi Department of Health, and teacher licensure from the Mississippi Department of Education.


Program of Study

The program is 18-36 months in length depending upon the student's background and enrollment. Forty-two graduate credit hours are required for a master's degree. No more than six hours of practicum credit will count toward the degree. Six semester hours of approved course work may be transferred for credit. Students must enroll for full-time study. Graduate academic classes are typically taught at night and clinical experiences are offered during the day. Students are required to have malpractice insurance, CPR certification, a criminal background check, and 25 hours of clinical observation earned at an accredited university before enrolling in clinical experience.

Admission to the graduate speech-language pathology program is competitive. Decisions regarding admission are made during the months of March and April. In order to be considered for admission, the candidate must have completed the graduate school application process by March 1 for Fall admission.


General Admission Requirements:

  • A completed Graduate Application form.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work from each institution attended, including MUW transcripts. Transcripts must verify that the applicant received a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution and that the applicant has a minimum 3.0 overall GPA on a four-point scale for undergraduate studies, as calculated by the MUW SLP program.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Test scores may not be more than five years old at the time of application.
  • Three letters of professional recommendation stating the applicant's qualifications for graduate work from persons (excluding family members who are MUW employees) who have personal knowledge of the applicant's academic/work performance.
  • Statement of Purpose (1 Page)
  • An immunization form showing proof of two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). See the Graduate Bulletin for more details.
  • A $25 application fee, payable to MUW Graduate Studies.


International Student Requirements

In addition to meeting the same admission standards required of other applicants, international applicants must satisfy other university requirements. For more information and assistance, please contact:

Office of International Programs
Mississippi University for Women
1100 College St. MUW-1613
Columbus, MS 39701 USA


Prerequisite Courses

Students who have an undergraduate degree in an area other than speech-language pathology, communicative disorders, etc., must complete seven prerequisite courses. These courses are:

SPA 201··············· Phonetics

SPA 209··············· Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism

SPA 210··············· Development of Normal Speech and Language

SPA 303··············· Introduction to Audiology

SPA 313··············· Speech and Hearing Science (Prereq: SPA 209)

SPA 403··············· Strategies in Therapy for the Hearing Impaired (Prereq: SPA 303)

SPA 449··············· Neurology

These classes must be completed prior to or after admission to the Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program. Completion of these courses prior to admission does not guarantee the student entrance into the SLP Graduate Program. Please note that additional courses may be required in order to meet standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Students should meet with an academic advisor in the Speech-Language Pathology Program for information prior to enrolling in coursework.

For more information regarding prerequisites for graduate study see the Prerequisite Courses Brochure.


Minimum Skills and Essential Functions for SLP Graduate Students

Adapted from a draft document of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (2007)

The Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program makes every effort to enroll and prepare students to become competent speech-language pathologists. The program requires rigorous academic training and intense clinical preparation. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to the practice of speech-language pathology, individuals must have knowledge, skills, and attributes in five areas in order to fulfill the essential functions of graduate education. These five areas are communication, motor, intellectual-cognitive, sensory-observational, and behavioral-social. These knowledge areas, skills and attributes enable a student to fulfill the essential functions of graduate student training programs, and to meet graduate and professional requirements as measured by state licensure and national certification. Many of these skills can be learned and developed during the course of the graduate program through coursework and clinical experience. The starred items (*), however, are skills that represent intrinsic capacities or abilities, and should be present when a student begins the graduate program.



A student must possess adequate communication skills to:

  • Communicate proficiently in both oral and written English language. *
  • Possess reading and writing skills sufficient to meet curricular and clinical demands.*
  • Perceive and demonstrate appropriate non-verbal communication for culture and context.*
  • Modify communication style to meet the communication needs of clients, caregivers, and other persons served.*
  • Communicate professionally and intelligibly with patients, colleagues, other healthcare professionals, and community or professional groups.
  • Communicate professionally, effectively, and legibly on patient documentation, reports, and scholarly papers required as a part of course work and professional practice.
  • Convey information accurately with relevance and cultural sensitivity.



A student must possess adequate motor skills to:

  • Sustain necessary physical activity level in required classroom and clinical activities.*
  • Respond quickly to provide a safe environment for clients in emergency situations including fire, choking, etc.*
  • Access transportation to clinical and academic placements.*
  • Participate in classroom and clinical activities for the defined workday.*
  • Efficiently manipulate testing and treatment environment and materials without violation of testing protocol and with best therapeutic practice.
  • Manipulate patient-utilized equipment (e.g. Durable medical equipment to include AAC devices, hearing aids, etc.) in a safe manner.
  • Access technology for clinical management (i.e. billing, charting, therapy programs, etc.)



A student must possess adequate intellectual and cognitive skills to:

  • Comprehend, retain, integrate, synthesize, infer, evaluate and apply written and verbal information sufficient to meet curricular and clinical demands.*
  • Identify significant findings from history, evaluation, and data to formulate a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
  • Solve problems, reason, and make sound clinical judgments in patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic plan and implementation.
  • Self evaluate, identify, and communicate limits of one's own knowledge and skill (relative to level of experience), and be able to identify and use resources in order to increase knowledge and skills.
  • Use detailed written and verbal instruction when making decisions.



A student must possess adequate sensory attributes in the modalities of vision, hearing, and touch to:

  • Identify normal and disordered speech, language and cognition through vision, hearing and touch (fluency, articulation, voice, resonance, respiration characteristics, oral and written language in the areas of semantics, pragmatics, syntax, morphology and phonology, hearing and balance disorders, swallowing cognition, social interaction related to communication).
  • Identify the need for alternative modalities of communication.
  • Visualize and identify anatomic structures.
  • Visualize and discriminate imaging findings.
  • Identify and discriminate findings on imaging studies.
  • Discriminate text, numbers, tables, and graphs associated with diagnostic instruments and tests.
  • Recognize when a client's family member does or does not understand the clinician's written and or oral communication.



A student must possess adequate behavioral and social attributes to:

  • Display mature and effective professional relationships by exhibiting compassion, integrity, and concern for others.*
  • Recognize and show respect for individuals with disabilities and for individuals of different ages, genders, races/ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.*
  • Conduct oneself in an ethical and legal manner, upholding the ASHA Code of Ethics, and university, state, and federal compliance policies.*
  • Maintain general good physical and mental health and self care in order not to jeopardize the health and safety of self and others in the academic and clinical settings.*
  • Adapt to changing and demanding environments (which includes maintaining both professional demeanor and emotional health).
  • Manage the use of time effectively to complete professional and technical tasks with realistic time constraints.
  • Accept appropriate suggestions and constructive criticism and respond by modifying behaviors independently or per the direction of supervisors.
  • Dress appropriately and professionally.


Oral Communication Proficiency Policy

Speech-language pathologists working with individuals who have communication disorders must demonstrate excellent oral communication skills. Speech-language pathology students are expected to model all aspects of Standard American English including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and suprasegmental aspects of speech.

Additionally, students must speak in a clearly intelligible manner during spontaneous conversation, and produce all consonant and vowel phonemes of English accurately, at the sentence level, prior to beginning the clinical practicum experience.


Speech-Language-Hearing Screening Policy

All graduate students who are admitted into the Speech-Language Pathology Program will be screened for speech, language, and hearing difficulties during the first fall term of their enrollment. Screening will be conducted by second-year graduate students under the supervision of licensed and ASHA-certified faculty in the Speech and Hearing Center.

Additionally, faculty members may identify concerns regarding a student's communication skills at any time. Students identified by either means are encouraged to have a speech-language evaluation either at the MUW Speech and Hearing Center or at a facility of the student's choice.

In the event therapy is recommended, the student will be encouraged to enroll in therapy at the MUW Speech and Hearing Center or at a facility of the student's choice. Evaluation and/or therapy through the MUW Speech and Hearing Center will be provided at no cost. All costs incurred for services provided through another facility will be responsibility of the student.

The student must demonstrate skills as specified in the Oral Communication Proficiency Policy prior to enrollment in any clinical practicum.






SPA 500 - Research Methods in SLP

SPA 503 - Articulation/Phonology Disorders

SPA 525 - Language Science

SPA 513 - Practicum in SLP ( on campus-SHC)



SPA 501 - Motor Speech Disorders

SPA 502 - Language Disorders

SPA 504 - Voice Disorders

SPA 513 - Practicum in SLP (on Campus-SHC)



SPA 511 - Readings in SLP

Language elective rotation*

SPA 513 - Practicum in SLP (on campus-SHC)




SPA 505 - Fluency Disorders

SPA 522 - Dysphagia

SPA 530 - Neurogenic Disorders of Communication

SPA 515 - Practicum in SLP (off campus-public school emphasis)



SPA 507 - Craniofacial Anomalies and Associated Speech Disorders

SPA 512 - Seminar in Medical SLP

SPA 515 - Practicum in SLP (off campus-medical)


*Language electives

SPA 521 Communication Disorders in Infants

SPA 545 Multicultural Language Difference

SPA 555 Language Learning Disabilities


(Effective Spring 2004-Present)

Student Achievement Data

On-time Program Completion Rate


# completed program within expected time frame

% completing within expected time frame

# completing later than expected

# not completing

















Praxis Examination Pass Rates


# taking exam

Passed exam

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Employment Rates of Graduates

Number of graduates employed in the profession within one year of graduation


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Contact Information

Please refer to the list below to contact individuals who may best be able to assist you.

For Questions About…..




Academic schedule, prerequisites, transfer credit, etc.


Dr. Kathy L Shapley

Graduate Advisor, SLP Program Chair


(662) 329-7270

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Graduate school applications, graduate school forms, academic file

Kim Williams

SLP Graduate Program Secretary


(662) 329-7271

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Clinic assignments, clock hours, KASA, MS credentialing, practicum requirements, orientation

Lynn Hanson

Graduate Practicum Coordinator

(662) 329-7270

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Graduate Program Timetable

Below is a list of events/activities for which you should be prepared.

Time Frame


What You Need to Do

March 1

Application deadline

Application and all requested accompanying materials must be received by the Speech-Language Pathology Program. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed.


Late March of application year

Notification of admission to MUW SLP Program

Upon notification of acceptance, respond in writing (email is acceptable) your intention to attend MUW or your declination. Observe and comply with deadline provided.


Early June

Admission to Graduate Studies

Submit official transcripts showing conferred undergraduate degree. Must be received by SLP Graduate Program.


Early June

Notification of practicum requirements/paperwork

Earn CPR certification and provide copy of card to SLP Program. Forward any earned observation or clinical clock hours to MUW SLP Program. If student has acquired less than the required 25 observation hours, contact the SLP Program. Complete criminal background check (information to be provided by SLP Program).


Fall term Registration Day

Group advising for academic schedule

Meet with advisor to determine courses/schedule for Fall term.


First week of Fall term

Clinic Seminar

The Speech-Language Pathology Program conducts a mandatory seminar addressing clinical issues during the first week of each fall term. (You will receive a letter notifying you of the dates/times/location for this seminar.)


First semester of graduate school

Plan clinical observations.

ASHA requires 25 hours of clinical observation in order to earn certification. If you did not complete the required observation as part of your undergraduate program, you will need to do so during the summer preceding your first semester of graduate school.


Beginning of second semester/completion of 9 hours

Program of Study Application
for Admission to Candidacy

Meet with your advisor to complete appropriate forms.


Graduate Speech-Language Pathology Admissions

Graduate Speech-Language Pathology Application