Utah State University’s speech-language pathology program provides a Master’s of Arts (MA) or Master’s of Science (MS) post-baccalaureate degree that is part of the Western Regional Graduate Exchange program (WRGP). The two-year programconsists of 55-58 credit hours across six semesters of full-time study beginning with a summer semester. The primary program objective is to prepare students to become speech-language pathologists able to work with individuals of all ages who have developmental or neurological disorders relating to articulation, fluency, voice and resonance, language development, swallowing, augmentative modalities, and cognitive or social aspects of communication. The MA degree has a required comprehensive exam prior to completion and the MS degree requires a thesis that is defended prior to program completion.
Students pursuing a master’s degree must have a bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders or the equivalent undergraduate prerequisite courses, either from USU or another regionally accredited program.
The Division of Speech-Language Pathology participates in two doctoral education programs.
Speech-language pathology is a specialization within the Disability Disciplines PhD Program in the Emma Eccles Jones School of Education and Human Services. The Disability Disciplines Doctoral Program offers a multidisciplinary doctoral degree that brings together faculty and students across disciplinary and departmental lines to explore interrelated aspects of disabilities. For more information on the PhD program, view the PhD tab below.
The doctoral program in neuroscience provides students with a strong educational and research foundation in cellular, cognitive, and behavioral neuroscience. Students apply critical concepts in neuroscience to understanding normal and disordered processes of sensation, movement, cognition, language, and communication across the lifespan. In this program, students take a core set of neuroscience courses, advanced electives, and laboratory experiences. Beyond the core, students select one of the following focus areas in which to complete further preparation: Translational Neuroscience, Educational Neuroscience, or Lifespan Neuroscience. Learn more about the neuroscience degree.
Note: The SLP graduate program begins Summer Semester (June)
Application Deadline: January 15th
Students pursuing a master's degree in speech-language pathology must have a bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders or the equivalent undergraduate prerequisite courses, either from USU or another accredited university.
Minimum Admission Requirments
Admission to COMDDE graduate programs is extremely competitive. The requirements listed below are the minimum requirements to apply. Students offered admission typically score much higher across all application components.
- GPA: 3.0 or better for last 60 credits (USU Graduate School Requirement)
- A bachelor's degree in communicative disorders (Students already having a bachelor's degree in another area must either complete a second bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders or take the undergraduate Communicative Disorders courses as post-bachelor's courses.)
- GRE Scores - Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic: (Verbal and Quantitative Score above the 40th percentile - USU Graduate School Requirement)
- Proof of current immunizations prior to initiation of clinic coursework
Criminal background check is required at the time of admissions
- Top-ranked candidates may be invited for an interview.
COMDDE accepts a limited number of Outreach graduate students* based on the same criteria as campus-based applicants. Employment as a speech-language technician in a rural or under-served district within the state of Utah is required. Anyone with a background in communicative disorders (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) may apply, but preference is given to highly qualified applicants working for rural and under-served Utah school districts who participate in most courses through USU's broadcast distance education program. If applicants in those areas do not apply or are not highly qualified, applicants from other locations within Utah may be considered. Students must apply by the January 15th deadline to be considered for an "outreach" position.
*The Outreach portion of the graduate program is supported by the Utah State Office of Education (USOE). The availability of State Office of Education funding, through federal flow through money, will not be known until approximately April. If State Office of Education funding is not available, or is significantly reduced, there will be no outreach broadcast program and the newly accepted outreach students would be offered an on-campus space in the graduate program instead. Highly-qualified students working for rural and under-served areas of Utah will have top priority for admission.
About the LSL Emphasis
Through early identification and advanced technology, children with hearing loss have more opportunities than ever before to use audition to develop spoken language. Rapid progress in these areas has created a critical shortage of appropriately trained professionals who can meet the unique communicative and learning needs of children with permanent hearing loss and their families.
The Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University has developed an innovative training program to provide in-depth training to graduate students in Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, and Deaf Education graduate programs. In addition to the standard coursework and requirements for a Masters degree (MS) in Speech-Language Pathology, students take additional courses and complete specialized practica and field-study experiences to develop specific knowledge and skills in the practice of Auditory-Verbal Therapy and Auditory-Oral Education for children with hearing loss, aged birth through six, and their families. The program length is 23 months, beginning in June of the 1st year and ending in April of the 2nd year. Please see the attachments below for a detailed program outline. Funding is available.
The program is built on a strong foundation of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary service provision to young children with hearing loss and their families. The primary training site for graduate students takes place right on the Utah State University campus at the Sound Beginnings Program. Sound Beginnings at Utah State University is an early education program that provides home and center-based services to children with hearing loss whose families want their children to learn to listen and talk.
Students receiving a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology will be qualified to work in a variety of settings serving young children with hearing loss and their families, including but not limited to:
- Cochlear Implant Programs & Teams
- Community Speech-Language-Hearing Centers
- Family-Centered Early Intervention Programs
- Educational Programs for Children with Hearing Loss
- Home Health Organizations
- Private Practices
- Public and/or Private Schools
- State and Federal Agencies
- State Schools for the Deaf
|Summer Yr 1||Fall Yr 1||Spring Yr 1|
|EDUC 6150||Articulation and Phonology||3||COMD 6020||Lang Asses/Interven School-age||3||COMD 6120||Adult Language Disorders||3|
|COMD 6030||Disorders of Fluency/Stuttering||3||COMD 6230||Introduction to Research in COMD||3||COMD 6140||Dysphagia||3|
|COMD 6100||Clinical practicum (core)||1||COMD 6130||Neural Bases of Com/Motor Speech Dis||4||COMD 6220||Severe Comm Impairments||2|
|COMD 6850||LSL Seminar||1||COMD 6100||Clinical practicum (core)||1||COMD 6100||Clinical practicum (core)||1|
|COMD 6340||Strategies for LSL||3||COMD 6850||LSL Seminar||2|
|COMD 6100||Clinical practicum (LSL)||1||COMD 6100||Clinical practicum (LSL)||1|
|COMD 6850||LSL Seminar||1|
|Total Semester Credit Hours Without LSL||7||Total Semester Credit Hours Without LSL||11||Total Semester Credit Hours Without LSL||9|
|Semester Credit Hours With LSL||8||Semester Credit Hours With LSL||16||Semester Credit Hours With LSL||12|
|Summer Yr 2||Fall Yr 2||Spring Yr 2|
|COMD 6300||SLP Externship (core)||4||COMD 6050||Professional Practices in SLP||2||COMD 6300||Externship SLP (core/LSL)||12|
|COMD 7520||Introduction to Cochlear Implants||2||COMD 6810||Voice, Resonance, and Craniofacial Disorders||4||COMD 6900||Comprehensive Exam||1|
|COMD 6730||Multiple Disabilities||2||COMD 6200||Internship in Public Schools SLP||3||COMD 6320||Language & Emergent Literacy in Children with HL||3|
|COMD 6100||Clinical Practicum||1|
|COMD 6580||Family-Centered Practices||2|
|COMD 7340||Pediatric Audiology||2|
|Total Semester Credit Hours Without LSL||4||Total Semester Credit Hours Without LSL||9||Total Semester Credit Hours Without LSL||13|
|Semester Credit Hours With LSL||8||Semester Credit Hours With LSL||14||Semester Credit Hours With LSL||16|
|Total Credit Hours Without LSL||53|
|Courses and credits subject to change||Total Credit Hours With LSL||74|
PhD in Disability Disciplines
- Speech-Language Pathology
- Special Education
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Disability Studies
All specializations balance a common core of multidisciplinary coursework and applied activities with a strong disciplinary focus. Thus, both faculty and students work within a multidisciplinary context without compromising their important disciplinary perspective, knowledge and skills.
The program is made up of a combination of coursework, a preliminary exam, internships, professional products and a dissertation. Students must pass a three-day preliminary exam that includes disciplinary knowledge, critique of a research manuscript and design of an experimental research study. In addition, students complete internships and professional products in eight areas critical for faculty in communication disorders and/or special education:
- conference presentation
- writing for publication
- systematic review of research literature
- grant writing
- college teaching
Explore detailed descriptions of these professional requirements and coursework.
Applicants must send a current resume and a letter of interest that details their interest areas (research and clinical) and the reasons for applying to the doctoral program in Speech-Language Pathology at Utah State University to Ronald B. Gillam, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders and Deaf Education, 1000 Old Main Hill, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84321 [email@example.com].
In addition, applicants must comply with all application procedures for the School of Graduate Studies at Utah State University. All application materials and minimum requirements are available through the Utah State University School of Graduate Studies Admissions website.
On the application form, please indicate that you are applying to the disability disciples doctoral program, not the speech-language pathology MS program.
These courses must be taken by all students in the doctoral program:
EDUC 6570 Introduction to Educational and Psychological Research (3 credits)
Introduction to research methods including identifying research questions, conducting research literature reviews, and design and implementation of research projects.
EDUC 6600 Measurement, Design, & Analysis (3 credits)
This course integrates concepts in measurement, research design, and statistical analysis for research in psychology and education.
SPED 7920 Doctoral Orientation Seminar (3 credits)
Orients new students to the doctoral program including career planning, program planning, fundamental concepts of scientific research and literature review, and knowledge of the available facilities and faculty members.
SPED 7940 Journal Reading Group (2 credits *2 semesters)
Under faculty direction, students read and discuss published research. Students learn to critique empirical and theoretical papers as well as current research findings in important areas of Disability Disciplines.
SPED 7950 Multicultural Issues in Disability (3 credits)
This seminar will focus on the juxtaposition of disability and ethnic/cultural/linguistic diversity. Three broad areas will be presented. The first area will focus on the ethnic/cultural/linguistic demography of disability. The second area will focus on the prejudice, discrimination, and handicapism and the ways in which these forces impact upon an individual who has a disability and who is a member of an ethnic/cultural/linguistic minority group. The third area will focus on practice applications, translating the concept of the first two areas into practical suggestions for professional practice.
SPED 7820 Cross-Specialization Topical Seminars (3 credits *2 courses)
In-depth study of special topics in special education, rehabilitation, behavior analysis, and disabilities studies. Seminars examine historical aspects, relevant research, and theoretical positions.
Students will enroll in at least one graduate content area course that relates to their primary interest area. Specialization courses will comprise 15 credits. Examples of possible courses include:
COMD 6020 Language Diagnosis and Intervention with School-age Children
COMD 6030 Disorders of Fluency
COMD 6120 Adult Disorders of Motor Speech & Swallowing
COMD 6130 Neuropathologies
COMD 6140 Pediatric Neurogenic Disorders
COMD 6210 Bilingual/Multicultural Services
COMD 6810 Disorders of Phonation
COMD 6900 Advanced Topics in Speech and Language Disorders (3 credits * 2 courses)
Discussion of advanced topics and issues in language disorders, including theories of information processing and learning mechanisms underlying language disorders, the nature of various types of language disorders, language assessment, and language intervention.
COMD Seminars (3 credits *2 courses) Students will take an additional 6 credits in seminars on topics of relevance to their programs. Examples of possible seminars include:
COMD 7820 Research Seminar in Communication Disorders COMD 7830 Seminar: Special Topics
Additional Research Methods
Students will take a minimum of 6 additional credits in research methods. Students are encouraged to consider the following courses, although students' committees will consider additional options:
SPED 7700 Single Subject Research Methods
SPED 7710 Advanced Single-Subject Research Methods and Design
EDUC 7610 Measurement, Design and Analysis II
PSYC 7020 Advanced Evaluation Methodology and Techniques
PSYC 7780 Multivariate Methods in Psychology and Education
PSYC 7670 Literature Reviews in Education and Psychology
Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowship
Dr. Ron Gillam is searching for a doctoral student interested in joining his current study on behavioral and neurophysiological pathways of information processing in children with specific language impairment (SLI). His research team is exploring the use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy, technology that detects changes in cortical hemoglobin concentration, with the purpose of determining any differences in brain area recruitment in children that have SLI versus those that do not. Dr. Gillam’s research is funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
As part of the Presidential Doctoral Research Fellows program at Utah State University, Dr. Gillam will award a fellowship to a doctoral student in either Disability Disciplines or a new Neuroscience doctoral track within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. The fellowship will begin in August of 2015.
A Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowship features:
- $20,000 per year (each year for four years)
- Full tuition award and fee remission (each year for four years)
- Health insurance
- Support to attend scholarly conferences
- Reserved spot at intensive grant-writing workshop
- Enrollment in Research Scholars certification program
- Spot in special training/presentation session at Graduate Research Symposium
- One-on-one support from Associate Vice President for graduate and undergraduate research
Anyone who would like to apply for this fellowship should:
- Have an interest in speech information processing
- Have completed a Master's degree in or related to Speech-Language Pathology, or be in the final stages of obtaining a Master's degree
- Have scored above the 70th percentile on the GRE
- Have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA
- Contact Dr. Gillam at firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach SLP Program
The primary objective of the Outreach graduate program is to meet the critical shortage of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in rural or underserved areas of Utah. The graduate program trains students who have a bachelor's degree in communicative disorders to become eligible for national certification and state licensure as professional SLPs, prepared for employment in all professional work settings. Outreach students are part of the department SLP graduate student cohort, but participate through classes in fall and spring semesters via broadcast technology.
As described above, accepted Outreach students are considered part of the departmental SLP graduate program. During the first semester (Summer 1) Outreach students travel to Logan and attend classes on campus with the campus-based students. In Fall and Spring semesters Outreach students participate in all classes at the time they are taught on campus with campus students synchronously, via broadcast distance education, at USU extension centers or broadcast sites near their schools (places of employment). For example, if a class is held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. on campus, Outreach graduate students are excused from their work settings during that time and access the class via computers with webcams and microphones, usually at USU extension centers throughout the state. In this way, Outreach and campus students see, talk, and interact with each other and with the instructors. Participating in this manner requires approval and accommodation from supporting school districts. All graduate students are typically able to graduate in six semesters.
Outreach graduate students participate in clinical training each semester of graduate school. During the first semester (Summer 1) the clinic rotation is on campus. In subsequent semesters, students are supervised by school district SLPs who hold current certificate of clinical competence (CCC) by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and are state licensed. If an SLP-CCC is not available in the school or district, that district coordinates with Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education (COMDDE) to locate and pay for clinical supervision by a SLP-CCC for the duration of the graduate student’s program.
As students progress in graduate school, they also participate in clinical externships in hospitals, nursing homes, or other settings. Here they gain valuable clinic experience working with communication disorders across the lifespan – again supervised by certified and licensed SLPs.
Each Outreach graduate student also works closely with the full-time USU COMDDE Clinical Educator. This professional ASHA-Certified SLP oversees all clinical training experiences for Outreach students. She meets with all of them regularly, travels to observe them in their clinic training settings, and also uses a HIPPA compliant video conferencing system to keep in touch. She tracks all clinical experiences and assures that each Outreach student receives the variety and number of clinical clock hours required to become a highly qualified SLP and meet the ASHA certification standards. She works with the USU COMDDE Clinical Education Coordinator to ensure equal experiences whether Outreach or campus-based training.
Prior to the first semester of graduate school Outreach graduate students must gain employment in Utah’s public or charter schools as a speech-language assistant/technician (SLA/SLT) or equivalent. Each newly accepted Outreach graduate student should immediately contact their Utah school district or charter school employer and obtain a letter of support signed by the district and provided to the program prior to the beginning of classes in the first semester of graduate training (Summer 1).
Students participating in the Outreach program may receive funding for their education through COMDDE via a grant from the Utah State Office of Education. Recipients are responsible to work as Speech-Language Pathologists in Utah public schools for a designated amount of time after graduation. Additional information will be provided at the time of acceptance.
The masters in Speech-Language Pathology at Utah 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.