MS in Speech-Language Pathology FAQs
Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program most frequently asked questions.
The Speech-Language Pathology program begins in the fall and takes five consecutive semesters, which includes the summer between two academic years.
A student completes three semesters of on-campus clinic, and two semesters of off-campus clinical practicums.
The program is designed to have front-end loaded academics and back-end loaded clinic. This ensures that most academic courses are completed early in the program while completing a light clinical experience. An increasing clinical experience load occurs later in the program with a corresponding light academic course load.
The program is full time and offered on campus.
Speech-Language Pathology Certification
In addition to completing the degree, there are two steps that must be completed to be eligible for certification in Speech-Language Pathology:
- Pass Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology at ASHA’s established score
- Successfully complete a clinical fellowship experience of at least 36 weeks
Our program is a cohort program which means students complete the plan of study together with a cohort of classmates. Each cohort has classes together, but has customized clinical experiences. The class graduates together in May of the second year.
- A cohort program allows students to make rich connections with classmates and feedback shows this can be a positive factor in student success.
- Our program typically has a number of ways the cohort interacts outside of classes:
- Graduate orientation and advising by cohort
- Each cohort usually initiates a Facebook group for the class
- Social events planned by the cohort
- Often fund raise together to attend the national American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) convention;
- Support each other in studying for the Praxis exam
- Plan a skit for Spring banquet
- Participate in hooding ceremony prior to graduation
- Both 1st year and 2nd year cohorts join together at times:
- Graduate branch of National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)/Collegiate Sertoma club
- Annual Grad Social
Our program is a face-to-face program and is not offered online.
We do incorporate some online and hybrid courses into the curriculum, especially in the summer for both our undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Our graduate students are well rounded, and the first place of employment is split nearly equally between the two main settings for SLPs: Medical and School-based.
- The Master of Science (M.S.) degree education program in Speech-Language Pathology at Minnesota State University Moorhead is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
- Close-knit, enthusiastic, approachable faculty
- Well-designed curriculum. Recently implemented ‘front end loaded academics/back end loaded clinic’; Interprofessional activities incorporated
- Wonderful facilities in Murray Hall
- An active on-campus clinic with a variety of interesting clients
- Special clinic opportunities and service learning opportunities: Regional Assistive Technology Center.; Stuttering support group: Cleft palate clinic; Memory screenings; Voice including Speak Out groups; Auditory Processing; Telepractice
- Wide variety of off-campus sites in the FM area and beyond
- Access to cutting edge technology (ipads for clinic and electronic medical records; Visipitch; AAC technology, etc.)
- Comprehensive array of assessment tools and clinical materials
- The opportunity to do thesis research or portfolio
- We have excellent graduate student support
- MSUM education is affordable
- Excellent graduate student outcomes (finishing in 2 years; passing national exam; employment)
- You will have many job opportunities upon graduation
Graduate students have two options for completing the research component of the degree:
- Plan A: THESIS: involves writing a thesis (SLP 699) with an enrollment of 4 credits. The work involved typically extends over a period longer than two semesters (generally Fall of first year through Spring of 2nd year). The schedule for completing the work is arranged between the student and the student's thesis advisor.
- Plan B: PORTFOLIO. Involves enrolling in the SLP 695 class. This option involves compiling a digital portfolio for which one receives a total of 3 credits. The portfolio is a graduate level capstone project that is taken in lieu of doing a thesis.
MSUM SLP graduate student present faculty mentored student research:
- Each graduate student presents at MSUM’s Student Academic conference. Thesis students present on their original research; Portfolio students present on the main research paper of the portfolio. Students also sometimes present on a class research project completed during the SLP 601 research course.
- Each year, some students are accepted to present at the annual ASHA convention and the Minnesota Speech Language Hearing Association (MNSHA) conference as part of a competitive application process by the organizations.
This means that applying to an SLP program does not mean you will automatically gain admission if you meet the minimum criterion, as there are a number of students applying and there is a review and selection process. General information about the process:
- Most students apply to more than one program.
- Students should be very careful to meet admission deadlines and posted requirements, which vary across programs.
- Students should carefully review prospective schools and be sure that a student’s credentials match the schools to which he/she is applying.
- Resources are available to guide students in selecting schools to which to apply:
- Specific program’s websites are a rich source of information about individual programs. For example, each accredited SLP graduate program posts Student Outcome Data which are important for prospective students to review. These include the program percentages for the last three classes for: Program Completion Rate; Praxis Examination Pass Rates; Employment rates.
MSUM’s SLP program also provides recent mean and ranges for students accepted in the last three years for cumulative GPA and GRE scores.
- ASHA has compiled helpful information on the web page titled Planning your education in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
- EdFind is a tool provided by ASHA to help students” identify program-specific admission requirements and data on recently admitted students (e.g., GRE scores and GPA)” (ASHA, n.d.)
- The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association can be a source of information for prospective students.
Some of the guiding factors in the graduate admission process are rooted in the Strategic Plan of the Speech-Language Pathology program, in particular:
- Recruiting and retaining a diverse body of high quality students
- Meeting the regional workforce need for SLPs in school and medical settings
- Functioning as a financially sustainable SLP department to provide an extraordinary education.
The graduate admission committee strives to recruit and retain highly qualified MSUM students; serve the workforce needs of the region; recruit under-represented groups in the SLP profession such as persons with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and male applicants.
In addition, the program utilizes uniform graduate admissions procedures so that applications are handled in a consistent way. All efforts are made to communicate in a timely way with applicants.
There are two paths to eligibility for applying to the Master’s program in SLP at MSUM:
- Completing a Baccalaureate degree in Speech Language Hearing Sciences or Communication Disorders from an accredited institution.
- Holding a baccalaureate degree in a related field and completing post-baccalaureate leveling courses in the Speech Language Hearing Sciences or Communication Disorders major, plus completing a course in each of the four areas required by ASHA to be eligible for certification (statistics; biological science; physical science, social/behavioral science).
All professions have knowledge and skills that must be developed. In the field of SLP, students gain knowledge and develop skills about normal communication, communication disorders and differences. Related aspects are also very important such as completing accurate and timely documentation, practicing ethically, and developing effective interpersonal skills. The following advising resources related to necessary attributes may be helpful to persons considering the field:
The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) is the most comprehensive source for information on the profession.
- The student section has especially helpful information for prospective students.
- The certification section has comprehensive information about the steps to becoming a certified SLP.
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is the student branch of ASHA and has many resources and valuable information for students.
State organizations can also provide information, such as the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MNSHA).