Help people communicate
The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at Worcester State University provides you with the academic knowledge and clinical skills to become an in-demand speech-language pathologist.
With classes available in the late afternoons and evenings, our program is designed for working professionals like you. You can complete your degree on your schedule with the choice of a part-time, full-time, or accelerated pace.
In small classes, you’ll build upon your knowledge of communication processes and disorders and learn best practices from faculty members who are active practitioners in the field—many of whom solicit student participation in their research and clinical programs.
An integral component of our curriculum, fieldwork provides you with valuable, real-world experience and helps you establish important professional connections. During your minimum of 3 practicum experiences at our more than 75 placement sites throughout New England—one of which is at the Worcester State University Speech-Language-Hearing Center—you’ll engage in more than 375 hours of hands-on client service.
Graduates of our program are qualified to apply for the certificate of clinical competence (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Massachusetts state licensure, and teacher certification through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). They are sought after by employers in a variety of educational and health-care settings, including public schools, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, speech and hearing clinics, and private practice. In the past 5 years, our graduates have achieved a 100% employment rate.
The Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Worcester State University is dedicated to the education of students regarding communication sciences as well as etiologies, characteristics, prevention, assessment, and remediation of communication and swallowing disorders and differences across the lifespan. The necessity for evidence-based practice is emphasized. Based on the standards established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Speech-Language Pathology, the program prepares students as professionals by developing excellence in academic and clinical skills. The program incorporates the diverse needs of its students to promote their success and encourage life-long learning. In addition, the program is regularly evaluated and modified in response to social, economic, cultural, and professional changes. In collaboration with other professionals and institutions, such as local schools and health care organizations, the members of the speech-language pathology graduate program facilitates community engagement and responsibility.
The Master of Science (M.S.) education program residential in speech-language pathology at Worcester 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.
It also is approved by the state DESE.
Requirements & Important Information
In addition to the Worcester State University Graduate School’s general admission requirements, applicants must meet the following criteria:
A. Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited (or its equivalent) college or university.
B. Candidates for admission are required to submit a completed application, which is available online, by February 1. Candidates must also print a copy of the Speech-Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet and mail this to the Graduate Admissions Office. Requirements and procedures for admission to graduate studies are specified on the application form. The applicant must comply with these requirements and procedures. Submission of 2 letters of recommendation is required. Submission of a 3rd letter is optional, and all 3 may be submitted online.
C. Candidates must submit official transcripts from all undergraduate programs that were part of the bachelor’s degree and all programs where any prerequisite courses were taken, including Worcester State University. Applicants should have official transcripts sent to themselves, and should mail these official transcripts, along with Speech-Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet, to the Graduate Admissions Office.
D. Candidates applying for admission must have taken or currently be enrolled in the following college-level prerequisite courses at the time of application for the master’s degree program:
- 18 credit hours in basic human communication processes and audiology that includes: anatomy of the speech & hearing mechanism, phonetics, normal development of speech and language, speech science, hearing science, and audiology. *
* The majority (>50%) of coursework in basic human communication processes and audiology must be completed at the time of application, and if accepted to the program the remaining credits must be completed by May 31. These courses must have been complete within the past 7 years.
- 3 credit hours in biological sciences** Biological Science must be human and/or animal biology.
- 3 credit hours in human neuroanatomy** Appropriate course titles include, but are not limited to, Human Neuroanatomy, Human Neuroscience, Physiological Psychology. A neuroanatomy / neuroscience course within a communication sciences and disorders department is acceptable.
- 3 credit hours in physical science** Physical Science may be either physics or chemistry. Courses covering physics and/or chemistry but not explicitly named as such may be used to fulfill the physical science requirement subject to graduate coordinator approval.
- 3 credit hours in mathematics**
- 3 credit hours in statistics**
- 6 credit hours in the behavioral and/or social sciences** (a course in Developmental Psychology / Child Growth and Development must be included)
** 12 of the required 21 credits must be completed at the time of application, and if accepted to the program the remaining credits must be completed by August 31. These courses must have been completed within the past 15 years.
Students completing prerequisites at the time of application must provide evidence of enrollment. Prerequisites may be taken at Worcester State in the evening as a non-matriculated student or as a day student. Please contact the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education for enrollment information. Day students must complete an “undergraduate non-degree” application. Please contact the undergraduate Admissions Office for additional details at 508-929-8040.
E. The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required for applications submitted for 2023 acceptance.
F. As noted above, applicants must submit a completed copy of the Speech Language Pathology Application Cover Sheet.
G. If accepted into the program, you must be available from mid-May through mid-June for meetings and introductory course.
H. Please see the Graduate Catalog for information pertaining to the graduate calendar, grading policy, fees, non-discrimination policy, etc.
For more information regarding prerequisites and the MS-SLP program, please contact Professor Karow at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding the electronic application or to confirm receipt of materials, please contact Graduate Admissions, email@example.com.
There are 3 tracks to the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology program. Upon acceptance, students must select one of the following tracks. Length of each program is included in parenthesis. Note that length of time includes summers.
- Accelerated (6 semesters)
- Full-Time (8 semesters)
- Part-Time (9 semesters)
- CD 901 Introduction to Graduate and Clinical Skills (summer) 2 credits
- CD 920 Speech Sound Production Disorders and Differences (fall) 3 credits
- CD 921 Language Disorders in Children (fall) 3 credits
- CD 922 Language Disorders in Adults (spring) 3 credits
- CD 923 Fluency Disorders (fall) 3 credits
- CD 924 Voice Disorders (summer) 3 credits
- CD 925 Motor Speech Disorders (fall) 3 credits
- CD 926 Reading and Writing Disabilities (summer) 2 credits
- CD 928 Aural Rehabilitation (spring) 3 credits
- CD 929 Dysphagia (spring) 3 credits
- CD 937 Counseling (summer) 2 credits
- CD 940 Evaluation & Diagnosis in Speech-Language Pathology (spring) 3 credits
- CD 946 Organization of S/L Programs in Schools (summer) 1 credit
- CD 947 Augmentative/Alternative Communication (summer) 1 credit
- CD 950 Cognitive Aspects of Communication (fall) 3 credits
- CD 980 Research in Communication Sciences & Disorders (spring) 3 credits
- CD 987 Selected Topics in Communication Sciences & Disorders – take 2 topics for 1 credit each (summer or spring) 2 credits
- CD 990 Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: College Clinic (spring, summer, fall): (A minimum of 2 semesters is required in the Worcester State University Speech-Language- Hearing Clinic) 3 credits each time
- CD 991 Speech-Language-Hearing Practicum: Externship. (A minimum of 2 semesters is required in externships) 3 credits each time
- CD 997 Thesis Research in Communication Disorders (optional) 3 credits
In addition to academic coursework, students are required to complete 25 hours of observation of clinical work and 375 live hours of participation in diagnostic/therapeutic work in three distinctly different clinical settings. Observation hours and 50 of the live hours may be transferred from the undergraduate level. HIPAA training and certification for our students is provided by HIPAA EXAMS, Inc.
Students will be expected to submit a passing score from the NESPA examination in Speech-Language Pathology, and complete a departmental comprehensive examination or a master’s thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to join the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In addition, they may join the Worcester State chapter of National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Program Completion Rates
Period Number Completing on Time Number Completing Later Than on Time Number Not Completing Recent Year 32 0 2 1 Year Prior 31 0 0 2 Years Prior 23 1 1 3-year Average 95.56%
Employment Year # Graduated # Employed % Employed 2021-2022 32 In process In process 2020-2021 31 31 100% 2019-2020 27 27 100% 3-year Average 100%
Praxis Pass Rates
Praxis Year # Took # Passed % Passed 2021-2022 32 31 96.88% 2020-2021 31 31 100.00% 2019-2020 27 27 100.00% 3-year Average 99%
To successfully complete the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) Program at Worcester State University, graduate students must be able to participate fully in academic and clinical work. In each of these areas, they must consistently demonstrate skills. As a result, the MS-SLP Program has created technical standards in the areas of Communication, Physical and Motor, Cognitive, and Emotional/Behavioral/Social to meet these requirements. Failure to demonstrate these skills may lead to remediation procedures or dismissal from the Program.
The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department is committed to equal access for all qualified program applicants. Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Worcester State University will provide students with documented disabilities reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and academic adjustments. To provide safe and effective patient care, all students must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, demonstrate aptitude, abilities, and skills in four areas: Communication, Physical and Motor, Cognitive, and Emotional/Behavioral/Social.
- Communicate verbally in English proficiently. Speech must be easily understood by clients, caregivers, and other professionals. Speech sound production, voice/resonance, fluency, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics must be proficient when communicating and modeling. Expressive language must be intelligible, concise, and organized.
- Communicate professionally, effectively, sensitively, efficiently, and appropriately with individuals and groups.
- Write professionally to complete academic assignments as well as clinical documentation, both paper/pencil and electronic.
- Hear sufficiently to perceive the speech-language of clients and evaluate its accuracy.
- Comprehend English to follow directions and understand technical, procedural, and professional materials.
- Read to obtain academic information and provide care to clients.
- Observe clients to describe structure and function of mechanisms involved in speaking and swallowing; note changes in mood, posture and activity; and perceive nonverbal communication including gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
- Modify communication style to meet the communication needs of clients, caregivers, and other persons served.
Physical & Motor
- Manipulate assessment and intervention materials and equipment.
- Access transportation to academic and clinical placements.
- Perform oral mechanism examinations and oral manipulations as needed safely and reliably.
- Access technology for clinical and academic requirements.
- Sustain the necessary physical activity level required in academic and clinical activities.
- Perceive visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli adequately for academic and clinical purposes.
- Retain, assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and solve problems.
- Complete multiple tasks accurately, thoroughly, and within time frame.
- Identify limits of one’s knowledge and skills.
- Use appropriate judgement (e.g., protect client confidentiality, recognize dangerous/hazardous situations, and proceed safely to minimize dangerous/hazardous situations) and adhere to the ASHA Code of Ethics and other regulatory standards.
- Comprehend text, numbers, graphs, anatomical structures, physiology, pathology, and use of equipment.
- Possess adequate executive functioning skills for academic and clinical placements.
- Independently plan to and evaluate communication, then formulate an evidenced based treatment plan.
Emotional, Behavioral, & Social
- Possess adequate emotional maturity/awareness/skills for academic and clinical placements.
- Demonstrate a willingness and ability to receive and integrate feedback.
- Show respect to all clients regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital or parental status, or veteran status.
- Demonstrate emotional health necessary to apply knowledge effectively and exercise appropriate judgement.
While Worcester State University makes every effort to work with students with disabilities to accommodate their disability-related needs, it is not required to provide accommodations, aids, or adjustments that fundamentally alter or waive essential program requirements.
If you have any questions about the accommodations process at Worcester State University, you can contact Student Accessibility Services at 508-929-8733.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2016). Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology [Scope of Practice]. Available from https://www.asha.org/policy
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. General Information about ASHA Certification (https://www.asha.org/certification/AboutCertificationGenInfo/). Retrieved January 2019.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2016). Code of Ethics [Ethics]. Available from https://www.asha.org/policy
Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Sargent College. Technical Standards and Reasonable Accommodations. https://www.bu.edu/sargent/academics/departments-programs/physical-therapy-athletic-training/master-of-science-in-athletic-training/technical-standards-and-reasonable-accommodations/
Massachusetts Board of Registration (retrieved January 2019). Statutes and regulations (Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology). https://www.mass.gov/lists/statutes-and-regulations-speech-language-pathology-and-audiology#rules-and-regulations-governing-speech-language-pathologists-and-audiologists-
Nova Southeastern University Technical Standards for Students Department of Speech-Language Pathology Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences Health Professions Division. https://healthsciences.nova.edu/slp/forms/technical-standards-dslp.pdf
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport Speech-Language Pathology Program Technical Standards. http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Assets/uploads/LSUHealthShreveport/Documents/Allied-Health/SLP/SLP%20Tech%20Standards.pdf
University of Arizona 2015 Clinical SLP Technical Standards. http://slhs.arizona.edu/sites/slhs/files/2015-2016_ms_cactus_book.pdf
University of Pittsburgh 2017 Technical Standards Clinical Program in Speech-Language Pathology (MA/MS-SLP). https://www.shrs.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/2017%20SLP%20Technical%20