Speech-Language Pathology M.S.

Degree: Master of Science
Program Director: Karen Fallon
410-704-2437
kfallon@towson.edu

The Speech-Language Pathology program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Maryland State Department of Education. The program provides the student with:

  1. the study of normal communication processes;
  2. an in-depth investigation of communication disorders;
  3. development of therapeutic goals, procedures and materials; and
  4. extensive clinical experience in on- and off-campus settings.

The program is designed to enable pre-professionals in the field, i.e., those with a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in speech-language pathology and audiology, to meet the academic and clinical practicum requirements of national and state accrediting, certifying and licensing bodies.

The degree will prepare the individual for national/state certification and state licensure for employment in public school, clinical, hospital or private-practice settings, and to pursue advanced degrees. All clinical practicum clock-hour requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies must be completed before the M.S. degree is awarded.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Students with a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from a regionally accredited college or university** can apply to our Master’s program. Students must have a minimum of 26 units of undergraduate courses in basic communication and swallowing process, communication disorders and differences, and swallowing disorders. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the major and a minimum GPA of 3.00 for the last 60 units. The bachelor’s degree must be indicated on the transcript by July 1 in order to begin the program. To apply, students must submit:

  1. a Graduate Application,
  2. GRE scores,
  3. three letters of recommendation with at least two letters completed by faculty familiar with the applicant's potential for scholarly and/or clinical work.  Email addresses of recommenders must be entered on the application.
  4. a one-page, single-spaced personal essay describing why you have chosen this profession.

Students without a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology have two options for entering the program:

  • Students may complete a second bachelor’s degree in communication disorders at an accredited institution (i.e., speech-language pathology and audiology). Students may apply to the second bachelor’s program at Towson University or any other accredited university.
    or
  • Students may complete pre-requisite course work in communication disorders. They may complete this through a pre-requisite university program or through individual courses at one or more universities. Specifically, they must complete a minimum of 8 of the 9 following undergraduate courses in speech-language pathology and audiology before applying to University Admissions.
Anatomy and Physiology of the Auditory and Vocal Mechanism 3
Phonetics of American English3
Speech and Language Development3
Speech Sound Disorders/Articulation & Phonology3
Language Disorders 3
Speech Science3
Introduction to Audiology3
Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation 3
Clinical Observations and Techniques 3
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s minimum requirements for application for the Certificate of Clinical Competence include transcript credits for course work, CLEP or Advanced Placement (AP) examination credits in each of the following areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences and statistics. In addition to transcript credit, applicants may be required to provide further evidence of meeting these requirements. A behavioral statistics course or its equivalent fulfills the math requirement and is highly recommended. Students without these courses will have to take them as part of their graduate program.
  • Speech-language pathologists must have sufficient proficiency in the English language to meet certification standards of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Students who received a degree outside the U.S. are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores meeting the following requirement
    • a TOEFL score of 100 on the iBT or 7 on the IELTS
    •  a U.S. degree does not waive the requirement of TOEFL for this program. In addition, an interview with the graduate program director is required.
  • Students are admitted for the fall term only. Completed application and admission credentials must meet the deadline of January 15.

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Required Courses
SPPA 600LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS FROM BIRTH THROUGH PRESCHOOL3
SPPA 604ACQUIRED NEUROGENIC LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE DISORDERS I3
SPPA 605ACQUIRED NEUROGENIC LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE DISORDERS II3
SPPA 606LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS IN CHILDREN-AGE CHILDREN3
SPPA 610SPEECH SOUND DISORDERS3
SPPA 614FLUENCY DISORDERS3
SPPA 615AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS & SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY3
SPPA 620VOICE DISORDERS IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS3
SPPA 626NEUROLOGICALLY BASED SPEECH DISORDERS3
SPPA 628DYSPHAGIA3
SPPA 690CLINICAL PRACTICUM ON-CAMPUS3
SPPA 680SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY1
SPPA 705PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN SPEECH LANGUAGE-PATHLOGY1
SPPA 710WRITTEN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS3
SPPA 713SEMINAR: RESEARCH DESIGN IN SPPA Approved as 1 credit Feb 20151
SPPA 714AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION2
SPPA 745ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM ON-CAMPUS3
SPPA 746ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM OFF-CAMPUS3
SPPA 747ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN SCHOOLS3
SPPA 748ADVANCED PEDIATRIC PRACTICUM May be replaced with SPPA 746 taken for a second time or SPPA 7983
Total Units53

Successful completion of a capstone activity is required before graduation. Students may complete either a Comprehensive Examination, or a master's thesis or mentored research project.

Students must demonstrate acceptable writing skills in all clinical and academic work. Students showing weakness in this area may be advised to take a remedial writing experience in addition to their degree work.

The Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies recognizes a special responsibility to the profession to ensure that graduates of master’s degree programs demonstrate attitudes and behaviors consistent with the standards of the profession. Students must abide by the professional and ethical standards established by the department and by ASHA. All students must have a criminal background check complete and on file in advance of beginning clinical practice. In addition, students must submit documentation of required immunizations.

1. Graduates will demonstrate competency in knowledge in normal and disordered communication processes.
2. Graduates will acquire and demonstrate skills in oral and written or other forms of communication including information technology.
3. Graduates will acquire and demonstrate skills in prevention, evaluation and intervention of communication disorders.
 

Courses

SPPA 525 INTRODUCTION TO AURAL REHABILITATION (3)

Options available for managing children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing. Early intervention, communication strategies, amplification options and psychosocial issues. Prerequisites: SPPA 321 and/or consent of the department.

SPPA 600 LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS FROM BIRTH THROUGH PRESCHOOL (3)

Theoretical and applied aspects of normal, delayed, and disordered language development in children ages 0 to 5 with an emphasis on family-centered assessment and intervention practices. Prerequisite: SPPA graduate students only and/or consent of instructor.

SPPA 604 ACQUIRED NEUROGENIC LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE DISORDERS I (3)

Neuroanatomical models regarding language function, theories concerning brain function and localization of lesion following cerebral vascular accident. Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of language deficits. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Speech-Languae Pathology Program and/or consent of department.

SPPA 605 ACQUIRED NEUROGENIC LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE DISORDERS II (3)

Pathophysiology and epidemiology of acquired adult neurogenic language and cognitive disorders, traumatic, brain injury and dementing processes, including assessment, diagnosis, recovery, prognosis, as well as treatment efficacy and outcomes. Emphasis on cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving, executive functioning), as well as social and cultural. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 606 LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS IN CHILDREN-AGE CHILDREN (3)

Characteristics of language disorders, assessment and intervention techniques for children and adolescents including the culturally linguistically different and specific disorder populations. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of department.

SPPA 610 SPEECH SOUND DISORDERS (3)

Assessment and treatment of children with speech sound disorders resulting from phonological, articulatory, neuromotor, and/or structural etiologies. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 614 FLUENCY DISORDERS (3)

Information on the nature of fluency and the etiology and treatment of fluency disorders through the life span. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 615 AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS & SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Information for speech-language pathologists to assess, treat, and support individuals with autism spectrum disorders in speech, language, and social communication. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the Speech-Language Pathology Program and/or consent of department.

SPPA 620 VOICE DISORDERS IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS (3)

Anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism with discussion and identification of abnormal voice qualities. Techniques of treatment and counseling of clients with organic and functional voice disorders. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 626 NEUROLOGICALLY BASED SPEECH DISORDERS (3)

Neuroanatomical models regarding speech motor control, theories concerning brain function and localization of neurologic deficits following trauma or degeneration, and assessment and treatment of neurologically based speech disorders. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 628 DYSPHAGIA (3)

Anatomy and physiology of normal and abnormal swallowing. Etiology, assessment and treatment of swallowing disorders. Prerequisite: SPPA graduate students only; SPPA 626 and/or consent of the department.

SPPA 670 SPECIAL TOPICS SEMINAR IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 671 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 672 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 673 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 674 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 675 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 676 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 677 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 678 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 679 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (3)

Investigation of particular topics in the field of speech and language pathology. Topic varies each semester the course is offered. Prerequisite: Varies with topic.

SPPA 680 SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (1-2)

This seminar course provides elective courses in specialty areas of speech language pathology. Subtitles will vary accordingly. May be repeated for a maximum of 2 credits. Prerequisites: Graduate Standing in Speech Language Pathology program and/or consent of department.

SPPA 690 CLINICAL PRACTICUM ON-CAMPUS (3)

Supervised clinical experience in the university clinical facility with children and adults who have communication impairments. Prerequisites: Completed communication screening, SPPA 416 (or equivalent documentation of a minimum of 25 hours observation); graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 705 PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN SPEECH LANGUAGE-PATHLOGY (1)

Organization, administration, accreditation, and evaluation of speech-language pathology programs in universities, schools and other settings. Professional roles of direct clinical service across the life span, and consultation. Federal and state laws related to the special process and licensure will be presented. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the Speech-Language Pathology program and/or consent of the department.

SPPA 710 WRITTEN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS (3)

Language theory and application for the development of written language skills in children. Assessment and intervention within the classroom curriculum. Prerequisites: SPPA Graduate students only; SPPA 606 and/or consent of instructor.

SPPA 713 SEMINAR: RESEARCH DESIGN IN SPPA (1)

Scientific method as applied to research; evaluation of research designs; development and implementation of a research project; and organization, analysis and presentation of data. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 714 AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION (2)

Compensatory or augmentative use of various nonspeech communication modes with persons whose impairments prevent effective verbal communication. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

SPPA 745 ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM ON-CAMPUS (3)

Supervised practicum experience includes the evaluation and treatment of various types of speech and language disorders. Prerequisites: SPPA 690 and/or consent of department.

SPPA 746 ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM OFF-CAMPUS (3)

Advanced clinical practice in the identification, assessment, and treatment of various types of speech and language disorders in programs affiliated with TU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Prerequisites: SPPA 745, GPA of =3.00, 50 graduate practicum clock hours, a minimum of 18 credits of course work exclusive of clinical practicum and/or consent of department.

SPPA 747 ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM IN SCHOOLS (3)

Advanced clinical practicum in school programs affiliated with TU for graduate students in speech-language pathology. The experience includes the evaluation and treatment of various types of speech and language disorders. Prerequisites: SPPA 745, GPA of =3.00, 50 graduate practicum clock hours, a minimum of 18 credits of course work exclusive of clinical practicum and/or consent of department.

SPPA 748 ADVANCED PEDIATRIC PRACTICUM (3)

Advanced clinical practice in the identification, assessment and treatment of various types of speech and language disorders in pediatric programs affiliated with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Prerequisites: SPPA 745, GPA of =3.00, 50 graduate practicum clock hours, a minimum of 18 credits of course work exclusive of clinical practicum and/or consent of department.

SPPA 796 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (1-3)

Investigation in selected area of speech-language pathology. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 797 DIRECTED READINGS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (1-3)

Readings in a particular topic in speech-language pathology. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and/or consent of department.

SPPA 798 ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICUM CONTINUUM ON-CAMPUS (3)

Advanced clinical practicum for students in the Speech-Language Pathology Program continuing in on-campus practicum experiences previously taken for credit. Supervised practicum experience includes the evaluation and treatment of various types of speech and language disorders. Prerequisite: SPPA 745 and/or consent of the department.

SPPA 799 CLINICAL PRACTICUM CONTINUUM OFF-CAMPUS (3)

Advanced clinical practicum for students in the Speech-Language Pathology Program continuing in off-campus experiences previously taken for credit. Supervised practicum experience includes the evaluation and treatment of various types of speech and language disorders. Prerequisites: Prior off-campus practicum placement and/or consent of department.

SPPA 897 SPEECH PATHOLOGY THESIS (6)

Original investigation using an acceptable research method and design conducted under the direction of a faculty committee. Prerequisite: SPPA 713.

SPPA 898 SPEECH PATHOLOGY THESIS (3)

The previous course SPPA 897, taken over two consecutive semesters.