2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Speech-Language Pathology, MS

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Kathy Vander Werff, Ph.D.
621 Skytop Road, Suite 1200


Phone: 315-443-9637
Email: csd@syr.edu


Academic: Soren Lowell, Stephanie McMillen, Jonathan Preston, Ellyn Riley, Victoria Tumanova, Kathy Vander Werff, and Jamie Desjardins; Clinical: Colleen Gargan, Brianna Hammerle, Anita Lightburn, Meghan Lister, Joseph Pellegrino, Laura Vincent, Ramani Voleti, Adjunct instructors for specialty areas: Bonnie Hulslander, Carolyn Tamayo and Lauren Westby

Emeritus Professors: Raymond Colton, Mary Louise Edwards, Janet Ford and Linda Milosky

Program Description

The M.S. program in speech-language pathology is a nationally ranked, accredited program with a long history of excellence. While pursuing a speech-language pathology degree, students have the opportunity to work with researchers in state-of-the-art laboratories and to learn from certified speech-language pathologists whose expertise cover all areas of speech and language across the life span.  In addition, the location of the University provides students opportunities to gain clinical experience in diagnosis and treatment with a wide variety of clinical populations.  The M.S. program provides both substantive knowledge and practical experience through a carefully selected sequence of academic study, clinical practice, and research training. Students are prepared for a professional career in diagnosis and management of individuals with speech and language disorders.

Students in speech-language pathology participate in a wide range of diagnostic and therapy experiences under the direct supervision of clinical faculty. After obtaining a minimum of 75 hours of on-campus clinical practicum in the department’s Gebbie Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic (50 hour minimum for students who bring in 25 clock hours from their undergraduate program), students are assigned two off-site clinical experiences. These externship placements provide students with experience working in the field under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist. Placements include public schools, preschool programs, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, private clinics, and special education programs.

Completion of the master’s program provides students with the academic and practicum qualifications for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and for New York State licensure in speech-language pathology. Graduates may also fulfill the requirements for New York State teacher certification as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities.


The master of science education program in speech-language pathology (residential) is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.


Admission occurs once per year for fall entry. Applicants must complete a common application on the CSDCAS application system for consideration.  See our website for links to the online application: https://thecollege.syr.edu/department-communication-sciences-disorders/graduate-program/apply-ms-slp-and-aud/

Applicants are required to submit undergraduate transcripts, essays, and three letters of recommendation. Although the minimum GPA is 3.0, a 3.4 or higher is recommended to be competitive, GRE scores are optional. If submitted, strong GRE scores will enhance applications. GRE scores will not be used to deny admission or funding. Additionally, international students must score a minimum of 105 on the TOEFL exam.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. The student must apply knowledge of basic human communication and swallowing processes, including the appropriate biological, neurological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural bases across the life span for individuals with and without disorders.

2. The student must describe communication and swallowing disorders and differences, including the appropriate etiologies, characteristics, anatomical/physiological, acoustic, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates in the following areas: 

  •  articulation;
  •  fluency;
  • voice and resonance, including respiration and phonation;
  • receptive and expressive language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, prelinguistic communication and paralinguistic communication) in speaking, listening, reading, writing;
  • hearing, including the impact on speech and language;
  • swallowing (oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, and related functions, including oral function for feeding, orofacial myology);
  • cognitive aspects of communication (attention, memory, sequencing, problem-solving, executive functioning); • social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills, and lack of communication opportunities);
  • augmentative and alternative communication modalities.

3. Disorders: For each of the areas specified in Standard IV-C, the student must have demonstrated current knowledge of the principles and methods of prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with communication and swallowing disorders, including consideration of anatomical/physiological, psychological, developmental, and linguistic and cultural correlates.

4. Principles & Treatment: The student must have demonstrated knowledge of processes used in research and of the integration of research principles into evidence-based clinical practice.

Degree Requirements

The typical master’s degree program for a student with a background in communication disorders ranges from 46 to 53 credits and requires a minimum of four semesters and one summer. Students with undergraduate majors other than communication disorders need additional coursework. During the final semester, all students must pass a comprehensive examination or complete a master’s thesis.

A student must earn an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to complete the degreee. Students with an academic GPA of less than 2.6 at the end of the first semester in the degree program, or an academic or clinic GPA of less than 3.0 at the end of the first academic year, may be asked to leave the program.


The CSD academic department and Gebbie Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic are located at 621 Skytop Road on South Campus.

Transfer Credit

Students may petition to transfer up to 12 graduate credits from another university into the Master of Science program.

Part-time Study

Part time study is not available in the Master of Science program.

Total Credits = 50

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