Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

MS Grad students--1140x453.jpg

Graduate students in speech-language pathology
HR Jones Photography

Program Overview

Our master’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology fully prepares graduate students to meet all of the academic and clinical requirements for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Speech-Language Pathology.

SLHS has a tradition of sending students to ASHA's Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP).

A non-clinical Master of Science degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (MS-SLHS) is available for students who choose not to pursue clinical training, or to complete the PhD, but complete the appropriate coursework and a thesis.


The faculty members of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences are committed to providing graduate education, both academic and clinical, of the highest quality.  We welcome applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds, with undergraduate degrees in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (or Communication Sciences and Disorders) or with undergraduate degrees in other fields.  For students without a background in the field, we offer a three-year MS program in which the first year is a leveling year.  

Prerequisite Coursework

  • A listing of all required and recommended prerequisite coursework can be found here.
  • The above link includes information for students applying to the three-year program, as well as students without an SLHS or CSD background.

How to Apply

All applicants must apply online through CSDCAS and the UA Graduate College

  • Application instructions are located here.
  • Our application opens each year on November 1 for admission the following academic year.
  • The application process includes the submission of academic transcripts, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.
  • Each component of the application is evaluated and admissions decisions are based on overall composite ratings.
  • Guidelines for minimum requirements

Program Description and Requirements

Accreditation and Student Outcome Data

The Master of Science (MS) program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Arizona has been accredited by Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700

Program completion rates, certification examination, and employment information on recent graduates of the speech-language pathology program.

Licensing and Clinical Certification

The master’s program provides the academic and clinical education to meet ASHA Certification requirements, as well as the Arizona Department of Health Services Licensing requirements.

Professional licensing requirements for individual states is available from ASHA.

    Student Funding

    Some funding opportunities are available for students. Students desiring financial aid should indicate this on the Department application form. Students may also be awarded Graduate Tuition Scholarships that cover some portion of the full tuition amount. The University of Arizona Scholarships and Financial Aid provides guidance and support for financial aid application. Scholarship Universe provides information on all types of scholarships. Our department offers a variety of scholarships and awards.

    Bilingual Certificate Program

    The Bilingual Certificate in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology allows graduate students to specialize in evidence-based methods of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of bilingual children and adults with speech, language, and hearing impairments. Students who earn this certificate will demonstrate knowledge of how the structure of common languages spoken in the United States compares and contrasts with English, how to appropriately assess and treat all languages in the bilingual or multilingual individual, how to train and implement the use of interpreters, and cultural awareness and sensitivity in the clinical setting. Monolingual and Bilingual students are invited to participate in this program. Proficiency in a second language is not required.

    Learn more about our Bilingual Certificate Program

    A Typical Successful Applicant

    The typical successful applicant has:

    • Grade point average of 3.7 or better on the last 60 units
    • Experience in research, volunteerism, and/or a solid work history,
    • A well-written personal statement indicating interest in the field and experiences related to career aspirations,
    • Three strong letters of recommendation, written by individuals who can comment on potential for success in the graduate program and the profession of speech-language pathology.

    Note that this is descriptive information regarding the types of students admitted to our program in recent years, rather than acceptance criteria.

    International applicants should review the UA Graduate College website for specific admission requirements, and should carefully review the Technical Standards for Speech-Language Pathology.

    If you are interested in visiting the UA campus and our department, please see the Events section for designated Prospective Student Visit days. On these days you will meet academic faculty, clinical faculty, and current students and you will take a tour of the Clinic and research laboratories. 


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Please see information about the application process located here.

    The typical successful applicant has a GPA of 3.5 or better on the last 60 units.  The typical successful applicant also demonstrates participation in a research laboratory, volunteerism, and/or a solid work history, and has strong letters of recommendation. Note that these are not criteria for admission, just descriptions of the types of students admitted to our program in recent years. The Graduate College at the University of Arizona requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    A faculty committee rates applicants on several variables including GPA (4-year and last 60 units), personal statement, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. We look at the application package as a whole, not just a single score or component. We highly value diversity. If there is something in your story that we should know, please tell us, in a professional manner.

    Yes, there is an $85 application fee for domestic students and a $95 application fee for international students, payable to the Graduate College.  MS and AuD applicants will also need to pay an application fee to the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS).  Details about CSDCAS's application fees can be found at their website

    The MS program is five semesters in length (two years). This includes the summer between the first and second year of the program. Students are expected to be enrolled in a clinic registration during the summer session to complete their clinical hours. No formal coursework is typically offered during the summer term.

    Yes. Students with degrees in other disciplines usually enroll in our three-year MS program (rather than our traditional two-year program). The applicant with an undergraduate degree in another discipline follows the usual procedures for applying to the MS program. If the applicant is accepted, we will assess the undergraduate courses and determine what additional courses will need to be taken.

    Students who have an undergraduate degree in speech, language, and hearing sciences (or communication disorders, speech-language pathology, etc.) will be enrolled in a two-year program. Students who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline may be enrolled in a three-year program (depending on what undergraduate courses they have taken) in which the first year is spent in foundational (primarily undergraduate) courses, and the second year begins the regular two-year graduate program. The application process is exactly the same for both these programs. If the applicant is accepted into our program, we will determine whether the applicant requires a two-year or three-year program.

    We typically have several teaching assistantships 
per year for incoming students, and occasionally we have research assistantships available. We also may offer some out-of-state tuition waivers. We encourage prospective domestic students to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, some prospective domestic students, who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic, or educational obstacles, may qualify for funding.

    No, currently our graduate clinical training programs do not qualify for the WRCP.

    Number listed below are for the 2018-2019 academic year:

    For additional information, please visit the University of Arizona tuition calculator.

    We require three letters of recommendation. At least two of those should come from academic faculty members. If you have had some clinical experience, it is also a good idea to include a letter from your clinical supervisor. The request for letters of application can be sent anytime after you have started the application, it is a good idea to send these early. If you have been out of school for several years, you might not have access to academic faculty. In this case, letters from employers or other people who could speak to your potential success in graduate school will be accepted.

    You can check on the status of your recommendations at any time by logging in to UA Graduate Admissions Application, selecting your application from the section titled "My Applications", and clicking "Letters of Recommendation".

    English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission to the UA Graduate College for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 paper based (PB), 79 internet based (iBT), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6).

    To be admitted into our clinical master’s program, and particularly to perform successfully in the clinic, a student also needs to meet our technical standards, one of which is “a high level of English proficiency.” To view our technical standards for speech-language pathology, see Technical Standards for the Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Program (see Appendix A of the Program Requirements: Cactus Book). 

    To be admitted into our master’s program, a student needs to meet our technical standards. These standards relate to observation, communication, motor, and intellectual skills. See Technical Standards for the Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Program (see Appendix A of the Program of Requirements: Cactus Book). 

    No, all applications submitted by the deadline (February 1) will be considered equally.

    No, ALL materials must be received by January 15th for your application to be considered. This includes your online application forms, resume, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.   

    No, all students begin their master’s program in August (fall semester).

    No, our master’s program is a full-time program.

    Yes! The best time to visit the department is on the designated prospective student visit days (please see the Events section for details). On these days you will meet academic faculty, clinical faculty, and current students and you will tour the Clinic and research laboratories. 

    All graduate students complete a minimum of 400 clinical hours. Our in-house clinics include pediatric and adult populations from birth to senescence. Disorders include genetic syndromes, neurogenic disorders, autism, dysphagia, vocal abuse/misuse, specific language impairment, phonological disorder, articulation, cochlear implant and hard-of-hearing, aphasia, traumatic brain injury, stuttering/cluttering, phonological awareness. Special programs include, but are not limited to, Aphasia Program, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, LSVT, Cochlear Implant Program, Accent Reduction, Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing, ALS/MDA Clinic. We are affiliated with over 50 off-campus sites including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, schools, private practices, and clinics.

    Yes. Although it is not possible to do this during the fall or spring semester, it is possible to do during the summer. If this is something you might want to do, please discuss this with your clinical supervisors during your first semester in the program.

    Yes, given Tucson’s diverse population, there are many clinical and research opportunities to develop your understanding of cultural diversity and bilingual speech-language pathology skills (particularly Spanish-English) in the UA program.   We also offer a formal bilingual certificate program for students enrolled in the clinical graduate programs.  Students apply to the bilingual program after they are enrolled in a graduate program.  There is a $500/semester fee for this program.

    No, a Masters thesis is not required. However, applicants who are interested in doing a Masters thesis are encouraged to start this process as early as possible once they are in the program.

    The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination -- in the classroom, the clinical setting, and the workplace.  The University of Arizona Office of Institutional Equity provides education and support for these efforts.

    The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University prohibits discrimination in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information and is committed to maintaining an environment free from sexual harassment and retaliation.