Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
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.
- The coursework covers communication disorders across the lifespan and includes clinical training in research methods and principles of evidence-based practice.
- Clinical training takes place in our UA Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic.
- We also offer a wide range of clinical practicum sites in the community.
- Students have the opportunity to engage in research, the option to complete a thesis, and many become co-authors on peer-reviewed publications.
- A Bilingual Certificate Program is available to graduate students.
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.
- The application process will include submission of academic transcripts, GRE scores, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.
- Each of the components of the application are evaluated and admissions decisions are based on overall composite ratings.
- Guidelines for minimum requirements are indicated below, but note that strong overall composite ratings can override individual scores.
- Overall GPA of 3.0 or better (Graduate School requirement)
- GRE Scores at about the 30th percentile or better (GRE conversion table)
- Verbal score ~147 on the new scale; ~400 on the old scale
- Quantitative score ~147 on the new scale; ~570 on the old scale
- Writing score of 3.5 or better
- Meet the Technical Standards for Speech-Language Pathology
- Application instructions can be found here.
Program Description and Requirements
Academic and clinical training requirements are included in the MS Student Handbook ("The Cactus Book"):
Accreditation and Student Outcome Data
Our program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) 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 SLP 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
(1) GRE scores. Scores should be sent directly to the University of Arizona institution code (4832).
(2) Official Electronic Transcripts (E-Transcripts). E-Transcripts are accepted by the Graduate College as official if sent directly from the institution or transcript service to the Department representative at email@example.com or to the Graduate Admissions email inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org . If your institution does not provide Official E-Transcripts, then you may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts and documents. Unofficial copies of documents provided in your Graduate Application are for initial evaluation purposes only. You will still be required to provide official documents to your program's coordinator if you are accepted into the program.
(3) Three letters of recommendation from people who can comment on your academic skills and your clinical and research potential. We recommend that at least two letters be from faculty members (preferably all 3). The letters of recommendation need to be submitted electronically.
(4) A personal statement (1 single-spaced page) that addresses the following:
a) Discuss the factors that led you to pursue studies in speech, language, and hearing sciences. You may comment on aspects of the discipline that interest you, insights gained from coursework, and clinical, research, or other personal experiences.
b) Describe your career goals.
The personal statement serves as both a writing sample, and a chance for you to let us know about your interest in the field. The best personal statements do not simply repeat the information on the resume, but give us insight into the candidate. There is no ‘formula’ for a good personal statement, so don’t worry if your story is different than your colleagues. We appreciate diversity.
(5) Resume that includes the following:
a) Any academic, scholarly, and professional awards that you have received.
b) Research experience.
c) Leadership experience, extracurricular activities and volunteer experience.
d) Any supervised clinical practicum experience (indicate number of hours and nature of the disorders).
It can be helpful to list a few bullet points under your experiences to give reader a sense of what those experience included.
(6) For nonnative English speakers: TOEFL or IELTS scores
The typical successful applicant has a GPA of 3.5 or better on the last 60 units, has a verbal GRE score in the 70 %ile or better, a quantitative GRE score in the 60 %ile or better, and a GRE analytic writing score in the 60 %ile or better. 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), GRE (verbal, quantitative, and writing), 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 3-year MS program (rather than our traditional 2-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 2-year program. Students who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline may be enrolled in a 3-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 2-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 2-year or 3-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.
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".
If you have taken the GRE within the past 5 years, they are still considered current. If they are older than 5 years, you need to take the GRE again.
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 February 1st 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 visitation dates (contact the department for the specific dates; typically held in October and March). On these days you will meet academic faculty, clinical faculty, and current students and you will get tours of the Clinic and research laboratories. You may also visit on other dates; however, be sure to contact someone several weeks before your trip so that some arrangements can be made for you to meet some of the faculty.
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.