Faculty: Anjum, Hernandez, Lockrem, Sebastian, Smith (chair), Toalson, Zeltinger
The two-year Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology Program (MS SLP) is part of the School of Health Science’s Speech-Language Pathology department. Our program provides professional study for students interested in becoming a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist.
The graduate program consists of five semesters, with one of those semesters occurring during the summer between the first and second year. The curriculum provides knowledge in normal and disordered speech, language, swallowing and hearing processes. An individual or group research project, culminating with a presentation and paper in manuscript form, is required to complete the research portion of the curriculum. Additionally, students will complete clinical rotations in a variety of settings (on-campus clinic, private practice, public schools, SNFs, hospitals and rehabilitation centers). Students provide speech therapy services under faculty supervision in our on campus pro bono clinic. The Master of Science in Speech Language-Pathology degree is awarded upon successful completion of both the academic and clinical portions of the curriculum.
Speech Language Pathology Department Mission
Guided by the Benedictine values, the mission of the Speech-Language Pathology program is to prepare highly qualified and ethical speech-language pathologists who will enhance communication and improve the lives of others.
Speech Language Pathology Department Vision
The vision of the Speech Language Department is to be a leader in Speech Pathology programs for providing outstanding undergraduate and graduate academic and clinical training. The University of Mary Speech Pathology program will positively impact the number of qualified speech language pathologists to increase service to the community, the state and beyond.
- University of Mary Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct comprehensive speech, language, and swallowing evaluations and provide evidence-based treatment for individuals with communication disorders across the lifespan, exhibiting professional oral and written communication skills.
- Graduates will develop and apply critical thinking skills necessary to participate in interdisciplinary collaboration and problem-solving by participating in inter-professional, problem-based learning experiences involving educational and clinical settings.
- Graduates will conduct clinical practice under the principles of servant leadership upholding the highest ethical standards to provide service to individuals from a variety of cultures throughout the lifespan.
- Graduates will develop knowledge of scientific foundations and methodologies in speech-language pathology. Our graduates will be critical consumers of research who demonstrate the ability to analyze and apply scientific evidence to clinical practice.
The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in Speech-Language Pathology is a Candidate for Accreditation 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, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. Candidacy is a “pre-accreditation” status with the CAA, awarded to developing or emerging programs for a maximum period of 5 years.
General Instructions: Applicants must follow the general university admissions procedure for graduate studies, as well as the program-specific requirements listed below. Interested students may start the application process by following the instructions at www.umary.edu/apply.
Additional Instructions for the SLP Program: The University of Mary Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology program is participating the Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application System (CSDCAS). To apply for the program, please submit your application to CSDCAS and indicate the University of Mary is one of your choices. CSDCAS will send the documentation to the Speech-Language Pathology Department Admission Committee for consideration. Applicants applying to our Master’s level program will apply online using the CSDCAS application beginning on August 1.
After receipt of application through CSDCAS, the Admissions Committee selects candidates eligible for the required personal interview. The final class is selected based on an objective point system based on cumulative GPA, GPA in pre-requisite courses, GRE, professional references, and the interview. The deadline for submission of the application to CSDCAS is January 15 of the year prior to the September start date. Interviews are conducted in February.
- A bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders or Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences from an accredited university or a bachelor’s degree in another major from an accredited university with completed post-baccalaureate courses in the major Communication Sciences and Disorders (see CSD Specific Prerequisite Course Requirements) before beginning the University of Mary Master Speech-Language Pathology Program.
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum of a “C” in all CSD pre-requisite coursework.
- Coursework specifically for SLP Assistant or Paraprofessional preparation usually is not accepted as equivalent.
- In addition, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) requires that master’s degree candidates show transcript evidence of at least one course in each of: the biological sciences, physical sciences (physics or chemistry), social/behavioral sciences, and statistics (outside the CSD department). Each course must be a minimum of 3 credits and must be completed prior to enrollment in the graduate program.
CSD-Specific Prerequisite Course Requirements
- Speech/Hearing Science
- Intro to Phonetics
- Anatomy and Physiology for SLP
- Language Development
- Intro to Audiology
- Language Disorders
- Articulation and Phonology
- Reference Letters: Three (3) satisfactory letters of reference addressing moral and ethical behavior, academic abilities, and work ethic.
- Statement of purpose: Communicate your reasons for pursuing a career as a speech-language pathologist. You can include any significant or relevant life experiences or motivation, which may have inspired you to serve people with communication problems.
- Observation Hours: Twenty-five (25) guided observation hours of an ASHA Certified Speech-Language Pathologist (CCC). Submit evidence of guided observation hours to CSDCAS as part of the application (Preferred). Guided observation hours may be in progress at the time of application, but must be completed prior to beginning clinicals in the graduate program. UMary faculty can assist you with finding ways to obtain guided observation hours.
- GRE Scores: Official GRE scores from within the last five (5) years. The SLP program does not have a minimum GRE score at this time.
- The University of Mary Speech-Language Pathology Program requires completion and submission of a criminal background check prior to participation in clinical practica (fall of semester one) and annually thereafter. All applicants are expected to complete the background checks through CastleBranch, an online screening and compliance company. Any student who is living outside of the US or who has not lived within the borders of the US for the last seven consecutive years is required to also have an international background check completed. The Clinic Coordinator will provide students information for completing the background check through CastleBranch.
- International candidates must submit official TOEFL scores to CSDCAS by the application deadline. Applicants much achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 89 on the Internet-based test (iBT). The MS Speech-Language Pathology Program also requires a minimum TOEFL iBT Speaking subscale of 26, TOEFL iBT Writing subscale score of 24, TOEFL iBT Reading subscale score of 21, and iBT Listening subscale score of 18. All exams are valid for two years.
- International Transcripts: the University of Mary MS Speech-Language Pathology program only accepts pre-requisite coursework taken at an accredited U.S. institution.
A selected group of high school seniors may apply for early enrollment into the program. The number is determined on a yearly basis. Applicants for early enrollment must be outstanding in their own high school; having at least a composite score of 24 on the ACT or a GPA of 3.5. A member of the SLP faculty interviews these students prior to their early acceptance. Students accepted for this program sign an agreement detailing specific requirements.
Teacher Certification Requirements:
In order to achieve eligibility for North Dakota teacher certification, students should complete undergraduate coursework in the below courses prior to graduation:
The program will screen all students to ensure that they are proficient in the language of service delivery. Students will be screened through a formal clinic screening. If accent reduction is required, the individual will be offered enrollment in the campus clinic.
Grading & Degree Progression
Students must demonstrate mastery of and competence in all didactic information, clinical skills, and professional behavior expectations. In the Department of SLP, competence is defined as the achievement of a grade of at least “C” in each program course and in clinical education courses, appropriate professional behavior in all settings, and an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0.
The SLP department uses an “A” to “F” grading scale with “+” and “-” for all academic coursework. In graduate courses, all work below a “C” that is “C-” “D+”, “D”, “D-“, or “F”, are considered unsatisfactory and must be resolved.
Students must have no more than one “remediated” unsatisfactory grade or have a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0. Students are ineligible to register for courses with unsatisfactory grades or GPA on their transcript.