The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in speech-language pathology is a full-time program designed to prepare graduates to provide preventative, diagnostic and rehabilitative services to persons exhibiting speech and language disorders. Completion of the program prepares graduates for employment as speech-language pathologists in settings ranging from public schools and hospitals to community, state, and federal agencies. The Communication Disorders Program is unique in its focus and commitment to prepare all students to work with diverse populations including bilingual speakers and users of assistive and augmentative communication devices.
The academic program is nationally accredited in Speech-Language Pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association (ASHA). Graduates are eligible to apply for certification by ASHA, for licensure by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists (NCBOESLPA), and for the graduate license issued by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction.
Students are required to complete the following courses (or their equivalent) in order to enroll in graduate coursework and to meet certification requirements. A student who has not completed each of the prerequisite courses listed below will need to complete all missing courses. The length of the program may be extended if a student needs to take prerequisite coursework during the graduate program.
- Speech and Language Development
- Anatomy and Physiology (for Speech, Language, and Hearing)
- Scientific Bases of Speech and Hearing Science
- Introduction to Audiology
- Aural Rehabilitation
- Clinical observation (at least 25 hours with valid supporting documentation by a SLP with ASHA certification)
Students are also required to take courses in the following related areas in order to meet certification standards.
- Biological sciences (courses should emphasize a content area related to human or animal sciences, e.g., biology, human anatomy and physiology, genetics, zoology)
- Social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, public health)
- Physical sciences (e.g., astronomy, chemistry, earth science, geology, physics)
The program offers three specialization tracks for students admitted into the graduate program. Students can apply to the specialty tracks, if interested. Each specialty track has its own admission criteria, required coursework, and clinical practicum experiences.
Bilingual track: Graduate students who speak native to near-native proficiency in Spanish are eligible to become specialists in the assessment and treatment of monolingual/bilingual Spanish-speaking children and adults. The track provides a combination of specialized coursework and practicum training to address the needs to serve Hispanic children and adults with communication disorders.
Culturally Responsive Early Intervention and Adult Assistive Technology Training (CREAATT) provides coursework and practicum experiences in early intervention (EI), augmentative and alternative communication and cultural and linguistic diversity from a world view. Graduates completing CREAATT training receive a certificate of specialization in Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Cultural/Linguistic Diversity in Early Intervention and Across the Lifespan.
An interdisciplinary project to prepare culturally competent SLPs to provide services to children with disabilities (IPCS), a federally funded Personnel Preparation Project, is an interdisciplinary project to prepare culturally competent SLPs to provide services to children with disabilities. Graduate students are trained to deliver evidence-based SLP services to children with or at risk for developmental disabilities from socio-culturally diverse backgrounds. Students participate in interdisciplinary training with the NCCU Special Education program and receive funding and professional development. There is a Mandatory Service Obligation upon graduation.
Students may complete a thesis in lieu of taking the Capstone course. The number of credit hours required for graduation is the same for the thesis and non-thesis options.