Speech-language pathology, in its broadest sense, is concerned with research, assessment, and treatment of speech and language disorders. This area of study includes the basic areas of language, voice, fluency, articulation, neuropathologies, developmental disabilities, and structural deviations.
Additional areas of study within the CSD Department are in the area of bilingual speech language pathology and family-focused treatment. Study and training in a full range of evaluation and remediation techniques are integral parts of the curriculum. Closely allied to the speech language pathology curriculum are the fields of speech science, neurolinguistics, and normal child speech and language acquisition.
All SLP Master's students seeking certification take a set of required courses (24 credits) that ensure competencies in a wide variety of professional areas, as required for the current Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) standards for certification. In addition students complete 6 elective credits (3 hrs. of which must be outside the department). This coursework allows students to take additional courses as electives, allowing them to pursue a special area of interest. The program is designed to be completed in five to six semesters (see course sequence). Finally students complete a 6 credit research sequence (Research Methods and Report or Thesis A and B).
A total of 30 credits of academic coursework plus 15-17 credits of clinical practicum over two years are required for the completion of the MA.
A special feature of the SLP program is the Advising Team concept. Beginning with the orientation for new graduate students held prior to the start of each Fall semester, each graduate student is advised on a regular basis by an Academic faculty member and a Clinical faculty member working together within the student's specialty area. This mentoring team assists the student with course selection and registration for the following semester and helps to coordinate course work and practicum experiences so that the student derives maximum benefit from his or her experience in the program. A Handbook for graduate students in CSD is given to all new students. Periodically, the Department Chair and the Graduate Advisor meet with the entire group of M.A. students for question/answer and feedback sessions.
In response to changes in the ASHA certification standards (the Knowledge Assessment-KASA-framework), we have structured the curriculum to provide comprehensive coverage of the field of communication sciences and disorders via a sequence of 2-unit courses designed to cover our scope of practice. Students also engage in elective coursework to enables them to investigate topics of special interest more deeply or to broaden their expertise. One area of specialization within the department is bilingualism via the bilingual certificate. Other areas of specialization may be designed using elective options.
Competitive applicants to the MA program in Speech Language Pathology at UT Austin, will have completed a.) At least 24 of the required hours. of prerequisite coursework or b.) coursework equivalents from other universities before entry into the graduate program. In addition, to be eligible to begin clinical practicum in the first semester of graduate study CSD 367K or CSD 371 or the equivalent must be completed prior entry into the graduate program. All remaining pre-requisite coursework must be completed in the first two semesters of graduate study at UT-Austin. Completion of the needed prerequisite coursework during the graduate program may extend a student’s work program to three years.
3-Year Combined Master’s Program in Speech-Language Pathology
Each year the program will admit up to 5 students into the 3-year combined MA-SLP program who have fewer than 24 of the 31 hours of prerequisite coursework. This 3-year option may be a good fit for students from related fields (e.g., psychology, linguistics, special education, anthropology, human development) AND who have had clinical, teaching, or research experience with adults or children who have communication impairment. The application process is the same. Students applying under this option are admitted to the UT Austin graduate program and the period of study will be extended two to three semesters beyond the usual five to six semester for students entering the program with prerequisite coursework completed. The graduate and undergraduate academic advisors will serve as the student’s co-advisors during the first year to plan and monitor the student’s program of study. The course plan will be individualized depending on student background and preparation for graduate courses and prerequisites needed.
Master’s programs for students not seeking certification are typically more focused on research and are individually tailored to meet students’ needs and interests. The Graduate Program Coordinator can provide more information about such interests.