Speech-Language Pathology MS Program

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Coming soon! This program will launch in Fall 2024. See below for application details. 

Gwynedd Mercy University's Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology Program is a comprehensive, quality program that equips students with the knowledge and clinical skills needed to prevent, assess, and treat all aspects of human communication and swallowing disorders. Graduates of the program are eligible to begin their Clinical Fellowship Experience and apply for an American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), state licensure, and school certification.


Why Become an SLP?

Communication is one of the most important of all life skills & a critical component of the human experience. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) have the ongoing opportunity to positively impact people’s lives through the prevention, assessment, & treatment of communication and swallowing disorders.

As an SLP, you will work with people at all stages of life from infants to the elderly in a variety of settings including educational, medical, and private practice settings. SLPs are needed now more than ever. In fact, the profession of speech-language pathology is a top-rated career ranked in the 2022 US News and World Report jobs issue as #3 of best health care jobs & #10 of the best jobs in America.


Program Summary

55 credits
2 years/5 full-time semesters (Year 1 is in-person; Year 2 is hybrid with courses online & externships in person)
At least 375 hours of supervised clinical experience 
Pending CAA Approval, Applications will be accepted beginning in August 2023 & the program will launch in Fall 2024


Accreditation Information

The Master of Science (MS) education program in speech-language pathology at Gwynedd Mercy University is an Applicant for Candidacy Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Md., 20850. Phone: 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700, www.caa.asha.org).


Mission

The Mission of GMercyU's Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS SLP) program is to prepare exceptional speech-language pathology professionals dedicated to the care and advancement of human communication and swallowing. The program strives to develop compassionate professionals committed to integrity, human dignity, lifelong learning, and service to a diverse, global society. The program demonstrates its commitment to academic and clinical excellence by delivering a high-quality curriculum that prepares students to provide evidence-based, client and family-centered speech-language pathology services to diverse populations in a variety of professional settings. Graduates of the GMercyU's MS SLP program will enter the profession equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to cultivate successful, meaningful careers as practitioners and leaders in the field speech-language pathology.

About the Program

The new Gwynedd Mercy University MS Speech-Language Pathology program is housed within the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions. The program is a 2-year, full-time, 55-credit, graduate program that leads to a Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

The program is offered in a hybrid format with year 1 in-person & year 2 in hybrid format with academic courses online and externships in the location of the student’s choice. With this format, students enjoy personal attention in a caring environment during their first year as they acquire foundational knowledge and skills. Then, during their second year of study, with academic courses online, students can seek clinical externships in the location of their choosing.

Students will engage in clinical practica each semester throughout their two-year program including clinical simulations, interprofessional practice experiences, and in-person clinical practica. Students will gain hands-on externship experience starting in the first semester, and graduate with at least 375 hours of supervised clinical experience in a variety of settings including public and private schools, preschools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, agencies, and private practices.

  • Small class sizes that foster personalized attention as well as camaraderie among students
  • Instruction from dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring faculty
  • A personalized graduate program tailored to each student’s professional aspirations
  • Clinical externship sites in a variety of clinical settings and any geographic location in the US
  • State-of-the-art clinical skills laboratory and simulation facilities
  • A caring, top-quality interprofessional community including occupational therapy, nursing, education, and psychology

Taught by expert faculty who have worked clinically in school and/or medical settings. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practice, interprofessional experiences, clinically-focused instruction, and cooperative learning.

The GMercyU SLP MS curriculum consists of 55-credits of academic and clinical coursework delivered in a hybrid format over 5 full-time semesters (Fall 1, Spring 1, Summer 1, Fall 2, & Spring 2). Year 1 is held in-person while Year 2 is held in a hybrid format. During the Fall semester of Year 2, students will complete a part-time clinical externship and online academic coursework. During the final Spring semester, students complete a full-time clinical externship with a capstone project. No coursework is taken during the final semester.

Curriculum: The following lists the academic and clinical courses of the SLP MS Program:


Year 1
Fall Semester- 14 credits (In-person)
SLP 600 Early Childhood Language Development & Disorders (0-5) 3 credits
SLP 605 Speech Sound Disorders in Children 3 credits
SLP 610 Aphasia & Related Disorders 3 credits
SLP 615 Evidence-Based Practice in SLP 1 credit
SLP 620 Seminar I: Clinical Methods & Practice in Speech-Language Pathology 1 credit
SLP 625 Clinical Practicum I 3 credits
 Spring Semester - 16 credits (In-person)
SLP 630 School Age & Adolescent Language & Literacy Disorders 3 credits
SLP 635 Dysphagia 3 credits
SLP 640 Neurogenic Disorders of Speech 3 credits
SLP 645 Complex Communication Needs 3 credits
SLP 650 Seminar II: Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology 1 credit
SLP 655 Clinical Practicum II 3 credits
 Summer Semester - 7 credits (Hybrid: Online Courses; Off-Campus Clinical Practicum)
SLP 700 Fluency Disorders 2 credits
SLP 705 Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Populations 1 credit
SLP 710 Seminar III: Contemporary Prof Issues & Inter-Professional Practice 1 credit
SLP 715 Clinical Practicum III 3 credits

 

Year 2
Fall Semester - 12 credits (Hybrid: Online Courses; Off-Campus Clinical Practicum)
SLP 720 Cognitive Communication Disorders in Adults 3 credits
SLP 725 Voice & Resonance Disorders 3 credits
SLP 730 Medical Speech-Language Pathology (SLP Elective) 3 credits -or-
SLP 735 Language, Literacy, & Learning Disabilities (SLP Elective) 3 credits
SLP 740 Advanced Clinical Practicum I – Off Campus Externship 3 credits (3-4 days/week)
Spring Semester - 6 credits (No coursework; Off-Campus Clinical Practicum)
SLP 745

Advanced Clinical Practicum II - Off-Campus Externship with Capstone Project 6 credits (5 days/week)

 

The following provides a detailed description of courses offered in the MS SLP program.

Year 1
Fall Semester - 14 credits (In-person)

SLP 600: Early Childhood Language Development & Disorders (0-5) - 3 credits

This course provides an advanced review of typical language development and focuses on language disorders in young children ages 0-5. Topics include receptive/expressive phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. The course provides evidence-based practices for assessing and treating language disorders of a diverse early childhood population in variety of clinical settings.

SLP 605: Speech Sound Disorders in Children - 3 credits

This course focuses on speech sound production disorders in children. Topics include: typical speech sound acquisition, articulation, phonology, the relationships between speech sound disorders and literacy, cultural-linguistic variations in speech production, and characteristics of speech sound disorders across different clinical populations. Evidence-based approaches to assessment and treatment are emphasized.

SLP 610: Aphasia & Related Disorders - 3 credits

This course focuses on the clinical management of aphasia in adult populations. It focuses on the nature and classification of aphasia, evidence-based assessment and intervention, and topics such as pathophysiology, epidemiology, prevention, treatment efficacy, prognosis, and quality of life for patients and their families.

 SLP 615: Evidence-Based Practice in SLP- 1 credit

This course will focus on teaching students to become critical consumers of the research literature in order to guide effective clinical practice in speech-language pathology. Students will learn to source clinically-relevant research literature, utilize evidence-based clinical practice resources such as the ASHA practice portal, understand basic research methodology, and identify applications and limitations of research literature for clinical decision making. The course focuses on critical thinking, synthesis of information, and application of empirical evidence to clinical practice.

 SLP 620: Seminar I: Clinical Methods & Practice in Speech-Language Pathology - 1 credit   

This course will cover concepts of clinical practice, including models of service delivery, clinical decision making, diagnostic methods and instruments/tools, goal and objective writing, fundamentals of clinical data collection and measurement, treatment planning, providing feedback and cuing, and professional clinical writing including treatment plans, SOAP notes, and diagnostic reports.

SLP 625: Clinical Practicum I  - 3 credits

This is an introductory graduate clinical practicum experience. Emphasis is placed on students displaying appropriate professional skills while developing and implementing assessment and/or intervention plans, creating a dynamic therapeutic environment, collaborating with clinical team members, and completing thorough documentation. Practica may take place on or off campus. Supervision is provided in accordance with ASHA requirements. 

 
Spring Semester - 16 credits (In-person)

SLP 630: School Age & Adolescent Language & Literacy Disorders - 3 credits

This course focuses on spoken and written language development, disorders, and differences in school-age children and adolescents. It emphasizes evidence-based language and literacy assessment and intervention for students struggling with spoken and written language. It includes topics related to clinical practice in school settings such as service delivery models, classroom management, IEPs, and interprofessional collaboration.

SLP 635: Dysphagia - 3 credits

This course provides a comprehensive review of normal swallow physiology and its related disorders across the lifespan. It reviews anatomy and physiology of normal and abnormal swallowing in adults and children and focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to the assessment and treatment of dysphagia including instrumental diagnostic techniques. It emphasizes clinical management of dysphagia with diverse patient populations and care settings.

SLP 640: Neurogenic Disorders of Speech - 3 credits

This course focuses on the clinical management of motor speech disorders in children and adults due to congenital or acquired etiologies, including degenerative diseases. The course emphasizes diagnosis and treatment of the dysarthrias and apraxia. 

SLP 645: Complex Communication Needs - 3 credits

This course provides a comprehensive review of evidence-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems, assessment, and intervention. The course will focus on enhancing the communication and participation of children and adults who have complex communication needs (CCN) with an emphasis on individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 SLP 650: Seminar II: Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology - 1 credit

This course focuses on counseling skills appropriate for practicing speech-language pathologists. The course emphasizes interpersonal communication and counseling skills as a means to improve trust, rapport, and clinical outcomes of clients and their family members in a wide range of clinical and educational environments.

 SLP 655: Clinical Practicum II - 3 credits

This is the second graduate clinical practicum experience. Emphasis is placed on students displaying appropriate professional skills while developing and implementing assessment and/or intervention plans, creating a dynamic therapeutic environment, collaborating with clinical team members, and completing thorough documentation. Practica may take place on or off campus. Supervision is provided in accordance with ASHA requirements. 


Summer Semester - 7 credits (Hybrid: Online Courses; Off-Campus Clinical Practicum)

SLP 700: Fluency Disorders - 2 credits

This course presents theoretical and empirical perspectives on fluency including the nature of stuttering; differentiation of normal vs. stuttered disfluencies; evidence-based approaches to assessment and intervention across age range, settings, and severity levels; familial considerations, counseling, and environmental modifications.

 SLP 705: Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Populations - 1 credit

This course focuses on cultural variations of speech, language, and communication. It examines cultural and linguistic biases, cultural humility, cultural responsiveness, and cultural competence in SLP service delivery. It emphasizes assessment and treatment of communication disorders & differences in individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse groups including those who are bilingual, use English as a second language, or are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

 SLP 710: Seminar III – Contemporary Professional Issues & Inter-Professional Practice 1 credit

This course provides an overview of professional practice in speech-language pathology for pre-professional speech-language pathology students. Contemporary topics include but are not limited to: ASHA practice policies and guidelines, professional accountability and ethics, fiduciary responsibility, inter-professional practice, trends in professional practice, and advanced topics in certification and licensure. Externship/student teaching & Clinical Fellowship standards, requirements, and expectations are also discussed.

 SLP 715: Clinical Practicum III - 3 credits

This is the third graduate clinical practicum experience which may take place on or off campus. Emphasis is placed on students displaying appropriate professional skills while developing and implementing assessment and/or intervention plans, creating a dynamic therapeutic environment, collaborating with clinical team members, and completing thorough documentation. Supervision is provided in accordance with ASHA requirements. 


Year 2
Fall Semester - 12 credits (Hybrid: Online Courses; Off-Campus Clinical Practicum)

SLP 720: Cognitive Communication Disorders in Adults - 3 credits

This course focuses on evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of acquired cognitive communication disorders, including right hemisphere disorder, traumatic brain injury, normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia. It will emphasize an interdisciplinary focus on the characteristics, assessment, and treatment of a variety of populations in a range of clinical settings.

 SLP 725: Voice & Resonance Disorders - 3 credits

The course will cover the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and clinical management of voice and resonance disorders across the lifespan. The course will present techniques applicable to children and adults with disorders of voice, both functional and organic in origin, including individuals who use alaryngeal speech.

 SLP Elective - 3 credits (choose one of the following 2 courses):

  • SLP 730: Medical Speech-Language Pathology (SLP Elective) - 3 credits

    An interdisciplinary focus on professional SLP practice in medical settings. Topics include SLPs as members of interprofessional medical care teams, assessment and treatment of respiratory disorders/diseases that require the use of tracheostomy tubes and mechanical ventilation for adults and children, and clinical management of dysphagia.

  • SLP 735: Language, Literacy, & Learning Disabilities (SLP Elective) - 3 credits

    This course addresses the nature, diagnosis, and treatment of developmental language-based spoken and written language disabilities and differences across the lifespan. It covers assessment and treatment for language and literacy disorders for elementary and middle school students and adolescents and adults. Strategies for managing executive function and attention challenges that frequently co-occur with language disabilities are also discussed.

SLP 740: Advanced Clinical Practicum I – Off-Campus Externship - 3 credits (3-4 days/week)

Supervised off-campus practicum in a health care facility, school setting, or other clinical setting such as a private practice or early intervention setting. Supervision is provided within accordance of ASHA guidelines.


Spring Semester - 6 credits (Off-Campus Clinical Practicum with Capstone Project)

SLP 745: Advanced Clinical Practicum II - Off-Campus Externship with Capstone Project - 6 credits (5 days/week)

Supervised off-campus practicum in a health care facility, school setting, or other clinical setting such as a private practice or early intervention setting. Supervision is provided within accordance of ASHA guidelines.


Karen A. Fallon, PhD, CCC-SLP

Position: Professor and Director of the Speech-Language Pathology MS Program
Did You Know? Dr. Fallon’s clinical research focuses on supporting children and adolescents with language-based learning disabilities and she has disseminated her scholarly work at international, national, and state conferences and in multiple peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. 
Read bio

faculty_allisonboyle.png
Alison N. Boyle, MS, CCC-SLP
Position: 
Professor of Practice and the Director of Clinical Education of the Speech-Language Pathology MS Program 
Did You Know? Ms. Boyle has been a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist for over 10 years and has expertise working in medical speech-language pathology with the adult population. 
Read bio

 

Information will be available in summer 2026. 

Admission

Pending CAA Approval, Applications will be accepted beginning in August 2023 & the program will launch in Fall 2024

Students are required to complete prerequisite coursework prior to their admission into the program. They must complete either a bachelor’s in communication disorders or post-bachelor’s prerequisite coursework (SLP Prerequisite or bridge program).

Prerequisites general courses: Successful completion of the following ASHA required general course prerequisites with a minimum grade of C:

  • Biological Sciences 3 CR
  • Physical Sciences 3 CR 
  • Statistics 3 CR 
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 CR 

Prerequisite communication disorders/SLP coursework: Students who have not completed a baccalaureate degree in communication disorders, must complete prerequisite coursework in the following course areas:

  • Phonetics
  • Speech & Hearing Science
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech, Language, Swallowing
  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Child Language Development & Disorders
  • Clinical Observation & Techniques

Observation Hours: All students must complete 25 hours of observation of Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology practice by an ASHA certified SLP or Audiologist prior to beginning the graduate program. Documentation of completed hours must be submitted to the Clinical Education Director of the MS SLP program by August 1st of the enrollment year.

Students who need to complete prerequisite coursework can apply to the GMercyU Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program. The SLPP Program consists of 21 credits of undergraduate, upper-level speech-language pathology & audiology core coursework which can be completed in as few as three semesters. 

Learn more about GMercyU's SLPP program here. 

Applicants to the MS SLP Program apply online using the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). To learn more about the CSDCAS application process and to create your CSDCAS account, please visit the CSDCAS portal.

Admission to the MS SLP Program is only available on a full-time basis. Earned baccalaureate degree and all prerequisite courses must all be completed by July 30th of the enrollment year.

Applicants must have verified CSDCAS application before the January 15th admissions deadline.

Applicants are responsible for submitting timely transcripts to CSDCAS and confirming that all of the requested materials have been successfully submitted and received with CSDCAS. Applications will not be reviewed until they are both complete and verified.

The MS SLP Program assumes the primary responsibility for the admission of its graduate students. The faculty review applications, conduct interviews, and offer admission to its selected applicants beginning in February for the start of the MS SLP Program in August.

The required materials include:

  • Transcripts from all undergraduate coursework
  • 3 letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional references
  • Personal Statement - Complete a personal statement that highlights your individual character, qualities, & experiences and how these may translate to your future success as a speech-language pathologist.

Baccalaureate Degree: Applicants are required to successfully complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university prior to the start of the MS SLP Program and should hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale). 

Interview: Applicants will participate in an interview with the Speech-Language Pathology Faculty.

Graduate Record Examination: Gwynedd Mercy University does not require the GRE for admission into the MS SLP Program.

 

To enroll as a graduate-level international student at Gwynedd Mercy University, you need to:

  • Have your transcript evaluated and have a course-by-course evaluation by either the World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators if you hold a bachelor's degree from an institution outside of the U.S.
  • Score at least an 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL-IBT test.

Students may transfer up to six graduate credits that were taken at other accredited institutions prior to matriculation to be applied toward the MS SLP degree. The credits must have been taken within seven years of admission and a grade of B or better must have been earned. The official transcript for transfer of credit must be on file prior to acceptance of credits for transfer. All transfer of credits must be approved by the Director of the MS SLP program.