Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) Program

Now accepting applications for Fall 2024!

Do you have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than communication disorders but want to transition into a top-rated career as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)?

The Gwynedd Mercy University Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program is designed for college graduates who:

  • Desire a career in the rapidly growing field of speech-language pathology but did not major in communication disorders or speech-language pathology as undergraduates
  • Do not have the prerequisite coursework necessary for admission to a Speech-Language Pathology graduate program 

This one-year online SLPP program prepares students to meet the admissions curriculum criteria for GMercyU's Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS SLP) program, as well as for other speech-language pathology graduate programs with similar requirements.

A Top Job in America
Speech-language pathologists rank as the #3 job in healthcare and #10 job overall in U.S. News & World Report's Best 100 Jobs list for 2024. 


Program begins
Fall 2024 (apply now)

Program length
One year

$390 per credit (Fall 2024)

100% online

Ideal for
College grads seeking a new SLP career

Opportunity for preferred application status to our MS SLP program


The Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program aligns with the university mission as it prepares students to enter a graduate program which will lead to successful careers and meaningful lives in a global society as speech-language pathologists.

The level of instruction in the SLPP Program is first-rate, and I'm amazed by how much I'm learning!  I'm so excited to be part of this program, and I can't wait to continue my studies in the MS SLP program at GMercyU! 

—Meg V.

Gwynedd Mercy University's SLPP Program has been amazing! It has allowed me to continue working while preparing to change careers. The professors are so friendly and helpful. I have no doubt I'll be prepared for graduate school after taking these classes.

—Miranda S.

About the Program 

The Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (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 (3 courses in fall, 3 courses in spring & 1 course in summer).

The classes align with the GMercyU accelerated semester terms, which take place during 7-week intervals during the first and second halves of the 15-week semester. Typically, 2 courses are offered in the first accelerated session of the fall & spring semesters, and 1 course offered during the second accelerated session of fall & spring semesters). One course is offered during the Summer I session. Each course is offered one time per year.

The first class of each course will be held synchronously and will be mandatory. The remainder of the course will be delivered asynchronously with periodic opportunities to participate in optional class meetings and program events.

The Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program is designed to accommodate students who may be working or have other regular commitments while still offering personal attention and opportunities to get to know the GMercyU SLP faculty. All SLPP classes will be held online and take place in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats. Each course will have two-to-three pre-scheduled synchronous class meetings spaced out over the semester calendar. The remainder of the course will be delivered asynchronously. Course instructors will also be available through regularly scheduled virtual office hours.

Students who enroll in the Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program will be eligible to submit an application to GMercyU's and other SLP master’s programs after the first fall semester of the SLPP program and enroll in an SLP graduate program the following fall semester (assuming an offer of admission and completion of all prerequisite courses).

Students may also tailor the program to fit their needs such as electing to take fewer courses each semester (1-2 courses/semester) or to begin the program during the spring or summer semester. Students who have completed one or more of the courses at a different institution may elect to enroll in only the courses they need to build eligibility for graduate school applications.

Each course will be held during an accelerated term that runs for approximately 7 weeks. The typical course sequence for students completing the full Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program in one year is as follows:

Fall Semester

  • SLP 400: Phonetics (3 credits)
  • SLP 440: Introduction to Communication Disorders (3 credits)
  • SLP 420: Anatomy & Physiology of Speech, Language, & Swallowing (3 credits)

Spring Semester

  • SLP 410: Language Development (3 credits)
  • SLP 430: Introduction to Audiology & Aural Rehabilitation (3 credits)
  • SLP 450: Speech & Hearing Science (3 credits)

Summer Semester (1st session) 

  • SLP 460: Clinical Observation & Techniques (3 credits)

  • Students who complete at least three of the seven online courses will be given a preferred application status to the GMercyU MS SLP program.
  • Classes are offered completely online.
  • Designed to be completed in one year.
  • Mixed course format allows for student convenience while facilitating the development of networking relationships with peers and maximizing interaction with GMercyU faculty.

All courses are three credits and taught online in a primarily asynchronous format. The first class will be synchronous, but all other classes will be asynchronous. Periodically, optional class meetings and program events will be offered.

SLP 400: Phonetics: Focuses on the typical production of speech sounds, transcribing speech using the International Phonetic Alphabet, and analyzing the acoustic properties of speech sounds. It provides a foundation for understanding typical and atypical speech development and patterns and regional and foreign accents. The course also includes an introduction to speech sound development and disorders in pediatric populations.

SLP 410: Language Development: Focuses on the development of spoken and written language in humans from birth through early adulthood. The course emphasizes the role of environment and human biological factors utilized in learning to communicate with words, sentences, and narratives. It also covers the development of reading and writing.

SLP 420: Anatomy & Physiology of Speech, Language, & Swallowing: Provides foundational information of the structures(anatomy), function (physiology), and neural controls of the structures used for speech, language, swallowing, respiration, and related behaviors in humans. Particular emphasis will be placed on neurological structures & functions associated with speech, language, and swallowing.

SLP 430: Introduction to Audiology & Aural Rehabilitation: Presents basic principles and techniques of hearing evaluation, including pure-tone, speech, immittance, and advanced audiometry; hearing conservation in hospital, school, and industrial settings. It also covers an introduction to aural rehabilitation including identification, evaluation, and rehabilitation of auditory pathologies.

SLP 440: Introduction to Communication Disorders: Provides students with an introductory understanding of the causes, characteristics, assessment, and treatment of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders in children and adults. Examines the professional roles and responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and introduces evidence-based practice principles as applied to Communication Disorders professions.

SLP 450: Speech & Hearing Science: Focuses on the primary aspects of the speech and hearing processes including sounds in the environment (physical acoustics), sounds encoded within the auditory system (physiological acoustics), and perception of sound (psychological acoustics).

SLP 460: Clinical Observation & Techniques: Provides students with the knowledge and skills to conduct, record, interpret, and analyze clinical observations of assessment and intervention of clients with communication disorders. Students will complete 25 hours of clinical observation in the field and through Master Clinician Network, an online platform for guided observation and development of clinical skills in speech-language pathology.

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

Alison N. Boyle, MS, CCC-SLP
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

In addition to the prerequisite CSD coursework and observation hours provided in the GMercyU SLPP program, students wishing to become certified SLPs must also complete prerequisite general academic coursework.  

As part of the certification process, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association requires that all applicants for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) complete basic academic coursework in the following areas:

  • biological sciences
  • physics or chemistry
  • social/behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology)
  • statistics

All coursework must be satisfactorily completed at the undergraduate or graduate level at an accredited institution, and must appear on the applicant’s undergraduate or graduate transcripts. Advanced placement (AP) courses that appear for credit on the applicant’s college/university transcript can satisfy this requirement. All coursework must be completed by the time applicant begins their Clinical Fellowship (first professional employment position).

It is the discretion of each graduate program to determine which courses will be accepted in fulfillment of the requirements and whether coursework must be completed prior to enrolling in the graduate program or may be completed during the graduate program. Students missing prerequisite courses are strongly encouraged to complete all necessary prerequisite courses prior to enrolling in a graduate program.

For a detailed description of these requirements, please visit the ASHA webpage: https://www.asha.org/certification/course-content-areas-for-slp-standards/  

GMercyU's SLPP program has enabled me to take a clear path toward an amazing career change. I truly appreciate the ability to complete my prerequisites while working full-time. With the supportive learning environment the professors have created, I cannot think of a better way to prepare for an SLP master's program. 

—Lauren B.


Students enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program come from a wide range of backgrounds. Applicants are required to have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree, regardless of major, from an accredited college or university before the start of the SLPP program and should hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale).

Take the first step in pursuing a meaningful career dedicated to the care and advancement of human communication and swallowing and apply today. 

The GMercyU SLPP program uses a rolling admissions approach with an application deadline of June 1 for enrollment in fall courses. With this method, completed applications are reviewed as they are received, select candidates are invited for an interview, and subsequently, admission decisions are made until the program is full. 

The required materials include:

  • Application 
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate coursework (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale) — transcripts must be submitted by your college(s) to GMercyU
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

All application requirements can be emailed to gradadmissions@gmercyu.edu. After all application materials are submitted, students who meet the program requirements will be contacted by a faculty member of the SLPP program to set up an interview. For the 2024-25 application cycle, interviews will be held virtually via Zoom.

Students who complete at least three of the seven online courses will be given preferred application status when applying to the GMercyU MS SLP program.

This status will guarantee SLPP students:

  1. An expedited application process
  2. The MS SLP admissions interview will be waived, once SLPP program has been successfully completed
  3. An early admission decision with no obligation to respond to the offer of admission until April 15
Students who have completed fewer than three SLPP courses may apply through the normal GMercyU graduate online application on our MS SLP page

The following are the 2024-2025 rates for the Speech-Language Pathology Prerequisite (SLPP) program: 

  • SLPP per credit: $390.00
  • Each SLPP 3-credit course: $1,170.00
  • The entire SLPP 7-course (21 credit) program = $8,190.00

Have admissions questions? Contact gradadmissions@gmercyu.edu.

Have program-related questions? Contact SLP@gmercyu.edu.