M.S. in SLP (on campus)

FAQs - Speech Pathology Program (M.S.)
(Clinical Residential Program)

Please visit our department’s website for information about the qualifications and research interests of our faculty https://www.csd.jmu.edu/people/index.html, and descriptions of our research labs https://www.csd.jmu.edu/researchlabs.html.

If you have further questions after reviewing these resources, we invite you to email us at slp@jmu.edu.

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What do I need to do to be considered for admission to the Speech Pathology (M.S.) program?

Applicants are required to complete applications through both CSDCAS and JMU Graduate School by the posted deadline. Notice of decisions will occur in late March. We have a two-part application process.

Part 1: Applicants must complete all aspects of the CSDCAS application including:

  • Personal written statement in response to essay prompt in CSDCAS application
  • Official GRE scores, be sure to use DI Code 1043 (Note that applicants who already have a master’s degree do not need to submit GRE scores)
  • Official transcripts
  • Names and contact information for two references (JMU does not require letters of recommendation)

Part 2: Applicants must complete an application to JMU Graduate School. An additional fee applies. For detailed information on the admissions process, visit https://csd.jmu.edu/MS-SLP/admission.html

Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders?

An undergraduate degree is required for application, but it does not need to be in Communication Sciences and Disorders. You will need to have completed pre-requisite coursework and basic science requirements prior to beginning your graduate level studies. For more information visit https://csd.jmu.edu/MS-SLP/admission.html

What prerequisite coursework is required?

  • CSD 207 - Phonetics
  • CSD 208 - Anatomy & Physiology of the Ear & Voice Mechanism
  • CSD 209 - Acoustics of Speech and Hearing
  • CSD 300 - Language Development
  • CSD 301 - Introduction to Audiology

The Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), the speech pathology credentialing organization, requires that you have all of the following coursework: one biological science, one physical science (chemistry or physics), one statistics course and one social science.

Students who have not successfully completed a course in Aural Rehabilitation (graduate or undergraduate level), will be expected to complete the coursework in order to meet competencies.

Are there GPA or GRE Requirements?

The Speech Pathology program is a competitive admissions process. There is a minimum major and overall GPA of 3.25 required for application. There is no minimum GRE score, although successful applicants generally score above the 50th percentile. Information on the GRE is available at the official web site of Educational Testing Service.

Do you require letters of recommendation?

No, we do not require letters of recommendation. We do require the names and contact information for two references. Please note that CSDCAS does require that letters of recommendation be posted in order to complete the application process. For applicants applying to multiple programs through CSDCAS, CSDCAS will automatically provide contact information for your references to your JMU application. If JMU is the only CSDCAS program that you are applying to, you will need to post two letters of reference. Note that reviewers will not read the letters.

What kind of financial assistance is available?

A limited number of graduate assistantships and Scottish Rite Fellowships are available for on-campus students during the first year of the program. These awards are merit-based, not needs-based. All applicants who complete both the CSDCAS application and JMU Graduate School applications are considered for these merit-based awards. No further application is necessary. All applicants are also eligible to apply for needs-based financial assistance through completion of the FAFSA. For further information about needs-based assistance, please visit the JMU Financial Aid Office website http://www.jmu.edu/financialaid/index.shtml.

Do you offer open houses/information sessions?

Yes, we offer on-campus and virtual information sessions. Please check our Open Houses page or email slp@jmu.edu for specific dates and times.

About the Program

How long does it take to complete the program?

Effective fall 2021, the speech pathology clinical program requires completion of a minimum of 45 credit hours for non-thesis students. If students have not completed an aural rehabilitation class, the program is 48 credit hours. All students take courses with their cohort at the same time and in the same sequence. See an example curriculum at https://csd.jmu.edu/MS-SLP/curriculum.html. Note that this is an example, the exact sequence varies slightly across cohorts. The program is completed in 5 semesters including one summer semester between the first and second year of the program. Students who elect to complete a master’s thesis must register for an additional 6 credits and may need to register for an additional semester to complete their program.

What clinic and externship opportunities are available?

Students participate in simulation opportunities and clinical practica in our department and at local community agencies, hospital, and school districts during the first year and summer of their program. JMU’s Audiology and Speech-Language Clinics provide services for infants through adults. A variety of practica are available including diagnostics, the Interprofessional Autism Clinic (IPAC), voice and swallowing services, the Scottish Rite Clinic for preschoolers and school-age children with speech sound and language disorders, and services for adults with language and motor speech disorders. All practica are supervised by JMU clinical educators and their affiliates.

Students complete two off-campus externships during the second year of their program. In the fall semester, students are in externship placements four days a week, the fifth day is reserved for completion of required courses. During the spring semester, students are in externships five days a week because all classes are generally completed. Many out-of-state students participate in externships in their home state as students do not need to attend classes during the second spring semester. Externship opportunities are available in a wide variety of pediatric and adult placements including rehabilitation centers, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, pediatric and adult private practice, early intervention agencies, and school districts. Most students complete one externship in pediatrics and one with adults. JMU arranges all externships for students.

Does the program require completion of a comprehensive examination?

Graduation requirements include completion of required coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and completion of a minimum of 400 clinical hours obtained through simulation, practica, and externships. In addition, all students are required to take the Praxis exam in Speech-Language Pathology administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and to complete a Cumulative Digital Portfolio. Satisfactory completion of the Cumulative Digital Portfolio includes the development of a professional resume and artifacts demonstrating knowledge and skills in prevention/screening, cultural/linguistic competency, pediatric and adult assessment, pediatric and adult intervention, and interprofessional education and practice. Some students share their portfolios with potential employers after graduation with positive results! We invite you to carefully consider our student outcome data at https://csd.jmu.edu/graduateachievements.html

Is the program accredited?

Yes, our program received reaccreditation through June 30, 2026 from the Council on Academic Accreditation of ASHA. Program requirements are consistent for certification in speech-language pathology by the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and for health and education licensures in speech-language pathology by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our graduates are successful in securing licensure beyond Virginia. Since licensure requirements can vary by state, applicants are strongly advised to review their state’s requirements prior to application. Refer to https://www.asha.org/advocacy/state/.

Where are students employed after graduation?

Our graduates have obtained employment throughout the United States in public and private schools, hospitals, private practice, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, early intervention centers, and many other community agencies serving individuals with communication and swallowing difficulties.