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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 14, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Communication Science and Disorders - Speech-Language Pathology Concentration, MA/MS

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Communication Science and Disorders Program Requirements

Proseminar Requirement

All students must complete the proseminar requirement, which consists of attending a specified number of scientific and professional presentations that have relevance to communication science and disorders.

Clinical Practicum

Clinical practicum requirements are met in Communication Science Disorders Clinical Network which consists of more than 100 facilities in Western Pennsylvania with which the program is affiliated. These include hospitals, home based services, specialty clinics, not-for-profit clinics, early intervention, and private practices in the area, as well as public and private schools. All course work and practicum credits must be completed with a minimum grade of C to satisfy requirements for the degree.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive Examination for the Master of Arts (MA) degree

All students in the Master of Arts program are required to pass a comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination assesses students’ ability to think critically, to communicate their thoughts in written and oral form, and to demonstrate their grasp of the major academic and clinical content provided in their graduate program.

Students pursuing the Master of Arts (MA) degree in communication disorders with a concentration in speech-language pathology must satisfactorily complete a one-credit course, typically taken in the fall or spring term of their last year in the graduate program. The course includes a final oral examination which consists of a brief presentation by the student followed by an extended question and answer session by selected members of the faculty. Requirements for passing the comprehensive examination course are provided in the course syllabus.

Thesis Option for Master of Science (MS) degrees

Students pursuing the Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology must successfully complete a thesis project. Students who complete a Master’s thesis are exempt from the comprehensive examination. Thesis students will have an examining committee of at least three University of Pittsburgh faculty members, including the research director, who serves as chair.

Additional requirements are outlined in the academic handbook, which is distributed to students at the beginning of their academic programs.


The master’s degree program with a concentration in speech-language pathology has a generally predefined curriculum with some options for electives. Students have the option to take either an adult or pediatric hearing management course. Students participate in at least 10 credits of practicum and have the option to complete a School Practicum making them eligible for State of Pennsylvania Educational Certification in Speech-Language Impaired.

Program Requirements

The program is designed to be completed within 6 terms, with the majority of students completing the requirements in 5 terms.  Course work must be passed with a C grade or better in order to count for graduation and to qualify the student for the comprehensive examination.

General Clinical Track

This track requires 60 credits distributed as follows: Required Coursework (50 credits) and Clinic Practicum (10 credits).

Public School Option

For school certification, students must complete the regular master’s degree requirements plus the following: a 3 credit child/human development course (typically taken as an undergraduate); a Language Development course (typically taken through the CSD undergraduate program); a one credit School-based Services course; and CSD 2067 School Practicum (4 days per/ week for a full semester). Additionally, the student must pass specific Praxis examinations as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

The progression of courses for the general clinical requirements and the public school option are outlined on the Department’s web site. Includes the following Program Curriculum.

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