Graduate Program

  • Speech-Language Pathology

    Start your next chapter and become a speech-language pathologist!

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists or SLPs) assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent cognitive, communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech, language and swallowing disorders can happen as a result of a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson’s disease, cleft palate, or autism. SLPs are valued members of health and education teams.

Program Descriptions

Traditional Track: Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
The speech-pathology curriculum is an intensive five-semester program of coursework comprising 60 credit hours. Students with undergraduate backgrounds in other fields must complete leveling courses prior to beginning the master’s program.

Accelerated Track: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders-Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
The accelerated track curriculum makes it possible for qualified students to complete both a Bachelor of Arts in communication sciences and disorders and a Master of Science in speech-language pathology in five years. Students will declare CSD clinical track as their undergraduate major, complete liberal arts credits and prerequisites during their first three years, and finish graduate school in years four and five. The department will notify the registrar's office when a student is approved for the accelerated track.

Acceptance into the speech-language pathology master's program involves a secondary application process. Students enrolled in the accelerated track who are not accepted into the master’s program will transition to the traditional route, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences & Disorders (Clinical) during their fourth year.

Part-time Track: Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
The speech-pathology curriculum is an intensive curriculum comprising 60 credit hours. For professionals who cannot enroll full time, this part-time track will allow you to take courses at a slower pace. Students with undergraduate backgrounds in other fields must complete leveling courses prior to beginning the master’s program. While the leveling classes can be taken online, the MS-SLP curriculum is delivered on-ground. Once admitted to the part-time program, a student can complete the MS-SLP degree in 10 semesters.

 

Core Functions

The term “core functions” refers to behavioral or cognitive functions that an individual must be able to perform with or without accommodations necessary to ensure equitable access. The document intentionally does not address how stated core functions are demonstrated, recognizing that there are multiple ways an individual can successfully meet the demands of clinical education and practice.  The determination of possible accommodations exemplified in this document varies from institution to institution based on numerous factors not covered in the scope of this document. The degree to which accommodations are determined is under the governance of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is the responsibility of the institution and the individual to work together to identify possible services and accommodations.

Certification

Students take the Praxis exam during their final semester of graduate school and upon achieving a passing score become eligible for licensure in most states. Upon graduation, students can apply for full membership in ASHA. Students completing their MS in SLP and meeting all requirements set forth by the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) are eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC).

Accreditation

The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at Harding University is accredited 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,  800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

HIZ-PATH from 1504 on Vimeo.

 

International Practicum: Zambia

Students have the opportunity to participate in a six-week practicum in Zambia, Africa, as part of the Harding in Zambia Speech-Language Pathology (HIZ-PATH) program. Students work at The Haven, a group of orphan-care homes in Namwianga Mission. Students provide speech-language pathology services to people in need, some of whom are living with HIV/AIDS. Clinical responsibilities include caregiver training, providing language enrichment, and offering feeding and swallowing therapy. Additionally, students venture on safaris to see the beautiful landscapes and wildlife of Zambia, witness the splendor of Victoria Falls and Lake Victoria, and more.

Admission Requirements

The minimal admission requirements for the Master of Science program in speech-language pathology are as follows:

  • Completed CSDCAS application form
  • Academic transcripts reflecting Fall 2023 grades must be submitted to CSDCAS
  • Academic transcripts from all universities attended including one that indicates an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Evidence of successful completion of academic coursework in normal language development, phonetics, anatomy and physiology of communication, speech science, phonological and articulation disorders, audiology, and aural rehabilitation, statistics, biological science, physics or chemistry, and social/behavioral science. These courses are available online through Harding University. The list of leveling courses is listed under post-baccalaureate coursework
  • Competitive GPA on undergraduate academic courses (the average undergraduate GPA for students admitted to our Fall 2023 cohort was 3.8)
  • Three letters of evaluation, two of which must be academic
  • GRE is no longer required as an admission requirement

Application Deadlines

The Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program partners with the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). Applications to this program are sent to and processed by CSDCAS. Our absolute deadline for applications is February 15 of the spring semester prior to fall enrollment. The CSDCAS portal will open on July 15, 2023.  

To be considered and eligible for review, a CSDCAS application must be verified with required letters of evaluation, transcripts, and all applicable documents (test scores, etc.), submitted in the directed manner to CSDCAS and received by our office by the program deadline date (February 15).

 

Curriculum

The typical progression of courses is outlined below.  Students will be assigned an academic advisor who will assist with any deviations from the standard course progression.  

FALL - SEMESTER I (15 hrs academic credit)

CSD 6110 - Clinical Issues in the Birth to 5 Population (5 hrs)

CSD 6120 - Neurology of Speech, Language, and Hearing (3 hrs)

CSD 6150 - Research and Writing (3 hrs)

CSD 6170 - Counseling/Interviewing in Communication Sciences and Disorders (1 hr)

CSD 6190 - Clinical Practicum I (3 hrs)

SPRING - SEMESTER II (13 hrs academic credit)

CSD 6220 - Clinical Issues in the School Age Population (5 hrs)

CSD 6230 - Adult Dysphagia (3 hrs)

CSD 6240 - Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders (2 hrs)

CSD 6290 - Clinical Practicum II (3 hrs)   

SUMMER I - SEMESTER IIIa (4 hrs academic credit)

CSD 6320 - Seminar:  Multicultural Aspects of Communication Sciences and Disorders (1 hr)

CSD 6390 - Clinical Practicum III (3 hrs)

SUMMER II - SEMESTER IIIb (5 hrs academic credit)

  CSD 6300-Medical Aspects of Speech-Language Pathology (3 hrs) (elective)

CSD 6350 - Alternative Modes of Communication (2 hrs)

CSD 6380 - Special Populations in Communication Sciences and Disorders (3 hrs)

FALL - SEMESTER IV (11 hrs academic credit)

CSD 6450 - Clinical Issues in the Middle to Older Adult Population (5 hrs)

CSD 6460 - Fluency (2 hrs)

CSD 6480 - Seminar:  Special Topics (1 hr)

CSD 6490 - Clinical Practicum IV (3 hrs)

SPRING - SEMESTER V (12 hrs academic credit)

CSD 6510 - Professional Issues and Business Practices (2 hrs)

CSD 6530 - Clinical Issues in the Late Adolescent through the Early Adult Population (5 hrs)

CSD 6570 - Personal and Professional Ethics (2 hrs)

CSD 6590 - Clinical Practicum V (3 hrs)


Program Total = 60 academic hours

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of the M.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology curriculum (totaling 60 semester hours) with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, no academic class grade less than a “C” and no clinical class grade less than a “B” (see Academic Progression, and Academic Probation and Dismissal sections of the Student Handbook for additional details).
  • Completion of 400 clinical clock hours, which includes a maximum of 50 hours of undergraduate clinical experiences and 25 hours of observation with satisfactory ratings from all clinical supervisors.
  • Completion of the Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) form with each competency marked as acquired and certified by the program director.
  • Passing score on the comprehensive examination.
  • Satisfactory evidence of good interpersonal relations and ethical professional conduct.

Mission Statement

Mission of the Speech-Language Pathology Program

Our program excels in developing highly-skilled and professional graduates who are ready to impact their local and global communities by improving the lives of those they serve.  Christian faculty and staff are invested in providing an unparalleled experience utilizing a comprehensive curriculum, contemporary technology, and state-of-the-art facilities to engage students in reaching their full potential, both educationally and spiritually. As a result, our students exemplify ethical leadership, critical thinking, and interprofessional collaboration to support top of the license practice. 

Post-Baccalaureate Coursework

Post-baccalaureate coursework provides the academic foundation for entry into an Master of Science program in speech-language pathology. The course offerings are informed by the 2020 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association academic and clinical guidelines for SLPs as well as the standards for certification of professionals set forth by the Council for Clinical Certification. Data from the Communication Sciences & Disorders Centralized Application Service also informs our selection of courses to suggest to students. This course sequence provides a strong foundation for future SLPs who desire to work with individuals of all ages across a variety of work settings and provides the student with the discipline-specific courses required to apply to our master’s program in speech-language pathology. Students should be aware that master’s program requirements can differ between schools. Course sequence may be modified to meet individual student needs. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree, and transcript review by the program director is strongly recommended.

The minimal admission requirements for the Master of Science program in speech-language pathology include evidence of successful completion of academic coursework in normal language development, phonetics, anatomy and physiology of communication, speech science, phonological and articulation disorders, audiology, and aural rehabilitation, statistics, biological science, physics or chemistry, and social/behavioral science.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Expanded scholarship opportunities are available. Please contact us for details at csd@harding.edu.


In our graduate assistantship, students work 10 hours/week for the department and receive 10 hours/week of scholarship; total award is $25,000 if the award is retained through five semesters.

Students indicate a desire to apply for this award during the application process. Strong candidates are identified and interviewed. We award three GA positions in each cohort of students, for a total of 6 in our graduate program (Three in each of two cohorts).

Additional departmental scholarship opportunities will be made available to candidates accepted to the program.

Once both seat deposits have been paid and the student is admitted to the University, full-time students in the MS-SLP program may apply for GA positions in other departments on campus via the form in Pipeline.

In some areas, speech-language pathologists qualify for the TEACH grant program and may also be eligible for public service loan forgiveness.

Graduate student scholarships are available from the ASHFoundationEBS HealthcareCouncil for Academic Programs in CSD, Health Resources & Services Administration, AMBUCS and Junior Auxiliary, among others.


Learn more about Graduate Financial Aid and resources.

Where are we located?

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders administrative offices, clinical facilities and classes are located in the Swaid Center for Health Sciences on the main Harding University campus. The Swaid building is located at 805 E. Park Avenue and is fully accessible to those with disabilities with "visitor" and "handicapped" parking available in the lot in front of the building. An Online Map is available. We invite you to visit at any time. We would love the opportunity to tell you more about our undergraduate and graduate programs and the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. Our facilities are beautiful, and we would love to give you a tour. To make an appointment or to request information, please contact 501-279-4648 or csd@harding.edu.