Speech-Language Pathology (MS)

With a Master of science (M.S.) degree from Northeastern University’s speech-Language pathology program, you will influence society in profound ways–for example, enabling children with autism to communicate effectively, relieving adolescents’ fears of speaking dysfluently in the classroom, and helping stroke survivors resume activities in which they had previously participated.

Overview

Since 1965, Northeastern University has offered a graduate program in Speech- Language Pathology (SLP) that reflects the University’s tradition of practice-oriented education. Adhering to the highest professional standards, our SLP Graduate Program prepares future speech-language pathologists for the rigors of clinical practice in educational and health care settings. Part of Bouvé College of Health Sciences, the SLP Graduate Program offers students a comprehensive program of study that emphasizes teamwork and interdisciplinary approaches to complex service delivery issues. Students assist academic and clinical faculty conducting cutting edge research and evidence-based practice on campus as well as at our affiliated world-renowned educational and medical institutions. Northeastern University SLP graduate students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for a lifetime of professional achievement and social contribution.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

The heart of the SLP Graduate Program is our on-campus Speech, Language, and Hearing Center, housed in the state-of-the-art Behrakis Health Sciences Center. Here, under the guidance of highly skilled clinic supervisors, students work with individuals in other professions and provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and clinical services to members of the local community who present with a broad range of cognitive-communication needs. Students develop competence using assistive technology and computer soft- ware for academic and clinical purposes as preparation for joining the ranks of practicing speech-language pathologists.

Our Clinic is equipped with sophisticated audio-visual media technology that:

  • enables students to provide caregiver education and counseling while observing live interventions from outside the clinical room,
  • allows students to learn from each other and from clinical faculty while observing ongoing diagnostic and therapeutic sessions,
  • facilitates students’ self-learning and reflection when reviewing clinical sessions that they have just conducted.

In addition to our Speech, Language, and Hearing Center students are also exposed to state of the art faculty laboratories such as the Computational Vision Laboratory of Dr. Ennio Mingolla, the  Communication Analysis and Design Laboratory of Dr. Rupal Patel, and the Speech and Neurodevelopment Lab of Emily Zimmerman.

World-recognized Connections

Strong faculty links with world-recognized educational and medical institutions provide our students with the opportunity to apply classroom theory to evidence-based SLP interventions in the field.

Northeastern’s SLP Program is highly regarded, and off-site supervisors find our students well-prepared for clinical practice. Following graduation, many of our students are offered employment at sites where they interned.

Research & Technology

Our faculty consists of internationally recognized researchers who are active in their fields and involve students in their research. The development and applied use of technology play integral roles in the research of many of the faculty. For example, one professor’s research focus is on evidence bases practice using augmentative and alternative communication. Another’s is on software to develop unintelligible speakers’ ability to learn to use inflection to communicate. Other research focuses include speech-motor control and language and health literacy in at-risk populations.

Accreditation
council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)

Our academic program and on-campus Speech-Language and Hearing Center are fully accredited by the council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Over the course of their SLP Graduate Program, students accumulate the basic science, academic course work, and student clinical experiences necessary for national certification (ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence, CCC). Following graduation, students are ready to complete their Clinical Fellowship Year. Graduates are also eligible for state educator licensure

Clinical Experience

Students complete four semesters of clinical experience. In their first semester of Clinic (Clinic 1), students engage in rich clinical experiences under the guidance of highly skilled clinic supervisors in the Speech-Language and Hearing Center, housed in the state-of-the art Behrakis Health Sciences Building. Individuals of all ages from surrounding communities come to the Center for diagnostic and therapeutic services. Generally, in Clinics 2-4, students work multiple days a week, off-campus, with speech-language pathologists as student clinicians in community-based hospitals, outpatient clinics, educational institutions, and other settings. Consistent with ASHA guidelines, both on-campus and off-campus clinical assignments provide students with hands-on experience evaluating and/or treating children and adults with a variety of diagnoses, disorders, and impairments such as language, cognitive-linguistic, and swallowing disorders. While many of our external clinical sites are accessible by public transportation, not all are. Consequently, it is necessary for students to have access to a car during the semesters that they are enrolled in Clinics 2-4.

Application Due Date

January 30

Contact Info
Therese O'Neil-Pirozzi

Therese O’Neil-Pirozzi
Tel: 617.373.5750
t.oneil-pirozzi@neu.edu

Sample Curriculum: Sample Program of Study

Our Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program is a 2-year program. Students may simultaneously complete a separate, but complementary, Early Intervention Certificate Program. Read about this Program.

  • Fall Semester

    • Neurology of Communication (3)
    • Articulation and Phonology (3)
    • Speech-Language Disorders in Children
    • SLP Clinic Seminar (1)
    • SLP Clinic 1 (3)

  • Spring Semester

    • Research and Evidence-Based Practice (3)
    • Speech Science (3)
    • Speech-Language Disorders in Adults (3)
    • SLP Clinic 2 (3)

  • Summer Semester

    • Statistics (3)*

* If not taken undergraduate, students must also complete SLPA 5107 Clinical Procedures the semester prior to enrolling in SLPA 6415,  SLP Clinic 1.  SLPA 5107 does not count towards the SLP graduate degree.

  • Fall Semester

    • Aural Rehabilitation (3)
    • Voice Disorders (3)
    • Dysphagia (3)
    • SLP Clinic 3 (3)

  • Spring Semester

    • Stuttering (3)
    • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (3)
    • Motor Speech Disorders (or) Language Literacy (3)
    • SLP Clinic 4 (3)

Community Service

Community service is a high priority for faculty and students in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Department, Bouvé College, and all of Northeastern University. Our Department is involved in many community- based service activities. Some examples of these are story-telling groups at local family homeless shelters, speech-language-hearing screenings at local schools and hospitals, and fund raising events for such causes as Operation Smile.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in SLP requires a total of 52 semester hours at the graduate-level. Course work is required in core areas of clinical practice, scientific theory, and research/statistics. In addition, clinical practica (Clinic I-IV) are typically in a minimum of three settings. Students may choose either a thesis or a non-thesis option. Students who choose the non-thesis option must pass a Comprehensive Examination to graduate. Throughout the Program, students must maintain a minimum grade average of B (3.0) in academic courses and in clinical work. Following graduation, students are eligible for state educator licensure and are ready to start their Clinical Fellowship Year.

SLP graduate students may also apply for admission to an Early Intervention Certificate Program. Because
of the additional requirements of this Program, a full-time SLP graduate student’s average 2-year tenure at Northeastern may be extended. More information about the Early Intervention Program may be found at www.bouve.neu.edu/programs/counselearly/index.php.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a BA/BS from an accredited university with a GPA of at least 3.35 but do not need an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders to apply to our SLP Graduate Program.

Applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with minimum scores of: Verbal 152; Quantitative 150; Analytic 4.0 or the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) with a scaled score of 425 or greater.

Five prerequisite undergraduate courses or their equivalents must be completed with a grade of C or better before matriculating into our SLP Graduate Program.

These courses are:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
  • Introduction to Audiology
  • Introduction to Speech and Hearing Science
  • Language Development
  • Phonetics

Frequently Asked Questions

May I enter the Program before taking the Program pre-requisites?

  • The SLP MS Program require 5 pre-requisite courses:Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) applicants may apply to our Graduate Program before having completed the 5 pre-requisites but cannot start the Program before having completed them.
    • Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism Introduction to Audiology
    • Introduction to Speech and Hearing Science
    • Language Development
    • Phonetics
  • Au.D. applicants must complete the following pre-professional coursework:Prior to graduation from either the SLP MS or the AuD Program, students must have taken one 3-4 credit undergraduate course in each of these five areas: biologic science (preferably human), math (preferably statistics), physical science (preferably chemistry or physics), and behavioral science (preferably psychology or sociology).
    • Prior to entering the program: Introduction to Audiology (3 credits) During 1st year of program: Normal Language Development (3 credits) by end of the spring semester of 1st year.

Where can I take the required pre-requisite courses?

  • You may take them at any college, preferably through an ASHA accredited program, live or online. You need to get a C or better in each of these courses.
  • You may take them through the SLPA Department at Northeastern University (NU). We offer each at least once per academic year, live and/or online. To do this, you must apply for Special Student Status through Bouvè Graduate Student Services. Check the Northeastern University (NU) website for up-to-date information on course offerings and call the Bouvè Graduate Admissions Office, 617-323-2708 for the paperwork and any registration help that you may need.

How big is your Program?

The SLP Program typically has about 40-45 incoming graduate students per year. The Au.D. Program typically has about 8-9 incoming graduate students per year. As a result, students and faculty get to know each other well, and students become friends for life. At Northeastern, you have all of the advantages of a large university campus, including interprofessional opportunities and facilities you would expect to find at a major urban university, along with all of the advantages of a small, intimate program.

Do I need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?

GRE’s are a required part of the application. SLP and AuD applicants need a minimum verbal score of 152 (current GRE system)/480 (prior GRE system); minimum quantitative score of 150 (current GRE system)/630 (prior GRE system); and minimum analytic score of 4.0. Scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to NU.

What sort of financial support does the Program offer?

  • Departmental Graduate Scholarships may be offered to incoming SLP and AuD students.
  • Dean’s Scholarships are offered to SLP students based on academic performance. These are based on undergraduate transcripts and provide tuition remission.
  • Students are often hired by faculty to work on their research grants. These provide a stipend and/or course credit. Check out our faculty’s interests and research areas at http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/slpa/directory.html and see whose work matches your interests and experience. Send that faculty your resume and a letter of interest to make an appointment.

Where can I find information regarding Graduate Admissions and the Application Process?

  • Graduate Admissions requirements and other related information can be found at the Bouvè College of Health Services website, http://www.bouve.neu.edu/
  • For information about Open Houses and Info Sessions (live and virtual), please visit: http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/gradstudent/index.html

What makes Northeastern University’s Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Programs stand out?

We offer an MS in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and an AuD in Audiology. Most Programs in SLP and Audiology have similarities in their curricula since our scope of practice is determined by our national accrediting agency, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Differences among programs include settings of the programs (college, university or hospital), research interests of the faculty, and facilities. Here are some of the features that we believe make Northeastern unique and beneficial to graduate students:

1. We have a strong interprofessional focus.
We have graduate programs in both SLP and Audiology, which enable students to learn a great deal about both professions and how they relate. We are the only program in Boston with an AuD program.

Being part of Bouvè College, we are members of an interprofessional team that includes such professions as Counseling Psychology, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Physical Therapy. To read more about our interprofessional emphasis, go to http://www.northeastern.edu/bouve/about/index.html.

Our students have diverse undergraduate backgrounds, with some having an undergraduate degree in SLP and/or Audiology and others have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. This diversity is a positive for both our students and our faculty.

2. Our faculty are internationally recognized researchers who are all active in their fields and involve students in their research.
We emphasize evidence-based practice. This approach requires clinical practice to be motivated by the most pertinent findings in the literature, as they relate to individual clients.

Our faculty combines interests in theory with a focus on practice-oriented research. Please visit our web-site at http://www.slpa.neu.edu/faculty.html to see each faculty member’s bio and research interests.

Our faculty have links with world-recognized hospitals such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital, Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

3. We have student-centered and friendly faculty.
With a student-faculty ratio of 3-4 students per faculty, students have ready and ongoing access to faculty and are strongly supported throughout their Program.

Students comment on the close relationships they develop with faculty and the support they receive to reach their maximum potential. We also help students develop extracurricular activities through professional clubs and associations (e.g., the NU Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, called NUSSLHA or the Student Academy of Audiology called SAA)

4. Our facilities are state of the art and well situated.
We have faculty offices and newly renovated research space in the Forsyth Building. Behrakis Health Sciences Center, where our on-campus clinic is located, is one of the College’s newest editions.

5. Our Speech-Language and Hearing Center, our on-site Clinic, located in Behrakis, is the heart of the Department.
Our goal is to provide our students with an unparalleled interprofessional clinical experience both on and off campus. The Center provides services in both Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology to members of the Boston Community. These services are provided by the students under the supervision of our clinical faculty, five days and two evenings a week. Our Center houses $800,000 of new equipment.

6. We have many quality educational and medical external placement sites in Greater Boston and beyond.
Students complete multiple semesters of external placement work across ages, diagnoses, and settings with our practicing community-based colleagues. Students are required to have access to a car and travel to and from their external sites by car, commuter rail, and/or public transportation.

Placement site opportunities include nearby, national, and international opportunities.

Faculty work with students to explore new placement options, for example, out- of-state.

7. Our clinical Audiology Program benefits from an endowment of over a million dollars from the Boston Guild for the Hard of Hearing, a distinguished and venerable charitable organization, whose roots in Boston go back to the early 1900’s.

The generous gift allows us to expand our educational and support services into this community.

8. The university campus is a green and pleasant place for students and faculty to spend their time.
Students describe Northeastern as having a “campus feel.” The landscaping and design give Northeastern University a small town feeling.

Northeastern University’s location in the heart of the city allows rapid access to sports venues, shopping, museums, concert halls and, most importantly, many clinical sites.

We are conveniently close to public transportation. To get a feel for our campus, take a virtual tour

9. Northeastern is a large urban university nationally recognized for its focus on practice-oriented education.
Students have endless opportunities to combine theory and practice through academics, clinical experiences, research, and community service.

Students frequently choose to enroll in elective courses in areas of personal interest as part of their graduate program. For example, some of our students take electives in American Sign Language, Multicultural Service Delivery, and Neuroscience.

Students complete Comprehensive Exams or may elect to complete a thesis.

SLP MS Degree students may supplement their program of studies with Early Intervention and Geriatric Certificate Program options.

Students are given numerous opportunities to contribute their developing skills to various groups or causes within the local, national and international communities.

10. Our Programs are full-time programs.
Students complete their clinical experiences during the day.
Academic courses are primarily offered late afternoons and evenings.
Students matriculate in September.

Research

Faculty engage in ongoing research in a variety of areas, including AAC, evidence-based practice, hearing loss, health and language literacy, motor speech disorders, and traumatic brain injury. Students have opportunities to participate in faculty’s research and to work with faculty to explore research interests of their own.

Post-Graduation

Approximately half of our Speech-Language Pathology graduates go to work in educational settings, almost half in medical settings, and a few in research laboratories and private practices. The academic, clinical, research, and service opportunities that comprise our SLP Graduate Program allow our students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for a lifetime of professional achievement and social contribution.

Experiential Learning

Our Program’s clinical home is the Northeastern Speech-Language and Hearing Center, housed in the state-of-the art Behrakis Health Sciences Building. Individuals of all ages from surrounding communities come to the highly regarded Center for diagnostic and therapeutic services. Here, beginning in their first semester of Clinic (Clinic 1), students engage in rich clinical experiences under the guidance of highly skilled clinic supervisors. Learn more about the Speech-Language and Hearing Center.

Generally, beginning in Clinic 2, students work multiple days a week with speech-language pathologists as student clinicians in community-based hospitals, outpatient clinics, educational institutions, and other settings. Examples of clinic placement sites include Braintree Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and Boston Public Schools. Consistent with ASHA guidelines, on-campus and off-campus clinical assignments provide students with hands-on experience evaluating and/or treating children and adults with a variety of diagnoses, disorders, and impairments such as language, cognitive-linguistic, and swallowing disorders:

  • articulation and phonological disorders
  • congenital or acquired hearing loss
  • developmental language problems
  • English as a second language/ accented speech
  • fluency problems
  • language and cognitive impairments due to stroke, brain injury, and progressive neurological diseases
  • motor speech disorders, such as dysarthria and apraxia, which may result in the need for augmentative or alternative forms of communication (AAC)
  • swallowing disorders
  • voice and resonance problems

While many of our external clinical sites are accessible by public transportation, not all are. Consequently, it is necessary for students to have access to a car during the semesters that they are enrolled in Clinics 2-4. Availability of a car increases the options for placement sites at which students have opportunities to gain diverse and extensive clinical experience.

Northeastern University emphasizes service to inner-city neighborhoods of Boston and to surrounding communities. Through some of the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Department’s community service links, students have opportunities to participate in speech-language-hearing screenings at local schools and hospitals and to facilitate children’s story-telling groups at local family homeless shelters.

Apply to the Speech-Language Pathology (MS) Program.