Office: Columbia Campus
Chair: Marie Kerins, Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director: Janet Preis
Foundation Program Director: Donna Pitts
SLP/A Division Director, The Loyola Clinical Centers: Maren Townsend
Professors: Libby Kumin; Lisa Schoenbrodt
Associate Professors: Marie Kerins; Janet Preis
Assistant Professors: Lena Caesar; Ronald Gallop; Kathleen Siren
Clinical Faculty: Andrea Atticks; Cheryl Councill; Sally Gallena; Krysten George; Mina Goodman; Danielle Matrangola; Donna Pitts; Erin Stauder; Maren Townsend; Lura Vogelman; Kathleen Ward
Affiliate Faculty: Barbara Ness; Cynthia D. Nichols; Mary Lee Walls
Externship Director: Danielle Matrangola
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech-Language Pathology provides an accredited path of study within the Jesuit tradition defined by challenging coursework and faculty mentors who assist students in acquiring the tools necessary to be discerning and knowledgeable speech-language pathologists who will lead and serve in a diverse and changing world. Through academic coursework, mentorship by dedicated faculty members, and clinical experiences across a variety of settings, students will master the professional skills they need to become effective and compassionate advocates for persons with communication disorders.
The primary purpose of this two-year (five semester), full-time master's program is the education and development of superior professionals for careers as speech-language pathologists. The curriculum challenges preprofessionals academically, clinically, and personally. The program consists of academic coursework integrated with clinical training in the assessment and treatment of infants, children, and adults who have communication disorders. Students are provided a myriad of opportunities to acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the nature of speech, language, hearing, and communication disorders and differences, as well as prevention, assessment, and intervention for people with communication and swallowing disorders across the life span. The program also allows students to acquire and demonstrate knowledge in standards of ethical conduct, research principles in evidence-based clinical practice, and contemporary professional issues.
Students are provided with supervised clinical experiences matched to their level of clinical expertise, and student progress is reviewed every semester. As students advance, they are placed in a variety of settings to provide a carefully controlled progression of difficulty. Throughout the program, students work directly with clinical faculty and externship supervisors who are state licensed and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
During the first year of study, students begin their clinical internship in one of the Loyola Clinical Centers under the supervision of expert faculty and practicing clinicians. The Loyola Clinical Centers consist of the Margaret A. McManus Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic located at Belvedere Square in Baltimore, Maryland and the Speech and Language Center located in Columbia, Maryland. Each center offers an array of speech-language and/or audiological services for individuals experiencing difficulty with their communication and/or hearing skills. The state-of-the-art clinics provide services in individual and group settings to clients of all ages, infant-toddler through adult, with varying diagnoses in communication disorders. The Loyola Clinical Centers also provide students with the opportunity to work and learn in an interdisciplinary setting, which includes speech-language pathology, audiology, psychology, pastoral counseling, and literacy. Students may also have additional internship experiences off-site with private and public community partners.
In the second year, students who have successfully completed the first-year internships are placed in an off-campus setting with an experienced, ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. Students will experience at least two different settings or populations over the course of the year. The department's externship director provides the overall supervision of the experience, which includes monitoring student progress and final assessment of student performance. The goal of the externship program is to provide a variety of real world experiences where students integrate academic and clinical teaching and achieve mastery of clinical skills necessary for postgraduate work experience as a clinical fellow.
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech-Language Pathology at Loyola University Maryland is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.
The Department of Speech-Language Pathology offers a master's program which prepares students to become professional speech-language pathologists and to serve and lead in a diverse and changing world. Learning aims of the program are as follows:
Students applying to the master's program must have an undergraduate degree or have the prerequisite coursework in speech-language pathology (or communication sciences and disorders). Prospective students whose undergraduate major or degree is in a field other than speech-language pathology are required to have completed the prerequisite courses shown below. Students can also obtain this coursework through the department's postbaccalaureate options (see Postbaccalaureate Coursework).
There are a limited number of enrollments in the master's program, and admission is selective. The Graduate Admission Committee seeks students of high quality from accredited institutions of higher learning who ranked in the upper half of their classes as undergraduates and maintained a high cumulative average. A minimum of a B (3.00) cumulative average is expected. Confidential recommendations are also reviewed. Applicants must submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The Graduate Admission Committee only reviews completed applications that are received in the Office of Graduate Admission by the application deadline. Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission.
Admittance to the master's program in speech-language pathology is contingent upon passing a criminal background check. Each student recommended for admission into either program will be required to obtain, pay for, and pass a criminal background check. These background checks are routinely required by the Loyola Clinical Centers, schools, hospitals, and other agencies that participate in the clinical education of Loyola students. Failure to pass a criminal background check may make a student ineligible to complete requirements and result in revocation of the student's acceptance into the graduate program.
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech-Language Pathology requires a minimum of 40 credits of academic coursework, supplemented by additional coursework in internship and externship experiences. Students are required to successfully complete the required coursework with a QPA of 3.000 and to acquire 400 documented clinical practicum hours. Students are required to successfully complete the comprehensive examination or to plan, write, and defend a thesis under the direction of a faculty committee. Students must also achieve a passing score on the Praxis II: Subject Assessments Test. In addition, students must have completed basic courses in physical, biological, mathematical, and social sciences at the undergraduate level. Students who have not completed these courses will be required to complete them prior to graduation. These courses do not count in the student's cumulative QPA.
Graduates of the M.S. program have completed the academic and clinical practicum requirements mandated by ASHA necessary to engage in a clinical fellowship year (CFY). For more information on the Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), visit the ASHA website (www.asha.org).
All students who choose the nonthesis option are required to pass a comprehensive exam in order to graduate from the master's program. Students who fail the exam will be counseled by the graduate program director and given the opportunity to retake the exam. Students must pass the exam within three attempts; these attempts must occur within one year of the initial attempt. Students who fail the exam on the third attempt or who do not complete the exam within the designated time frame will be dismissed from the program and will not receive a master's degree, but rather, a master's equivalency.
A thesis is a scientific investigation of publishable quality in which the student demonstrates a strong knowledge base, research capacity, creativity, and analytic/writing skills. The thesis is not required for all students, but is suggested for students who have maintained a QPA of 3.500 and are interested in pursuing doctoral-level study and/or clinical research activities. Students who elect the masterís thesis option will not be responsible for taking the comprehensive exam.
A student interested in exploring the thesis option must meet with the faculty member whose expertise is in the area of investigation. The student will work with the faculty member to review the literature in the chosen area and develop the research proposal. All thesis track students must enroll in SP657 in the fall and spring semesters of their second year. Research proposal guidelines are available by contacting the graduate program director. Each thesis track student is responsible to secure one major reader (typically the advisor), as well as two faculty members who will serve as readers on the Thesis Committee. The final copies of the thesis, including signatures of the department chair and Dean of Loyola College, must be submitted at least three weeks before the end of the semester that a student expects to graduate.
As part of the degree requirement, all students must submit a passing score on the Praxis II; Subject Assessments Test. In order to graduate in the spring of the second year, students must submit the passing score to the department no later than two weeks prior to the graduation date. Students are advised not to take the test before the spring semester of their final year in the program.
Classes are held one day a week at the Columbia Campus. Clinical practicums are scheduled throughout the week at various internship and externship sites.
A total of three (3) elective credits is required. Elective courses are subject to change in order to meet the needs of the students and the program. The following courses are typically offered:
All students are required to successfully complete clinical coursework during the first and second year of the masterís program. This requires a minimum of 375 practicum hours and 25 observation hours, with a requirement of one summer placement generally taken during the summer between the first and second year of graduate work.
Students are provided with supervised clinical experiences matched to their level of clinical expertise. Students begin their clinical practice experience in the Loyola Clinical Centers and are supervised by the clinical/academic faculty. Student progress is reviewed each semester by the clinical faculty to assess readiness to advance to different types of clinical experiences. Students receive pass/fail grades during their clinical internship year as they rotate through different clinical sites. Clinical courses during the first year of the program include:
In addition, all students will enroll in the following course to support them in their internship year:
During the second year, students advance to placements in a typical job setting to further develop their clinical skills. Students are required to complete a minimum of two semesters of externship placements across two different settings. The externship director reviews placement applications each semester and advises students to register for one of the following clinical practicum courses:
Some course requirements may be waived by the graduate program director based upon prior completion of coursework in the same content area. Students must submit materials for review (e.g., syllabus, course description, final products) prior to the first class meeting of the course being considered for waiver. The graduate program directorís written approval will be sent to the Records Office.
The Department of Speech-Language Pathology created an inventory of essential skills deemed necessary to function within the clinical profession of speech-language pathology; these are known as the essential functions. This document is used as a tool to help students, professors, and clinical supervisors identify areas of need related to becoming a professional in speech-language pathology. This document will be provided to students for review at the beginning of the first year, and it is posted on the departmentís website.
University-wide academic standards can be found in the section on Academic Standards and Dismissal under Academic Regulations and Policies.
Consistent with University policy, graduate students in speech-language pathology must maintain a B (3.000) average. Students who fall below this level of achievement will be placed on academic probation for one semester. Failure to raise the cumulative QPA to 3.000 in the following semester will result in dismissal from the program. Regardless of QPA, students who receive one grade of C+ (2.330) or lower will be placed on academic probation. The accumulation of two grades of C+ (2.330) or lower or the receipt of one F (0.000) during the program will result in dismissal from the program. Dismissal may also result from excessive withdrawals, academic dishonestly, or other unethical or unprofessional conduct reflecting upon a studentís ability to enter into the professional field of speech-language pathology. If a student is dismissed from the program and has been performing at a satisfactory level in the clinical practicum, the student may count all clinical hours earned during the semester up to the point of dismissal. If the student has been performing at an unsatisfactory level in the clinical practicum, the student will not be allowed to count any clinical hours earned during the semester of dismissal.
Students are not permitted to be on academic probation for more than one semester across their masterís degree program. All students placed on probation are required to meet with the graduate program director and members of the Academic Standards Committee. At that time, an individual remediation plan will be developed to help the student progress academically and/or clinically. Remediation plans may include additional assignments/assessments requiring the student to demonstrate competency in areas of need. In addition to academic performance, students must maintain professional standards of behavior as outlined in the essential functions document. Any student thought to be at risk academically or behaviorally may be brought before the committee.
A student experiencing medical or personal problems may request a withdrawal from academic and clinical courses. The University-wide withdrawal policy can be found under Academic Regulations and Policies. In addition, if a student withdraws from clinical practicum courses and has been performing at a satisfactory level, the student may count all clinical hours earned during the semester up to the point of withdrawal. If the student has been performing at an unsatisfactory level, the student will not be allowed to count any clinical hours earned during the semester.
A limited number of departmental assistantships are available. For more information, visit the department's website.
The department offers two postbaccalaureate options for students with an undergraduate degree in an area other than communication disorders. Typically, students interested in this coursework will ultimately seek entry into the master's program in speech-language pathology.
The foundation course option is a sequence of prerequisite courses that can be completed in one year of full-time enrollment. This cohort-based option is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in an area other than communication disorders who are seeking entry into the Loyola master's program in speech-language pathology.
The foundation course option is competitive and application and admission requirements (including background check) are the same as noted for the master's program. The foundation course option is not a degree program and does not meet the qualification for receiving an F-1 visa; therefore, international students are not eligible to participate. No student will be permitted to transfer more than one course (or three credits) into the foundation course sequence. All transfer credits and course content must be approved by the foundation option director. Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission.
The foundation course sequence consists of nine courses designed to be completed in one year of full-time enrollment:
Student progress is monitored by the graduate program and foundation option directors throughout the prerequisite period. Students who successfully complete the foundation course sequence with a QPA of 3.700 or higher, demonstrate the competencies outlined in the essential functions document, and have not been brought before the departmental Academic Standards Committee are granted admission into the master's program. Students who do not meet the required QPA of 3.700, do not successfully demonstrate the competencies outlined in the essential functions document, are on academic probation, or have been brought before the Academic Standards Committee will be subject to review and may not be granted admittance into the graduate program. For students continuing into the master's program, these 500-level courses do not calculate in the cumulative QPA, nor do they count as requirements completed for the master's degree.
Consistent with University and departmental policies, the accumulation of two grades of C+ (2.330) or lower, or the receipt of one F (0.000) during the option will result in dismissal from the foundation course option. Dismissal may also result from excessive withdrawals, academic dishonesty, or other unethical or unprofessional conduct reflecting upon a student's ability to enter into the professional field of speech-language pathology. Students are not permitted to be on academic probation for more than one semester across their postbaccalaureate program. Students dismissed from the foundation course option will not be considered for admission into Loyola's master's program.
The per-course option is designed for students who wish to complete some or all of the prerequisite courses necessary for admission into many masterís programs in speech-language pathology. While these courses satisfy the prerequisites for admission into Loyola's graduate program, it is critical to note that completion of this option does not include automatic matriculation into the program. In addition, it is the student's responsibility to investigate the prerequisite criteria for non-Loyola master's programs. There is no limit to the number of postbaccalaureate courses in which a student can enroll (contingent upon completion of course prerequisites, if applicable, and space availability); however, selection is limited to the courses specified under the foundation course option.
The admission committee considers most favorably those graduates who maintained at least a B (3.000) average during the final two years of undergraduate coursework. Applicants should note that some postbaccalaureate courses have prerequisites. Students who have these prerequisites from another institution will be required to submit materials for review (e.g., syllabus, course description, final products) prior to enrolling in the postbaccalaureate course. In addition, per-course option students are only eligible for financial aid for one consecutive 12-month period, if enrolled at least half-time (six credits per semester). Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission.
Consistent with University and departmental policies, the accumulation of two grades of C+ (2.330) or lower, or the receipt of one F (0.000) during the program will result in dismissal from postbaccalaureate coursework. In addition, the student will not be eligible for admission into Loyola's foundation course option or masterís program in speech-language pathology.
Students enrolled in the per-course option who are interested in pursing a master's degree in speech-language pathology at Loyola should see this section under Admission for detailed information.