Speech-Language Pathology-Assistant Certificate Program

Program Overview

Are you interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist assistant?

Our Speech-Language Pathologist-Assistant (SLPA) Certificate program is designed to provide foundational knowledge in the field of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) needed to prepare you as an assistant to speech-language pathologists. Being an SLPA provides the opportunity to directly work with and help individuals with speech, language, and hearing disorders in schools, clinics, and hospitals, under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist.

The SLPA Certificate program is a pathway into the speech-language pathology professions. SLP-Assistants are not certified as Speech-Language Pathologists, as certified SLPs  are required to complete graduate training. The SLPA Certificate, however, can be a stepping stone to working toward the goal of becoming a certified SLP in the following ways:

  •  SLPA courses may be applied towards the completion of an Associates degree from Missoula College.
  • SLPA courses may be applied towards the completion of a University of Montana Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Bachelors of Arts degree.
  • If you already have a Bachelor's degree, SLPA courses can be applied towards the completion of our Leveling Certificate Program, which allows you to then apply to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist.

The SLPA Certificate program consists of 8 courses for a total of 23 credits. These 8 courses can be completed within one calendar year.

Please note requirements for SLPAs vary from state-to-state and prospective students must check with their local licensing boards to determine if additional education or clinical training hours are needed to practice as an SLPA. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's State Overviews has useful information to determine state requirements. 

Requirements Overview

Requirements for Certificate Completion

To receive the SLPA Certificate from the University of Montana, a student must fulfill the following criteria:  

  1. Complete a minimum of 23 credits, of which at least 51% of the required number of credits are earned from the University of Montana-Missoula.  
  1. Possess a minimum grade average of 2.7 in all work attempted at the University of Montana-Missoula and a minimum grade of C or better in all courses that count toward program requirements.  

Transcripts are subject to review, and student must be enrolled in the SLPA Certificate program. 

UM Technology Requirements

Moodle is the Learning Management System that the University of Montana uses for coursework. To be successful in the learning environment within the SLPA Certificate program, it is recommended students follow the ICT Guide-Basic Minimum System Requirements for Moodle 

SLPA Course Requirements, Credits, & Prerequisites

Course # Course name Credits Prerequisites
CSD 110 Introduction to Speech, Language, and Audiology 3
CSD 205 Clinical Application & Observations in SLP & Audiology 2
CSD 210 Speech & Language Development 3
CSD 222* Introduction to Audiology* 3
CSD 261 Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology Assistants 3 CSD 110, 210
CSD 265 Developmental Speech and Language Disorders and Treatment 3 CSD 210
CSD 320 Phonological Development & Phonetics 3
CSD 330 Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Swallowing Mechanisms 3
CSD 365 Acquired Communication and Swallowing Disorders 3 CSD 210, CSD 320
Total: 23 or 26

*Please note CSD 222 Introduction to Audiology is an optional course. It is not required to complete the program*

Online Registration

Interested in enrolling? Here are the next steps!

  1. Fill out the Prospective Student Inquiry Form so we can learn a little more about you and help get you started!
  2. THEN: 
  • Either wait to hear back from our SLHOS Advising team to get more information; OR
  • If you're sure you're ready to become a Griz, apply directly to the University of Montana and select "Speech Language Pathology Assistant Certificate" as your major.  

Tuition and Mandatory Fees 

Cost of attendance will follow the University of Montana’s tuition and fees matrix found on the Business Services website under Student Tuition & Fees. Fees are subject to change per academic school year with Board of Regents’ approval. CSD Leveling Certificate Programtuition and fees are delineated on the Undergraduate and Post Baccalaureate matrix. For an estimation of total tuition and fees, contact Student Accounts within Business Services at UMstudentaccts@mso.umt.edu  

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the SLPA Certificate Program

What is the deadline to apply?

  • Deadlines vary depending on the semester you wish to enroll in. See UM Admissions for specific deadlines to apply to the University of Montana in order to start your coursework in either Fall or Spring Semesters. We recommend that you apply a minimum of one month prior to the start date of the course in which you intend to enroll. 
  • We accept CSD Certificate Program prospective student inquiries for campus-based students year round and can help you plan your education timeline. The link for the prospective student inquiry form is HERE.  

Am I required to begin in the Fall?

  • All on-campus students start in the Fall to finish in one year.

Do I have to take all courses?

  • All courses are required to achieve the full SLPA Certificate. 

If I have taken similar courses at a different university- can these courses count toward this SLPA Certificate program, or do I need to retake them at UM?

  • It depends. If you think that you have covered the content in one of our Certificate program courses in another program (and earned a grade >C), fill out THIS Course Equivalency form and return it along with the course syllabus/syllabi to our Academic Advisor (laura.phalen@mso.umt.edu) for review.

If I take SLPA Certificate program courses at the University of Montana, will these courses be accepted at other graduate programs?

  • Since the bulk of the SLPA Certificate program coursework is the same as our CSD Leveling Certificate program coursework, this is a possibility. The content for most prerequisite course is relatively standardized nationally across CSD programs. Our courses are meant to meet the standards and requirements for admissions in speech-language pathology and audiology graduate programs across the country. The ultimate decision to accept prerequisite coursework is decided by your chosen institution. If you have concerns, we recommend that you verify with your intended graduate institution(s).

How much time should I devote to each class?

  • For every one credit hour in which you enroll in the campus-based program, you will spend approximately two to three hours outside of class studying (i.e., one 3-credit course= 6-9 hours per week studying over 15 weeks, for a total of 90-135 hours per regular university semester).