Master of Science Speech Language Pathology Degree (MS)

Program Description

Upon completion of our program graduates will be prepared to become a certified speech-language pathologist, able to assess and treat infants, children, and adults with acquired or developmental speech, language, and/or swallowing disorders.

The Master of Science, M.S., education programs in speech-language pathology {residential and distance education} at the University of Montana are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.Our program meets the clinical and academic standards for Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by ASHA and licensure requirements in Montana and many other states.

We are committed to providing students with high-caliber academic and clinical training experiences with a focus on inter-professional education and research. Our goal is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective speech-language pathology services for diverse populations in all relevant environments. 

SLP Graduate Program Prerequisites

Students enter the University of Montana Master’s degree program with 1) an undergraduate degree with a communicative sciences and disorders (CSD) undergraduate major, or 2) an undergraduate degree in a non-CSD area with the additional completion of leveling CSD leveling courses. The CSD prerequisite courses specific to our MS SLP program can be completed through our Post-Baccalaureate CSD Leveling Certificate program fully online or on-campus. Our CSD prerequisite courses is a total of 29 credits and include the following (full descriptions found in the UM Course Catalog):

  • CSD 205 Clinical Application & Observation in SLP & Audiology
  • CSD 210 Speech & Lang Development
  • CSD 222 Intro to Audiology
  • CSD 265 Developmental Speech & Language Disorders and Treatment
  • CSD 320 Phonological Development & Phonetics
  • CSD 330 Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Swallowing Mechanisms
  • CSD 331 Neurological Bases of Communication & Swallowing Disorders
  • CSD 365 Acquired Communication & Swallowing Disorders
  • CSD 420 Speech and Hearing Science
  • CSD 450 Intro to Aural (Ear) Rehabilitation

Additional Prerequisite Requirements: ASHA Standard IV-A

In addition to the required CSD courses, in order to apply for SLP Certification the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) requires student to complete Prerequisite Courses in the Content Areas of 1) physical science (physics or chemistry), 2) biological science, 3) social/behavioral science, and 4) statistics. You may have already have completed most of this coursework in your Bachelor’s program. If, however, you still need to complete any of this coursework, you can fulfill requirements through additional distance on-campus learning options also available through the University of Montana.

The following suggested courses, or approved equivalent courses, must be documented on your transcripts with a passing grade: 

  • Physical Science: Physics or chemistry.
  • Biological Science:  Science of living things (human or animal):  biology, general anatomy & physiology, neuroanatomy & neurophysiology, human genetics, or veterinary science (must be non-CSD courses)
  • Social/Behavioral Science: Psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health.
  • Statistics: Prerequisite for SLP 600: Research Methods.  One stand-alone course is required.  UM’s graduate Research Methods CSD course does not count for stats. Psychology, Math, or Social stats; stats also meets the previous math course category.

*Advanced placement, CLEP, or exam of equivalency may be used, but transcripts must be provided.

Prior to the start of graduate school, the Graduate Advisor will review each student’s undergraduate CSD or leveling work to determine whether all prerequisite courses are completed prior to the start of graduate school. If some coursework is not completed in a student’s undergraduate or leveling training prior to the start of graduate school, then the Graduate Advisor will work with a student to determine how best to integrate the required courses into each student’s Plan of Study. Typically, students will take a course as an elective during their graduate studies and careful planning will be made to ensure a prerequisite course or courses are taken prior to/or concurrently with accompanying graduate coursework that requires associated foundational knowledge. It should be noted, however, if a student has a significant amount of prerequisite coursework that is not completed in an undergraduate and/or leveling post-baccalaureate studies, additional semester(s) of coursework may need to be completed and related extended plans of study may be required for full training completion.

Applying to the SLP Graduate Program

Applicants to the program must meet the admission requirements of the University of Montana Graduate School and the School of Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences Acceptance criteria include grade point average, letters of recommendations, written essays, and other activities related to the field. Every attempt is made to assess the special strengths that the applicant might bring to the program. 

Scholarships and Assistantships

Scholarships and assistantships are available each year through an internal department application process.  The application time periods vary throughout the year. Scholarship opportunities will be posted to the SLHOS school page (see Graduate Application Process-->Grad Student Scholarship Application Process). Information about assistantship opportunities will be made available at the appropriate time.

Funding, Tuition and Estimated Cost

  • Financial Aid and Tuition Resources:  for information about other financial aid resources and tuition, please refer to the University of Montana Graduate School under Tuition and Funding and Graduate Cost of Attendance (COA). Additional resources, Business Services and Financial Aid
  • Estimated Program Cost:  In addition to the program cost delineated in the university tuition and fees table, students in the graduate SLP program pay an additional yearly student tuition for expenses related to accreditation requirements of intensive clinical training. The annual program-specific-tuition of approximately $7,004 per year.  This fee is divided between the fall and spring semester each year you are in the program.  The average length of the program is 2 years.  In accordance with Board of Regents standards and tuition and fees may be subject to change in a given year.