• OVERVIEW
  • ADMISSION
    INFORMATION
  • COURSE
    STUDY
  • AWARDS
  • GRADUATES'
    PERFORMANCE

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MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SPEECH & HEARING SCIENCES

WSU's Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences program offers unique clinical and research experience, with opportunities to work with well-known scholars on current research. You will gain practical experience in many clinical and educational settings such as (but not limited to) working with:

  • Preschool-age children with developmental disabilities
  • School-age children
  • College-age students with learning disabilities
  • Adults with neurological disorders

Our low student/faculty ratio ensures individual attention, close supervision, and academic innovation.

Overview of Academic Program

Academic course work and clinical practicum offerings prepare students to become professional personnel capable of meeting the diagnostic and therapy needs of individuals of all ages evidencing a wide variety of speech, language, learning, and hearing problems.

View our program's mission, objectives and outcomes (pdf) »

Students are prepared as speech-language pathologists to provide direct and consultative services in educational and medical settings. The course of study emphasizes physiological, behavioral, neurological, and psychological dimensions of normal development, fundamental communication processes, and disorders of communication.

By applying science and research to clinical practice, graduate students develop proficiency in reasoning and problem-solving relative to clinical principles and procedures in diagnosis and treatment. The academic teaching and learning philosophy is student-centered, research-based, and writing intensive.

Schedule

Full-time students typically complete the program in approximately two years, carrying an average of 12 to 16 credit hours per semester.

Course work is offered on a special "block" schedule that allows students to complete the three terms of course work within a two-semester academic year.

Master's degree candidates are strongly urged to consider summer enrollment when planning graduate programs, to accelerate progress toward completion of the program.

On- and off-campus clinical practicum and internships are available during summer session, as are selected core curriculum and enrichment classes.

Resident/nonresident tuition differential is much smaller during summer session than during the academic year.

Program Accreditation

The master's (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology at Washington State University is accredited nationally by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Blvd. #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071. It also is recognized at the state level by the Washington State Board of Education.

Program Strengths

  • The Department’s speech-language pathology master’s program ranked 62nd out of 229 programs ranked nationwide by U.S. News and World Report.
  • The percentage of our master's graduates passing the national certifying examination (Praxis) and their median score have exceeded the national average in all years since we began tracking this benchmark. The most recent data (2009–2010) reveal that 100% of our graduate students who took the Praxis exam passed with a median score of 710, exceeding the national median of 680 and the national pass rate of 92%.
  • Virtually 100% of our SLP master's graduates are gainfully employed in clinical fellowship (CF) positions following graduation.
  • One hundred percent of our SLP students who enter the graduate program with a bachelor's degree in the discipline graduate with their master's degree within four semesters and one summer.

Speech & Hearing Sciences Faculty

Faculty members in speech and hearing sciences hold graduate degrees from major universities throughout North America. Our faculty are committed to integrating a solid foundational knowledge base with the most current research findings in the field. Active involvement in research enriches the learning environment and allows students to be part of the dynamic processes of discovery and innovation. Visit the faculty directory for more information on faculty research, teaching and community involvement.

ADMISSION INFORMATION

Requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences degree program at WSU Spokane conform with requirements of the WSU Graduate School.

Prospective students must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university*
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for last 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of coursework
  • GRE scores

*If your bachelor’s degree is not in Speech and Hearing Sciences or Communication Disorders, or if you have not taken the undergraduate required courses, you will be required to complete the postbaccalaureate sequence of courses.

COURSE OF STUDY

Students should plan their entire program in consultation with a faculty advisor prior to their first semester.

To be accepted into the graduate program, students must have earned a bachelor's degree in the field of speech language pathology or communication disorders or have met the undergraduate prerequisites.

The postbaccalaureate program, a specialized one-year course sequence, allows a student with a bachelor's degree in another field to prepare for entry to the master's degree program in Speech and Hearing Sciences.

Course requirements

  • SHS 501: Research Methods
  • SHS 540: Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
  • SHS 542: Infant and Toddler Communication and Language
  • SHS 543: School-Age and Adolescent Language
  • SHS 545 Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • SHS 556: Problems in Stuttering
  • SHS 557: Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Disorders
  • SHS 562: Motor Speech Disorders
  • SHS 563: Dysphagia
  • SHS 565: Augmentative Communication
  • SHS 566: Off-Campus Practicum Public Schools
  • SHS 568: Off-Campus Practicum Clinical Setting
  • SHS 570: Advanced Internship
  • SHS 574: Neuropathologies of Language
  • SHS 575: Advanced Clinical Practice
  • SHS 576: Voice Disorders
  • SHS 580: Advanced Diagnostics
  • SHS 588: Phonological Acquisition and Behavior
  • SHS 700/702: Master's Research, Thesis and/or Examination or Master's Special Problems, Directed Study and/or Examination

COURSE DESCRIPTION

SHS 501 Research Methods (3 credits)
Philosophy of research, types of literature; experimental and descriptive designs; application of statistics; analysis of statistical results.

SHS 540 Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders (1 credit)
Interdisciplinary approach to assessment and treatment. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 542 Infant and Toddler Communication and Language (3 credits)
Typical development of communication and language in the birth to 5 year-old population; impairments affecting development; disorders; assessment; intervention. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 543 School Age and Adolescent Language (3 credits)
Language development in typically developing and language impaired school age and adolescent students; disorder types; implications for assessment and intervention. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 545 Autism Spectrum Disorder (2 credits)
Overview of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD); current research regarding identification, diagnosis, intervention, and educational programming for this population. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 556 Problems in Stuttering (2 credits)
Historical and current literature; problem-solving strategies applied to theoretical and clinical problems in stuttering. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 557 Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Disorders (2 credits)
Speech and voice problems associated with clefts of the lip and palate. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 560 Special Topics in Speech and Hearing Sciences (variable, 1-3 credits)
May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Advanced study of specialized topics in speech and hearing sciences. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 562 Motor Speech Disorders (3 credits)
SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed. Underlying processes of neuromuscular control and feedback; results of damage and disease on neuromotor system.

SHS 563 Dysphagia (3 credits)
Anatomy and physiology of swallowing; evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 565 Augmentative Communication (3 credits)
Augmentative communication theory; implementation, training strategies, ongoing adjustments, and evaluating effectiveness. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 566 Off-Campus Practicum Public School Setting (variable, 2 [0-6] to 6 [0-18] credits). May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 15 hours. Prereq SHS 575; by interview only. Advanced clinical practice in a public school setting; evaluation and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 568 Off-campus Practicum Clinical Setting (variable, 2 [0-6] to 6 [0-18] credits)
May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 15 hours. Prereq by interview only. Advanced clinical practice in an off-campus clinical/medical setting; evaluation and treatment of speech, language and hearing disorders.

SHS 570 Advanced Internship in Speech-Language Pathology (variable, 1 [0-3] to 18 [0-54] credits) May be repeated for credit. Prereq SHS 566, 575, by interview only. Advanced practicum in diagnosis of and therapy for communication disorders. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed. S, F grading.

SHS 574 Neuropathologies of Language (3 credits)
Advanced study of language disorders resulting from brain insult after birth; emphasis on aphasia and related disorders. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 575 Advanced Clinical Practice (variable, 2 [0-6] to 6 [0-18] credits)
May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 15 hours. Prereq by interview only. Advanced clinical practice in evaluation and treatment of speech, language, and hearing disorders. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 576 Voice Disorders (2 credits)
Functional and organic voice disorders resulting from various etiologies. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 580 Advanced Diagnostics (2 credits)
May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Analysis and synthesis of critical case information and differential diagnosis of communication disorders; review and application of standardized assessment tools; development of treatment objectives and outcomes from data. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 582 Clinical Perspectives (3 credits)
Theory and clinical experience designed to assist students in integrating course work into a clinical perspective. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 588 Phonological Acquisition and Behavior (3 credits)
Current literature in articulatory development and deviancy; diagnosis and therapy. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 590 Special Topics in Speech and Hearing Sciences (variable, 1-3 credits) May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Advanced study of specialized topics in speech and hearing sciences. SHS graduate student; all undergraduate prerequisite courses completed.

SHS 600 Special Projects or Independent Study (variable, 1-18 credits) May be repeated for credit. S, F grading.

SHS 700 Master's Research, Thesis, and/or Examination (variable, 1 [0-3] to 18 [0-54] credits) May be repeated for credit. S, F grading.

SHS 702 Master's Special Problems, Directed Study, and/or Examination (variable, 1 [0-3] to 18 [0-54] May be repeated for credit. S, F grading.

AWARDS

Outstanding Graduate Student Commencement Award Recipients

  • 2014: Erin Sebring
  • 2013: Mackenzie Lauber
  • 2012: Aimee Stormo
  • 2011: Rachel Moore
  • 2010: Elise Benadom
  • 2007: Tiffany Broaddus, Emily Fuller
  • 2006: Dana Choi
  • 2005: Maya Hawkins, Jowan Lee
  • 2004: Andrea Brown
  • 2003: Courtney Christensen
  • 2002: Jonell M. Block
  • 2001: Wendy Montgomery
  • 2000: Shelley L. Baldwin
  • 1999: Teresa Brown DiPasquale
  • 1998: Robin MacDonald
  • 1997: Ray Ann M. Fleming
  • 1996: Walter F. Horan III

Lynn Larrigan Clinical Excellence Award Recipients

  • 2014: McKenzie Childs
  • 2013: Shana Bailey
  • 2012: Breanna Hansen
  • 2011: Bethany Kelley

FACT SHEET

Employment Rate in Profession within One Year of Graduation

Year # of Graduates % Graduates
2012/13
28
96
2011/12
23
100
2010/11
20
100

 

Praxis Examination Pass Rate Data for Program Graduates

Period # Taking Exam # Passed Pass Rate (%)
2012/13
17
17
100
2011/12
16
16
100
2010/11
13
13
100
3 yr avg:
100

 

Program Completion Rate


Period
# Completed within
Expected Time
% Completed within
Expected Time
2012/13
28
100
2011/12
21
100
2010/11
22
100
3 yr avg
24
100

CONTACT US

Doug Stephens
Graduate Program Coordinator
509-358-7602
stephend@wsu.edu