Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Speech-Language Pathology

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The Master of Science (M.S.) (residential) in speech-language pathology at Nazareth University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

The mission of the Nazareth University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is to provide academic and clinical education emphasizing innovative interprofessional and equity-minded practices fostering the development of well-prepared professionals who are committed to engagement, impact, and well-being for themselves and others.

Upon completion of this program, students are eligible to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a New York State professional license. With completion of student teaching and required coursework, students are also eligible to apply for certification as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) through the New York State Education Department. 

The traditional program (for students with undergraduate degrees in communication sciences and disorders) requires a minimum of 42 credit hours of academic coursework and 9 credit hours of clinical coursework (a total of 51 minimum credit hours). TSSLD certification requires an additional 6 credit hours. If students choose to complete one of our five specialization tracks, an additional six credit hours is required. Students are admitted to the extended program when they have a degree in a field other than communication sciences and disorders. Credit hours required will vary based on students’ completed coursework and goals. Academic and clinical coursework required for both programs is described below.

Graduate students begin their clinical practicum experience in the Nazareth University on-campus clinics and community outreach programs which serve a diverse group of clients with speech, language, cognitive, and hearing disorders. Additional clinical practicum opportunities include a range of full-time experiences working with individuals across the lifespan and in a variety of settings including health-related, educational, and private agencies.

Program Director

Melissa Johnson, Ph.D. CCC-SLP
(585) 389-4412

Entry Requirements  

  1. Completed online application through the CSDCAS system including:
    • Completion of professional statements as described on the application
    • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
    • Three letters of recommendation (academic and clinical faculty recommended)
  2. By the start date of the graduate program, the applicant must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and a “B” average in the major field.

Application Deadlines:
Applications must be verified by February 1 for Fall Term admission. (NOTE: the verification process can take a few weeks and does not begin until all application components are complete and received, so it is recommended that students aim for early January for application completion).

Typical Graduate Program

In consultation with the Graduate Program Director and Graduate Practicum Coordinator, students plan and implement individualized programs to acquire and retain knowledge and skills in the competency areas outlined by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association 2020 Certification Standards.

Program Deficiencies
Students whose undergraduate preparation in Communication Sciences and Disorders did not include Nazareth required foundational prerequisites or whose performance fell below the minimum B grade requirement will be required to demonstrate competency, which may involve retaking or completing the necessary foundational prerequisite courses identified in the Extended Program section.

Program Requirements/ASHA Standards

ASHA Standard V-Skills Outcomes A, B, C, D, E, F

Clinical Coursework and Practicum

Clinical experiences are designed to develop students’ knowledge and skills in the areas outlined by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),  and in compliance with the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology standards (CAA). Every student’s clinical plan is determined in consultation with the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Practicum Coordinator, with consideration of the student’s interests and career goals. The practicum sequence is developmental in nature and is intentionally coordinated with academic coursework to support and promote clinical growth. Students must demonstrate competencies consistent with the skills expected at the graduate level to complete their clinical sequence.

By the end of the first semester of graduate study, students are required to complete at least 25 hours of clinical observation with a speech-language pathologist who holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) and who has completed at least two hours of professional development related to supervision. Continued observation of SLPs and other disciplines throughout the entire graduate program is encouraged.

Students who have completed CSD 360 and CSD 362L at the undergraduate level are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours of clinical practicum. Each clinical placement will be associated with a 1-credit,  2-credit, or a 3-credit practicum. The number of credit hours linked to each clinical placement is determined by the Graduate Practicum Coordinator, based on practicum parameters and individual student program plans. This allows students to gain credit-based clinical experience with populations across the lifespan and across disorders, inclusive of assessment and treatment, as required by CAA accreditation standards. Experience with culturally diverse populations is considered an essential component of students’ clinical education.

Students who have not completed CSD 360 and CSD 362L at the undergraduate level will be required to take 12-15 credit hours of clinical practicum, starting with a 2-credit clinical methods course (CSD 500) and a 1-credit Clinical Methods Lab (CSD 500L). The Clinical Methods Lab includes the provision of therapy to 1-2 clients over 1 semester in the on-campus clinic under the supervision of a Nazareth University clinical educator. All incoming students will be required to complete a 1-credit Initial Clinical Competency Experience (ICCE) providing therapy to 3-4 individual clients and/or small groups under the supervision of a Nazareth University clinical educator. Upon successful completion of the Initial ICCE, students will be required to complete at least 3 clinical placements (one in early intervention/preschool, one with school-aged children, and one with adults). Students completing the Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities credential (TSSLD) will be required to take an additional 3-credit student teaching clinical experience.

Participation in clinical practicum experiences requires that graduate students demonstrate the knowledge and skills, professional and ethical behaviors, and essential functions necessary to ensure the welfare of the clients.  Students should be familiar with the documents below that outline these standards:


Clinical Warning

Policy: Students may be placed on clinical warning at the end of a clinical practicum if the student demonstrates either or both of the following: 

  1. Inability to carry out the clinical activities including the Essential Functions and Professional Skills without ongoing direct supervision. 
  2. Failure to demonstrate appropriate level of clinical competency and professional growth/development expected at the graduate level.


  1. A student who is placed on clinical warning must meet with the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Practicum Coordinator in order to develop a remediation plan.  Together, the faculty and student will develop a plan to address areas of concern in order to promote success. 
  2. The student will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding detailing the expectations for successfully meeting this plan.  
  3. If a student’s performance remains unsatisfactory in any subsequent term, they may be dismissed from the program.

ASHA Standard IVB

ASHA Standard IVC

Students must complete at least 13 3-credit academic courses and three 1-credit special topics courses (42 credits) including required and elective coursework. Courses may not meet multiple requirements. Students who complete a specialization (see below) will take an additional six credits, but will only be required to take one 1-credit course (CSD 598).

ASHA Standards IVE and IVG


Students complete 9 elective credits, determined in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Courses used to fulfill electives cannot also be used to fulfill other requirements. Elective course options include:

Extended Program

Students admitted with undergraduate preparation in areas other than speech-language pathology will be required to complete the Extended Graduate Program. This is in accordance with the minimum 75 semester hours required by ASHA for certification. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in all foundational courses in order to continue in the program. Permission to repeat a foundational course may be granted on a case-by-case basis. The extended program includes the following foundational courses or their equivalents:

  1. 15 credit hours in Basic Communication Processes including: CSD 132 Speech-Language Acquisition; CSD 201 Phonetics; CSD 231 Anatomy of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism; CSD 232 Speech Science; CSD 252 Psycholinguistics. See Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions. (When available, CSD 504 Language Acquisition may be taken to fulfill CSD 132 and 252.) See Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions.
  2. 15 credit hours in Methodology and Practice: CSD 333 Speech Pathology I; CSD 335 Methods of Speech-Language Evaluation; CSD 437 Hearing Problems and Testing; CSD 438 Aural Rehabilitation; CSD 500 and CSD 500L Methods of Speech-Language Therapy and Lab. See Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Prerequisite Course Requirements

All students enrolled in the graduate program must have transcript credit (which could include coursework, advanced placement, CLEP or other examinations of equivalency) for each of the following areas:

(1) biological sciences (Biology);

(2) physical sciences (Physics or Chemistry);

(3) statistics;

(4) social-behavioral sciences.

Additional Credentials and Specializations

Teacher Certification

Students who wish to pursue Initial Teacher Certification for Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) at the graduate level are required to complete the following prerequisite courses:

  • SPF 204 History and Philosophy of Education
  • PSY 221 Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence or equivalent
  • EDU 583 Health Education/Child Abuse/Violence Prevention and Intervention Workshop 
  • EDU 593 Harassment, Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Discrimination in Schools: Prevention and Intervention (DASA Training) 
  • CSD 565 Student Teaching for Speech-Language Pathology 
  • CSD 568 Speech-Language Services in the Schools *

*Note: CSD 568 is a strongly recommended elective for all students.

NYS Teacher Certification Tests & Applying for Teacher Certification through New York State
Teacher candidates use the NYS TEACH system to apply for Initial and Professional certifications and need to pay the fees in effect at the time they apply. New York requires all teacher candidates to have a fingerprint/background check on file with TEACH, pass all appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations, www.nystce.nesinc.com, and have the appropriate years of teaching experience. New York State Education Department maintains a website with certification requirements: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/

For Professional Certification the teacher candidate will need to pass the Speech-Language Pathology PRAXIS II Examination.

During a teacher candidate’s final semester, information on the certification application process will be sent via email. Additional support may be obtained by contacting Nazareth University Teacher Certification Office at (585) 389-2592 or by email tcert@naz.edu, or naz.edu/education/teacher-certification


Deafness Specialization

The Deafness Specialty Program prepares speech-language pathologists to work with families and children to promote their speech, language, and listening skills, and maximize their potential for academic and social success. Graduate students in the program learn to work with individuals from birth through young adulthood who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as with families, teachers, and service providers, after completing a three-course sequence. They are prepared to work with a diverse population of children who are deaf or hard of hearing who may use hearing aids or cochlear implants and who may use a range of communication options including listening and spoken language, Cued Speech, and American Sign Language. Details can be found at the following link: https://www2.naz.edu/dsp.

Deafness Specialty Courses (DPS)

Autism Specialization (I-SPAN)

The Interdisciplinary Specialty Program in Autism (I-SPAN) is a graduate-level program that prepares professionals to work with individuals on the autism spectrum across the lifespan. It consists of a three-course sequence that examines contemporary topics related to best practice in person-centered support of individuals on the autism spectrum in multiple settings. I-SPAN is open to graduate-level matriculated students in a variety of disciplines, including speech-language pathology, education, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nursing. More information is available at the following link: https://www2.naz.edu/academics/grad/interdisciplinary-autism-program.

Autism Specialty Courses (I-SPAN)

Medical Specialization

The Medical Specialization prepares speech-language pathology graduate students to work with patients, clients, and families in medical settings across the continuum of care and across the lifespan. The Medical Specialization consists of a four-course sequence exposing students to evidence-based best practice in person-centered care, preparing them for entry-level work in a range of healthcare settings. Coursework is paired with relevant experiential learning and clinical opportunities, both on campus and off-site at medical settings in the greater Rochester area. A variety of topics are explored including, but not limited to aphasia, right hemisphere brain damage, motor speech disorders, dysphagia, and cognitive-communication disorders associated with acquired brain injury, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Students will be required to take the courses listed below. 

Note: All students in the M.S. program are required to take CSD 535 or CSD 579, but medical specialization students will take both of these, as well as two additional courses focused on medical speech-language pathology (one of these supplemental courses counts as an elective within the traditional MS program; the other two are in addition to the requirements of the traditional MS program).

Medical Specialization Courses

Early Intervention Specialization

The Rochester Scholars for Early Intervention (RISE) is an interprofessional specialization (track) to develop specialty knowledge and skills in early intervention to be a strong advocate for young children and their families. RISE interprofessionally prepares graduate students to advocate for change, to work with families in culturally responsive and trauma-informed ways, and to promote the overall development and well-being of young children (0-8 years), and children with different abilities. The RISE experience includes coordinated fieldwork; stackable one-credit, self-paced courses developed by field experts; and a final capstone experience mentored by a community partner.

Early Intervention Specialization Courses

Students choose three of the following six options

  • INEC 500*70 Playful Learning: Integrating STEAM and Media
  • INEC 500*71 Equity-Focused Consulting and Coaching in Childcare Settings
  • INEC 500*72 Trauma-Informed Practices in Early Childhood
  • INEC 500*73 Family Partnerships in Early Intervention
  • INEC 500*74 Intervention Models in Developmental Services
  • INEC 500*75 Exploring Early Literacy: Foundations and Equity






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