May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Speech-Language Pathology, M.S.

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences  
Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders 


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is devoted to the study of normal and disordered human communication. Courses and clinical practice provide the student with principles, research methods and application of knowledge about the spectrum of verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Diagnosis and remediation of communicative problems dominate the clinical component of this course of study. The Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology is structured to meet the preparation requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for the Certificate of Clinical Competence.

Accreditation and Licensure:

Accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  Pre-requisite courses are also required for state licensure and national certification in speech-language pathology.  See below for more information.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • In addition to the USF Admission Application, applicants to the Program are required to complete a CSDCAS application.
  • completion of a set of pre-requisite courses, also required for state licensure and national certification in speech-language pathology, these pre-requisite courses include:
    • SPA 3004 - Introduction to Language Development and Disorders
    • SPA 3011 - Introduction to Speech Science
    • SPA 3030 - Introduction to Hearing Sciences
    • SPA 3101 - Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
    • SPA 3112 - Applied Phonetics in Communication Disorders
    • SPA 3310 - Introduction to Disorders of Hearing
    • SPA 4104 - Neuroanatomy
  • at least a 3.20 average on a 4.00 scale in all work attempted while registered as a upper division student working for a baccalaureate degree,
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a letter of intent and resume, and
  • in accordance with our accreditation board (Council of Academic Programs in CSD) the applicant must possess and demonstrate the following Essential Functions: physical health-motor skills, intellectual skills, communication, sensory abilities, and behavior-social qualities which are necessary to achieve the knowledge and skills standards required for graduation and certification by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and also enable the student to meet graduate and professional requirements as required by state and national credentialing agencies. . Graduate student clinicians with disabilities are expected to meet the same standards and demonstrate the same essential functions as their non-disabled peers with or without reasonable accommodations. For more information, students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Students Accessibility Services at 

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours - 62 hours

  • Core – 29 credit hours
  • Practicum – 24 credit hours
  • Thesis/non-thesis – 9 credit hours

All speech-language pathology majors must complete the following:

Practicum (24 Credit Hours)

Also, students will enroll in sufficient graduate clinical practicum (24 credits) to meet a minimum of 400 clock hours to fulfill the requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Of these hours, 25 hours must be in observation and at least 250 clock hours must be in speech-language pathology.

Thesis Option (9 Credit Hours)

The number of practicum hours is adjusted from 24 hours to 21 hours to allow the thesis student to take one elective. This elective will be selected with the assistance of the thesis advisor.

Non-Thesis Option

Each student must complete an additional nine (9) hours of coursework selected with the assistance of an advisor from the electives list.


* required for students who have not had a course in aural rehabilitation at the undergraduate level

GPA and Comprehensive Exam Requirements

Also required for graduation are the attainment of a ‘B-’ or better in each graduate Speech-Language Pathology course, the attainment of clinical competence and a GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and clinical practica, and satisfactory passage of a comprehensive examination.

Suncoast Online Option

For individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and are currently working full-time in the public school system in the Suncoast District of Florida (west coast of Florida, Collier County through Hernando County) as a speech-language pathology assistant, or clinician, we offer a part-time online graduate major, which can be completed in 9 semesters. The admission and degree requirements are the same as those listed for the residential program. All academic coursework is offered online. The three electives for the non-thesis option are selected by the major and are designed to meet the unique needs of the clinician practicing in a school setting. The thesis option is not available for this track. Out of the six required clinical practicum (a total of 24 credits), four are completed on the job during the school year, one is completed on the Tampa campus or at a local externship site during the second summer, and the third summer is devoted to accruing clinical hours at a local externship site.  Applicants who meet these criteria but are working outside the Suncoast District may be considered if space is available in the online program.