Speech-Language pathologists (SLPs) work with people of all ages who have communication and/or swallowing problems. SLPs have been educated to diagnoses, assess, and treat language, speech, social-communication, cognitive-communication, oral feeding and/or swallowing disorders, and/or hearing limitations. These problems affect how people participate in daily life with their families, friends and communities, how they learn in school and on the job, and their employment choices, options and advancement. To address these disorders, speech-language pathologists provide specialized professional services to children and adults.

  • Stimulating language and communication in children and adults may happen when someone has trouble understanding others or expressing their own ideas, thoughts and feelings to others. Language disorders are most often spoken or written, but also includes gesture and the way people use language in socially appropriate ways.
  • Intervening for speech disorders helps children and adults produce speech sounds correctly, produce speech fluently (without stuttering), or produce voice and resonance that is healthy and does not interfere with communication. 
  • Treating social-communication disorders supports people who have difficulty using communication socially, changing their own communication to be appropriate to the listeners and location, and adhering to conventions of conversation. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders and those with brain damage following head trauma are among those who may have social communication disorders. 
  • Intervening for cognitive-communication disorders address challenges people may have organizing their thinking, effectively using memory, and/or seeking solutions to daily life challenges. Individuals with brain damage from a stroke or trauma or those who have dementia may have cognitive-communication disorders.
  • Facilitating the acquisition of safe and effective feeding and swallowing disorders (dysphagia). Dysphagia may effect very young infants and anyone who has had surgery, a stroke, or physical injury.
  • Providing speech and language treatment for children and adults with hearing or auditory processing difficulties.

To practice the profession of speech-language pathology, a Master's degree is required. Professionals must also hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and in many states, must obtain a state license to practice. Nationwide, the gold standard for entry into professional practice in speech-language pathology is the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Graduates of the speech-language pathology program at Duquesne University meet all academic and clinical education requirements for the CCC. To practice in Pennsylvania, and many other states, state licensure is required. Graduates of the speech-language program at Duquesne University meet all academic and clinical education requirements and are eligible to apply for licensure to practice in Pennsylvania. Please check with individual states for their licensure requirements. Additionally, Pennsylvania requires specialized certification for speech-language pathologists working in public school settings. Graduates of the speech-language pathology program at Duquesne University meet all academic and clinical education requirements and are eligible to apply for school employment certification in Pennsylvania. Please check with individual states for their school certification requirements.

Speech-Language Pathology Program Outcomes

  • The graduate portion of the program (also known as the professional phase) is six semesters long over two calendar years. 96% of our graduates in the last three years completed the program within the expected six semesters.
  • To earn the ASHA Certification of Clinical Competence students must pass a national examination (often referred to as the ASHA Exam). Duquesne's three-year average pass rate is 100%.
  • Over the past three years, 100% of our graduates were employed in the profession within one year of graduation.

Speech-Language Pathology Curriculum

A Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree requires at least 71 credit hours:

Course Requirements

Fall Year I - 14 Credits

  • Special Topics Seminar (SLP 502)  0 cr.
  • Speech Production Disorders (SLP 505)  3 cr.
  • Assessment (SLP 510) 3 cr.
  • Language Disorders I (SLP 526)  3 cr
  • Aphasia (SLP 530)  3 cr.
  • Clinic I (SLP 540W) 2 cr.

Spring Year I - 16 Credits

  • Mentored Research Experience in SLP I (optional)  (SLP 503) 1 cr.
  • SLP 515W Research in Speech-Language Pathology (2-3 cr
  • SLP 535 Neurocognitive Disorders (3 cr)
  • SLP 536 Language Disorders II (3 cr)
  • SLP 541W Clinic II (2 cr)
  • SLP 555 Augmentative & Alternative Communication with Lab (3 cr)
  • SLP 571 Clinical Seminar in Professional Issues and Ethics (2 cr)

Summer Year I - 10-11 Credits

  • SLP 504 Mentored Research Experience in SLP II (optional) (1 cr.)
  • SLP 517 Stuttering (3 cr)
  • SLP 542 Clinic III (2 cr)
  • SLP 550 Dysphagia (3 cr)
  • SLP 573 Medical Speech-Language Pathology Seminar (2 cr)
  • SLP 700 Thesis I (optional) (1 cr)

Fall Year II - 11 Credits

  • SLP 525 Motor Speech Disorders (3 cr)
  • SLP 543 Clinic IV (4 or 5 cr)
  • SLP 554 Voice Disorders (3 cr)
  • SPL 710 Thesis II (optional) (1 cr)

Spring Year II - 11 Credits

  • SLP 520 Aural Rehabilitation (3 cr)
  • SLP 544 Clinic V (4 or 5 cr)
  • SLP 556 Craniofacial Disorders and Pediatric Oral Motor (3 cr)
  • SLP 710 Thesis II (optional) (1 cr)

Summer Year II - 8/9 Credits

  • SLP 545 Clinic VI (3 cr)
  • SLP 558 Intercultural and Global Issues in Speech-Language Pathology (2 cr)
  • SLP 559 Business Practices in Speech-Language Pathology (2 cr)
  • SLP 575 Capstone in Evidence Based Practice (1 or 2 cr)
  • SLP 720 Thesis III (optional) (1 cr)

* Completing an optional Master's Thesis will increase the credit load by 1 credit

Speech-Language Pathology Graduation Requirements

Master's Degree Level

A student who has completed 71-72 credits and all requirements in the speech-language pathology program with a minimum 3.0 cumulative graduate QPA will receive a Master of Science degree.