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 pathology 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

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences- 121 Credits

Pre-Professional Phase

Bridges Common Learning Experience- 22 Credits

  • Writing & Analysis (BRDG 101) 3 cr.
  • Writing & Literature (BRDG 102) 3 cr.
  • IPE Health Research Skills (BRDG 103) 1 cr.
  • Introduction to Ethical Reasoning (BRDG 105) 3 cr.
  • Essential Questions (EQ XXX) 3 cr.
  • PHIL-coded course 3 cr.
  • THEO-coded course 3 cr.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving 3 cr.

Science, Math & Humanities- 27 Credits

  • Introduction to Life Processes/Lab (BIOL 101/101L) 4/0 cr.
  • Anatomy & Physiology I/Lab (BIOL 207/208) 3/1 cr.
  • Health Care Ethics (HCE 255, PHIL 252, THEO 253) 3 cr.
  • Introduction to Biostatistics (MATH 225) 3 cr.
  • Biostatistics II (MATH 335) 3 cr.
  • Physics for Life Sciences I/Lab (PHYS 201/L 3/1 cr.
  • Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 101) 3 cr.
  • Developmental Psychology: Childhood & Adolescence (PSYC 225W) 3 cr.

Communication & Education- 9 Credits

  • Intercultural Communication (COMM 407) 3 cr.
  • Exploring Inclusive Practices (GSPE 501) 3 cr.
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (GSPE 603) 3 cr.

RSHS Courses- 34 Credits

  • Introduction to Communication Sciences & Disorders (SLP 101) 3 cr.
  • Speech and Language Development (SLP 205W) 3 cr.
  • Anatomy & Physiology of Speech & Hearing (SLP 250) 3 cr.
  • Speech Science (SLP 310) 3 cr.
  • Introduction to Audiology (SLP 313) 3 cr.
  • Phonetics (SLP 320) 3 cr.
  • Clinical Procedures & Observation in SLP (SLP 350) 3 cr.
  • Neuroscience (HLTS 403) 4 cr.
  • Required Open Elective 3 cr.
  • Required Open Elective 3 cr.
  • Required Open Elective 3 cr.
Professional Phase

Fall of 4th Year- 14 Credits

  • Counseling (SLP 501) 2 cr.
  • Special Topics Seminar (SLP 502) 0 cr.
  • Speech Production Disorders (SLP 505) 3 cr.
  • Assessment (SLP 510) 3 cr.
  • Developmental Language Disorders & Austism I (SLP 526) 3 cr.
  • Acquired Lanauge Disorders (SLP 530) 3 cr.
  • Clinic I (SLP 540W) 2 cr.

Spring of 4th Year- 16 Credits

  • Stuttering (SLP 517) 3 cr. 
  • Neurocognitive Disorders (SLP 535) 3 cr.
  • Developmental Language Disorders & Austism I (SLP 526) 3 cr.
  • Clinic II (SLP 541W) 2 cr.
  • Dysphagia (SLP 550) 3 cr.
  • Clinical Seminar in Professional Issues & Ethics (SLP 571) 2 cr.

Summer of 4th Year- 10/11 Credits

  • Research in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP 515W) 3 cr.
  • Clinic III (SLP 542) 2 cr.
  • Augmentative & Alternative Communication with Lab (SLP 555) 3 cr.
  • Medical Speech-Language Pathology Seminar (SLP 573) 2 cr.
  • Thesis I (optional) (SLP 700) 1 cr. 

Fall of 5th Year- 11/12 Credits

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

Spring of 5th Year- 11/12 Credits

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

Summer of 5th Year- 8/9/10 Credits

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

Speech-Language Pathology Graduation Requirements

Entry-Level Master's Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences

An undergraduate student in the entry-level doctoral degree program who has completed all requirements with the minimum 3.0 cumulative Duquesne University GPA will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree. A student who has already earned a bachelor’s degree will not be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree but will work directly toward the doctoral degree.

Master of Science

A student who has completed all requirements with a minimum 3.0 cumulative professional phase GPA and successfully completed all clinical education requirements will receive a Master of Science degree.

Certification & Licensure

In order to practice in the United States, speech-language pathologists must typically hold national certification in the form of the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The CCC will be awarded by ASHA (ASHA Membership & Certification) following completion of academic and clinical education, completion of a nine-month full-time clinical fellowship, and receipt of a passing score on the national examination in speech-language pathology (Praxis Speech-Language Pathology 5331 exam by the Educational Testing Service, ETS). Speech-Language Pathology students may sit for their examination at a testing time preceding or after graduation. Additionally, most states require that speech-language pathologists are licensed, certified, or registered according to state law. Students are responsible for contacting the appropriate state professional practice boards for additional information and applications. In Pennsylvania, contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

In order to work in public schools, most states require speech-language pathologists to hold state Board of Education certification in their area of specialization. In Pennsylvania, individuals wishing to work in the public school system must earn a degree from a Department of Education approved program, pass the Praxis Speech-Language Pathology exam (0331) by ETS, and, depending on which certificate is sought, may need to take additional examinations. The Department maintains listings of these potentially required examinations. The Speech-Language Pathology program at Duquesne University is a state-approved program.