For full-time students in Speech-Language Pathology, the program duration is usually six to nine semesters. The actual duration of any student’s program will depend, in part, on the student’s undergraduate background in Communication Disorders. Full-time enrollment is required for at least the first five semesters. The program duration for the Doctor of Audiology program is 11 to 12 semesters. Upon graduation from either program, a student will have completed the appropriate academic and clinical practicum requirements for State licensure and certification by ASHA.
A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required; however, the undergraduate degree does not have to be in communication disorders. Transcripts must show successful completion of courses in psychology or social sciences, natural or physical sciences, biological sciences, and statistics, as this is required for ASHA certification. Limited deficits may be corrected during the graduate program.
For admission into the Department of Communication Disorders, Speech-Language Pathology applicants are required to submit certified scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within five years of the application deadline. An applicant must have a combined GRE of 297 (verbal + quantitative) and an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to be considered for admission. Three letters of recommendation are also required. Admission to the program is competitive. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission. The admissions committees will convert the GRE and GPA to z-scores and the applicant will be rank-ordered based on this conversion. Letters of recommendation and the applicant’s Statement of Intent will be used to adjust the rank-order as appropriate. The committees select applicants who are considered most qualified for the study and practice of audiology, and speech-language pathology. The Department of Communication Disorders, in accordance with LSUHSC policy, gives preference to applicants who are residents of Louisiana.
For Speech-Language Pathology, graduate credit earned at another accredited institution must be petitioned for consideration following admission to the program. Up to 9 credits from an accredited graduate training program may be transferred. There is no automatic transfer of credit towards a graduate degree; transfer credit is subject to the approval of the Review Committee and Department Head/Program Director. Residence work completed at another school may be accepted for not more than nine semester hours of credit toward the minimum requirement of 36 semester credit hours (IIA). Transfer credit will not be approved for any course with a grade of C or lower. Graduate credit is never accepted for courses taken by correspondence or on a pass/fail basis.
Types of Admission
Students selected for admission to the Department of Communication Disorders are granted regular admission. With the approval of the Department Head/Program Director, students not seeking a degree, but who wish to take coursework, may be granted special student status. Special students are not permitted to enroll in clinical practicum; other restrictions also apply. Special students who want full admission must compete in the normal admissions process.
A student will be admitted to either the program in speech-language pathology or audiology. A student may not change programs without the approval of the Department Head. Special student status may never be used to bypass the admissions process to the Speech-Language Pathology MCD program. No more than 9 hours of credit earned as a Special Student may be counted toward the degree following regular admission to the program.
Method of Application
Application is made by completing an application form available from the Office of Student Affairs, paying the application fee, and submitting additional required information to the Admissions Committee. This includes the following
- Three letters of recommendation
- Three official transcripts of all undergraduate work and previous graduate work from accredited colleges and universities
- Evidence of previous undergraduate practicum experi-ence that adheres to ASHA guidelines. Include observation experience
- Certified scores from the Graduate Record Examination
- A brief essay explaining why the student is interested in a career in audiology or speech language pathology
Applications must be post marked by January 15. Speech-language pathology students, begin during the Summer semester.
Notification of action taken by the Admissions Committee will be available to all applicants no later than eight weeks after the deadline for application. Registration and payment of all LSU System fees will be completed at the School of Allied Health Professions at the beginning of each semester or term. Note: See “GENERAL ADMISSION POLICIES” of the School for further requirements and procedures relating to admissions.
Technical standards are the non-academic standards that a student must evidence to complete the SLP program. If you are uncertain about your abilities to meet these technical standards, consult the Admission Chair for further information and to discuss your individual situation.
A student in the SLP program must possess sufficient visual and auditory skills as well as skills of observation to evaluate, interpret, and treat communication deficits effectively. These skills include the ability to
- Identify deviant articulation
- Recognize abnormal voice characteristics
- Identify characteristics of dysfluency
- Recognize oral and written language disorders in the areas of semantics, pragmatics, syntax, morphology, and phonology
- Read and comprehend text, numbers, tables, and graphs
Motor and Mobility Skills
A student must possess adequate motor and mobility skills to
- Manipulate testing and treatment materials.
- Perform moderately taxing continuous physical work. This work may require prolonged sitting and/or standing.
- Use a computer keyboard to operate laboratory instruments.
- Access transportation to all clinical and academic placements.
A student must possess adequate communication skills to
- Communicate professionally and effectively with individuals and groups (i.e., faculty members, fellow students, staff, clients, and other health care professionals).
- Communicate professionally and effectively in recorded format (writing [e.g., SOAP notes, diagnostic and treatment reports], typing, graphics, and/or telecommunication).
- Demonstrate proficiency in English for both oral and written communication.
A student must possess adequate behavioral skills to
- Manage the use of time effectively and systematize actions to complete professional and technical tasks within realistic constraints.
- Demonstrate the emotional health necessary to apply knowledge effectively and to exercise appropriate judgment.
- Be flexible and creative in order to adapt to professional and technical change and function in new and stressful environments (e.g., provide co-treatment in noisy area, conduct testing or treatment in a hospital ward, deal with client temper tantrums, and provide quick turn-around for diagnostic results).
- Recognize potentially hazardous situations and proceed safely to minimize risk of injury to clients, self, and nearby individuals.
- Support and promote the activities of fellow students and of health care professionals in an effort to facilitate a team approach to learning, task completion, problem solving, and patient care.
- Demonstrate honesty, compassion, ethics, and responsibility, upholding the ASHA Code of Ethics, and the LSUHSC School of Allied Health Professions’ Code of Academic Conduct.
- Show respect for individuals with disabilities and for individuals of different age, ethnic background, race, religion, and/or sexual orientation.
Statement of Satisfactory Academic Progress
See standards for the SAHP graduate professional scholastic requirements listed elsewhere in this publication. In addition to these general requirements, the Department of Communication Disorders has the following requirements.
- The student must satisfactorily complete all requirements for graduation in not more than four calendar years. This requirement may be waived only under extreme circumstances. A written request must be made through the Department Head, for approval by the Dean.
- A grade of C or lower in clinical practicum (6702, 6704. 6706, 6708, 6710) is considered unsatisfactory and will result in clinical probation. A student who receives a grade of C or lower will be allowed to enroll in clinical practicum for one semester during which the student may be required to follow specialized remedial procedures. Continuation in the program following an additional C in clinical practicum (consecutive or non-consecutive) must be approved by the Department Head/Program Director. If the student’s clinical practicum grade falls below C, clinic hours accumulated for that semester will not be counted toward the clinic hours required for ASHA certification in accordance with ASHA guidelines.
- Students’ academic progress will be reviewed by the Review Committee of the Department of Communication Disorders each semester. The names of those students who have not achieved satisfactory progress for two or more semesters will be forwarded to the Director of Financial Aid for appropriate action. Appeals may be made in accordance with procedures set forth in the section of this catalog/bulletin entitled, “Student Academic Appeals.”
Academic and Employment Workloads
The usual full-time academic load in the Department is 9 to 14 semester hours during Fall and Spring semesters; and 6 to 9 during the Summer semester. Students with outside commitments may not be able to enroll full-time. It is the responsibility of the student to be available for classes, clinical practicum, and other scheduled activities that may occur anytime from 7:30 AM to 9 PM Monday through Friday and, occasionally, on the weekend or during semester breaks. Activities may include attendance at professional conferences or seminars.
The field of Speech-Language Pathology is highly complex and rapidly changing fields. As such, there is a great need for a strong basic research foundation upon which clinical practice can be established. In addition, applied research is needed to evaluate and improve clinical practices.
The Department of Communication Disorders has a thesis option to help address the need for basic and applied research. The thesis option allows interested students to develop their research skills through a project that culminates in an original contribution to the scientific literature that is of publishable quality. Students who plan to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) should consider the thesis option, as many doctoral programs require a thesis or its equivalent. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Department Head or Program Director early in their course of study to discuss the possibility of pursuing the thesis option.
Students With Disabilities
Students with disabilities who require accommodations should check with the Department Head or Program Director early for information about departmental and SAHP procedures.
Each student is expected to be knowledgeable about the departmental regulations and requirements for the MCD degree in Speech-Language Pathology. The Department will determine the duration and content of each student’s program. All courses are graded by letter grade unless noted.
Licensure and Certification Requirements
Students must satisfy all applicable academic and clinical requirements for state licensure and ASHA certification prior to graduation.
These represent the minimum course work requirements for the MCD degree assuming the student has sufficient coursework elsewhere to satisfy licensure and certification requirements. A student’s program of study may require the student to exceed these minimum requirements.
- Minimum of 42 semester credit hours at LSUHSC; A maximum of six semester hours of credit in independent study courses may be applied to the requirement
- Minimum of 30 semester credit hours of professional coursework in the major area of concentration with at least 24 taken in the Department
- Required coursework specified by the Department
- Coursework as specified on the student’s individual plan of study
Clinical Practicum Requirements
- Minimum enrollment requirements for clinical practicum have been established for each program. SLP requires a minimum of 5 semesters of enrollment in clinical practicum. Audiology requires clinical enrollment each semester
- Academic credit for clinical practicum cannot be applied to the minimum requirement of 36 semester credit hours (IIA) in speech or to the 82 core curriculum academic hours in audiology
- Speech-language pathology students must complete 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of Speech-Language Pathology (25 hours of observation and 375 in direct patient management). 325 of the 400 must be completed while engaged in graduate study in a program accredited by the CAA. A maximum of 50 clock hours accumulated at the undergraduate level may be applied to the minimum 400 clock hours required by ASHA, subject to approval by the Department Head/Program Director.
Students are required to complete a comprehensive examination in Speech Language Pathology. Students must also register for and complete the PRAXIS.
In the event that any of these requirements has not been met, graduation may be delayed.