For full-time students in Speech-Language Pathology, the program duration is usually six 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 all six semesters. Upon graduation from the program, a student will have completed the appropriate academic and clinical practicum requirements for state licensure and certification by ASHA.
Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from an accredited university. Those with an undergraduate degree in another field are eligible if they have completed the necessary prerequisite coursework including:
- Clinical Phonetics
- Language Acquisition
- Survey of Communication Disorders
- Speech Science/Acoustics
- Introduction to Audiology
In addition, transcripts must show successful completion of courses in psychology or social sciences, physical sciences, biological sciences, and statistics (as required by ASHA certification).
For admission into the Department of Communication Disorders, Speech-Language Pathology applicants must complete an application through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Services (CSDCAS). An applicant must have a combined GRE of 296 (verbal + quantitative), a written/analytical score of no less than 3.0, and an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to be considered for admission. Three letters of recommendation are required and an interview may be required. Admission to the program is competitive. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission. Letters of recommendations, interview, and the applicant’s Statement of Intent will be reviewed and considered in the decision making process. 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.
In addition to demonstrated academic ability and other relevant admissions criteria, the LSU Health Sciences Center, School of Allied Health Professions program in communication disorders expects all applicants to and students of the program to possess and be able to demonstrate the skills, attributes and qualities set forth below, without unreasonable dependence on technology or intermediaries. If you are uncertain about your abilities to meet these technical standards, please consult with the Admissions Chair to discuss your individual situation.
Physical Health: The student must possess the physical health and stamina needed to carry out the program of communication disorders.
Intellectual Skills: The student must have sufficient powers of intellect to acquire, assimilate, integrate and apply information. The student must have the intellectual ability to solve problems and the ability to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships.
Motor Skills: The student must have sufficient use of motor skills to carry out all necessary procedures for communication disorders, both those involved in learning the fundamental sciences and those required in the clinical environment. This includes the ability: (1) to participate in relevant educational exercises and to extract information from written sources; (2) use a computer keyboard to operate laboratory equipment, (3) access transportation to all clinical and academic placements, and (4) ability to physically handle individual with a variety of physical and behavioral challenges.
Communication: The communication disorders student must have sufficient use of the sense of speech, hearing and vision to communicate effectively with patients, faculty, staff, peers and other health care professionals in both oral and written form, e.g. SOAP notes, diagnostic reports.
Sensory Abilities: The student must have sufficient use of the sense of vision, hearing, touch and smell to observe effectively in the classroom, laboratory and clinical setting. Students must possess the ability to observe both close at hand and at a distance.
Behavioral Qualities: The student must possess emotional health sufficient to carry out the tasks above, must have good judgment and must behave in a professional, reliable, mature and responsible manner. The student must be adaptable, possessing sufficient flexibility to function in the new and stressful environments. The student must be able to critically evaluate her/his own performance, be forthright about errors, accept constructive criticism, and looks for ways to improve. The student must show respect for individuals of different age, ethnic background, religion, and/or sexual orientation. The student must exhibit professional behavior by conforming to appropriate standards of dress, appearance, language and public behavior. The student must uphold the Code of Ethics of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the code of Academic Conduct of the LSU Health Science Center’s School of Allied Health Professions. Each student must continue to meet all of the TECHNICAL STANDARDS set forth above. A student may be denied permission to continue in the communication disorders program at the LSU Health Sciences Center should the student fail at any time to demonstrate ALL of the required TECHNICAL STANDARDS.
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.
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.
Method of Application
Application is made through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS) online. This includes the following
- Three letters of recommendation
- One official transcript of all undergraduate work and previous graduate work from accredited colleges and universities
- Evidence of previous undergraduate practicum experience 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
- An interview will be required prior to admission to the speech language pathology program
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 the 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. See “GENERAL ADMISSION POLICIES” of the School for further requirements and procedures relating to admissions.