Online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology Curriculum

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Coursework for an online master’s degree in speech-language pathology covers topics such as the evaluation and treatment of speech and language, feeding and swallowing, cognitive, and social pragmatic disorders.

If you want to pursue a rewarding role helping patients overcome these and other related issues to develop, retain, or rebuild their communication skills and participate more fully in society, you may be interested in a career as a speech-language pathologist. To reach that goal, you’ll need to earn a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, which means you’ll need to complete a prerequisite credential such as a bachelor’s or professional certificate in communication sciences and disorders.

When you earn your master’s in speech-language pathology, you’ll have the opportunity to prepare for professional licensure by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). We’re focused on getting you career ready. That’s why we designed our program based on ASHA’s Big 9 areas of expected competencies: articulation, fluency, voice and resonance, receptive and expressive language, hearing, swallowing, cognitive aspects of communication, social aspects of communication, and communication modalities.

With these skills, you can pursue a career in the booming field of speech-language pathology and prepare to work in a number of environments, including hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, early intervention centers, and home health.

Maryville University online M.S. in
Speech-Language Pathology

Maryville’s online speech-language pathology master’s degree is a career-focused graduate credential designed to prepare you for success in the field through the expected student competencies outlined by ASHA. The program comprises 57 credit hours across 19 courses designed to help you build knowledge, master key skills, and broaden your understanding of voice, speech, language, fluency, swallowing, hearing disorders, cognitive, social pragmatic, and communication modalities.

Through coursework, real-world experiences, and practical simulated exercises, you’ll have the chance to evaluate, treat, and prevent speech and language disorders, practice ethical and compassionate treatment, and advance your clinical assessment and intervention skills.

Please note that the master’s in speech-language pathology program is intended for students who have completed a relevant bachelor’s or certificate program or the prerequisite coursework.

Didactic Courses (36 credit hours)

SPLP 510Speech Sound Disorders3 Credits
SPLP 520Assessment and Differential Diagnosis3 Credits
SPLP 530Acquired Disorders of Language and Cognition3 Credits
SPLP 550Language Disorders in Children3 Credits
SPLP 560Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice3 Credits
SPLP 570Motor Speech Disorders3 Credits
SPLP 590Language and Literacy for Speech Language Pathology3 Credits
SPLP 595Voice & Fluency Disorders3 Credits
SPLP 600Augmentative and Alternative Communication2 Credits
SPLP 610Professional Issues I: Ethics and Standards1 Credit
SPLP 620Dysphagia3 Credits
SPLP 630Special Populations: Autism and Craniofacial Anomalies3 Credits
SPLP 650 Professional Issues II: Ethics and Career Planning1 Credit
SPLP 660Multicultural Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders2 Credits

Clinical Experiences Courses (21 credit hours)

SPLP 540 Practicum I3 Credits
SPLP 575Practicum II3 Credits
SPLP 580Practicum III3 Credits
SPLP 670School Externship6 Credits
SPLP 680Medical Externship6 Credits

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Professional licensure and certification regulations vary by jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for the state in which they intend to practice to verify specific licensure requirements, which include ensuring the program of interest meets the licensure requirements prior to enrolling. Students may visit the professional licensure page or reach out to our team of enrollment advisors for guidance.

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What are some common skills and competencies taught in a speech-language pathology curriculum?

A career in speech-language pathology requires you to understand how to approach people’s situations analytically, scientifically, and ethically. You’ll also need to know how to show compassion, care, and consideration, so you can help individuals representing a diversity of backgrounds and lifestyles.

We designed our curriculum to help you develop these skills and to align with the expected student competencies as described by ASHA. Here’s some of what you can learn in your master’s in speech-language pathology program.

  • A deep understanding of speech-language pathology. Build your ability to recognize and treat disordered communication (speech, language, hearing) and swallowing, and learn how to apply your knowledge to practice that benefits all patients. In your career, you’ll have the opportunity to work with patients across many ages and backgrounds, so you’ll also have to understand how cultural differences may affect communication.
  • Ethics and emotional maturity. Learn to approach patients and situations ethically and appropriately, and develop your interpersonal communication, written and oral communication, and bedside manner.
  • Research and clinical experience. Learn how to conduct and evaluate research studies, analyze the results of previous studies, and apply the knowledge gained to your work in preventing, evaluating, and treating communication and swallowing disorders. Participate in simulations and real-world exercises to boost your practical understanding of issues in speech-language pathology.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving. To recognize, evaluate, and treat communication and swallowing disorders, you’ll need to be able to approach them with an analytical mind. As you earn your online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • How to navigate the speech-language pathology professional marketplace. Learn about issues involving things like professional practice, policy and advocacy, licensure, and specialty recognition.

What are some common speech-language pathology curriculum courses?

At Maryville University, our online speech-language pathology master’s program is focused on project-based, real-world learning, along with analytical and scientific understanding of the field and an ethical and compassionate approach to care. Here’s some of what you can expect from our curriculum:

  • Voice and Fluency Disorders. These speech-related disorders are common across many populations, backgrounds, and age groups. In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to explore topics like anatomy and physiology, treatment strategies, and assessment techniques as they relate to voice and fluency disorders.
  • Ethics and Standards. Speech, hearing, language, and swallowing disorders must be approached with empathy and sensitivity. In Ethics and Standards, you’ll have the opportunity to study administrative, legal, and ethical ramifications of speech-language pathology practice. This course also covers subjects related to national certification, relevant professional organizations, and the standards promoted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
  • Dysphagia. This course focuses on how to approach, assess, and treat individuals who have feeding and swallowing disorders. Such disorders can affect people across the lifespan in pediatric and adult populations. Study the anatomy and physiology of swallowing, and learn to utilize industry-standard diagnostic techniques like modified barium swallow (MBS) studies and fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES).
  • Language Disorders in Children. People of all ages can have communication or swallowing disorders. In children, communication difficulties and slow development can occur for a variety of reasons, so courses like Language Disorders in Children can help you recognize, diagnose, and treat the root cause. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete similar coursework focused on other ages and demographics, so you can prepare to work with people from all backgrounds across the lifespan.
  • Acquired Disorders of Language and Cognition. In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your knowledge of effective treatment for neurologically based language and cognitive disorders through vital lenses like etiologies, characteristics, assessment strategies, and intervention techniques. You’ll have the chance to build your understanding of how to work with people who have disorders like aphasia, dementia, right hemisphere impairment, and traumatic brain injury.
  • Multicultural Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. As a speech-language pathology professional, you’ll likely work with people from a variety of cultures. To approach your patients with sensitivity and consideration, it’s vital to understand how cultural and normative standards affect the approach to communication. This is one of several courses focused on diversity to help you give proper care to patients from all backgrounds.
  • Special Populations. People who live with (or are at risk of) speech, hearing, language, and swallowing conditions come from many developmental backgrounds. In the Special Populations course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to approach, recognize, and evaluate individuals with autism spectrum disorder, craniofacial anomalies, and chromosomal syndromes. Furthermore, you’ll learn how to craft an intervention plan that is sound in evidence-based practice and person-centered.

Learn more about the speech-language pathology curriculum.

The online master’s in speech-language pathology curriculum is highly focused and designed to help you expand on your undergraduate-level knowledge of this vital field so you can prepare for practice at the highest level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects high demand for speech-language pathologists, with the field set to grow by 25% between 2019 and 2029 — more than six times the average growth projected across all careers.

Brave professionals and leaders are needed to keep up with this demand. That’s why Maryville’s top goal is to get you career ready. With hands-on learning opportunities, outcomes-based coursework, and an experienced faculty of SLP practitioners, Maryville Online is here to help you thrive in the field — so you can help others overcome obstacles in communication.

Want to learn more about our program, including further information on how we support your learning and professional goals from application through graduation? Check out our online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology page to see how we prepare you for a career where you can make a real, tangible difference.