Master of Arts in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

The Master of Arts (MA) in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) is a clinical degree program which prepares students for a career as a speech-language pathologist. Graduate students develop strong foundational knowledge and clinical skills in speech, language, and swallowing through rigorous coursework and clinical practicum.

Program Overview

MA students study the normal development of speech, language, and hearing, as well as the understanding and clinical management of speech, language, and hearing disorders.

  • The program is typically completed in two years for students with a bachelor’s degree in SLHS or three years for students with a bachelor’s degree in an area other than SLHS.
  • Once admitted to the program, students choose either the thesis or non-thesis option.
  • Students participate in a clinical practicum that includes on-site guided observation.
  • The MA program leads to clinical certification and is accredited by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA).


Graduate Outcomes Data

Program Prerequisites

Two-Year Program

The two-year track requires students to complete prerequisite courses prior to matriculation. These courses are designed to ensure students have strong foundational knowledge before beginning their graduate studies. If you do not meet these criteria, you will be eligible for the three-year track.

Prerequisite Course Work

  • One course in biological sciences.
  • One course in physical sciences (including physics or chemistry).
  • One course in statistics.
  • One course in social or behavioral sciences.
  • Courses in speech, language, and hearing sciences, including phonetics; speech and language development; anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism; audiology assessment; aural rehabilitation; and speech and hearing science.

Three-Year Program

Students who have not completed undergraduate coursework related to SLHS are required to complete a year of pre-professional coursework. The courses will introduce them to the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology, and provide basic knowledge necessary for graduate study.

Students who already have a background in speech, language, and hearing sciences may be required to complete only a portion of the pre-professional courses or none at all, depending on the extent and nature of their background.

Additional Considerations

Transfer Credit

The department and the Graduate School will accept up to a maximum of six semester credits taken at other graduate programs upon entry into our graduate program, as set forth by UConn regulations. The student's advisor, the instructor of the course in SLHS, and the graduate committee must all approve the credits.

Guided Observation

At UConn, a minimum of 25 guided observation hours are required prior to beginning clinical practicum assignments in speech-language pathology. These guided observations cover a range of communication disorders and clinical services provided in speech-language pathology and audiology. They must be obtained under the direct supervision of qualified supervisors who hold current ASHA certification in the appropriate area.

The guided observation hours must be in the areas of evaluation and treatment of children and adults with disorders of speech, language, voice, fluency, swallowing, or hearing. Observation hours must be coordinated by a university program and the documentation of hours must be forwarded to UConn directly from the undergraduate university. In addition, graduate students must demonstrate proficiency in English speech production and English language skills and knowledge before beginning clinical practicum.

Program Requirements


Students must be enrolled on a full-time basis every semester. The Graduate School defines full-time status as nine or more credits per semester during the academic year (Fall semester, Spring semester); however, our M.A. program is designed to exceed this minimum number of credits to meet the required academic and clinical competencies for our M.A. degree. There are no regulations on credits during the summer semester to be full time. However, prior to the final year of academic study, students will typically enroll in a May-mester 1 credit course and a 1 credit full-time clinical practicum to meet academic and clinical requirements.

Students must complete and pass a comprehensive oral and written capstone. Students have the option of choosing the Thesis track (9 credits) or the Non-Thesis Clinical Project Track (2 credits) to meet this requirement.  See additional details below under "Thesis and Non-Thesis Option".

School certification is an option available to students. See additional details below under "School Certification Option for Speech-Language Pathologists".  Courses leading to school certification along with additional elective options are typically taken during the final year of the degree program.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Option

Students may follow a thesis or non-thesis track, both of which allow students to meet the ASHA's certification requirements.

Thesis Option

Students curious about research or considering future doctoral study should think about choosing the thesis option. This option provides students with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and conduct research in an area of interest. Students must also select a minimum of two additional tenured or tenure-track UConn faculty to serve on their thesis committee.

A student’s research will culminate in a master's thesis. A written portion of the thesis is approved by the student’s thesis advisory committee and is followed by an oral defense presented to the faculty, including the student's thesis advisory committee and fellow students. Students must pass both the written portion and the oral defense to successfully complete the thesis option. Passing is defined as satisfactory performance on both portions of the thesis, as determined by all members of the thesis committee.

Non-Thesis Option

The Clinical Project in Speech-Language Pathology (SLHS 5374) is required for students in the non-thesis track and is completed during the spring semester of their final year. The clinical project is used by the faculty as a summative assessment of a student’s knowledge of normal and disordered human communication and of their ability to apply critical thinking, problem-solving, and analysis to a clinical situation. Students begin working on this project during the summer in between their first and second year.

The project includes three parts:

  1. A proposal of an intended case study.
  2. A written summary of a case study.
  3. An oral presentation to the faculty and their peers.

Clinical Practicum

Clinical practicum is defined as clinical experience approved by an academic program. It’s designed to foster the continued growth and integration of the knowledge and skills outlined in ASHA Standard IV. Students are required to maintain documentation of academic coursework, practicum hours, and practicum supervision verified by the program.

Clinical practicum at UConn provides students with a wide variety of clinical experiences. The first 25 earned hours of practicum must be obtained under the direct supervision of qualified supervisors at the Speech and Hearing Clinic and/or its contracted sites.

In addition to their initial experiences in the University clinic, students are assigned to a minimum of two off-campus clinical sites during their graduate program. These include settings such as hospitals, private practices, schools, early intervention sites, and rehabilitation centers. Most students will be placed in three external clinical placements during the final three semesters of the program.

Off-Campus Practicum Sites

The department has worked with various affiliation sites to provide well-rounded experiences for our students. Recent examples include:


Ashford, Berlin, Bloomfield, Bolton, Eastford, East Windsor, Ellington, Glastonbury, Killingly, Manchester, Mansfield, Norwich, Tolland, Waterbury, and West Hartford.


Baystate Medical Center, Bristol Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, ECHN-Manchester Memorial Hospital, Hartford Hospital, Hasbro Hospital, Hebrew Health Care, Hospital for Special Care, Hospital of Central Connecticut, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Middlesex Hospital, Pequot Center, Rehabilitation Associates, St. Luke's Hospital, Stony Brook Hospital, Texas Rehab Hospital, UCHC-John Dempsey Hospital, VA, Western Connecticut Health-Danbury Hospital, Windham Community Memorial Hospital, and Yale New Haven Hospital.


Community Child Guidance Clinic, Kidsense, McLaughlin and Associates Birth to Three, and River Street School.

Clinical Certification

Certificate of Language Pathology Clinical Competency

The MA in SLHS allows students to meet all academic and clinical practicum requirements for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competency and the State of Connecticut's requirements for licensure in speech-language pathology. The certification program typically requires two years of full-time graduate study beyond the pre-professional background.

According to the Council for Clinical Certification, students must obtain and demonstrate knowledge and skills in eight standard content areas:

  • Statistics/science (Standard III-A).
  • Basic human communication and swallowing (Standard III-B).
  • Communication disorders (Standard IIIC/D).
  • Ethical conduct (Standard III-E).
  • Research and research integration (Standard III-F).
  • Contemporary professional issues (Standard III-G).
  • Professional credentials (Standard III-H).
  • Oral and written skills (Standard IV-B).

Students achieve the standards for knowledge and skills through the completion of a minimum of 75 credit hours of coursework in these eight content areas, obtained through courses taken at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, students must obtain a minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum. At least 375 hours must be in direct client/patient contact and 25 hours must be in clinical observation (325 hours must be earned during enrollment in the graduate program). An intensive summer session of supervised clinical experience between the first and second year is required for completing the clinical hours requirement of the certification program.

School Certification Option for Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work in Connecticut public schools must have school certification. Through an arrangement with the Neag School of Education, students enrolled in the MA in SLHS program can fulfill requirements leading to certification as an SLP for employment in Connecticut's public schools. Students are required to complete coursework in special education, regular education, human development or psychology, classroom instruction and management, and health. An SLP practicum assignment (EPSY 5188) in a public school setting enables a student to complete student teaching requirements for certification while they are enrolled in the MA program.


The Master of Arts (MA) education program in speech-language pathology {residential} at the University of Connecticut is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071, or 301-296-5700


Applications for the MA program are due on January 15.

Full Admission Requirements

Contact Us

For questions about this program, please email the department at