Helen Buhler, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Program Director
Ashley O’Rourke, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinic Director
Speech-language pathologists provide habilitation and rehabilitation services to individuals across the life span who demonstrate disorders in communication. These disorders may include language, articulation, phonology, voice, motor, memory, fluency, swallowing, attention and/or hearing deficits. The profession is built upon basic and applied physical and social sciences, educational principles and clinical research. The curriculum of this Program offers students a variety of opportunities for academic, clinical, research and specialized area experience reflecting that foundation. The program prepares students to work in a variety of different health care settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient programs, schools, community centers and private practice. Graduates are eligible to begin their Clinical Fellowship (CF) in accordance with requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and are eligible to apply for state licensure.
The Master of Science Program in Communication Disorders (CD) offers a comprehensive combination of academic and clinical education for students to become speech-language pathologists in accordance with ASHA certification guidelines and licensure requirements of New York State. The objective of the program is to instill in students the solid theoretical, clinical and research components of speech-language pathology. The program seeks to:
- Develop academic and clinical excellence through commitment to teaching, research and service.
- Promote a culture of scholarship and respect of individuals.
- Provide a foundation of knowledge and skills that foster competent, autonomous, clinical practice for the professional lifetime.
Expectations of the Graduate
Graduates of the Mercy College Master of Science Program in Communication Disorders are expected to:
- Display understanding of anatomic, biologic, neurologic, physiologic and psychologic bases of speech, language and hearing.
- Demonstrate understanding of the nature of communication disorders.
- Display knowledge of the professions of Speech/Language Pathology.
- Recognize the relevance of cultural and linguistic diversity in all aspects of the profession.
- Exhibit competency in academic and clinical skill areas.
- Produce and defend evidence based research methods.
- Apply counseling strategies with clients and families.
- Describe and discuss hearing problems across the life span and in a variety of populations.
- Demonstrate knowledge of assessment techniques for identifying hearing loss.
- Screen hearing ability according to ASHA guidelines.
- Develop and execute appropriate aural rehabilitation programs within the scope of practice of speech-language pathology.
Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms
Speech and Hearing Science
Introduction to Communication Disorders (Speech Pathology I)
Introduction to Audiology
Normal Speech and Language Development
Introduction to Linguistics
The seven courses above and the four listed below must have been completed during the last 10 years. Applicants may be in the process of completing the 7 prerequisite courses during the spring semester of the application process. The following courses must be completed during the application process or within the first year of Graduate School:
Physical Science**(Must be Physics or Chemistry)
Human Biological Science**
* Must be taken for undergraduate credit during the first year of graduate study.
** Required for ASHA Certification; must be completed by the end of the first year of graduate school.
Only grades of “C” or better in any of the above-noted 11 courses will be accepted.
Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Admissions section.
Requirements for matriculation and admission into the Master of Science Program in Communication Disorders include:
- Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.
- Minimum GPA of 3.2 in the undergraduate major. Applicants with a lower average may be considered for admission if their last two years of grades show steady improvement. The student may be required to complete a specified number of credits as a part-time student with an overall GPA of 3.0.
- Minimum GPA of 3.2 in the seven primary prerequisite courses.
- Completion of the GRE (to be submitted to Mercy College using ETS code 7110)
- Oral communication skills necessary to provide services to a wide range of clients.
- Adequate written communication skills.
- The “Written Statement” is in response to the question, “Other than technology and “apps”, what do you believe is a significant development in the field of speech/language pathology over the past 10 years? How will you incorporate this development into your future practice as a speech/language pathologist? The essay is to be double-spaced in a font of 12 and no more than two type-written pages in length.
- Completion of application through Communication Science Disorders Centralized Application Service (which includes completion of “Pre-Requisite Checklist”). https://csdcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login
- Two letters of recommendation, at least one letter must be from Communication Disorders faculty member who has taught the applicant in class and can attest to applicant’s capacity to successfully complete graduate study. The other letter must be from a Communication Disorders faculty member who has taught the applicant and/or an academic clinical supervisor (who has supervised the applicant planning for, implementing and documenting speech/language therapy).
- Submission of entire application packet is due by January 15 (Applications are accepted for fall admission only).
The number of applicants accepted is limited by the training facilities available; therefore, applicants who otherwise meet minimum requirements for matriculation may not necessarily be admitted.
- Documents will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee of the CD Program.
- Applications will be reviewed and ranked according to GPA, GREs, essay, résumé, and letters of recommendation.
- Representatives of the CD Admissions Committee will interview highest ranked applicants before final acceptance decisions are made. Interview requirement may be waived for students in the undergraduate or prerequisite CD programs.
- Applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 600.
- Request for acceptance of up to six transfer credits must be submitted at the time of application. A transcript of these courses must be included with course outlines and will be evaluated after acceptance to the program.
- Students accepted into the program will be required to pay a nonrefundable $350 deposit at the time of acceptance. This fee will be applied to the fall tuition payment.
- Students accepted into the program may be required to take a “pre-clinic” workshop for a specified fee. Students may test out of this workshop by passing an assessment administered at Orientation.
Upon acceptance into the Master of Science Program in Communication Disorders, students will be assigned a faculty member who will serve as their advisor. Students accepted into the program will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $350 at the time of acceptance. This fee will be applied to the fall tuition payment. The advisor will meet with students to counsel them on Program and ASHA certification requirements, and to develop a plan of study and a future professional development plan.
The Graduate Program in CD is designed for full-time and part-time students and can be completed in two years and one summer for full-time students and three years for part-time students. The program consists of academic and clinical components that are organized in a progressive sequence. Courses are primarily offered in the evening. Some courses may be offered in various scheduling formats. Clinical practicum schedules require days, evenings and/or Saturdays. The College defines full-time as nine credits. For the purpose of completing the CD program in two years (including one summer), the student must follow the projected curriculum sequence established by the program. Part-time students must follow their required course projections.
Students who graduate from the program may sit for the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology (Specialty Area Test of the Praxis Series by the Educational Testing Service). Students then complete their Clinical Fellowship (CF). Upon successful completion of the degree, the examination, and the CF, the individual can be certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist by ASHA.
Successful completion of the educational and clinical requirements of the graduate program will prepare students for eligibility for the New York State License as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Communication Disorders include:
In order to qualify for graduation, students must demonstrate competency by:
- Completing program requirements.
- Passing a summative assessment which can be waived with a passing score on the PRAXIS examination.
Otherwise students must take a comprehensive exam.
To be eligible for graduation students must complete all coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or better. The words “With Distinction” will appear on the diploma of a student whose GPA, upon meeting all requirements for graduation, is 3.75 or above.