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Speech-Language Pathology, MS

Graduate Speech-Language Pathology Program

Are you ready to take the next step on your path to becoming a speech-language pathologist? A degree from the University of Central Missouri’s graduate Speech-Language Pathology program will prepare you for a life-changing career to positively impact those with communication and swallowing disorders, from birth through geriatrics.

The University of Central Missouri has been teaching speech pathology classes since the 1940s. This long-standing tradition continues today.

The graduate Speech-Language Pathology program at UCM provides an exciting environment for learning, growing and achieving your professional dreams while helping others. Faculty, students and clients are motivated and encouraged to reach their goals for competency, enrichment and communication mastery. We see the best in faculty, students and clients and help them to achieve this same vision and level of excellence.

A hands-on program where everybody knows your name

In UCM’s Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders on campus, students in our Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree program get real-world experience providing speech, language, feeding/swallowing and hearing services to patients.

UCM cultivates an environment that welcomes and encourages the voices of diverse individuals and groups among faculty, students and the clients served. Faculty strive to champion all aspects of multicultural diversity for our students and clients and believe a diverse student body contributes to our goal of preparing students for serving clients/patients of varied backgrounds.

A unique feature of the graduate program is the sense of camaraderie among students. Our students develop trust and work together to support each other’s success. You’ll feel this same support from UCM’s highly trained and specialized faculty, who will instill in you knowledge and skills for entry into one of the fastest growing professions.

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99% two-year program completion rate

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99% pass rate on the Praxis exam

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100% of graduates employed in their field

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Continuous accreditation since 1977

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Recognized by US News & World Report

What you will study

All of UCM’s graduate speech pathology classes contain problem-based learning and skills development. Our coursework includes case-based learning and direct application of knowledge and skills, allowing you to identify best practices for both assessment and treatment of clients.

Course highlights include:

  • Adult Swallowing Disorders and Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders: This set of unique feeding and swallowing courses, one targeting children with feeding and swallowing concerns and another targeting swallowing deficits in adults, provide the most current information available. This includes the exposures and application of the Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile.
  • Autism: Communication Across the Lifespan: This course will provide an overview of speech and language, behavioral characteristics and possible etiologies of autism spectrum disorders. You’ll also learn appropriate informal and formal assessments and treatment options, as well as environmental supports and how to effectively work with family members.


Excellence in Speech-Language Pathology

  • UCM’s Speech-Language Pathology program has maintained continuous accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation for Audiology and Speech Language Pathology since 1977.
  • All faculty of UCM’s graduate Speech-Language Pathology program have the Certificate of Clinical Competence awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and are licensed by the Board of Hearing Arts in the State of Missouri.
  • A Best Speech-Language Pathology Master's Program (US News & World Report, 2021)
  • #1: Most Focused Master’s Degree College for Speech Pathology & Audiology in the Plains States Region (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in the Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree program

UCM’s graduate Speech-Language Pathology program includes numerous onsite and offsite clinical practicum experiences. This will allow you to apply what you’ve learned from speech pathology classes to making treatment decisions. In addition, faculty members will encourage you to be involved in ongoing research. 

  • Onsite Practica: For five out of the six semesters, students in UCM’s graduate Speech-Language Pathology program provide clinical services to clients in the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders, with guidance from a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. Responsibilities include assessing, devising a treatment plan and providing treatment to clients with communication and swallowing disorders and differences. This direct, hands-on experience will ensure that you’re ready for your SLP career on day one.
  • Offsite Practica: As a graduate student in UCM’s Speech-Language Pathology master’s program, you’ll participate in three offsite practicum experiences. The first involves service delivery in a private practice, school or hospital. The second (externship) experience is providing services for elementary, middle or high school students. The final (internship) offsite experience is within a medical setting, typically a hospital or rehabilitation facility. Offsite experiences help you grow into your speech-language pathologist career.
  • Graduate research: UCM’s master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology students are encouraged to assist faculty with their research, as well as present unique case studies at state and national conferences. Research opportunities along with adoption of evidence-based practice skills in practica allow you to become a specialized expert in your field, making you even more marketable after graduation.
  • Interprofessional education: Speech-Language Pathology graduate students at the University of Central Missouri are involved in interprofessional education experiences each semester, engaging in cooperative learning with students from other professions.  This leads to greater understanding of the importance of collaboration prior to beginning a career.  Collaborative experiences occur on campus and during offsite educational and medical placements.


About our facilities

UCM's Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders has fifteen treatment rooms with digital monitoring where, in addition to assessment and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders, our services include an early childhood preschool for children with speech and language disorders and a voice and swallowing laboratory including an array of acoustic and aerodynamic instrumentation. The center also contains a Functional Communication Clinic, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic, containing an array of state-of-the-art AAC devices, and a Feeding and Swallowing Clinic.  With the support of the Scottish Rite Valley of Columbia, the RiteCare Early Childhood Language and Literacy lab was developed to focus on the critical connection between literacy and success. Clinics and labs provide our students with special opportunities to move their learning from the classroom to the therapeutic setting. Click here to learn more about the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders.


What can you do with a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from UCM?

Speech-language pathologists provide services to patients of all ages (infants to adults) across a spectrum of communication, swallowing and hearing disorders and differences, such as stroke, autism, hearing loss and dyslexia.

As an SLP, you will change the lives of patients and their families while working independently and in collaboration with other professionals such as special education teachers, counselors, nurses and dieticians.

Many of our Speech-Language Pathology master’s program graduates gain employment within Missouri and Kansas, but we have graduates across the United States. Some work in schools with early childhood, special education, elementary and high school students. Others are employed in health care settings, including skilled nursing facilities, rehab hospitals and inpatient and outpatient clinics.

A few work for other industries, using their master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in sales, for example. Dynavax, a maker of computer systems for non-vocal people, has hired UCM graduates with speech-language pathology master’s degrees. 

More on careers in speech-language pathology

Use the interactive tool below to learn more about careers in speech-language pathology. You can gain insights on salaries, projected job growth, career paths and more.

Preparation for success at the highest level

In recent years, 97% of UCM’s Speech-Language Pathology graduate students passed the Praxis Subject Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology. After passing the Praxis Exam, graduates of UCM’s master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology can apply for licensure from the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. Candidates must pass the Praxis Examination for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology to earn state licensure and be qualified to obtain the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Certificate of Clinical Competence.

Over the past several years, 100% of graduates from the UCM Speech-Language Pathology master’s program found jobs in their field within one year of graduation.

In recent years, 99% of UCM’s Speech-Language Pathology graduate students have completed the program in six semesters.




Financial assistance options for your Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree

Communication Disorders offers graduate scholarships through the UCM Alumni Foundation.

All students apply online through UCM Scholarship Finder and scholarship applications are due by February 1.

Lin Welch Scholarship - Graduate (completed 6 hours)

To be eligible a student must.

  1.  be a full-or part-time graduate student in good academic standing at University of Central Missouri,
  2.  be pursuing a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology,
  3.  have completed a mminimum of six hours of graduate study at University of Central Missouri
  4.  be committed to completing his/her graduate degree in speech-language pathology at University of Central Missouri,
  5. demonstrate good character, leadership and service.

Eileen Graham Mathews Scholarship - Graduate

To be eligible a student must:

  1. be a full- or part-time graduate student in good academic standing at University of Central Missouri,
  2. be pursuing a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology,
  3. have a minimum grade point average of 3.0,
  4. demonstrate good character, leadership and service.

Other Non-University Scholarships: (Applications are available at the front desk, or call 660-543-4993.)

  • AMBUCS - Junior or senior undergraduate, or graduate students pursuing degrees in occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, or audiology. On-line applications are available to all students through
  • SERTOMA Communicative Disorders Scholarship Program for graduate level degrees in communication disorders, GPA of 3.2 or better.

Other Non-University Scholarships:

  • A variety of Graduate Assistantships are available throughout the university. The positions are posted on the UCM Human Resources website

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Take your degree further.


Some Speech-Language Pathology master's degree graduates from UCM choose to pursue a doctoral degree, generally in preparation for a career in an academic setting.

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Explore programs related to speech-language pathology.


Not sure a Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree is right for you? You may also be interested in the following graduate programs at UCM:

Academic plan of study information

The plan of study represents a listing of courses you will take within the graduate program. Acceptance in the graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology can begin in the fall or summer semesters  only. The sequence of courses taken will differ depending on the semester of admission. If your undergraduate or graduate degree is in a different field, not speech-language pathology, you will need to complete a year of speech-language pathology coursework (leveling) prior to beginning graduate courses. For a student without a prior degree in speech-language pathology , the graduate program will take nine (9) semesters. This is to ensure you have the prerequisites to be adequately prepared to be successful within the MS degree program. Students may transfer a maximum of nine credit hours from another graduate program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Transfer credits must meet eligibility criteria as outlined in the Graduate Catalog. For students with an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology, the graduate program will take six (6) semesters to complete. 

The plan of study for students with and without an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders are provided when you meet with the Communication Disorders' Graduate Faculty Advisor or when you do a campus visit. These plans are available to current students in Blackboard.


Clinical Opportunities

The graduate program in speech-language pathology ensures graduate students obtain a minimum of 400 clinical clock hours with individuals exhibiting various communication disorders and differences across the lifespan. Both onsite (Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders) and offsite (e.g., private practice, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation settings) experiences are part of the degree program. Each student will complete three offsite experiences. One will be a part-time placement, one semester in the schools (externship) and a semester in a medical setting (internship). Local placement occurs for the externship experience. Historically students are placed in internships locally; however, the program supports internship locations throughout the United States.

The Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders is an 8,600-square-foot self-contained unit located at University of Central Missouri. We consider ourselves one of the finest facilities for clinical training in the country. Students provide diagnostic and rehabilitative services to children and adults with communication disorders from the community.

Recently, the Parkinson Voice Project awarded the UCM Communication Disorders program a grant that provides training in the SPEAK OUT! ® and The LOUD Crowd® programs to enrolled graduate students. The SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® programs, developed by the Parkinson Voice Project of Dallas, Texas, were created specifically for individuals who have a voice disorder as a result of Parkinson's disease. Please see the Parkinson Voice Project for more information.

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions 

Admissions Criteria and Procedures

The Master of Science Degree Program in Communication Disorders is designed for the education and training of persons to enter the profession of speech language pathology. You will receive specific educational and clinical training to prepare you for the provision of services in education and health care settings, along with private practice. The Program in Communication Disorders admits students twice each year (Summer & Fall). The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is no longer a requirement for admissions. Admission is based on your undergraduate academic record and other factors, such as instructor evaluations and a personal essay. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in communication disorders need only apply for fall admission. Refer to the following link for information on the MS Program in Communication Disorders  Graduate Catalog.

To be considered for admission, the applicant must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 in Speech-Language Pathology courses and a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). A grade point average for a completed graduate degree in another field can be substituted for an undergraduate grade point average. The graduate degree grade point average must be 3.2 or better. Certain academic prerequisite courses are not required for admission but may be added to your Program of Study to meet prerequisite requirements for UCM courses and/or ASHA Certification Requirements.

International Students:

UCM Graduate Studies Services will outline university requirements for admission. Please be advised that you will have to complete a background check for clinical placement and service. You will need to have a Social number (SS#) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to complete this process.

 Application deadlines are provided in the table below. 

Admission Semester

Completed Application Deadline

(Verified status required)

Program Decision Response:


* Only students with Communication Disorders (CD) undergraduate degree may apply

    February 1     March 1


*Students with a degree in CD or from another field of study may apply

    March 1

    April 1


Admissions application process:

  1. Application to the MS program in speech-language pathology for UCM should be made through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Central Application Site (CSDCAS) . To begin the application process on the CSDCAS website, click on “Create an Account” to initiate an account.

    The application fee is $137 for the first graduate program applied to and $55 for each additional graduate program.

    It is strongly recommended to thoroughly review the CSDCAS Frequently Asked Questions prior to creating your application. The “Quick Start Guide” linked on the FAQ page includes information on the a) process, b) timelines, c) fees and d) FEE Waivers.

    If you experience problems, or have questions, please contact:

    CSDCAS Customer Service
    Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

  2. Review the UCM Home page found in CSDCAS for application directions. Please provide all the information specified in the following four areas in your application through the CSDCAS website:
    • Personal Information
    • Academic History
    • Supporting Information
    • Program Materials

  3. Once your application is "VERIFIED" complete, and all requirements are met, you will receive an email from UCM stating that your application is ready for review.

  4. Once the deadline has arrived, acceptance of applications and supporting materials will cease. The Graduate Admissions Committee will review completed applications, and prepare the list for admission invitation to our program.

  5. If you receive an invitation to join the UCM Program in Speech-Language Pathology:
    1. Respond to our invitation in CSDCAS by the deadline stated in the invitation letter by completing the Response Form linked in that notification; indicating your decision to join or decline our invitation. This will allow us to make an invitation to another student on the waitlist at that time.
    2. Watch for an email from the UCM Graduate and International Student Services (GISS) indicating that an application has been generated for you. (to save you time and money, GISS imports all of your application materials from CSDCAS on your behalf). Finalize this application, and submit it to UCM
    3. Submit any final transcripts that were not complete at the time of your CSDCAS submission to UCM.

  6. Complete your registration process, and enrollment in courses. Watch for an email to register for Calipso (the student records program for ASHA accreditation) and ClinicNote (the electronic medical records and student clinician program). These programs will need to be purchased and set up prior to the beginning of the semester so clinical assignments can be made.

*If you decide to decline our invitation, please be courteous and respond that you will not be
joining us so we can offer the admission to the next person on our waitlist.

 Contact Information

Brenda Dooley,  Clinic Support Coordinator,

can answer questions regarding the admissions process and admissions materials

PH: 660-543-4993 or

Student Outcome Data

The Master of Science (MS) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at the University of Central Missouri 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.

Our current accreditation continues to August 31, 2030.  The following are the most recent outcome measures supporting the results of the high-quality education provided at the University of Central Missouri.

Completion Rate Percentages

The table below provides the percentage of students who are enrolled on the first census date of the program and completed the program within the program’s published academic terms (i.e., 6 semesters).

         Report  Period                                                  

Completed On Time  

Completed Late Not Completed % Completed
     2022-2023 26 0 0  
28 1 1  
24 2 0  
     3 Year Average             
26 1 0 95.12

Note-Based on CAA program completion rate calculator.

Praxis Examination Pass Rate Percentages
The table below provides the percentage of test takers who passed the Praxis ®  Subject Assessments in speech-language pathology.

Report Period
     # Taking Exam      
   # Passing   
   Final Pass Rate in %    
26 26 100
   2021-2022 29 28 96.55
   2020-2021 27 26 96.30
   3 year average     97.62

Employment Rates
The table below provides the percentage of program graduates who are employed in the profession or pursuing further education in the profession within 1 year of graduation.

                 Employment Rate in Profession

Academic Year 
     # of Grads     
    % of Grads    
   1 year ago
29 100
   2 years ago 26 100
   3 years ago 30 100
   3-Year Average   100

To ensure quality improvement, the Communication Disorders program uses a variety of means to obtain feedback from the various stakeholders who take pride in and value the success of the program. One of the major stakeholders are the students. CAA provides a vehicle for students to voice concerns to the CAA administrative body. Below is contact information and procedures for sharing concerns with the CAA.

To File a Complaint with the CAA

Students who wish to file a complaint related to the program's compliance with standards for accreditation can find complaint procedures at or by mail at:
Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #310
Rockville, MD 20850

Local Phone:301-296- 5700

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association Logo

Award Winning UCM NSSLHA Chapter!


The UCM National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Chapter is an extremely active student organization and boasts of over 60 members consisting of both undergraduate and graduate students. The extent of this group's good work led the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) awarding the chapter the NSSLHA Gold Chapter Honors.  The group has achieved NSSLHA honors every year since 2011, the inception of the award.

*Since the inception of the Chapter Honors, ASHA has bestowed on the UCM's NSSLHA Honors each year, with GOLD honors for 8 out of 12 years. 

*UCM's NSSLHA Chapter was one of only two chapters in Missouri that received GOLD status in 2015.

*UCM's NSSLHA Chapter was one of only seven chapters that received GOLD status in 2011.

National NSSLHA Honors requirements for Eligibility and Recognition:

  • Affiliation with National NSSLHA
  • Monthly chapter updates in NSSLHA Community discussion board
  • 30% of UCM members have National NSSLHA Membership
  • Community Outreach programs
  • Legislative Advocacy Activities
  • Fundraising for ASHA Foundation’s NSSLHA Scholarship

 UCM NSSLHA Community Service Projects

The UCM National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) conducts a community service project entitled, Saturday Stories & Slices. NSSLHA presents four Saturday Stories & Slices a year (two per semester) at the University of Central Missouri's James C. Kirkpatrick Library in Warrensburg for families in the community. The event is based on a theme with a story read to the attendees, three crafts, and serving pizza to all attendees. Every child gets to choose a free book to take home. This project not only benefits the community but provides students volunteer experience interacting with parents and children.

 Community Service Projects Table Photo


UCM NSSLHA members who served on National NSSLHA Executive Board:

Ashley Grohmann – National NSSLHA State Officer 2018-2019

Jessica Catlett – National NSSLHA Student State Officer 2016-2017

Emily Conklin – National NSSLHA Regional Chair 2014-2015

UCM NSSLHA is extremely successful due to the Chapter’s outstanding Executive Board who meet at least twice a month to plan and prepare Chapter meetings and events. This year UCM NSSLHA has established a “Cord Program” to encourage increased student participation and reward its active members.

Communication Disorders Strategic Plan




Revised January 2022

Mission Statement

Communication Disorders is a comprehensive accredited program committed to excellence in the academic, technological and clinical education of future speech-language pathologists who will serve the communication and swallowing needs of a multicultural society. Evidenced-based teaching and supervised clinical experiences, utilizing advanced technology in the diagnosis and treatment of speech, language, voice, swallowing, and hearing disorders, foster excellence in the professional preparation of speech-language pathologists.

Long Term Strategic Plan

The Program of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Central Missouri prides itself on its commitment to excellence by continually developing, reviewing, monitoring, assessing, and improving the academic and clinical components of the Speech-Language Pathology program. Through an ongoing process, faculty and staff within the Speech-Language Pathology program have established the following set of long-term strategic planning goals and objectives as specified in Standard 1.3 of the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Components of the current plan have been developed to provide the Speech-Language Pathology program with a focus that is in congruence with the University’s stated mission and values, the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies, the School of Human Services, and the academic and clinical training goals of the Program and are intended to reflect the role of the Speech-Language Pathology program within the community. Ongoing review, development, assessment, and revision of the long-term strategic plan will take place regularly.

Goal 1 – To maintain and develop processes that foster continuous program improvement.

Goal 2- To develop new programs and initiatives for enhancing competitiveness.

Goal 3- To promote an enhanced awareness and practice of social justice.

Goal 4 – To further develop school and community partnerships for the purpose of providing outstanding professional education while serving the community.

Goal 5- To enhance leadership development and the capacity to effect positive school change.

Goal 6 – To develop a state and national reputation for innovative teaching and learning for the School of Human Services and Communication Disorders Program.

The 2022-2023 strategic plan goals associated with each long-term goal and 2022-2023 measurable objectives can be found in the 2022-2023 Strategic Plan


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