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M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology


The Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Division has a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology that offers students a program of academic and clinical preparation that meets:

  • the requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology,
  • the requirements for Illinois State Licensure to practice as a speech-language pathologist, and
  • the requirements for a Professional Educator License endorsed in Speech-Language Pathology (non-teaching) to work as a speech-language pathologist in Illinois public schools.

The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in Speech-Language Pathology (residential) at Saint Xavier University 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.

The degree designator of the accredited program is the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.



Program Length

22 Months

Credit Hours


Important Dates

Next Start Term: Fall 2024 (Application Deadline: January 15)


Tuition Per Credit Hour: $995
Credit Hours to Complete: 51
Approximate Cost: $50,745


 Course Descriptions

Get Hands-On Experience

Speech-Language Pathology students have the opportunity to work with special programs and support groups supervised by Saint Xavier's expert faculty at Saint Xavier's Ludden Speech and Language Clinic.

Students plan activities for support groups and learn strategies to support communication. This hands-on experience allows students to foster a better understanding of the communication disorders of clients and clients' loved ones inside and outside the therapy rooms. Learn more about the services and programs offered at the Ludden Speech and Language Clinic.

Support groups offer emotional support and resources for individuals who share similar experiences. I was given the opportunity to work with The Laryngectomy Support Group at SXU, where I helped facilitate monthly group meetings. I discovered how powerful support groups are and how each participant can help the other understand their condition, learn coping mechanisms, and establish long-lasting bonds. Everyone has their own story and everyone's story is unique!

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Graduate Admission

Application Components

Applicants to Saint Xavier University's master of science in speech-language pathology program must meet the following specific requirements in addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate study at the University:

  1. Completion of an undergraduate major, or equivalent undergraduate course sequence, in speech language pathology. Undergraduate preparation typically includes:
    • coursework in biological and physical sciences, mathematics, behavioral and social sciences, statistics, linguistics and psycholinguistics
    • basic human communication and swallowing processes, including: anatomy and physiology of speech, hearing and swallowing mechanisms; speech and hearing science; phonetics; normal language development; basic audiology; neurological bases of communication and swallowing
    • introduction to developmental and acquired communication disorders, basic clinical methods
  2. Proof of 25 Guided Observation Hours required before beginning our program. Guided observation hours require proven interaction with a licensed SLP after the student observes live or recorded therapy sessions, not passive viewing of sessions by the student alone.
  3. For CSD "majors", a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 is required. For "non-majors," the cumulative GPA from either your bachelor's degree or CSDI bridge courses must be 3.0/4.0.
  4. Three written recommendations from individuals able to comment on the applicant's academic and clinical achievements and potential for successful graduate study.
  5. Submission of a narrative regarding interest in the field.

In order to apply to the graduate program in communication sciences and disorders at Saint Xavier University, individuals must submit an online application through the communication sciences and disorders central application service (CSDCAS) only. Do not submit an application through Saint Xavier University. CSDCAS posts frequently asked questions on the applicant portal. You are encouraged to read the FAQs before submitting your application.

Important information:

  • CSDCAS application portal.
  • You must have your application and all materials submitted directly to CSDCAS by January 15 in order to be considered for admission into the following fall semester. Even though you have until January 15 to get all of the required materials to CSDCAS, we do encourage applicants to submit them by around December 31 - if possible - to allow CSDCAS time to process your materials and update your account; and to give yourself peace of mind that your application has completed on time.
  • Your application and all supplemental items must reach CSDCAS by January 15 in order for you to be considered for admission. The admissions committee at SXU will not review any applicant's file whose application, three recommendations, narrative statement, or official transcripts do not reach CSDCAS by January 15.
  • CSDCAS Customer Service Information is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at 617-612-2030 or
  • Send official transcripts to:

CSDCAS Verification Department
P.O. Box 9113
Watertown, MA 02471

International students have additional application/admission requirements. See Supplementary Admission Criteria for International Students.

The following courses must be completed prior to beginning the graduate program in speech-language pathology. These courses must be completed, in progress, or planned at the time of application submission.

  • CSDI 205: Phonetics (or equivalent)
  • CSDI 206: Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing (or equivalent)
  • CSDI 207: Speech Science (or equivalent)
  • CSDI 305: Development of Language in the Young Child (or equivalent)
  • CSDI 307: Introduction to Audiology (or equivalent)
  • CSDI 308: Aural Rehabilitation (beginning for Fall 2025 Admits)

The following courses are recommended prior to beginning the graduate program in speech-language pathology:

  • One course in human or animal biology
  • One course in physics or chemistry
  • One course in statistics
  • One or more courses in Social Science (e.g., Psychology)
  • EDU 323: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (or equivalent)
  • CSDI 309: Neuroscience of Communication (or equivalent)
  • One or more courses related to disorders of communication (e.g., Speech Sound Disorders, Language Disorders, etc.)


Direct admission to the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) is available for students who meet specific criteria. Criteria for direct admission include the following:
  • Senior status (90+ credit hours accumulated by the start of the fall semester of senior year) in the SXU undergraduate CSD program.
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 across all coursework completed at the college/university level.
  • Achieve a minimum GPA in the major of 3.5 by the end of the junior year with all A and B grades in CSD courses.
  • During the final undergraduate year, students must continue to meet the overall and CSD GPA and grade requirements and complete CSDI 310: Clinical Methods and CSDI 355: Clinical Practicum.
  • Admission is conditional based on completion of the bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Saint Xavier University; all CSD courses must be taken at SXU.

Process for direct admission:

  • Students who wish to be admitted into the graduate program under this process need not complete an application through the Common Application System (CSDCAS) for SXU.
  • By September 21 of senior year, students will submit:
    • a faculty support form. Faculty support forms will be sent via email to students who meet the above criteria. The form must be submitted with the signatures of three full-time faculty members endorsing direct admission (in lieu of letters of recommendation) and,
    • official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended to the CSD undergraduate program director (this includes transcripts from SXU, and any other university or community college attended, even if those transcripts have already been sent to the University as part of an initial application).
  • Students who meet all the eligibility requirements will be sent a confirmation letter by the undergraduate program director.
  • Students who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to reserve their place in the graduate class must submit a $500 non-refundable deposit by April 15 of the final undergraduate year.

Please review the program requirements and the course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog for more detailed information.

Academic Requirements

A minimum of 51 credit hours is required for completion of the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Credits are obtained in three interdependent categories: speech-language pathology content, clinical education, and research. Students successfully completing the graduate degree are eligible for clinical certification in Speech-Language Pathology through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association as a function of meeting extensive skill and knowledge expectations associated with curricular offerings. Detailed formative activities regarding specific curricular requirements occur following acceptance into the graduate program.

The program is currently offered on a full-time basis, which typically involves five semesters including the summer semester between the two full academic years.

Courses are chosen in consultation with the student's academic advisor from the core courses, clinical practicum, elective courses, and other offerings listed in the University's graduate catalog. Additionally, coursework from other departments and schools within the University is also available (e.g., psychology, education, nursing).

In addition, successful completion of either comprehensive examinations or thesis research is a requirement of the program.

Students completing the graduate degree in speech-language pathology enroll for several different clinical practicum courses. The overall objective is to provide a range of experiences in the development of entry-level competence for the profession. The specific number of practicum hours in individual courses will vary; however, all students will complete the minimum 400 hours of supervised practicum to be eligible for ASHA certification. Clinical practicum experiences are available on-campus in the Ludden Speech and Language Clinic and off-campus at a wide variety of educational and medical sites throughout the Chicagoland area.

The graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology prepares students to meet the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requirements for the Professional Educator License with endorsement in Speech-Language Pathology (non-teaching). Details concerning state licensure and certification are provided by academic advisors and in the graduate curriculum. Students are also prepared to earn a state license through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Student Outcome Data

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Course Sequence

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Ludden Speech and Language Clinic

The Ludden Speech and Language Clinic is part of the training program for SXU students who are preparing for careers in communication disorders.

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Communication Sciences and Disorders

Learn about the undergraduate Communication Sciences and Disorders Program.

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Meet the Faculty