The Master of Arts program in Speech Pathology and Audiology requires a minimum of 38 s.h. of graduate credit, although students typically earn 53-57 s.h. of credit by the time they complete the degree. The program prepares clinicians to be able to function independently in a variety of clinical settings. The program is designed to ensure that upon graduation, a student will meet requirements for immediate professional employment.
M.A. students usually have a background of undergraduate courses in speech and hearing science, psychology of language, and human behavior that is equivalent to an undergraduate major in speech and hearing science at the University of Iowa.
Before registering in the program, entering M.A. students receive descriptive materials about basic science core courses considered to be required preparation for the M.A. program, and required M.A. clinical core courses for which the department may accept comparable courses taken at the undergraduate level. Decisions about incorporating background coursework in these areas are made by the faculty advisor in consultation with the student and the instructors of the basic science or clinical core courses.
Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Master of Arts in Speech Pathology and Audiology, visit the UI General Catalog.
|Additional Upper-Level Electives for Non-Thesis Option or Thesis Work||12|
The Master of Arts (M.A.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at the University of Iowa has been placed on probation 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. A program on probation is not currently in full compliance with the accreditation standards. Programs on probation remain accredited but must demonstrate compliance with the standards within one year.
The reason that the program was placed on probation was due to a minor cut and paste error.
As indicated on CAA’s Accreditation Action Report: “The CAA requires that programs provide accurate information about student outcome measures. While the required data are presented, the descriptions of the data in each column presented in the second row of the employment data table are incorrect – the headings refer to program completion and not the number and percentage of graduates employed.”
This error has now been corrected. We regret any confusion this may have caused to visitors to our website. Should the CAA find this satisfactory, the program’s probationary status will be removed at the next full meeting of the CAA in May 2022. The full decision may be found here: https://apps.asha.org/eweb/ashadynamicpage.aspx?site=ashacms&webcode=caalisting&caacat=recent.
As indicated above, the program remains accredited, and therefore, the probationary status has no implications for student graduation, certification, or licensure.
Admission decisions are based on an applicant's credentials in relation to those of other individuals applying. Admissions are made only for the fall semester, and generally 24-25 students enter the program each year.
The Admissions Committee reviews all applicants and all aspects of your application. In addition to your test scores and coursework, we consider your experience with vulnerable populations, your leadership, your interests, your referral letters, and your critical thinking skills. We are also committed to maximizing the diversity of our graduate student population.
To be admitted to the University of Iowa’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders' M.A. program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Agree to adhere to ASHA’s Code of Ethics. In particular, students must be prepared to adhere to ASHA’s rules regarding nondiscrimination “on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, disability, culture, language, or dialect” and sign the Nondiscrimination Notification.
- Attest that you possess the essential functions required to practice speech-language pathology, as outlined in the Student Success Document.
- Have fulfilled the prerequisite coursework requirements (see section immediately below).
- Have earned a Grade Point Average (GPA) that meets or exceeds the program's admission criteria (please see below).
Required Undergraduate Coursework
The following courses (or their equivalent) are required for graduation with an M.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology program. If you have an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders, you will likely have already completed most of this coursework in your undergraduate program. Students who have not taken these courses will need to take them during the M.A. program; however, taking prerequisite coursework during the graduate program may extend the length of the M.A. program.
The following courses are typically taken outside of departments of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). CSD courses cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.
- a biological science course (human or animal biology)
- a physical science course (physics or chemistry)
- a social/behavioral science course (e.g. psychology)
- an introductory course in statistics
The following courses are typically taken within a CSD department:
- Phonology/Phonetics (3 credits)
- Anatomy and Physiology of Speech (3 credits)
- Hearing Science/Speech Science/Acoustics (3-4 credits)
- Neurological bases of Speech, Language, and Hearing (3 credits)
- Language Acquisition (3 credits)
- Hearing Loss and Audiometry (3 credits)
- Aural Rehabilitation (3 credits)
- Developmental Speech and Language Disorders (3-5 credits)
In addition, applicants are required to have completed 25 hours of clinical observation documented by a practitioner with ASHA certification before beginning the graduate program.
Students who have an undergraduate degree that is not in CSD may: 1) complete the prerequisite courses as a non-degree seeking student and then apply to the two-year program; or 2) apply as a three-year student, taking the required prerequisite coursework during their first year.
The M.A. program no longer requires scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Criteria for admission to the Graduate College of the University of Iowa are available on the Graduate College website. There are no additional requirements for admission other than those imposed by the Graduate College, but applicants with GPAs of less than 3.4 in undergraduate study are not likely to be accepted. The typical admitted applicant has a GPA of 3.80.
All applications to the Master of Arts in Speech Pathology and Audiology must be made through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS), as well as through the University of Iowa Graduate College.
To apply, you must submit the following: a personal statement, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Some materials will be submitted to CSDCAS and some to the University of Iowa. CSDCAS will require submission of the personal statement, transcripts, and the names of your references. The University of Iowa will need your transcripts, but not until after you have been admitted into the program.
- Apply to Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS) and to University of Iowa Graduate College. It is the applicant’s responsibility to meet the application deadlines.
The CSDCAS portal is found at https://csdcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login.
CSDCAS Application Deadline: January 15th (midnight, Eastern time) for admission for the following fall semester.
UI Graduate College Application Deadline: February 1st for admission for the following fall semester.
- Submit your personal statement to CSDCAS, addressing the topics found at the attached pdf.
You do not need to submit your personal statement/essay or recommendation letters to the University of Iowa. If the UI online form does not allow you to skip over these items, write “see CSDCAS app.”
- All official transcripts MUST be sent to CSDCAS at: CSDCAS Transcript Processing Center, P.O. Box 9113, Watertown, MA 02471.
You may wait until you hear that you have been admitted into the program to send transcripts to the University of Iowa. If denied admission, you do not have to send transcripts to Iowa.
- GRE's: It has been decided by the Admissions Committee that GRE scores will not be required from applicants for at least three years. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Jean Gordon, the Chair of the Admissions Committee (email@example.com).
- CSDCAS Customer Service is available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, EST. Phone: 617-612-2030; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The website also has a live chat feature.
- For more information on CSDCAS, visit CSDCAS's Frequently Asked Questions.
- For specific questions regarding the Iowa Au.D. Program, please visit the Graduate Advising page for contact information.
Interviews and Visit Days
Once the applications have been reviewed, interviews will be arranged via Skype. Students who have been admitted to the M.A. program will be invited to a Visit Day in February or March. Visit Day gives applicants an opportunity to participate in a day-long set of activities to familiarize them with Iowa's M.A. program.
When will I hear a decision about admission?
Students accepted into the program will be notified by early March.
Plan of Study
The M.A. program generally requires five semesters to complete: First Fall, First Spring, Summer, Second Fall, Second Spring. Students are not segregated into professional tracks. Instead, once the required coursework is completed, students are able to customize their program by selecting from a wide range of elective courses. Students can select coursework to prepare for a future career in a variety of professional settings.
All students complete a seminar in Evidence-Based Practice, which prepares them to be sophisticated consumers of research. In addition, students have the opportunity to pursue a thesis or to work in labs on a semester basis.
A current listing of coursework and course descriptions for the M.A. degree are available in the UI General Catalog.
Clinical Practicum Opportunities
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa uses a team approach to clinical education. Each student typically rotates through six specialty-based clinical teams. These teams may include Aural Rehabilitation, Early Childhood, General Speech and Language Disorders, Acquired Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, Autism and AAC, Voice Disorders, and Fluency Disorders. These teams are led by UI CSD clinical faculty at the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic. Students typically obtain 150 to 175 hours of supervision from UI CSD faculty prior to outplacements. This one-on-one teaching is a costly part of the program but we feel the investment into our students pays large dividends in terms of helping to develop critical thinking skills and professionalism.
To learn more about our clinical areas, visit the Clinical Services section.
During the summer sessions, there are a number of intensive therapy programs held at the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic. All students participate in UISPEAKS, a daycamp for school-aged children who stutter, or the residential camp for teens who stutter. Students assigned to the Aural Rehabilitation summer team may participate in Listen and Speak Up, a joint program with SLP and AuD students working together to treat preschool-aged children with hearing impairments. During the summer sessions, other students may rotate through the Summer Speech Buddies program, which was created to provide speech sound therapy to school-aged children.
All students engage in Inter-professional Education (IPE) activities during their two year M.A. program, through large group and small group activities in collaboration with students in Audiology, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Medical Education, and the Physician Assistant programs.
Because the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic is a billing clinic, students are trained in current billing procedures, diagnosis and treatment coding, and advocacy strategies for clinical services.
Students have the option for a part-time mini-outplacement in the fall semester of their second year. All students complete two full-time 8-week outplacements in the spring semester of their second year. We currently have contracts with over 100 clinical sites. Students work with the Clinical Director to arrange their spring outplacement experiences. Here are a few examples of sites where we have placed students:
- University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City, Iowa)
- VA Medical center (Iowa City, Iowa)
- AEA school district (Iowa City, Coralville, and Williamsburg, Iowa)
- Children’s Hospital Colorado (Aurora, Colorado)
- Cincinnati Children’s hospital (Cincinnati, Oh)
- Courage Kenny Rehabilitation, Allina Health (several locations in Minnesota)
- Easter Seals (Peoria, Illinois)
- Mayo Clinics (Jacksonville, Florida)
- Ability Rehabilitation, previously Rehab Institute of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
- Stanford Hospitals and Clinics (Stanford, California)
- American Institute for Stuttering (New York, New York)
- The Emory Voice Clinic (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Blain Block Institute for Voice (Dayton, Ohio)
- School districts across the country
- Private practices across the country
The M.A. degree is primarily a clinical degree. However, as a practicing clinician, it is important to be able to critically read and integrate information from professional journals. To promote this approach to life-long learning, all M.A. students are required to complete the Evidence-Based Practice Seminar. This course provides an introduction to the design and conduct of research and evidence-based clinical practice in the field.
Students also have the opportunity to pursue an M.A. thesis project under the direction of a member of the faculty. CSD faculty engage in a wide range of research; see the our Research pages for more details. Examples of recently completed theses include: "Comparing Satisfaction with Social Networks of Adults with and without Aphasia," "Effects of Fitzmaurice Voicework on the Voices of Graduate Student Actors," and "Co-speech Gesture Integration in Hippocampal Amnesia."
One strength of our program is the attention students receive from the large faculty, many of whom are nationally known, teaching courses and supervising in their primary areas of research and clinical interests. Faculty descriptions of professional interests, contact information and photos are under the People pages.
CSD Community at Iowa
Building a sense of community is an important goal of our program. Incoming M.A. students participate in a one week “boot camp” prior to the first semester of classes. The purpose of this camp is to obtain initial instruction in foundations of clinical practice, get oriented to the clinic, and participate in social events which are organized to help the students get to know each other and the faculty. Community building continues with our Camp Wapsi event, which is generally scheduled during the first month of the first semester. This two day event, filled with team building experiences, is held at a local YMCA camp and is attended by first and second year Speech Pathology and Audiology students and faculty.
Many graduate students become active members of the UI NSSLHA group. Our departmental group has consistently earned GOLD chapter honors from ASHA, due to its work in advocacy, philanthropy, and professional development. Students have the opportunity to attend the state ISHA convention during their first Fall semester in the program and the ASHA convention during their second Fall semester.
Tuition Costs/Financial Assistance
Current tuition and fees are listed in the Office of the Registrar's Tuition and Fees Rate Tables. Click on Tuition and Fees Rate Tables, next select the Graduate College in the upper-right corner, then scroll to the Graduate, Speech Pathology and Audiology, M.A. or Au.D. table. To estimate the total tuition for the two-year program, compute tuition based on 15 credits in first fall, 15 credits in first spring, 9 credits in summer, 15 credits in second fall, and 4 credits in second spring.
All graduate students are considered for funding, based on merit and availability of funds. Funding is awarded via tuition scholarships, research assistantships, or teaching assistantships. The Department strives to be able to provide at least one form of funding for each admitted graduate student at some point during the course of study.
Both University of Iowa-based and externally-based scholarships curtail tuition and living expenses. Consult the Resources webpage for more details.
Contact Us/Schedule a Visit
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is located in the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center on the west (medical) side of the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City. Our building houses the training clinic, classrooms, faculty offices and research labs. M.A. students enrolled in the program will spend much of their days in the building treating clients in the clinic, attending courses in the classrooms, honing their knowledge with faculty, and possibly engaging in research.
Visit us and discuss your career goals with our clinical and academic faculty. If you like, we can also arrange a building tour and conversation with a current M.A student. Please call or email to schedule a visit.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center
250 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
For specific questions regarding the Graduate Program, please visit the Graduate Advising page for contact information.