The graduate program in Medical Speech-Language Pathology, launched in 2006, is the only specialized master’s program of its kind in the USA, focusing specifically on practice in medical settings.
Medical Speech-Language Pathology Program
The Master of Science program in Medical Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Washington Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences ranks third nationally in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate schools. The UW Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences and its clinical degree programs are also accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). When you complete the Medical Speech-Language Pathology program, you will earn a Master of Science degree in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington and be eligible to apply for ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC).
The Medical Speech-Language Pathology (MedSLP) master's program is a two-year degree program grounded on the foundational processes and mechanisms involved in human communication and its disorders. It provides a focused, advanced course of study that prepares you for work as a speech-language pathologist in medical settings such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers. This program is distinguished by its curricular specialization and innovative teaching paradigm, which includes the application of knowledge within a medical framework and a community-based clinical education model.
The first year of the program provides you with a foundation in the diagnosis and treatment of speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan. You will also participate in multiple practica focused on establishing and developing clinical methodologies and skills through evaluation and treatment of both adult and pediatric clients. Importantly, the clinical education reflects a medical service delivery model and prepares you for your community-based clinical rotations in the second year of the program. During your first year you will refine your areas of interest, and if you elect to complete a thesis you will be able to interview with potential mentors for your project.
The second year includes enhanced coursework significant to the practice of medical speech-language pathology and a series of part- and full-time clinical practicum placements in community facilities. The community-based practicum placements introduce you to a variety of populations across the continuum of care, helping you acquire knowledge and skills best obtained in the medical and clinical settings. You will complete a culminating, clinical internship experience in the community during the final quarter of the second year. If you carried out thesis research, you will finish writing your thesis and complete the oral defense at this time.
Throughout the second year of the master’s program, you will participate in a unique Clinical Forum course that runs throughout the year. This course targets evidence-based practice issues, addressing service delivery for pediatric and adult clients in medical settings. In addition, faculty will work with you to help you prepare for your post-graduation clinical fellowship experience and the associated state licensure process. Faculty members provide job leads and contacts, assist with resume preparation and interviewing skills, and review ASHA’s documentation requirements for certification.