Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Graduate Degree in Communication Disorders (Low-Residency for SLPAs)
The Master of Science in Communication Disorders Low-Residency program is designed for students who are currently working as Speech Language Pathology Assistants (SLPA) interested in pursuing certification and licensure in the field of speech-language pathology. You will receive classroom and hands-on preparation in applying family-focused, developmental, cognitive, psychosocial, behavioral, and medical models to the assessment and treatment of a broad range of communication disorders and differences. The Low-Residency Track provides the same training as our highly-ranked Boston in-person Program.
Students in the Low-Residency Cohort:
- Spend 7 consecutive semesters (summer, fall, spring, summer, fall, spring, summer) completing academic and clinical work
- Continue to work at least 20 hours in an SLPA position throughout the academic year
- Spend summers in-residence on the Boston or Los Angeles campus taking academic courses and obtaining clinical experiences
- Take online courses during the academic year
- Accrue a minimum of 375 clinical hours across several settings, including the Robbins Center on the Boston campus, a community placement, and their place of employment as an SLPA with oversight by Boston-based faculty
- Complete the program through a comprehensive examination
The MS in Communication Disorders program is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top graduate programs of its kind nationwide. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Your program of study at Emerson will satisfy the academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology of ASHA.
In 2015, Emerson College’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders celebrated its 80th anniversary. As a pioneer in the dynamic and increasingly important field of speech-language pathology, the department has earned a reputation for excellence in clinical preparation.
Exceptional Clinical Opportunities
You will have three clinical placements over the course of your time in the low-residency program. All low-residency students will begin your clinical work in the Robbins Center, the Department's on-site clinical teaching program, which provides graduate students with a variety of clinical opportunities to develop and expand their clinical skills.
In the fall and spring, you will earn clinical hours for your work as an SLPA. During your second summer, you will be assigned a placement in the Los Angeles area, while taking classes in LA, and in the second fall and spring, you will again earn clinical hours as an SLPA. Clinical placements are designed to help you learn about the range of communication disorders that affect speech, language, cognition, and swallowing across the lifespan. Through your clinical experiences you will learn professional collaboration, counseling skills, and how to best evaluate and treat a wide range of individuals. As an Emerson student, you will acquire the clinical knowledge and skills necessary to excel as a speech-language pathologist.
The academic curriculum is designed to prepare you to work with the full array of communication disorders across the lifespan. The curriculum offers coursework covering the neurologic bases of typical communication and the study of particular disorder areas, including autism, aphasia, developmental language and literacy disorders, voice, dementia, fluency, and brain injury. Seminars address special topics in the field, including medical speech-language pathology, craniofacial anomalies, and communication differences such as accent modification.
Close-Knit Community of Faculty and Students Working Together
Emerson’s program provides the academic and clinical excellence of a large research university within a small college environment. In Emerson’s community you will build strong relationships with your peers and with the faculty. As you learn from some of the top scholars, clinicians, and educators in the field, you will be challenged and supported in a welcoming yet rigorous academic environment. Our highly accessible and supportive instructors bring significant professional experience to the classroom and to online learning, having contributed seminal research, textbooks, and clinical work to the discipline.
Interested in applying to this program? Sign up to receive information about our academic programs, important updates regarding special on-campus events, and application notifications from the Graduate Admission Office. Sign up today »