Communication Disorders and Sciences: Admission Requirements
Application for admission to the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program is through a central application system. Refer to the programs’ webpages for more information. The application deadline for both programs is Jan. 1 for matriculation the following fall.
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
At the time of application, individuals should have completed or be in the process of completing a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution. The baccalaureate degree must be completed before commencing work at Rush University. Students entering the program must have successfully completed coursework in introduction to audiology, phonetics, normal speech and language development, speech and hearing science, speech and hearing anatomy and physiology, the neural bases of communication disorders and swallowing, and statistics. In addition, entering students must have transcript credit for at least one course in each of the following areas: biological sciences, physical sciences (physics and chemistry) and social/behavioral sciences. Applicants should check the program webpage for additional information about prerequisites.
Admission is granted for the fall term of each year. The application file includes a completed application with essay, application fee, three letters of recommendation from individuals acquainted with the applicant’s academic background, official transcripts from all universities attended, and official scores from the GRE graduate school entry exam. Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not obtained a college degree from a U.S. institution must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL.
The generally applied minimum standards for acceptance into the program are a 3.0 undergraduate GPA overall (on a 4.0 scale) and a 3.5 in major courses in speech-language pathology or a 3.5 in the prerequisite course content as listed in the application. Scores on the GRE (verbal and quantitative) should be at the 50th percentile or higher. The Admissions Committees in both programs review all applications and makes all admissions decisions.
Technical Standards for the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Programs
Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.
Our core values - I CARE (innovation, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence_ - translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. Rush actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful, accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. Rush is committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.
The following technical functions are required of all students enrolled in the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology programs:
- Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in courses such as lecture, group and physical demonstrations
- Acquire information from written documents and computer systems (e.g., literature searches and data retrieval)
- Identify information presented in accessible images from paper, slides, videos with audio description and transparencies
- Recognize and assess patient changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal and non-verbal communication
Use and Interpret
- Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers
- Use and interpret information related to physiologic phenomena generated from diagnostic tools
- Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide or assist in holistic audiology and speech-language pathology care, and perform or assist with procedures and treatments
- Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide audiology and speech-language pathology care and assessment in emergencies and life support procedures, and perform universal precautions against contamination
- Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families
- Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors and all members of the health care team during practicum and other learning experiences
- Accurately elicit information, including a medical history and other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a population’s, client’s or patient’s condition
- Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data related to diagnosis and treatment of patients and populations
- Exercise proper judgment and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner according to the audiology and speech-language pathology role.
- Synthesize information, problem-solve and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory, assessment or treatment strategy
- Maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances
- Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need
- Possess emotional stability to function under stress and adapt to rapidly changing environments inherent to the classroom and practice settings
- Demonstrate concern for others
- Integrity, accountability, interest and motivation are necessary personal qualities
- Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the Rush University and Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology code of ethics
The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program, should contact the Office of Student Disability Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs.
Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged. Contact the Office of Student Disability Services to learn more about accommodations at Rush University:
Marie Ferro-Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW
Manager, Office of Student Disability Services
600 S. Paulina St., Suite 440
Chicago, IL 60612
Communication Disorders and Sciences: Academic Policies
The Academic Resources and Policies section of this catalog contains Rush University academic policies.
Academic probation is assigned to a student who earns a single-term academic grade point average (GPA) between 2.5 and 2.99 (A = 4.0), and/or whose cumulative academic GPA falls between 2.5 and 2.99 at any time. The academic GPA is calculated for all non-clinical coursework. A remediation plan to address probation will be developed by the student’s academic advisor and the student and will be documented in the student’s program file. A student must earn a single-term academic GPA of 3.0 or greater at the end of the semester for which the student is on academic probation and a cumulative academic GPA of 3.0 or greater by the end of the first academic year to continue in the program. A student who incurs a semester academic GPA below 3.0 after being removed from academic probation will be dismissed from the program, even if the cumulative academic GPA is 3.0 or greater.
A student who earns a grade of D or less in a required course must repeat that course or an approved equivalent. In a repeated course, the new grade will replace the earlier grade in the cumulative academic GPA. Failure to receive a grade of C or greater in a repeated course will result in dismissal from the program. A student who earns a grade of D or less in two or more required courses, regardless of the grade earned in a repeated course and regardless of the cumulative academic GPA will be dismissed from the program.
A student who earns a single-term academic GPA of less than 2.5 at any point during his/her course of study will be dismissed from the program1.
A student who fails to meet the stated criteria for the comprehensive examination will be dismissed from the program.
A cumulative academic GPA of 3.0 or greater is required for graduation.
Clinical probation is assigned to a student who earns a grade of C or less in a clinical practicum, internship or externship. Although the clinical contact hours may be used to meet CFCC (ASHA) certification requirements, the student is required to repeat the clinical education course before progressing further in the clinical sequence.
A remediation plan to address clinical probation will be determined by the student, the student’s academic adviser and the clinical education manager, and will be documented. Failure to achieve a grade of B or higher in any subsequent clinical education course will result in dismissal from the program.
The faculty reserves the right to request the withdrawal of any student whose conduct or performance demonstrates lack of fitness for continuance in a health profession. Any such student not voluntarily withdrawing will be dismissed from the program.
Students who wish or need to interrupt their program must fulfill the following requirements:
- Meet with their academic adviser and the program director to work out a plan of action before leaving the program
- Complete all degree requirements within four years (master’s program) and eight years (doctoral program) of the beginning of the first in which the full-time student is enrolled in the department
- Follow all appropriate leave of absence/withdrawal procedures and policies as defined by Rush University
Academic Appeal and Grievance
See the CDS Student Manual for the policy on academic appeal and grievance and for other policies. The department follows procedures outlined in the College of Health Sciences Student Academic Appeal and Grievance Procedures. Students who wish to file a complaint related to compliance with an accreditation standard may contact the Council on Academic Accreditation:
Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Blvd, Suite 310
Rockville, MD 20850
(800) 498-2071 or (301) 296-5700
Clinical Education Experiences in Speech-Language Pathology
Clinical training occurs throughout the curriculum, including patient experiences and clinical methods coursework. Enrollment in each term of practicum, internship or externship is contingent upon satisfactory completion (grade B or better) of the previous term’s clinical education course. Clinical experiences include direct and indirect patient care activities across the scope of practice with diverse populations from all age groups at both on- and off-campus facilities.
The requirements for the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology and the Doctor of Audiology degree include a cumulative academic GPA of 3.0 or greater and successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Audiology students also must complete their investigative project. Thesis students must successfully complete the thesis process in lieu of passing a comprehensive examination.
All master’s degree requirements must be completed within 48 months from the beginning of the first term in which a full-time student is enrolled in the program. Requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within eight years of the beginning of the first term in which a full-time student is enrolled. Students must complete the number of term hours required by the program. Refer to the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences Student Manual for additional discussion about graduation and degree progression.
The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences provides professional education and training in speech-language pathology and audiology. Its programs are notable in that the education of speech-language pathologists and audiologists are enhanced by the opportunities, resources and facilities provided by a world-class academic medical center.
In addition to didactic and clinical activities, students and faculty participate in journal clubs, rounds and student-faculty development sessions. Students and faculty benefit from presentations by distinguished guests who share research and clinical expertise in audiology or speech-language pathology. Special seminars and presentations on various health care topics are available to students throughout Rush University Medical Center.
Faculty members are involved in the education of residents and students in Rush Medical College. Faculty members participate in grand rounds for various medical specialties and provide in-service programs on campus for staff at Rush University Medical Center and the Johnston R. Bowman Health Center.
Faculty members are involved in interprofessional and translational research in the areas of audiology, hearing science and speech-language pathology. Projects include cochlear implant processing, working memory and communication, adult speech disorders, dysphagia, neurogenic communication disorders, language and literacy in children, quality of life and hearing aids, aging and hearing loss, and many other topics related to human communication.
Faculty members publish in professional journals and present at international, national and state meetings. Summaries of faculty research and professional activities are available online on the department’s webpage. Students are encouraged to participate in the research process, including the development of hypotheses, data collection, and presentation or publication of results.
The faculty’s commitment to research and the belief that an appreciation of scientific endeavors is critical to the clinical process provide the basis for an optional thesis. Many students in graduate school choose to do a thesis, thereby gaining valuable research experience. A thesis project is databased and may be an original or replication study.
Often, students present the results of their research at a professional meeting or publish results in a professional journal. The thesis project is optional in the speech-language pathology curriculum, and students are encouraged to consider choosing this option. Audiology students have the opportunity to complete a thesis in lieu of the investigative project. The complete thesis policy is found in the Student Manual for the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences.
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Audiology program complete the investigative project during the third year of the curriculum. The objectives of the investigative project are to synthesize a body of literature related to a specific topic in audiology, cultivate professional writing skills, acquire didactic skills for dissemination of professional information and develop organizational and verbal tools needed for professional presentations.
Ordinarily, the investigative project includes three options: evidence-based practice systematic review, experimental project or professional/clinical project. A complete description of the investigative project is found in the Student Manual for the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences. Students are expected to submit the completed project for presentation at a state or national professional meeting, or for publication.
The faculty provides a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to a large clinical population that includes inpatients and outpatients. In addition, faculty and students participate in community and professional activities on the local, national and international level. Students and faculty participate in health fairs, screenings and other service activities throughout the year. Faculty provides leadership, editorial and committee service to state and national scientific and professional associations.
Speech-Language Pathology (MS) Non-Thesis Track: Curriculum
Program Total: 67 Credit Hours
ASHA Requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence
The academic coursework and clinical education hours required by ASHA for the Certificate of Clinical Competence is described on the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s website (www.asha.org). Students are responsible for reviewing this information and their undergraduate and graduate coursework to assure that the requirements will be met. If a deficiency exists, it is best to identify it early so appropriate plans can be made. Students should review their coursework with their academic advisers during the first term of enrollment.
Speech-Language Pathology (MS) Thesis Track: Curriculum
Thesis students may deselect up to 8 credit hours of select coursework (see courses listed with **asterisk). Deselected courses may be audited; audited courses will appear on the student’s transcript. The selection of the courses to remove from a student’s program of study is done with the approval of the student’s adviser, considering the individual’s undergraduate background and graduate needs and experiences.
Clinic practicum hours may be altered. Students selecting the thesis option should schedule an appointment with the clinical education manager at the time they elect to complete a thesis to begin this planning. The Summer Practicum (SLP Practicum 3) may be increased to 6 credit hours. The Spring Year 2 Practicum (SLP Practicum 5) may be reduced to 8 credit hours. These practicum experiences will be scheduled either on campus or at select external sites to facilitate completion of the thesis. Students may also seek additional practicum opportunities earlier in their academic programs, for example during academic breaks, to accelerate the achievement of the requisite number of contact hours. Students who may potentially alter their practicum hours must be in frequent contact with the clinical education manager to monitor that the requisite contact hours needed for graduation are being attained. Students who do not obtain the needed contact hours will register for additional credit during the following summer term so that this graduation requirement will be met.
Students who do not obtain the needed contact hours will register for additional credit during the following summer term so that this graduation requirement will be met.
Program Total: 67 Credit Hours
** Indicates course may be audited.
ASHA Requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence
The academic coursework and clinical education hours required by ASHA for the Certificate of Clinical Competence is described on the ASHA’s website (www.asha.org). Students are responsible for reviewing this information and their undergraduate and graduate coursework to assure that the requirements will be met. If a deficiency exists, it is best to identify it early so that appropriate plans can be made. Students should review their coursework with their academic advisers during the first term of enrollment.
Students on thesis track will begin with Independent Study in Spring 1 and continue with Thesis credit Summer 1, Fall 2 and Spring 2. Total thesis and independent study hours equals 8 credits. Student may audit a maximum of 4 credit hours in Summer 1 and the remaining credit hours in Fall 2 so that auditing hours are < 8. Therefore, credits required to graduate will be equal for thesis and non-thesis students.