Graduate Study - NIU - Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-Language Pathology

Graduate Study: Specialization in Speech-Language Pathology

We offer a specialization in Speech-Language Pathology for those completing the master's program in Communication Disorders (M.A.), offered by the School of Allied Health & Communicative Disorders.

The specialization in Speech-Language Pathology is typically completed in six terms. The first summer term students enroll in classes only. During the next four terms (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall), students attend class and work in the on-campus clinic and local off-campus clinical sites. The last term of study consists of a full-time off-campus practicum. Students typically spend nine weeks in a school setting and nine weeks in a hospital/rehab setting. Prior to completing a full time experience in a school setting, students must pass the Test of Academic Proficiency and the speech-language pathology non-teaching exam from the Illinois State Board of Education.  Information is available here.  Students also have the option of pursuing an Illinois Professional Educator License in Non-Teaching Speech-Language Pathology at NIU.

Areas of Study

Students select courses from a broad menu including Swallowing Disorders, Craniofacial Anomalies, Aphasia, Stuttering, Child Language Disorders, School Age Language Disorders, Phonological Disorders, and a number of others.

graduateStudents with special interests may design a focus of study in a particular area (e.g., Early Intervention, Neurological Disorders, Fluency Disorders, and others)

Off-Campus sites for practicum are available in essentially all the major hospitals and rehabilitation centers in northern Illinois and a large number of school districts. We have placed students in neonatal intensive care units, special education classrooms, head injury centers, dysphagia units, etc. Out of state practica may be arranged for interested students. Prior to engaging in clinical experiences students will be asked to fulfill Special Clinical Requirement which are explained in the catalog and on the criminal background check information page.

thesis option is available for students interested in completing original investigations under the supervision of a faculty member.

Upon completing the master's degree, students specializing in Speech-Language Pathology meet the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence and qualify for licensure by the state of Illinois. Employment is 100%. Most graduates of the Speech-Language Pathology program choose to work in Illinois. However, nearly all states have a Northern Illinois graduate working in speech-language pathology. In order to practice as a speech-language pathologist, graduates must pass the Praxis II: Subject Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology exam.  Information is available at: 

Learn more about preparing for graduate work in Speech-Language Pathology for students with a bachelor's degree in an area other than Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The program is accredited in Speech-Language Pathology by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and is designed for all students to meet the academic and clinical requirements for clinical certification (CCC-SLP)