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Communication Sciences and Disorders, B.S./M.S. (5-Year)

Program Description

La Salle University offers a unique five-year Communication Sciences and Disorders major, leading to a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in speech-language pathology. Speech-language pathologists care for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds with communication and swallowing disorders. They assess, treat, and help prevent speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, fluency, and related disorders. The education of speech-language pathologists involves undergraduate coursework in communication sciences and disorders and graduate coursework and clinical experiences in speech-language pathology. A master’s degree is the recognized credential in speech-language pathology. It is required for national certification, state licensure, and Pennsylvania teacher requirements for speech-language pathologists.


The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential) at La Salle University is accredited 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.

Certification and Licensure

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, credentialing, and scientific organization for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech-language-hearing scientists. To practice in most work settings, speech-language pathologists must hold a master’s degree and become certified by ASHA. This certification is called the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) and requires completing specific program coursework (including practicum), completing a supervised Clinical Fellowship (CF), and passing a national examination. 

For more information about ASHA certification, please visit

All 50 states require speech-language pathologists to be licensed to practice. For state-specific licensure information (including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware), please visit State-by-State (

La Salle University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has received approval for teacher certification for the Educational Specialist I School Speech & Language Pathologist PK-12 or the Teacher Instructional Certificate I for Speech and Language Impaired PK-12 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Earning one of these certificates is required to work in the various school systems in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State Board regulations require candidates applying for either certificate to pass the appropriate Praxis test administered by the Educational Testing Service. Information about the Praxis Series Tests is available at Other states may also require prospective teachers to take this or other examinations. In addition to all of the requirements for completing the Master’s degree, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty must recommend candidates for Instructional I certificates. Recommendations are predicated upon completing all course requirements with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in CSD courses. 

Clinical Experiences

The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology offers clinical education at various practicum sites. The CSD Department has established strong ties with more than 250 schools, hospitals, private practices, and rehabilitation facilities for supervised clinical practicum affiliations in the greater Philadelphia area. Currently, these include acute-care hospitals (pediatric and adult); rehabilitation hospitals (pediatric and adult); specialized schools; elementary, middle, and high schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware; intermediate units in Pennsylvania and educational services units in New Jersey; and private practices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is a pre-professional membership association for students interested in communication sciences and disorders. La Salle University formed an ASHA-recognized NSSLHA chapter in 2002. Membership in the La Salle NSSLHA chapter is available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in one of the Communication Sciences and Disorders programs.

Student NSSLHA members can increase their involvement in the field by visiting professional work sites, engaging in group outreach programs, attending panel discussions, fundraising, and more. NSSLHA membership allows students to engage in leadership activities locally and nationally by promoting dialogue between students, professionals, and community members.

Visit the NSSLHA Web site:

CSD Student Handbook

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Student Handbook contains program-specific rules, guidelines, and procedures for progression and will be available to all students.

Why Take This Major?

The Five-Year B.S. to M.S. Program in Speech-Language Pathology is an accelerated program in which students can earn a bachelor's and master's degree in five years. A master's degree is the entry-level degree needed to become a speech-language pathologist. This program is reserved for the most competitive students. Students with outstanding academic backgrounds can be admitted directly into the Five-Year Program as freshmen. High-achieving students admitted to the Communication Sciences and Disorders B.S. program as first-year students may be invited to apply to the Five-Year Program during their sophomore year. Please see the Communication Sciences and Disorders Student Handbook for criteria for the 5-Year B.S./M.S. program invitation.