Saint Xavier University Communication Sciences and Disorders Department Ludden Speech Clinic

Graduate Programs

Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program

The Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Department has a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology that offers students a program of academic and clinical preparation that meets the requirements of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, the requirements for Illinois State Licensure to practice as a speech-language pathologist, and the requirements for a Professional Educator License endorsed in Speech-Language Pathology Non-Teaching to work as a speech-language pathologist in Illinois public schools.

The Master of Science program in Speech-Language Pathology 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. The program is accredited through February 28, 2023. The degree designator of the accredited program is the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Application Components

Application Requirements

Applicants to Saint Xavier University's master of science in speech-language pathology program must meet the following specific requirements in addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate study at the University:

  1. Completion of an undergraduate major, or equivalent undergraduate course sequence, in speech language pathology. Undergraduate preparation typically includes:
    • coursework in biological and physical sciences, mathematics, behavioral and social sciences, statistics, linguistics and psycholinguistics
    • basic human communication and swallowing processes, including: anatomy and physiology of speech, hearing and swallowing mechanisms; speech and hearing science; phonetics; normal language development; basic audiology; neurological bases of communication and swallowing
    • introduction to developmental and acquired communication disorders, basic clinical methods and up to 50 hours of clinical practicum
  2. Scores on the general and writing section of the graduate record examination (GRE). A combined general score of 300 and a writing score of 4.0 is preferred, not required. If you take the GRE more than once, then please know that the highest score of yours from each of the three categories -- verbal, quantitative, writing -- is what will be considered when reviewing your GRE scores.
  3. For CSDI "majors," a minimum undergraduate cum GPA of 3.2/4.0 is required. For "non-majors," the cum GPA from either your bachelor's degree or CSDI bridge courses must be 3.2/4.0. If you do not meet either of these GPA requirements, you will not be considered for admission.
  4. Three written recommendations from individuals able to comment on the applicant's academic and clinical achievements and potential for successful graduate study.
  5. Submission of a narrative regarding interest in the field.

Application Procedures

In order to apply to the graduate program in communication sciences and disorders at Saint Xavier University, individuals must submit an online application through the communication sciences and disorders central application service (CSDCAS) only. Do not submit an application through Saint Xavier University. CSDCAS posts frequently asked questions on the applicant portal. You are encouraged to read the FAQs before submitting your application.

Important information:

  • CSDCAS application portal.
  • You must have your application and all materials submitted directly to CSDCAS by January 15 in order to be considered for admission into the following fall semester. The SXU CSDCAS GRE code is 0755. We encourage you to submit your application to CSDCAS by December 31 to allow CSDCAS ample time to process your application, combine it with the required supplemental items, and prepare it for the admission committee.
  • Your application and all supplemental items must reach CSDCAS by January 15 in order for you to be considered for admission. The admissions committee at SXU will not review any applicant's file whose application, three recommendations, narrative statement, GRE results, or official transcripts do not reach CSDCAS by January 15.
  • CSDCAS Customer Service Information is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at 617-612-2030 or
  • Send official transcripts to:

CSDCAS Verification Department
P.O. Box 9113
Watertown, MA 02471

Admission Requirements for International Students

International students have additional application/admission requirements. See Supplementary Admission Criteria for International Students.

Admission Requirements for Non-Majors

For information about admission requirements for non-majors, please visit the Transfer into Communication Sciences and Disorders web page.

Academic Requirements

Please review the program requirements and the course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog for more detailed information.

General Requirements

A minimum of 48 credit hours is required for completion of the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Credits are obtained in three interdependent categories: speech-language pathology content, clinical education and research. Students successfully completing the graduate degree are eligible for clinical certification in Speech-Language Pathology through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association as a function of meeting extensive skill and knowledge expectations associated with curricular offerings. Detailed formative activities regarding specific curricular requirements occur following acceptance into the graduate program.

The program is currently offered on a full-time basis, which typically involves five semesters including the summer semester between the two full academic years. Students may elect longer residencies for the purpose of obtaining additional academic, clinical or research experience.

Courses are chosen in consultation with the student's academic advisor from the core courses, clinical practicum, elective courses and other offerings listed in the University's graduate catalog. Additionally, coursework from other departments and schools within the University is also available (e.g., psychology, education, nursing).

In addition, successful completion of either comprehensive examinations or thesis research is a requirement of the program.

Clinical Education

Students completing the graduate degree in speech-language pathology enroll for several different clinical practicum courses. The overall objective is to provide a range of experiences in the development of entry-level competence for the profession. The specific number of practicum hours in individual courses will vary, however all students will complete the minimum 400 hours of supervised practicum to be eligible for ASHA certification.

State of Illinois Certification

Students who wish to satisfy Illinois State Board of Education requirements for the Type 73 school service personnel certificate (speech-language impaired) and for state licensure must complete the approved program of general and professional education requirements, pass the Illinois certification test of basic skills as well as the appropriate test of subject matter knowledge, and pass the PRAXIS examination. Details concerning Type 73 certification and Illinois state licensure are available from academic advisors.