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Grand Valley State University    
2013-2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Apr 23, 2019
2013-2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Speech-Language Pathology - Program Description


Speech-language pathologists (also referred to as speech therapists) are educated to assess speech and language development and to treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders. Speech-language pathologists often work as part of an interprofessional team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors and others.

Career Opportunities

The US Department of Labor identifies Speech-Language Pathology as one of the top ten professions for growth and reports that “employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations.” Speech-language pathology is regularly listed among the best careers in job availability and job satisfaction. Forbes magazine listed it as one of the least stressful jobs. All of these factors have also helped to create a nation-wide surge of interest among students to study the profession.

Speech-language pathologists may practice the profession in various settings: public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, short-term and long-term nursing care facilities, community clinics, colleges and universities, private practice offices, state and local health departments, state and federal government agencies, home health agencies (home care), adult day care centers, centers for persons with developmental disabilities, and research laboratories.

Speech-Language Pathology at Grand Valley

Speech-language pathology is a four-semester program leading to a master of science degree. Students interested in studying speech-language pathology at the graduate level must complete a series of prerequisite courses at the undergraduate level. The profession of speech-language pathology is a licensed field of practice that typically requires completion of a graduate degree from an accredited institution. It is not possible to become licensed as a speech-language pathologist without the graduate degree. Professional certification is also available to practitioners that demonstrate to the public that the speech-language pathologist has completed rigorous academic and clinical preparation and is considered competent to practice the profession. The master degree program at GVSU prepares students to qualify for licensure and validates that students have completed all academic preparation to qualify for national certification.


All admissions materials, with the exception of the personal interview, must be received prior to the application deadline of February 15th. Applications will be reviewed in accordance with slots that may be available. Using the submitted material, the program’s admissions committee will rank eligible candidates for a limited number of admissions. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must have:

  1. Completion of a Bachelors Degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average in the prerequisite coursework.
  2. Successful completion of any undergraduate prerequisite courses.
  3. General GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing).
  4. Personal written statement/questionnaire. The program will provide this to prospective applicants.
  5. Professional vita or resume.
  6. Names and contact information for three individuals willing to serve as a reference.
  7. Personal interview, if invited.
  8. Applicants must be able to perform all essential functions specified by the program. A copy of the essential functions document will be provided to all prospective applicants.
  9. Foreign born applicants must demonstrate sufficient mastery of English proficiency to be able to succeed as a graduate student and to practice the profession of speech-language pathology. Minimum score on the TOEFL of 610 (253 on computer-based). Scores must be received by the institution prior to the admission deadline.

Students applying for admission to the M.S. program in Speech-Language Pathology should be aware that some of the clinical placement sites in which students are required to complete clinical practica in order to graduate will require the student to produce a current criminal records check. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for the check, to keep it current in order to comply with the requirements of the various clinical sites, and to advise the university and program if the status of the student’s criminal record changes at any time during the student’s program of study.

M.S. program in Speech-Language Pathology