Speech-Language Pathology, M.S.

Department of Special Education, College of Education

Vision Statement

The mission of the Special Education and Communication Disorders department is to prepare dedicated practitioners, reflective scholars, and responsible citizens who are unique in their ability to facilitate, design, implement, and evaluate programs for individuals with disabilities. This is accomplished by creating opportunities for the acquisition and maintenance of knowledge, skills, and dispositions as prescribed by the Council for Exceptional Children, the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and state and federal regulations.

Program Contact Information:

Dr. Philip Nordness, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)

Roskens Hall (RH) 512



Program Website:


Application Deadlines:

  • Fall: February 1
  • Spring: September 1
  • Summer: N/A

Application Requirements:

  • Online Application
  • One official copy of transcripts for ALL institutions previously attended
  • Application Fee
  • If English is not the language of nurture, official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam are required
    • 500 on the written TOEFL
    • 173 on the computer-based TOEFL
    • 61 on the internet-based TOEFL
    • 5.5 on the IELTS
    • 44 on the PTE
  • Minimum GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate courses related to proposed major

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • If English is not the language of nurture, official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam are required
    • 550 for the written TOEFL
    • 213 for the computer-based TOEFL
    • 61 for the internet-based TOEFL
    • If scores are more than two years old you may be required to retake the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam.
  • Entrance Exam
    • GRE
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Must submit the name and email of two persons who are well acquainted with the applicant’s undergraduate academic work, the applicant’s potential to do graduate work, and / or the applicant’s professional competence
  • Statement of Purpose
    • Covering such topics as interest, experience, and career goals.
  • Rule 20/21 Form
  • The following are considered to be essential skills and/or abilities for speech-language pathology candidates: adequate vision, hearing, speech, and language (spoken or written). Candidates must complete a speech-language-hearing screen within the first semester of enrollment.
  • The Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) must be passed the first semester of enrollment or the student will be prohibited from registering for classes. The candidate should consult with his or her advisor upon admission into the program to determine the first available time to sit for the PPST. It should be noted that candidates holding an active teaching certificate in elementary education, secondary education, or special education may have this requirement waived.

MS-SPTH Degree Requirements

Early admission to Speech-Language Pathology program:

Candidates with a previous Bachelor's degree in a discipline other than speech-language pathology may apply for early admission to the Speech-Language Pathology program. Candidates will take graduate courses while completing the undergraduate deficiencies, thereby expediting the completion of their professional preparation.

SPED 1400Introduction to Communication Disorders

3 credits

SPED 3200Writing for the Profession of Speech-Language Pathology

3 credits

SPED 4330Aural Rehabilitation

3 credits

SPED 4370Basic Audiology

3 credits

SPED 4380Anatomy and Physiology

3 credits

SPED 4390Hearing Science

3 credits

SPED 4420Early Language Development in Children

3 credits

SPED 4430Articulation and Phonological Disorders

3 credits

SPED 4450Phonetics

3 credits

SPED 4460Later Language Development in Children

3 credits

SPED 4470Neurophysiology of Speech and Language

3 credits

SPED 4490Introduction to Professional Practices

3 credits

SPED 4500Principles of Intervention

3 credits

SPED 4750Introduction to Childhood Language Disorders

3 credits

Professional education course work for certification

SPED 1400 (except Early Admit candidates)

SPED 3200 (except for Early Admit candidates)

SPED 4750 (except Early Admit candidates)

A natural science course


BIOL 1020Principles of Biology

5 credits

A physical science course

Prefer one of the following:

CHEM 1140Fundamentals of College Chemistry

4 credits

PHYS 1110General Physics I with Algebra

4 credits

PHYS 1050Introduction to Physics

4 credits

MS-SPTH Required Courses (39 hours):

TED 8010Introduction to Research

3 credits

SPED 8240Language Disorders in School-Age Children

3 credits

SPED 8410Motor Speech Disorders

3 credits

SPED 8420Voice Disorders

3 credits

SPED 8430Fluency Disorders

3 credits

SPED 8440Aphasia & Related Language Disorders

3 credits

SPED 8460Diagnostic Practicum in Communication Disorders

1 credit

SPED 8500Basic Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology

1 credit

SPED 8510Educational Externship in Communication Disorders

3 credits

SPED 8520Medical Externship in Communication Disorders

3 credits

SPED 8540Autism Spectrum Disorder

2 credits

SPED 8560Augmentative & Alternative Communication

2 credits

SPED 8570Dysphagia

3 credits

SPED 8590Language Disorders: Birth to Five

3 credits

SPED 8460 (register twice)

SPED 8500 (register three times)

SPED 8510 (Schools) (3)*

SPED 8520 (Hospitals; Rehabilitation Centers)

SPED 8510, SPED 8520: Placements for this practicum are made as space permits.

MS-SPTH Electives (3 hours):

The 3 hours of elective credit will be waived if the thesis option is chosen.

SPED 8980/TED 8850Professional Collaboration

3 credits

SPED 8556/SPED 4550Special Needs Students from Diverse Communities

3 credits

SPED 8970Instructional Strategies

3 credits

SPED 8820Behavioral Disorders

3 credits

GERO 8476/PSYC 8476Mental Health and Aging

3 credits

GERO 8506Legal Aspects of Aging

3 credits

GERO 8676Programs and Services for the Elderly

3 credits

GERO 8696/SOWK 8046Working with Minority Elderly

3 credits

MS-SPTH Exit Requirements:

SPED 8990Thesis

1 - 6 credits


Comprehensive Examination

All candidates should carefully review the Graduate College requirements for forming the Supervisory Committee, Thesis/Thesis Equivalent Proposal Approval Forms and final approval and submission of the thesis.

If the candidate takes the comprehensive examination, the candidate must pass the written comprehensive examination selected by the faculty.


Thesis Option: 45

Non-Thesis Option: 42

MS-SPED-Other Program-Related Information:

Remediation Statement

Every course assignment in the Speech-Language Pathology program’s classes is connected to a Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) competency. KASA competencies found in each syllabus (Section 3.1: Course Objectives) must be successfully met for the course to count toward certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Please refer to ASHA’s website for more information on KASA (http://www.asha.org/certification/slp_standards.htm). Remediation is required for any grade below a ‘B’ on any class requirement. Students will be required to meet with the instructor to remediate any grade below ‘B.’ Individual arrangements will be made, in writing, for remediation. The first score given by the instructor may be retained for course grading while the remediation assignment will be used to pass the KASA competencies. If a student’s overall grade for the course is a ‘B-’ or lower, remediation assignments MUST have been completed to the satisfaction of the instructor or the student must retake the class. If the student does successfully complete the remediation, the course grade of ‘B-’ or lower will be counted towards the student’s graduation, provided the student is still meeting the program’s overall Quality of Work standards.

If a student requires more than 2 remediation assignments across all courses in a given semester, a Conference Record Form will be completed by the student and the faculty members involved. Need for a third remediation in one semester will result in the student being placed on academic probation, the terms of which will be decided by coordination between the Communication Disorders faculty and the Office of Graduate Studies. The student then will be notified of the academic probation by letter from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic integrity is expected for all interactions and requirements. This includes, but is not limited to: original work on exams, accountability and completion of requirements, maintenance of confidentiality for individuals and class discussions when appropriate, and accurate citation for original work. Plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade for the assignment. Please refer to the UNO Academic Integrity Policy for more specific descriptions of academic integrity violations and to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Code of Ethics Principle IV.