Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Bachelor's to M.S. Accelerated Program

The Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences B.S. to M.S. Accelerated Program will allow students to graduate with their B.S. and M.S. in speech-language pathology in five years compared to the standard track which is six years. Students will have a direct entry to the SLHS graduate program if all the academic requirements are successfully completed in the undergraduate program. This accelerated program is a five-year curriculum, including two summers.

Students admitted as freshman receive a Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (B.S.) after successfully completing the first eight semesters of coursework, and the Master of Science (M.S.) degree after completing the additional four post-baccalaureate semesters. Students who have already earned an undergraduate degree may enter as a post-baccalaureate for two years of graduate coursework including two summers. 

The program will admit both internal and external transfer students. The number of students admitted will vary and is based on the available space in the respective cohort. A change of major status and program entry occurs the next applicable fall or spring semester following acceptance. 

Students studying Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences are equipped with the background to function in a changing health care landscape. A description of this vital member of the health care team is located in the career section below. 

Curriculum Overview

Requirements for the B.S. in SLHS include:

  • Maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA through completion of the B.S. degree
  • Obtain a B or higher in all SLHS courses
  • Obtain at least 15 clinical clock hours and 25 observation hours
  • 41 total undergraduate SLHS credit hours

Requirements for the M.S. in SLHS include:

  • Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA through completion of the M.S. degree
  • Obtain a C or higher in all SLHS graduate courses
  • Adhere to SLHS graduate handbook and obtain at least 325 required clock hours set by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) standards
  • 49 graduate SLHS credit hours

Clinical and Research Opportunities

SLU undergraduate students in speech, language and hearing sciences are encouraged to participate in research activities, either faculty-guided independent research or as a research assistant. Such activities provide learning experiences outside the classroom and serve to focus interest in the discipline. In addition to enriching the undergraduate curriculum, engaging in research is a valuable way to prepare for graduate studies. During the undergraduate semesters, students will observe adults and children with various speech, language and auditory disorders at SLU's Reinert Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. Following the completion of required courses, students also have an opportunity to participate in an elective clinical practicum.

A significant strength of SLU's M.S. in speech, language and hearing sciences is the wide variety of clinical practicum experiences available to graduate students. The department has strong working relationships with hospitals, schools, rehabilitation facilities and community clinics in St. Louis and surrounding areas. Research opportunities include independent studies worth one to two credits of elective credit or a six-credit research thesis. During the graduate semesters, students will experience at least two separate off-campus clinical placements, often obtaining 50 clinical hours or more at each site.

Additionally, students gain experience in SLU's Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. Students are ready for a full-time internship during their last semester, consisting of placements in both medical and educational settings. Students typically obtain considerably more than the minimum clock hours required by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and are well-prepared to begin their professional careers.


Speech-language pathologists typically need a master’s degree to practice. Most speech-language pathologists work in schools or health care facilities.

A doctoral degree (either a Ph.D. or an Au.D.) is required for audiologists entering the profession. Most audiologists work in health care facilities.

An undergraduate degree in speech, language and hearing sciences can also act as preparation for other professional degrees such as medicine, special education or public health.

Those not wishing to pursue an additional degree can practice as a speech-language pathology assistant in many states with a B.A. in communication sciences and disorders. Furthermore, some graduates have jobs as research assistants or patient care advocates with a bachelor's degree alone.

Speech-language pathology and audiology professions offer excellent employment opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for both careers is positive, with both projected to experience “much faster than average growth” in the next decade. The average speech pathologist salary in Missouri is $87,290 as of November 2023, but the range typically falls between $79,990 and $94,790.

Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are employed in various settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation agencies and private clinics or practices.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Applicants

All applicants are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration of all submitted credentials. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

  • High school diploma or acceptable score on the General Educational Development test (GED)
  • Minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.20 on a 4.00 scale
  • Saint Louis University has moved to a test-optional admission process for all undergraduate programs. Applicants may submit standardized test scores, but those who choose not to will not be disadvantaged in the admission process. 

Meeting admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.
The deadline for completed speech, language and hearing sciences applications and financial aid consideration for all freshmen is Dec. 1. 

Transfer Applicants

As space allows, students may enter the accelerated Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences program as an internal (enrolled in another program at SLU) or external (enrolled at another college or university) transfer student. Students may apply by Oct. 1 to be considered for spring admission or March 1 for fall admission. 

  • Students must have earned a cumulative 3.2 GPA for all prior coursework.
  • Per university policy, courses with grades of C or above may be eligible for transfer credit. 
  • All prerequisite courses must have been completed within the last five years. 
  • In-progress coursework must be completed by the semester of entry.
  • Provide a personal statement that answers: Why do you want to be a speech-language pathologist?
    • External applicants must submit their personal statement to transfer@slu.edu
    • Internal applicants must submit their personal statement to the SLHS undergraduate program director.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students, along with the following:

  • You must demonstrate English language proficiency.
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding your time at Saint Louis University.
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of your study at the University.
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are required.

For additional information, see the catalog entries for the following SLU programs:

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, B.S.

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, M.S.

B.S. Accelerated Track Requirements 

  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and grade of B or better in all required SLHS coursework.
  • Minimum credit hours for graduation with B.S. is 120 total credits, including SLU core and SLHS major requirements.
  • 41 SLHS major credits are required to complete the B.S. degree. Students may choose six total credits of electives from these SLHS courses:
    • SLHS 1000 Introduction to Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences (3 cr)
    • SLHS 1420 Deaf Culture and Sign Language (2 cr)
    • SLHS 4600 Advanced Audiology (2 cr)
    • SLHS 4900 Speech Sound Disorders Assessment & Treatment (2 cr)

M.S. Accelerated Track Requirements

  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and grade of C or better in all graduate courses.
  • Students are required to adhere to the standards in the SLHS Student Clinical Handbook and must obtain at least 325 required clinical clock hours set by ASHA standards. 
  • Minimum credit hours for graduation with M.S. will include 49 SLHS graduate credit hours. Students may choose six total elective credits from these SLHS courses:

Continuation Standards

If a student fails to meet the above requirements while in the B.S. program, they will not be able to continue in the SLHS direct admit track. In this case they would move to the standard track and still be eligible to apply to the post-baccalaureate SLHS program through the pre-select application or standard application method. In addition, if a student decides to pursue their graduate degree at an institution other than SLU, their intentions must be communicated to the program director no later than the end of spring of year three.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
STAT 1100
Introduction to Statistics
or Elementary Statistics with Computers
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
CHEM 1000
Chemistry and the Environment (or any general chemistry course)
or Principles of Chemistry 1 Lecture
or General Chemistry 1
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 1
SLHS 2000 Phonetics 2
XXXXElective (encouraged to take SLHS 1420) 2
CMM 1200 Public Speaking 3
SLHS 2400 Foundations of Language 3
SLHS 3000 Cultural Linguistic Diversity 3
BIOL 1240
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
or General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
XXXXElectives 6
Year Two
ENGL 1900 Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research 3
CORE 2500 Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation 0
SLHS 3200 Speech & Hearing Science 3
SLHS 3700 Speech and Language Development 3
SLHS 4200 Audiology: Basic Audiometry 3
XXXXElectives (encouraged to take EDUC 1300 & EDUC 1010) 4
Spring Year 2 Option to Study Abroad  
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
PSY 1010
General Psychology
or Abnormal Psychology
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 2-3
SLHS 2200 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism (Take Year 1 Spring if studying abroad) 3
SLHS 4150 Survey of Speech & Language Disorders (Take Year 3 Spring if studying abroad) 3
Year Three
SLHS 4300 Clinical Methods 3
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
SLHS 4350 Professional Writing & Documentation for the SLP and AuD 1
SLHS 4400 Aural Rehabilitation 3
XXXXElective (encouraged to take IPE 2100) 3
XXXXElectives (encouraged to take HSCI 2200 & EDUC 3470) 4
SLHS 4650 Counseling 3
SLHS 4700 Clinical Practicum 2
SLHS 4800
Senior Seminar
or Research Seminar and Research Practicum
SLHS 4600 Advanced Audiology 2
SLHS 4500 Neurological Basis of Communication 3
XXXXElective (encouraged to take IPE 4200) 1
XXXXElective 3
SLHS 4010 Foundations of Contemporary Clinical Practice 1
SLHS 4011 Clinical Laboratory 2
SLHS 4100 Fluency Disorders 3
SLHS 5530 Augmentative and Alternative Communication 2
XXXXElective (encouraged to take SLHS 5710) 2
Year Four
SLHS 4010 Foundations of Contemporary Clinical Practice 1
SLHS 4012 Practicum - Campus Clinic 2
SLHS 5050 Research for the Clinician 2
SLHS 5450 Speech Sound Disorders in Children 3
SLHS 5550 Early Childhood Language Disorders 3
SLHS 5800 Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology 2
Graduates with B.S. in SLHS  
SLHS 5010 Foundations of Contemporary Clinical Practice 1
SLHS 5012 Practicum - Campus Clinic 1
SLHS 5630 Dysphagia 3
SLHS 5560 School-Age Language Disorders 3
SLHS 5720 Neurogenic Communication Disorders in Adults 3
SLHS 5770 Multilingual Communication Disorders 2
XXXXElective (encouraged to take SLHS 5510, SLHS 5100, or SLHS 5880) 2
SLHS 5010 Foundations of Contemporary Clinical Practice 1
SLHS 5012 Practicum - Campus Clinic 1
XXXX Elective (encouraged to take SLHS 5520)  
SLHS 5990 Thesis Research * 2
Year Five
SLHS 5010 Foundations of Contemporary Clinical Practice 1
SLHS 5015 Practicum - Offsite Clinic 1-2
SLHS 5700 Voice Disorders 3
SLHS 5760 Motor Speech Disorders 3
SLHS 5820 Cognitive Communication Disorders 3
SLHS 5990 Thesis Research * 2
XXXXElective (encouraged to take SLHS 5580) 2
SLHS 5910 Clinical Externship 6
XXXXElective (encouraged to take SLHS 5990) * 2
 Total Credits162-165

If Non-Thesis, these 6 credits of Thesis Research will be replaced by 6 credits of graduate-level electives.

If a student is Thesis, their 6 credits of Thesis Research would replace these electives.

Program Notes

  • With approval students may take SLHS 4050 (Fall 1 CH) and SLHS 4060 (Spring 1CH) in place of SLHS 4800 (Spring 2CH)
  • SLHS courses listed meet SLU CORE and major requirements: SLHS 3000, SLHS 4650, SLHS 4700, SLHS 4800 or SLHS 4060
  • If studying abroad in spring of year two, SLHS 2200 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism (3 cr) should be taken spring of year one