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Valerie Johnson Program Director Speech Language Pathology

Program Director
Valerie Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; (973) 972-2237

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

The proposed Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MSSLP), to be located in Newark on the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences campus, is a 66-credit, entry-level program that will prepare students to prevent, evaluate, diagnose, and treat speech, language communication, and swallowing disorders.

This program, which will be completed over five consecutive semesters (two years), will emphasize service delivery for multiethnic, socially diverse populations – including dialectal speakers of English and bilingual/multilingual individuals – with speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders within an interdisciplinary healthcare context. Eligible students will have the option of completing the Bilingual Competency Recognition (BCR). With a curricular emphasis on interprofessional services for communicatively-impaired ethnically diverse populations, our MSSLP program is expected to train students to work with both child and adult caseloads in our complex multidisciplinary healthcare settings serving multiethnic communities.

NOTE: The Master of Science in speech-language pathology at Rutgers University is an Applicant for Candidacy Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Md., 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. If approved, the program plans to admit its first cohort of students in Fall 2021.

Founding Faculty

Valerie E. Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
MSSLP Program Director

Jose G. Centeno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Bilingual Competency Recognition Coordinator

Future virtual open houses have been scheduled for the following dates:

Join us at our Virtual Open House on September 1 at 2 p.m. Please register in advance:

Register Here

Join us at our Virtual Open House on September 16 at 1 p.m. Please register in advance:

Register Here

Our program is unique in offering:

  • An academic, clinical, and interprofessional curriculum steeped in scientific information and clinical procedures regarding socially, culturally and linguistically diverse populations, including both dialectal and bilingual/multilingual speakers.
  • Academic education and clinical training with socially, and multiethnic populations across the lifespan.
  • Students who meet additional requirements will have the opportunity to be recognized with Bilingual Competency Recognition.

Academic Pre-requisites: Evidence of completion with a grade of B or better in the following undergraduate-level courses.

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms
  • Introduction to Audiology
  • Neurophysiological Bases for Communication
  • Phonetics
  • Speech and Hearing Science
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Speech, Language, and Communication Disorders Across the Lifespan
  • Documentation of 25 hours of observation with an ASHA certified SLP
  • Additional coursework required includes one course in each of the following areas: biological, physical and social/behavioral sciences and statistics.

 Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 from an undergraduate program accredited in the U.S. or its equivalent
  • A personal written statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Competitive GRE scores on all three sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical)
  • Students who have graduated from a foreign institution must submit a WES evaluation of their coursework and TOEFL scores along with an official transcript.
The MSSLP is a full-time program.

SLP Program Curriculum

Year 1 Cr Course # Pre/Co-Requisites
Fall 1
Foundations of Ethnoracial-Social Diversity & Public Health for SLP Practice 3 SPLP 5110
Speech Sound Disorders in Children 3 SPLP 5120
Language Disorders in Young Children 3 SPLP 5131
Neuroscience for SLP Practice 3 SPLP 5140
Clinical Methods and Procedures 2 SPLP 5150 SPLP 5169
SLP Practicum & Seminar I 1 SPLP 5169 SPLP 5150
Research Principles for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice in SLP 3 SPLP 5320
Total Semester Credits 17
Spring 1
Adult Cognitive Communication Disorders 3 SPLP 5210 SPLP 5140
Language & Literacy Disorders in School-Age Children 3 SPLP 5132
Feeding & Swallowing Disorders 3 SPLP 5220 SPLP 5140
Acquired Language Disorders 3 SPLP 5230 SPLP 5140
Motor Speech Disorders 3 SPLP 5240 SPLP 5140
Autism Spectrum Disorders 1 SPLP 5250 SPLP 5131; 5132
SLP Practicum & Seminar II 1 SPLP 5179 SPLP 5169
Total Semester Credits 17
Summer 1 (6-Week Session A)
SLP Principles & Practices in Diverse Medical Settings 1 SPLP 5310
Alternative & Augmentative Communication 1 SPLP 5330
Foundations of Interprofessional Practice (online) 1 SHP1
Summer 1 (6-Week Session B)
Principles & Practices in Diverse School Settings 1 SPLP 5340 SPLP 5132
Voice Disorders 3 SPLP 5350
Special Topics in SLP 1 SPLP 5360
Summer Session 1 (12-Week Session)
SLP Practicum & Seminar III 1 SPLP 5189 SPLP 5179
Total Semester Credits 15
Year 2
Fall 2
SLP Externship & Seminar I 9 SPLP 6019 SPLP 5189
Fluency Disorders 2 SPLP 6410
Total Semester Credits 11
Spring 2
Comprehensive Examination (Pass/Fail) 0
SLP Externship & Seminar II 9 SPLP 6029 SPLP 6019
Aural Rehabilitation and Habilitation 3 SPLP 6510
Total Semester Credits 12
Total Program Credits 66

1SHP Foundations of Interprofessional Practice is currently under development

Course Descriptions

Fall 1


SPLP 5110 Foundations of Ethnoracial-Social Diversity and Public Health in SLP

This course will address ethnoracial and social diversity foundations of language, communication, and speech with an emphasis on minority groups and bilingual/multilingual and dialectal speakers of English in the U.S as well as health determinants and healthcare disparities, particularly in minority groups in multiethnic communities

SPLP 5120 Speech Sound Disorders in Children

This course will discuss the nature of speech sound disorders and differences that may occur in children who are monolingual, bilingual, or speak dialectal varieties of English. In addition, assessment procedures and intervention methods will be explored.

SPLP 5131 Language Disorders in Young Children

This course will focus on the etiology, characteristics, assessment, and treatment of language impairment in young children, including cognitive/processing deficits. Disordered language in young bilingual children and children who speak dialectal varieties of English and IPP considerations in the clinical services for language-disordered will also be discussed.

SPLP 5140 Neuroscience for SLP Practice

This course will focus on a foundational overview of the neuroanatomical bases and neurophysiological processes involved in unimpaired and impaired language, cognition, speech, and swallowing functions, including neurodiagnostic techniques.

SPLP 5150 Clinical Methods and Procedures

The course will provide an orientation to clinical practice in speech-language pathology across the lifespan. The clinical process is presented as a construct which interfaces interpersonal dynamics with best evidence-based professional practices. A decision-making continuum, including IPP and cultural competence considerations, is applied to the interpretation of individual client needs as a basis for developing goals, planning treatment procedures, documenting treatment, and planning for referral and/or discharge.

SPLP 5169 SLP Practicum and Seminar I

This laboratory course provides observation hours and involves students in an initial experience under supervision in providing services to individuals with communication disorders at the RU-SLP Clinic or community clinical sites.

SPLP 5320 Research Principles for Evidenced-based Clinical Practice in SLP

This course will provide students with an overview of empirical methods in speech-language pathology research as a foundation to foster the critical appraisal of reported research evidence and its applications and implications to clinical practices in the profession. Specifically, the course will focus on the  evaluation and design of different types of research methodologies, such as descriptive (e.g., case study, developmental, qualitative, surveys), exploratory (e.g., correlational, differential), and experimental (e.g., single-subject designs, randomized control trials, treatment efficacy studies). Research issues pertinent to ethnoracial minorities with communication disorders will also be discussed in the course.


Spring 1


SPLP 5210 Adult Cognitive-Communicative Disorders

This course will concentrate on the etiology, neuroanatomical bases, and classification of the pathologies associated with acquired language-cognitive-communicative symptoms from traumatic brain injuries and the dementias as well as the evaluation and treatment approaches employed when working with adults with these lesions and impairments, including clinical factors pertinent to multiethnic adult populations. IPP considerations regarding clinical services for this population will be discussed.

SPLP 5132 Language & Literacy Disorders in School-Age Children

This course will explore language disorders of school-age children and adolescents, including students that are bilingual or dialectal speakers of English. Students will study the social, cognitive, and linguistic aspects of language impairment and differences. The interplay of language and literacy and its implications for intervention in this age group will be examined. Students will practice conversational and narrative analysis. Other formal and informal nonbiased assessment methods will be reviewed, along with intervention models commonly used in school and private clinical settings. IPP considerations regarding clinical services for this population will be discussed.

SPLP 5220 Feeding and Swallowing Disorders

This course will cover the anatomy and neurophysiology of normal swallowing stages throughout the aero-digestive tract, pathophysiology of feeding and swallowing in children and adults, and evaluation techniques and treatment procedures. An IPP approach that includes relevant aspects of cultural diversity to clinical management will be stressed.

SPLP 5230 Acquired Language Disorders in Adults

This course will focus on the etiology, neuroanatomical bases, and classification of the language, communication, and cognitive symptoms associated with post-stroke left-sided and right-sided hemispheric lesions, including aphasia in bilingual and dialectal speakers of English, as well as the evaluation and treatment approaches to work with adults with these lesions and impairments. IPP considerations regarding stroke care will be discussed.

SPLP 5240 Motor Speech Disorders

This course will address the etiology, anatomical underpinnings, and classification of neurogenic speech production disorders, their assessment, diagnoses, and management.  Discussion will particularly focus on the dysarthrias and apraxias, particularly the different co-impairments in the various components of the speech signal, namely, respiration, phonation, resonance, and articulation. IPP considerations in the services for individuals with these disorders will be discussed.


SPLP 5179 SLP Practicum and Seminar II

With a grade of B or higher in Practicum and Seminar I, this laboratory course provides students with the opportunity to provide clinical services under supervision to individuals with communication disorders at the RU-SLP Clinic or community clinical sites.

SPLP 5250 Autism Spectrum Disorders

This course focuses on the characteristics, research, diagnosis, and intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), with an emphasis on neurological and psychological theories, research-based interventions, and interdisciplinary services.


Summer Sessions A


SPLP 5310 SLP Principles and Practices in Diverse Medical Settings

This course will provide an overview of the knowledge, skills, and processes in the practice of speech-language pathology in healthcare/medical settings. Topics will include topics such as the continuum of care in medical speech-language pathology, the dynamics of interdisciplinary medical/healthcare practice, technological procedures (e.g., electronic medical records, apps, telepractice), ethical issues, and cultural competence in ethnically-socially diverse healthcare services.

SHP Foundations of Interprofessional Practice

This course is currently under development

SPLP 5330 Alternative and Augmentative Communication

This course will focus on describing the principles of technologically-based instrumentation for individuals with complex communication needs. The course will emphasize approaches to instrument selection from simple to complex as well as use of the selected technologies for individuals across the lifespan with varying disabilities and communication demands. Interdisciplinary considerations in service provision for the AAC-using population will also be discussed.

Summer Session B
SPLP 5340 SLP Principles and Practices in Diverse Schools Settings

This course will provide students with an overview of clinical programs in the public schools. Testing, scheduling, grouping, service delivery models, intervention and record keeping will be discussed within the perspective of clinical application. The IPP role of the speech language pathologist in relation to administrators, teacher specialists in related areas, parents and paraprofessionals will be reviewed.


SPLP 5360 Special Topics in SLP 

This advanced course will focus on rotating topics in the profession that will integrate the critical appraisal of the literature to formulate evidence-based clinical decisions.

SPLP 6510 Voice Disorders

This course will cover