The Communication Disorders Program at the University of Virginia offers masters (M.Ed.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in speech-language pathology. The master’s degree curriculum fulfils academic and clinical requirements for obtaining professional credentials in speech-language pathology from the Virginia State Board of Education, the Virginia Board of Speech-Language Pathology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The master’s degree in speech-language pathology is accredited by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). Clinical services are provided through the Speech-Language-Hearing Center which functions as a learning laboratory for the academic program, supporting both its clinical education and research missions. Academic and clinical education is comprehensive, and the program is committed to advancing clinical practice in school settings.
Graduates of the master’s degree program are prepared to evaluate and treat a broad spectrum of communication disorders as they occur across the life span. Initially, students participate in clinical practica under the supervision of clinical instructors at the University of Virginia. Advanced clinical training occurs at externship sites throughout central Virginia. Each student is required to complete clinical practicum assignments in a variety of settings. Typically these include educational settings (e.g. public and private schools), health-care settings (e.g., hospitals, rehabilitation units), and community clinics. A full-time internship semester provides the capstone clinical-education (training) experience. The internship site is chosen in accordance with the recommendation of the Director of Clinical Services and the student’s geographic and professional preferences.
Throughout the curriculum, students must successfully complete a series of clinical learning objectives. These learning objectives correspond to clinical competencies that are required for ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence. Students complete a comprehensive examination at the end of the internship semester. The focus of the exam is making clinical decisions. A thesis option is available.
Students entering the master’s degree program with undergraduate preparation in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) typically complete the graduate program in 5-6 semesters. Students entering without undergraduate preparation in CSD typically complete the curriculum in 7 semesters.
Doctoral studies are supported by the excellent research libraries at the University of Virginia. The Communication Disorders Program research faculty specialize in evaluating effective and efficient diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the areas of augmentative and alternative forms of communication, voice disorders, language and literacy, speech perception, and neurogenic communication disorders.Additional information about the Communication Disorders Program Area is available from the Communication Disorders Program, 2205 Fontaine Avenue, Suite 202, P.O. Box 800781, Charlottesville, VA 22908-8781, or 434-924-7107, or on-line at http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/commdis