M.Ed. in Communication Sciences and Disorders


The M.Ed. in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a clinical degree program with a long, successful record of producing clinicians who are fully prepared for a rewarding career as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

The Character of Our Master's Program

Every class and every clinical assignment is aimed at producing clinicians who are prepared for (1) the entire Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, and (2) the entire continuum of care from acute care, NICU, and early intervention to rehabilitation and school-based clinical practice. Our courses and clinical practica emphasize hands-on learning and making clinical decisions through evidenced-based practice. We are in the business of creating professionals for the modern workplace.

We have a thesis option for those who are thinking about the possibility of pursuing a Ph.D. sometime down the road. We enthusiastically embrace students who want to do a master's thesis, but only after we have thoroughly discussed the realities of timing and the possibility of adding another semester of grad school.

Our Degree

Our clinical degree is the M.Ed. because we are a part of the Curry School of Education and Human Development. Just like every other accredited program, our classroom and clinical experiences cover the entire SLP Scope of Practice. From a content perspective, the degree is no different than the M.A. or M.S. in SLP. Every student practices SLP in schools and every student practices in medically based settings (see the section on Clinical Placements). Our grads take entry-level positions in both settings.

The M.Ed. degree is accredited through the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).  The current accreditation cycle of full accreditation runs from 2014 to 2022.  Contacting CAA may be accomplished by mail (2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850), phone (800-498-2071), or email (accreditation@asha.org).

The Program complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders prohibiting discrimination towards students, faculty, staff, and persons served in our clinic -- including prohibitions on discrimination based on any category prohibited by applicable law including, but not limited to, age, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

In fact, our faculty members and students are committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion, equity, respect, and dignity among ourselves and everyone we serve.

Our Mission Statement

The graduate program in speech-language pathology at the University of Virginia provides academic and clinical instruction for establishing the knowledge and skill base necessary for (a) completing the Master's degree, (b) becoming a credentialed speech-language pathologist, and (c) practicing speech-language pathology in an entry-level position. That knowledge and skill base conforms to the Scope of Practice as defined by the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

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Program Details


  • Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

    Applicants must submit an online application including the following items:

    • 2 letters of recommendation with at least 1 from a faculty member. Letters should be solicited through the online application system. If that is not possible, paper letters can be mailed to the address on the Curry Admissions page.
    • unofficial transcripts
    • unofficial GRE scores
    • a goal statement (1-2 pages)

    Applicants may submit unofficial test scores and transcripts with their application. However, official test scores (taken with 5 years) and official transcripts showing degree conferral are required prior to matriculation.  The institution code for the University of Virginia is 5820.  The average GRE scores for applicants admitted to a master's program for fall 2016 were 156 verbal, 153 quantitative, and 4.5 writing.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Tuition and Fees

    Tuition and Fees are determined by the UVA Board of Visitors and are subject to change. See the current tuition and fee schedule for Curry School graduate students, as well as tuition and fees for Summer School.

    Questions regarding federal financial aid questions are best directed to UVA Financial Services. The FASFA is due on March 1. Be sure to request Work Study among the forms of support that you request. On our application, be sure to check the box next in the “Are you requesting financial support” item. 

    Our Program does offer financial support to as many students as our budget will allow. The federal government sets the rate for each student. Typically, this support comes in the form of wage earnings amounting to approximately $9,600 per year (if all work hours are completed at 10 hr/wk.). Student workers are typically assigned to a position in our clinic or in a research lab. Because most students are not in Charlottesville during the internship semester, financial support does not continue into the final semester.

  • Application & Acceptance

    Application deadline is January 15. After this date, we are busy working our way through applications. Two readers independently assess each qualifying application. Decisions will be released 6 weeks after the deadline.

    We place a great deal of weight on the letter that you write for yourself. We are interested in learning about your accomplishments. We also heavily weight your letters of recommendation.

    In general, we are looking for a GPA of 3.0 or greater, a GRE Quantitative of 150 or greater, a GRE Analytical of 150 or greater, and a GRE Writing of 4.0 or greater. But we are interested in your entire application.

    We will issue invitations in the first week of March. We will send out offers of financial support shortly afterwards. We will send out notifications to individuals we place on our wait list in the second week of March. 

    Our target incoming class is 27 individuals. About half of those individuals will have a degree in communication disorders, and about half will have a degree in something other than communication disorders. Everyone we invite to join us has until April 15 to accept/decline our offer. However, we urge you to secure your seat in the class and accept our invitation once you are ready to make a serious commitment to UVA. To make certain that UVA is the right fit for you, please review our current OnBoarding Manual and all our Master's webpages.

    Often, UVA is the first choice grad school for several individuals on our wait list. Please do not accept our invitation unless you intend to attend UVA. If you decide to attend another university, please let us know as soon as possible. That way, we can extend an offer to someone on the waitlist in a timely manner. Thank you.

    Between March 1 and April 15, we will hold weekly online meetings designed to provide you with all the information you need to make your decision. All invited and wait-list applicants will receive invitations to these meetings. Each week a member of our faculty will discuss their clinical interests, their research interests, and their classes. Our students will conduct one of the meetings as well.

    The meetings are informal and optional. Every session will provide ample opportunity for questions and answers.

    In early March, we will send the schedule of meeting times and topics. You may attend any or all of the online sessions as you like.

    Everyone who decides to attend UVA will be invited to some exclusive online sessions focusing on what to expect, summer preparations, and topics that you request.

    As soon as the new class is formed, our current students will offer each new student a "go-to buddy" who has volunteered to become a first point of contact for one new student. Our NSSHLA members will also communicate "roomie" opportunities with current students. Our students will also establish a Facebook page for your incoming class. Finally our current students will invite you to a social event just before school starts.

    Over the summer, faculty members will contact you regarding clinical and academic advising. In the days before school starts, we will conduct an extensive clinical orientation as well as an important academic orientation (OnBoarding), plus individual advising sessions. Everyone will be completely squared away before the first day of classes. All of the corresponding prep documents and calendar will be posted on an incoming student webpage.

  • Track I Curriculum

    Classes

    The Track I curriculum is designed for (1) individuals with an undergraduate degree in communication disorders, and (2) individuals with an undergraduate degree in something other than communication disorders who have successfully completed all of the ASHA pre-professional courses at another CAA accredited program.  The Track I curriculum is completed in five consecutive semesters (summers included). 

    First year Track I students and second-year Track II students combine to form a cohort and take most classes together.  At the outset, the course load is heavy.  As you progress through the curriculum, the proportion of your time working with clients increases and the proportion of class time begins to diminish.  With time, the initial pattern gradually reverses until you are spending more time in clinical assignments than in class.

    The figure below displays the default sequence of Track I courses.

    Clinic

    Students in our Track I curriculum begin seeing clients right away in our clinic.  First clinical assignments always occur in our clinic.  Twenty-five hours of clinical observation is the first order of business for Track I Associate Clinicians who have yet to acquire them.  Most Associate Clinicians are assigned one or two treatment clients and an occasional assessment at first.  Under the supervision and guidance of our Clinical Instructors, Associate Clinicians are responsible for all clinical documents and billing.  Individual caseloads increase as an Associate Clinician becomes more capable.  By the time Summer Semester arrives, caseloads are substantial.  Associate Clinicians carry individual treatment clients, participate in our SPLISH and SPLASH summer camps (children on the autism spectrum and children presenting with phonological/articulation and language disorders), and conduct evaluations. 

    Involvement in our clinic diminishes as students move on to their school and medical externships.  These are about half-time clinical assignments at one of our affiliating sites.  Each is a semester-long assignment.  The final semester is dedicated to a full-time clinical internship (40+ hours per week for 16 weeks).  These occur in Virginia and across the United States.  In essence, our new graduates are very familiar with the work-a-day life and responsibilities of an SLP.

    At the conclusion of the internship semester, students return to Charlottesville for the comprehensive exam.  This is an oral presentation of a real life case study (sort of Grand Rounds presentation of a client seen at the internship site).  Students practice these presentations in several classes throughout their studies. 

    Track I Curriculum

    First Fall    
    EDHS 7040 Cognitive Linguistic Development 3
    EDHS 7060 Disorders of Phonology and Articulation 3
    EDHS 7120 Prevention Assessment Intervention 3
    EDHS 8090 Language Disorders I 3
    EDHS 7020 Evidence Based Practice 2
    EDHS 8691 Clinical Practicum Communication Disorders 3
        17
    First Spring    
    EDHS 8030 Neurogenic Communication Disorders 3
    EDHS 8100 Language Disorders II 3
    EDHS 7140 Autism and Related Disorders 2
    EDHS 8130 Dysphagia 3
    EDHS 8150 Clinical Seminars 1
    EDHS 8691 Clinical Practicum Communication Disorders 3
        15
    First Summer    
    EDHS 8120 Disorders of Communication Based in Cognitive Dysfunction II 2
    EDHS 7080 Fluency Disorders 1
    EDHS 8170 Clinical Externship (Adult, Medical) 6
        9
    Second Fall    
    EDHS 8020 Disorders of Communication: Augmentative and Alternative Systems. 3
    EDHS 7180 Aural Habilitation and Rehabilitation 3
    EDHS 7090 Disorders of Voice 3
    EDHS 8170 Clinical Externship (Pediatric, Schools) 6
        15
    Second Spring    
    EDHS 8800 Clinical Internship in Speech-Language Pathology 12
         
      Total 68
  • Track II Curriculum

    Classes

    The Track II curriculum is designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree in something other than communication disorders. In the first year, Track II students take (1) pre-professional courses (e.g., Speech & Hearing Science, Clinical Phonetics) with upper-class undergraduate students, and (2) some professional courses (e.g., Articulation and Phonology) with first-year Track I students.  In the second year of Track II studies, students are paired with the cohort of incoming first-year Track I students.

    Importantly, the Track II curriculum is integrated in every aspect of our Program operations from the very start.  It follows that Track II students are involved in every aspect of our Program.  We commit about half of the seats in an incoming class to Track II students. 

    Some applicants have completed 1 or some of the ASHA pre-professional courses at another university, perhaps online.  In that case we adapt accordingly and so the curriculum for some students is somewhere between Track I and Track I.  That’s not uncommon for us.

    The course load in the first year is heavy.  There is a lot to learn before you start seeing clients!  As you progress through the curriculum, the proportion of your time working with clients increases and the proportion of class time begins to diminish.  With time, the initial pattern gradually reverses until you are spending more time in clinical assignments than in class.

    The figure below displays the default sequence of Track II courses.

    Clinic

    Track II students enter our clinic right away.  Associate Clinicians observe several clinician-client pairs throughout their first Fall and Spring semesters.  Eventually, each Associate Clinician spends a semester observing clients who will become their clients in the next semester.  Track II students become responsible for client care in their first Summer semester: one or two treatment clients and an occasional assessment.  As an Associate Clinician becomes more capable, additional clients are added to the caseload.  Typically Associate Clinicians carry individual treatment clients, participate in our SPLISH and SPLASH summer camps (children on the autism spectrum and children presenting with phonological/articulation and language disorders), and conduct evaluations. 

    In the second fall semester, caseloads are substantial.  Under the supervision and guidance of our Clinical Instructors, Associate Clinicians are responsible for all clinical documents and billing. 

    Involvement in our clinic diminishes as students move on to their school and medical externships.  These are about half-time clinical assignments at one of our affiliating sites.  Each is a semester-long assignment.  The final semester is dedicated to a full-time clinical internship (40+ hours per week for 16 weeks).  These occur in Virginia and across the United States.  In essence, our new graduates are very familiar with the work-a-day life and responsibilities of an SLP.

    At the conclusion of the internship semester, students return to Charlottesville for the comprehensive exam.  This is an oral presentation of a real life case study (sort of Grand Rounds presentation of a client seen at the internship site).  Students practice these presentations in several classes throughout their studies.

    Track II Curriculum

    First Fall    
    EDHS 7040 Cognitive Linguistic Development 3
    EDHS 4020 Clinical Phonetics 2
    EDHS 7120 Prevention Assessment Intervention 3
    EDHS 7060 Disorders of Phonology and Articulation 3
    EDHS 7020 Evidence-Based Practice 2
    EDHS 8090 Language Disorders I 3
        17
    First Spring  
    EDHS 8100 Language Disorders II 3
    EDHS 4040 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms 3
    EDHS 4030 Speech and Hearing Science 3
    EDHS 4050 Introduction to Audiology 3
    EDHS 7140 Autism and Related Disorders 2
    EDHS 8691 Clinical Practicum 3
        16
    First Summer  
    EDHS 8120 Disorders of Communication Based in Cog. Dysfunction II 2
    EDHS 7080 Fluency Disorders 1
    EDHS 8691 Clinical Practicum Communication Disorders 3
        6
    Second Fall  
    EDHS 8020 Disorders of Comm: Augmentative and Alternative Systems. 3
    EDHS 7180 Aural Habilitation and Rehabilitation 3
    EDHS 7090 Disorders of Voice 3
    EDHS 8691 Clinical Practicum Communication Disorders 3
        12
    Second Spring  
    EDHS 8110 Neurogenic Communication Disorders 3
    EDHS 8130 Dysphagia 3
    EDHS 8150 Clinical Seminars 1
    EDHS 8170 Clinical Externship (Pediatric Schools) 6
        13
    Second Summer  
    EDHS 8170 Clinical Externship (Adult, Medical) 6
         
         
    Third Fall    
    EDHS 8800 Clinical Internship in Speech-Language Pathology 12
         
      Total 82
  • Our Faculty

    Dr. Filip Loncke

    Dr. Filip Loncke is an Associate Professor whose teaching and research focus centers on assessment and treatment strategies for individual with profound communication disorders through augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) models.  He explores cognitive and linguistic factors related to the use of AAC approaches such as gestures, manual signing, picture communication, and the use of speech-generating devices – all for the purpose of developing effective assessment and intervention strategies. He presently works on a series of publications regarding the psycholinguistics of graphic symbol use.

    Ms. Jaimee Traub

    Ms. Traub is a Clinical Instructor of Speech Communication Disorders.  The focus of Ms. Traub’s clinical practice includes social communication, child and adolescent language, and articulation.  Ms. Traub has experience with behavior management and enjoys collaborating across therapeutic disciplines to evaluate and treat children and young adults. She is experienced in the delivery of clinical services within public and private school systems as well as multidisciplinary outpatient clinics.  In addition to supervising individual clients, Ms. Traub supervises a weekly pragmatic language group for adolescents with social communication impairments, including Autism Spectrum Disorders. She also coordinates the local public school externship assignments. Ms. Traub supervises students in the Center full time.

    Dr. Jane Hilton

    Dr. Jane Hilton is an Clinical Associate Professor of Speech Communication Disorders and the Director of Clinical Services in the UVA Speech-Language-Hearing Center.  Her research examines the efficacy and effectiveness of early intervention programs for young children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.  Dr. Hilton’s primary development project is establishing a multidisciplinary treatment center for autistic children and their families.

    Dr. Kazlin Mason

    Dr. Kazlin Mason is serving as a Clinical Instructor of Speech-Language Pathology.  She holds a doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Carolina University. She is skilled in the delivery of clinical services for both children and adults and has experience in a variety of inpatient and outpatient medical settings including children’s hospitals (inpatient, outpatient, and NICU), outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and skilled nursing facilities. Dr. Mason specializes in velopharyngeal dysfunction and resonance disorders. Her research utilizes MRI and 3D visualization technology to study the anatomical foundations for successful surgical and speech outcomes in children with velopharyngeal dysfunction and associated cleft and craniofacial anomalies.

    Dr. Kristen Roush

    Kristin C. Roush, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor serving as Clinical Faculty in the Curry School’s Department of Human Services’ Speech, Language, Hearing Center. She holds a doctorate in audiology from James Madison University.  Prior to her appointment at U.Va., she was a clinical educator in the Department of Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. There she supervised graduate students in the provision of audiological services, taught advanced hearing aid topics, supported clinical research, and coordinated externships.  While she enjoys many aspects of audiology; her primary area of focus includes adult and pediatric diagnostic services as well as hearing aid and assistive listening device evaluations. In addition, she has extensive knowledge of working with those that are Deaf and hard-of -hearing that use manual communication such as American Sign Language.  In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Roush teaches EDHS 5080 – Introduction to Audiology.

    Dr. LaVae Hoffman

    LaVae M. Hoffman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an associate professor of child language development and disorders and an ASHA Fellow.  As a clinical practitioner, she provided services to children and adults in public school and medical settings, and administrated local and statewide programs for children with and without disabilities.  She has also served the profession as a university clinical instructor.  She completed her doctorate at The University of Texas.  Her research includes the effectiveness and efficacy of language intervention, evidence-based practice in school settings, and addressing the needs of parents of school age students with language impairment.  As a distinguished instructor, Dr. Hoffman has been inducted into the University of Virginia's Academy of Teaching and serves on its executive board.  She has served the profession as an associate editor for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, chair of ASHA's Special Interest Group 1: Language Learning and Education coordinating committee, and has received two Editor's Awards for her research publications in ASHA peer-reviewed journals.

    Dr. Nicholas Barone

    Nicholas Barone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Speech Communications Disorders Program in the Department of Human Services. He holds a doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University and is an American Speech-Language and Hearing Association Certified Speech Language Pathologist. His clinical and academic focuses are in the treatment and evaluation of voice and swallowing disorders. His research explores neurophysiological voice control; specifically, using his expertise in measuring cortical responses using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), he examines how changes in voice behaviors associated with learning to use the voice in a new way elicits changes in brain behavior.

    Dr. Randall Robey

    Randall R. Robey is Associate Professor and Director in the Speech Communication Disorders Program at the University of Virginia.  His research combines two areas of concentration: (a) clinical aphasiology, and (b) quantifying valid indices of change brought about by clinical interventions.  Dr. Robey’s publications largely center on assessing the effectiveness and efficacy of treatments for aphasia.  This focus encompasses meta-analysis, evidence-based practice, and clinical-outcome research comprising both group and single-subject research designs.

    Ms. Rebecca Rehm

    Ms. Rehm is a Clinical Instructor of Speech Communication Disorders.  The focus of Ms. Rehm’s clinical practice includes articulation, phonology, motor speech disorders, language and early intervention.  She is experienced in the delivery of clinical services within inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings as well as within school systems.  Ms. Rehm supervises students in the Center and at area private schools.  She values multidisciplinary collaboration and parent education.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia.

    Ms. Robin Di Giacomo

    Ms. Di Giacomo is a Clinical Instructor of Speech Communication Disorders.  Her primary areas of focus include adult and pediatric neurogenic communication disorders, adult and pediatric swallowing disorders, pediatric voice disorders, and accent modification.  In addition, she is a bilingual speech pathologist who has worked extensively with Spanish speaking and bilingual children with various communication, cognitive, and swallowing impairments.  Ms. Di Giacomo has worked primarily in medical settings and now supervises full-time in the Speech-Language-Hearing Center.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.