Graduate-level speech pathology programs in the Philadelphia area are selective and not widely available. You'll need to know as much as you can before applying to one of the four schools in and around the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Speech Pathology
Temple's College of Public Health contains a Master of Arts in Speech, Language and Hearing Science program. It's one of the older programs in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The program consists of a total of 54-59 credits. Of these, 39 are earned inside a classroom, and 15-20 are found inside clinical courses. Some of the courses you can take in a traditional classroom setting are applications in audiology, neurocognitive language disorders, and foundations and management in fluency. One specific course on issues in public health and health professions is required for all students who attend a program in the Temple College of Public Health.
A total of 375 hours will be spent inside a clinical setting to fulfill the requirements of the degree. Toward the end of the program, students will decide on a thesis or comprehensive exam to complete their degree.
La Salle University
Earning a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at La Salle, which is also located right in Philadelphia, requires a minimum of 51 credits. Most students, however, will graduate with 54 credits. This is necessary due to the requirements for the Pennsylvania Educational Specialist in Speech-Language Pathology credential. La Salle requires a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders or speech-language hearing sciences before an admission to the graduate program. If you don't have an undergraduate degree, you can go through the PreSLP program. This is a collection of 10 prerequisite courses designed to prepare you for the master's degree.
Once you begin the master's program, you'll attend a number of required courses that include acquired language disorders and voice disorders. You can also choose two electives from courses such as medical speech-language pathology and geriatric communication disorders.
West Chester University
Located about 25 miles west of Philadelphia, West Chester University grants a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. Classes take place on WCU's campus, while clinical courses happen both on campus and at affiliated locations throughout the campus's proximity. You will earn a total of 63 semester hours in the process of getting the MA, which is split between 36 classroom credits and 27 clinical credits. All cohorts begin in the fall semester with 27 full-time students. The entire curriculum can be completed in two years, including summer sessions.
Some of the specific courses you can find in WCU's core graduate curriculum include alternative and augmentative communication, therapy for the hearing impaired, and dysphagia. The thesis, while encouraged, is not required to graduate from the program.
Located less than 15 miles north of Philadelphia in Elkins Park, Salus University's speech-language pathology program issues a Master of Science degree upon completion. Coupled with your clinical practicums, you're looking at a total of 60 credits to earn before graduation. You can choose from courses that include adult language disorders, motor speech disorders, and aural habilitation/ rehabilitation. A capstone project will be completed to close out the degree program requirements. For those who are intrigued by further research opportunities, Salus also offers a degree program in biomedical science.
Philadelphia Area Speech Pathology Graduate Program Admissions Requirements
For students to successfully pass through American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification, their background in undergraduate education must come from communication disorders or speech-language-hearing science. Letters of recommendation are required with each application, with three usually being the minimum necessary. GRE general exam test scores should be sent to the school where you are applying, and some schools will require further subjective writings, like written essays or personal statements that include goals of research. Cumulative and concentration-area GPAs from your undergraduate tenure should be at least 3.0.
Although the number of schools in and around Philadelphia with speech pathology graduate programs are low, they offer all of the opportunity you need to advance your career as a therapist or educator. Focus on what you want to research before applying to the school of your choice.