Master of Health Science
The Master of Health Science (MHS) in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) prepares students for professional practice in speech-language pathology. Students in this program receive a strong academic and clinical background in current theory and application in the field of communication disorders from faculty who are committed to excellence in teaching and who are involved in clinical and basic research. Candidates for the MHS degree must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate coursework plus at least 375 hours of clinical practicum that is supervised by certified clinical faculty. In addition to the MU Speech and Hearing Clinic, the city of Columbia and surrounding communities in mid-Missouri provide for a wide range of clinical practicum opportunities as well as a diverse client population. Students who wish to may also pursue clinical practicum experiences in other geographical locations during their final semester in the program. A thesis option is available for students interested in research and/or further study toward the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
The MHS degree in SLHS typically takes students two full years to complete (i.e., beginning with a Summer session and ending with a Spring semester for a total of six terms) if their baccalaureate degree is in SLHS/CSD. If their undergraduate study was in another field, the degree program requires at a minimum 30 additional credit/semester hours of prerequisite coursework. This coursework may be completed through any college or university that offers an undergraduate degree in SLHS and must include courses in both basic communication sciences and some communication disorders. It is recommended that the student have their prerequisite coursework approved by the Department’s graduate program director prior to application to the MHS degree program. Applicants do not have to complete all prerequisite coursework before applying or starting in the MHS program; however, all students must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree (in some field) before beginning the MHS program in SLHS. For more information, contact us.
MHS graduates are required to meet all academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) awarded by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). A passing score of 162 on the PRAXIS II Speech-Language Pathology examination is required for graduation from the MHS program in SLHS. In addition to serving as the comprehensive examination for masters candidates in SLHS, the PRAXIS II also is required for the Certificate of Clinical Competence, for Missouri professional licensure, and for employment in Missouri schools. For well over 20 years, 100% of all graduates from MU’s SLHS program have passed this national exam and our mean and median scores are significantly higher than the national averages. In addition, graduates of the program have enjoyed excellent job opportunities upon graduation, with many having more than one job offer before finishing their master’s program.
The SLHS MHS program at MU is fairly small and selective. Students benefit from a very low student-faculty ratio, close supervision in the MU Speech and Hearing Clinic, and a challenging yet supportive learning environment. Faculty in SLHS are easily accessible, and strong student-faculty relationships are easily developed.
- A baccalaureate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)/ Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) from an accredited college or university is desirable but not required. Applications will be accepted from individuals who have obtained a baccalaureate degree in another field if the applicant has completed, or is in the process of completing, basic prerequisite coursework in CSD/SLHS. That coursework should include the full range of basic communication sciences, plus some communication disorders coursework. We will accept prerequisite coursework that has been completed through any college or university that offers a baccalaureate degree in the field. Please contact us for more information.
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the most recent 60 hours of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement established by both the MU Graduate School and the Department. However, successful applicants to our graduate program tend to have a CSD/SLHS course GPA in excess of 3.70 (on a 4.0 scale).
- The applicant must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Successful applicants typically achieve a combined score of 300 or better on the Verbal plus Quantitative subtests. (Note: GRE scores older than five years will not be accepted.)
- If English is not the applicant’s native language, s/he must demonstrate native or near-native ability in spoken English. The applicant must take and submit official test scores for the iBT (the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS. A minimum iBT score of 100 is required, including a minimum Speaking subtest score of 28. A minimum IELTS score if 7 is required, including a minimum Speaking subtest score of 8.5. Applicants must meet or exceed these minimums to be considered for admission to our master’s program.
Applications to the MHS program are accepted once per year and only through the Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). All application materials must be fully submitted to (and verified by) CSDCAS by February 1 for Summer Session admission. (Note: Special admission considerations may be available for highly competitive applicants who graduate from CSD/SLHS programs in the Summer or Fall. For more information, please contact Barbara McLay.)
If you have questions, please contact us.
All students who wish to apply to the MHS program in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences must complete an application through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS) by February 1 for summer session (only) admission. The CSDCAS portal re-opens each year in mid-July to early August. Our program has a “verified by” deadline of February 1. Verification of applications in CSDCAS takes up to one month; therefore, it is recommended that applications (including transcripts) be submitted to CSDCAS no later than January 1 to allow time for completion of that verification process by our published deadline date. (Exception: Letters of recommendation may be submitted as late as February 1 as they are not included in the verification process.) For more information, visit CSDCAS.
The following materials are required, and all but the online video interview should be submitted through CSDCAS:
- Personal Statement covering relevant qualifications, experience, and academic/clinical interest. This statement should not exceed 2 double- spaced typed pages.
- A resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
- Three personal letters of recommendation. At least two letters should be from faculty, preferably in the student’s major.
- Official transcripts from every college or university from which you have received credit. Current college transcripts should not be sent until fall semester grades have posted.
- Official GRE scores. Applicants must use the following institution code which is specific to the University of Missouri in the CSDCAS system: U MISSOURI COLUMBIA CSDCAS – 6974. Use of the general institutional code for the University of Missouri may delay the processing of an application.
- (For international applicants only) CSDCAS does not accept iBT scores or IELTS scores; therefore, your official test scores should be sent directly to the MU Graduate School.
- An online video interview is required and must be completed by February 1, 2020. Applicants will only be sent an interview link once they have submitted an application through CSDCAS.
Only completed applications will be considered for admission to the MHS program in SLHS. The Graduate Program Director notifies all applicants of their status by email no later than mid-March. Scholarship and assistantship availability is not always known at the time admissions decisions are made; however, the SLHS department makes every attempt to notify applicants in a timely manner of any financial aid they have been awarded (typically no later than April 15th).
Only after an applicant has been offered admission to the MU SLHS graduate program, and he or she accepts that offer of admission, would the applicant then apply to the MU Graduate School by submitting an online application to our program. An additional application fee is required (currently $25 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $90 for nonresident internationals). This application is required for official admission to the University of Missouri as a graduate student.
If you have questions about the application materials and/or process please contact us.
Clinical Practicum Opportunities
Our graduate program is committed to intensive clinical supervision within our own MU Speech and Hearing Clinic, which serves a clientele with a wide variety of disorders across the lifespan. Graduate students begin their clinical experiences within our in-house clinic during their first fall semester in the program. Also housed within the department are the Robert G. Combs Language Preschool and the Accent Modification and Pronunciation Program. Our department also employs two clinical supervisors at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, which extends early clinical practicum opportunities, both for therapy and diagnostic evaluations, to this excellent training resource. Students remain within these supportive environments gaining a wide range of pediatric and adult experiences throughout their first year in the program. We supplement this training with a broad range of outplacement experiences beginning in the second year. During the fall semester of that second year, students complete a mini-outplacement in a local medical or school setting while continuing to work with clients in-house. Finally, during the spring semester of their second year, students complete two full-time, eight-week outplacement in two distinctly different clinical settings, typically one working with children and the other with adults. While we have plenty of outplacement opportunities locally, these outplacement’s may be completed nearly anywhere within the nation. Below are examples of some of our most recent outplacement sites.
- Baylor Rehabilitation System (Dallas, TX)
- Boone Hospital Center (Columbia, MO)
- Capital Region Medical Center (Jefferson City, MO)
- Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital (St. Louis, MO)
- Central Texas Veterans Health Care (Austin, TX)
- Children’s Hospital Therapy Center (Columbia, MO)
- Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City, MO)
- Columbia Public Schools (plus many other local and distant school districts)
- Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Center (Wheeling, IL)
- Hannibal Regional Hospital (Hannibal, MO)
- Harry S. Truman VA Hospital (Columbia, MO)
- HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital (Sarasota, FL)
- Med Speech Voice & Swallow Center (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
- Missouri Baptist Medical Center (St. Louis, MO)
- MU Voice, Swallow and Airway Center (Columbia, MO)
- MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Columbia, MO)
- Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center (Poplar Bluff, MO)
- Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital (St. Louis, MO)
- Rehabilitative Institute of St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
- Research Medical Center (Kansas City, MO)
- Rusk Rehabilitation Center (Columbia, MO)
- Special Learning Center (Jefferson City, MO)
- SSM St. Joseph Hospital West (St. Joseph, MO)
- SSM St. Mary’s Health Center (Jefferson City, MO)
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital (St. Louis, MO)
- St. Mary’s Hospital (Blue Springs, MO)
- University Hospital (Columbia, MO)
- University of Missouri Therapy Services (Columbia, MO)
All graduate students are considered for available scholarships, hourly paid positions, and graduate teaching and research assistantships. No separate applications are required. Second-year MHS students may apply to participate in the TIPS for Kids program, an interdisciplinary training program for those interested in complex pediatric cases, which comes with a generous stipend.
Schedule a Visit
We welcome and encourage prospective students to schedule a visit to our program to meet our faculty and students and to tour our facilities. To schedule a visit, please email our graduate program director, Barbara McLay.
The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is located on the 3rd floor of Lewis Hall on the MU Campus. (The street address for Lewis Hall is 701 South 5th Street.) The recommended parking location is the Turner Avenue Parking Garage. (The street address for the parking garage is 601 Turner Avenue.) The locations of Lewis Hall and the Turner Avenue Parking Garage can be found on the online interactive campus map
Driving Directions from the North:
Approaching from the north on Hwy 63, take the Stadium Blvd exit. Turn right onto Stadium Blvd. At the intersection of Stadium Blvd and Providence Road (the football stadium will be directly to your left), turn right onto Providence. Turn right onto Turner (the Lewis and Clark building complex will be to your right), go straight through the 4-way stop at 5th Street, and continue up the hill to the Turner Avenue Garage on the left. Machines to pay for parking are located near/in the parking garage stairwells. Return to the 4-way stop, and Lewis Hall will be across the street on the left. Enter Lewis Hall through the main door facing 5th Street. Take an elevator (inside the door to the right) to the 3rd floor. You may check in at our main office, 301 Lewis Hall (or you may walk on down the hall to Room 318 to meet with Barbara McLay).
Driving Directions from the South:
Approaching from the south on Hwy 63, take the Stadium Blvd exit. Turn left onto Stadium Blvd. At the intersection of Stadium Blvd and Providence Road (the football stadium will be directly to your left), turn right onto Providence. Turn right onto Turner (the Lewis and Clark building complex will be to your right), go straight through the 4-way stop at 5th Street, and continue up the hill to the Turner Avenue Garage on the left. Machines to pay for parking are located near/in the parking garage stairwells. Return to the 4-way stop, and Lewis Hall will be across the street on the left. Enter Lewis Hall through the main door facing 5th Street. Take an elevator (inside the door to the right) to the 3rd floor. You may check in at our main office, 301 Lewis Hall (or you may walk on down the hall to Room 318 to meet with Barbara McLay).
Driving Directions from the East:
Approaching from the east on I-70, take the Providence Road exit. Turn left onto Providence Road. Following Providence all the way through the Stewart Road intersection. The next left is Turner Avenue. Turn left onto Turner, go up the hill, through the 4-way stop, and the Turner Avenue Garage will be ahead on the left. Machines to pay for parking are located near/in the parking garage stairwells. Return to the 4-way stop, and Lewis Hall will be across the street on the left. Enter Lewis Hall through the main door facing 5th Street. Take an elevator (inside the door to the right) to the 3rd floor. You may check in at our main office, 301 Lewis Hall (or you may walk on down the hall to Room 318 to meet with Barbara McLay).
Driving Directions from the West:
Approaching from the west on I-70, take the Providence Road exit. Turn right onto Providence Road. Following Providence all the way through the Stewart Road intersection. The next left is Turner Avenue. Turn left onto Turner, go up the hill, through the 4-way stop, and the Turner Avenue Garage will be ahead on the left. Machines to pay for parking are located near/in the parking garage stairwells. Return to the 4-way stop, and Lewis Hall will be across the street on the left. Enter Lewis Hall through the main door facing 5th Street. Take an elevator (inside the door to the right) to the 3rd floor. You may check in at our main office, 301 Lewis Hall (or you may walk on down the hall to Room 318 to meet with Barbara McLay).