Degree Requirements


The MA degree requires a minimum of 40 credit hours of academic courses in Communicative Disorders and Sciences, not including clinical practicum credit. Actual requirements may exceed that number of hours, however, since the MA program is also designed to fulfill the academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence. Thus, requirements will vary with the student’s undergraduate background.

MA Curriculum Plan

A general course of study for the entire MA program. It is intended as a guide to help students in planning their course of study each semester.


Students who do not enter the program with a BA/BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders or Speech-Language Pathology will likely need to complete additional coursework. 

Grades: A minimum 3.0 GPA must be maintained in academic courses and successful performance in clinical practicum must be maintained as indicated by a Satisfactory (S) grade on an individual's grade report. See the probation policy for details in the event this criteria is not met.

Residency: The master’s program requires two years of full-time study (official leaves of absence excluded). Petition for acceptance of transfer credits for courses taken at another university must be approved by the student’s advisor and by the department chair. Such transfer credit is generally limited to no more than 6 credit hours. Complete the required form to transfer credits. Forms to request approval of transfer credit may be obtained from the department secretary.

Clinical / Certification Requirements:

Clinic Practicum requirements are completed in each of four academic semesters. One 12-week clinical practicum summer session (1st and 2nd summer session) is also mandatory between a student's 1st and 2nd year of clinical work. Please note that the second year Spring semester remains a full-time commitment for students (8am - 5pm, Monday - Friday). This semester is when students complete clinical externships in the community. Students may take one night course (elective) during this externship semester, if needed.

The requirements for clinical practicums and certification are:

  • 25 hours of clinical observation
  • Satisfactory completion of 375 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum over a variety of communicative disorders and with all ages.
  • Satisfactory completion of one summer of clinical practicum in the University at Buffalo Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Clinic (required for all M.A. students in speech-language pathology). See summer program requirements.
  • Satisfactory completion of externships in schools and clinical settings. Externships will typically be arranged during the third and fourth semesters of study.

The sequence and length of clinical practicum / externship is dependent on an individual's demonstration of clinical competencies as outlined by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.

The New York State certificate for Teachers of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities is available at the graduate level but may require additional time. 

Thesis (Optional)

A thesis is not required for the MA degree, but is an option strongly recommended for all students who expect to apply at any time for doctoral study. The thesis option may be completed with a minimum of 37 credits (speech-language pathology) in academic courses and 6 credits in thesis guidance. All thesis candidates will be required to pass an oral examination on the thesis topic at the completion of the thesis.

Contact Us

Director of MA Program