Frequently Asked Questions

Curriculum FAQs

Does Emerson specialize in any disorder or population?

Our goal is to prepare generalist clinicians who can successfully work with the entire range of disorders and differences across the lifespan. The coursework and clinical practica in our program provide rich opportunities for students to acquire strong clinical skills with children and adults having communication disorders and differences. Some students choose to develop a more specialized expertise through a combination of elective seminars, work with particular client populations, and/or participating in research projects.

Can I transfer graduate credits from another institution to Emerson’s program?

Credit for up to two graduate courses may be transferred if they were completed at an ASHA-accredited graduate program before you entered Emerson, earned a grade of B or better, and are approved by the Emerson Graduate Program Director. Transfer credit is only approved following review of a course syllabus. Transfer credits cannot have been counted toward any other completed degree.

How can I qualify for the license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education?

Students need to complete a school practicum placement, pass the Communication and Literacy Skills Test section of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and apply for the license. We strongly encourage all graduate students to become qualified for this credential even if they plan to be licensed in another state. The Massachusetts educator license is honored reciprocally in many states. For details, contact the laura_glufling_tham [at] (Director of Clinical Education) for educator preparation and licensure. It is strongly recommended that all students research whether or not their state requires educator licensure and communicate that information to the Director of Clinical Education at the start of their graduate program.

Format FAQs

How long will it take to complete the on-campus degree?

Those entering with an undergraduate major in Communication Disorders who have completed their 25 hours of observation as part of a course or program complete the coursework and clinical requirements for the degree in two academic years and the intervening summer. Others need an additional summer to complete all degree requirements.

May I start the program in January or during the summer?

Graduate students for the on-campus graduate program are only admitted for a fall start. 

When do I start clinical work?

We require at least 25 observation hours be completed prior to beginning clinical work.

Students entering the program with completed observation hours may begin clinical work during their first semester. These observation hours must be documented with signed verification from faculty within a college- or university-based course in Communication Disorders. Students who enter the program without 25 verified observation hours will acquire these hours during their first semester and will begin clinical work during their second semester.

Can I obtain the required observation hours on my own?

No. We accept observation hours that were acquired through an undergraduate course of study, associated with a particular course and verified by the course instructor. If you enter our program without completing the observation hours, you will obtain them during your first semester through coursework in the graduate program.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders to be admitted to the on-campus master’s program?

No! The only requirement is that you have completed our required foundational coursework. Approximately half of each entering graduate class have undergraduate degrees, and often careers, in other areas.

Can I complete this program online?

Emerson offers an online, fully-accredited version of this program called Speech@Emerson. Our online program features the same curriculum and faculty as our on-campus program. Please note there is a separate application process for applying to Speech@Emerson.

May I start the program in January or during the summer?

Our online Speech@Emerson program has three cohort starts throughout the year, in January, May and September. 

How long will it take to complete the online degree?

Our online program can be completed as a 5-term student in as few as 20 months or as a 9-term student in 36 months. You can apply and be admitted to the online program without taking all of the undergraduate-level Communication Disorders courses prior to applying.

If you need to complete undergraduate-level Communication Disorders foundational courses as part of your plan of study, the program will take longer to complete.

Who do I contact if I have concerns or complaints about the program?

Formal internal grievance procedures are outlined in the Emerson College Graduate Catalog. All grievances should be initiated at the departmental level. Those that involve program policies and procedures, degree requirements, requirements for professional credentialing and ethical practice may be forwarded to the Council on Academic Accreditation after appropriate internal channels have been addressed without arriving at a satisfactory resolution. The CAA address is American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation, 2200 Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850-3289; phone: (301) 296-5700, extension 3358. This information is also posted in the Grad Room. For more information, those with grievances should refer to the Council on Academic Accreditation.

Foundational Courses FAQs

When do CD Foundational Courses Occur through S@E?

All courses happen both online and through weekly 90-minute live class meetings via Zoom. As the week progresses, students participate in asynchronous course content and activities through a learning website (called 2EC). At the end of the week, students meet with the instructor and other students in the class via Zoom for a 90-minute live class.

What is the cost for Foundational Courses?

For the most up to date tuition prices, please visit our Graduate Costs and Billing page. Any foundational courses we require from you will be rolled into your total degree program, so you will be able to apply any applicable federal financial aid to these courses. However, please note that in order to be eligible for financial aid, you must be enrolled in at minimum six credits this summer.

What Foundational Coursework do I need?

You are able to view which courses are required of you in your Foundational Coursework Evaluation located in your application portal.

If you would like to appeal your Communication Disorders Foundational Coursework Evaluation you can do so right in your application portal. Please note that if a course has an “Incomplete Document” status, we will require further documentation to make a final evaluation.

Health Clearance Requirements FAQ

Are there immunizations which are required to attend the program?

Yes. Emerson College requires a number of immunizations to allow students to attend classes and participate in clinical placements. Records of immunizations are required to be on file in an effort to maintain your access to the Emerson College campus for classes, regardless of which modality you attend.  

Per Emerson College guidelines, you may request an annual religious or medical exemption from these immunizations. All of the immunizations listed are required, and missing one of them would prevent you from being on campus for classes, regardless of the modality you attend. 

Are there any other health requirements?

Yes. The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department requires Tuberculosis testing be completed 90 days prior to the start of your Clinical Practicum experience. This testing needs to be accompanied by an Emerson College TB Risk Questionnaire to be processed and accepted.   

Students must also have completed a physical examination within the last 12 months (prior to the start of your clinical practica), and provide documentation.

All students must carry and keep health insurance coverage while they are enrolled in the program. Per Massachusetts state law and Emerson College placement requirements, students must have health insurance while enrolled within the Communication Sciences and Disorders program. Students will need to submit proof of insurance for review and approval as prompted by the program. Failure to maintain health insurance coverage will result in the student being unable to continue in the program.  

These requirements are not immunizations and will not be waived on religious or medical grounds.

Where do I upload these records?

If you attend the on-campus program, you upload your records through the Student Health Portal (Medicat).

If you attend the online program, Speech@Emerson, you upload your records via your account in CastleBranch.

Who can I talk to if I have questions or concerns about any of these requirements?

Please direct questions about the Emerson College vaccination requirements to the Emerson Wellness Center

Licensure FAQs

Is the program accredited?

Emerson’s program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (, and has been since 1980.

What undergraduate coursework is required for ASHA certification purposes?

You must have had one college-level course in each of the following areas:

  • Biological Science
  • Physics or Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences

If you have not completed these courses before entering the graduate program, they should be completed by the end of the first year in the program.

High school Advanced Placement (AP) courses can fulfill these requirements if the courses were accepted for undergraduate credit and are listed on an undergraduate transcript with the course titles and grades.
This information is provided in good faith to applicants as of August 24, 2020.

The residential Speech Language Pathology program leads to a Master of Science in Communication Disorders. The designed outcome is to lead applicants to begin their clinical fellowship, the first step to eligibility as a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist within Massachusetts. Applicants who wish to practice in a school setting must coordinate their licensure and approval efforts with the state or local department of education, should requirements differ.

The list below provides information about comparable clinical licenses, including a determination of eligibility for licensure by State. This information provided is designed as a baseline determination of whether the program meets individual state specific requirements. Other licenses, including those for working in a school system may be more applicable and/or require additional standards. Licensure requirements and appropriate pathways are subject to change and may differ based on individual student backgrounds, including coursework taken outside the scope of the program. Students should do their own due diligence and determine the appropriate pathway and license type for themselves.

The Emerson College residential Communication Sciences and Disorders program does not meet the educational requirements for licensure to practice in the following states:

  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee