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The focus of the SLPD is to develop your ability to analyze and apply advanced principles of (1) leadership, (2) business and practice management, and (3) clinical science to real-world challenges within the context of your practice specialty area. While all students complete the core coursework, the course content is viewed through the lens of your specific specialty/interest area. Our coursework is designed to be practical in nature —students are often able to apply the ideas discussed in their courses to their work the next day. The SLPD program requires 16 course registrations, including 12 units of credit and 4 non-credit registrations. Students are not charged tuition for the four non-credit courses.

The chart below provides a tentative schedule of courses

Year 1


  • Advanced Scientific Clinical Decision Making I
  • Digital Literacies for the SLP


    • Education and Supervision in SLP
    • Business Principles


    • Operations and Process Improvement for SLPs
    • Advanced Scientific Clinical Decision Making II


    • Policy in Health and Education
    • Culminating Project Framework
    • Professional Integration and Reflective Practice I (non-credit)

    Year 2


    • Leadership Seminar for SLPs (summer residency, non-credit) 
    • Organizational Behavior for SLPs
    • Culminating Project Design
    • Professional Integration and Reflective Practice II (non-credit)


    • Culminating Project (non-credit)
    • Professional Integration and Reflective Practice III (non-credit)


    • Culminating Project II
    • Professional Integration and Reflective Practice IV

    Courses are categorized as follows:

    Business Principles

    Analysis of the complex organizations in which speech-language pathologists work, including healthcare organizations, school systems, multidisciplinary clinics, private practices, early intervention settings, and research labs. Exploration of human behavior and motivation within the context of an organization. Emphasis on methods and strategies to motivate and incentivize team members and develop collaborative teams.

    Exploration of the requisite factors for building a sustainable business in the field of speech-language pathology (SLP). Introduction to essential concepts in accounting, marketing, market analysis and finance. Focus on designing a strategic plan for a new or expanding business venture in SLP.

    Exploration of service operations as they apply to the complex organizations in which speech-language pathologists work, including healthcare organizations, school systems, multidisciplinary clinics, private practices, early intervention settings, and research labs. Overview of process improvement methodologies. Focus on building efficient operations that deliver exceptional speech-language pathology services while effectively managing resources.

    Leadership Principles

    Exploration of the essential concepts and principles of leadership as they apply to speech-language pathologists (SLP). Exploration of the role of the SLP as a leader and innovator at the micro and macro levels. Emphasis on self-assessment of leadership skills and development of a personal growth plan.

    Overview of the various roles of the speech-language pathologist as educator and supervisor. Exploration of the scholarship of teaching and learning as it applies to both didactic and clinical instruction and development. Emphasis on integration and application of best practices in education and supervision within the student’s setting of choice.

    Introduction to educational and health policies as they apply to provision of speech-language pathology and related services. Exploration of the major issues and challenges facing U.S. policymakers as well as a comparison of U.S. and international approaches. Focus on the speech-language pathologist’s role within current and future frameworks.

    Overview of personal knowledge management and the digital literacies requisite for professional practice. Exploration of utility and creation of digital tools and applications incorporated into therapy. Emphasis on developing and maintaining flexible personal digital systems that facilitate collaboration, connectivity, information access, and productivity.

    Clinical Science and Practice Principles

    Exploration of current best evidence in making decisions about the assessment and treatment of individuals with communication disorders. Overview of different research methodologies as well as tools to evaluate the quality of different types of research studies. Emphasis on the integration of research evidence and critical thinking into practice.
    Exploration of the various types of single subject experimental designs and dissemination and implementation of best evidence in clinical policy and practice. Focus on designing methods specific to clinical research questions and overview of dissemination and implementation research methods, analytic tools and data collection. Emphasis on integration of research methods into everyday clinical practice and the outcomes that matter to stakeholders and policy makers.
    Individualized career development through professional integration and reflection on students’ clinical, professional, and academic experiences spread across the final four quarters of the program. Prepares students to advance in the field through both theoretical and hands-on practical application, including the preparation of an e-portfolio and dossier. Development of specialized skills in the student’s area of clinical focus via accumulation of a minimum of 35 clock hours in clinical skill development and/or through advanced professional development opportunities. Approval of the clinical specialization plan by the SLPD committee is required.

    Culminating Project

    The culminating project framework course is a prerequisite the course you will take prior to the three-course culminating project  will allow for scaffolded exploration and development of topics you are considering for your culminating projects. During this course, you will decide on a topic area and question(s) and build a conceptual framework that will guide you over the remaining quarters.

    The culminating project design course is the first course in a three-course sequence that works toward completion of an in-depth doctoral research project. This course focuses on the development of the research question, project rationale, and methodology.

    Completion of an in-depth project spanning the duration of the SLP-D experience. Exploration of specialty area via one of the following project types: business proposal, process improvement plan, clinical investigation, or scholarship of teaching and learning investigation. Plans for completion of the culminating project are submitted to and approved by the SLP-D committee, and the project is completed under the supervision of at least one mentor.