Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Science
Distance Education Program
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Tennessee State University (TSU) offer the Master of Science (MS) degree in Speech and Hearing Science via Distance Education?
Yes. The TSU Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology offers a 53 hour, part-time MS degree program in Speech and Hearing Science via distance learning beginning in the spring semester of every odd year. Applicants are admitted to the program as a cohort group. If accepted as a member of the cohort, all students must begin and end the program together.
2. How long does it take to complete the MS degree program in Speech and Hearing Science via distance?
The MS degree program in Speech and Hearing Science can be completed in 8 semesters through the distance education modality.
3. What is an academic year for the Distance Education Program in Speech and Hearing Science?
An academic year for the Distance Education Program delivery is Spring-Summer-Fall.
4. Do I need a bachelor’s degree in the area of speech-language pathology to apply to the Distance Education Program?
It is not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in the area of speech-language pathology to apply to the Distance Education Program in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. All applicants without a background in speech-language pathology must complete 15 hours of prerequisite coursework in the area of speech-language pathology prior to submitting an application for the graduate program.
5. What prerequisite courses are required for the MS degree in Speech and Hearing Science?
The following prerequisite courses must be completed before applying to the graduate program:
SPTH 2600: Phonetics
SPTH 2500: Speech & Hearing Science
SPTH 2800: Introduction to Speech, Hearing and Language Disorders
SPTH 3300: Clinical Methods in Articulation Disorders
SPTH 3500: Language and Speech Development in Children
6. Are the prerequisite courses offered through the Distance Education format?
The prerequisite courses are offered both on campus in a traditional classroom setting and online. The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology grants permission to take the prerequisite courses as a non-degree seeking student only after the applicant has gone through departmental advisement. Taking the prerequisite courses as a non-degree seeking student does not ensure or obligate acceptance into the Graduate Program in Speech and Hearing Science. A formal application for the Graduate Program must be made through the Graduate School following procedures and policies indicated in the current Graduate Catalog.
7. What are the admission requirements?
For unconditional admission to the M.S. Program in Speech and Hearing Science, applicants must:
- Possess a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in a Bachelor’s program.
- Have completed the prerequisite courses in speech-language pathology.
- Possess a Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
of 146 minimum (verbal) and 140 minimum (quantitative) OR a minimum score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) of 380.
- Submit a letter of intent and three letters of recommendation.
8. How is the distance format for the MS in Speech and Hearing Science delivered?
Courses are delivered online asynchronously via eLearn@Tnstate and synchronously through Horizon Wimba.
9. Will the University train me to use the technology?
At the beginning of each semester, the Office of Distance Education and Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology provides an On-Campus Orientation for all students enrolled in online courses to provide an overview of eLearn and Horizon Wimba. Students are also encouraged to complete an Online Orientation, to take the online Mastery Test and to send their Certificate of Completion to their professors.
Will I have to travel to TSU during my academic and clinical programs?
Although classes are offered online, a professor may require his or her students to travel to the TSU campus to take the midterm and/or final exam (exams can also be taken online at approved testing sites that are members of the Consortium of College Testing Centers) or to participate in class activities which are best done on-campus. The number of times that a student may have to attend a mandatory on-campus session during a semester is at the discretion of the professor. Because professors understand that students may live out-of-state or great distances from the university within the state, they typically work together to ensure that students meet with all of their professors at the time of the on-campus visit which always occurs on the weekend.
Students are also required to complete two summers of clinical practicum experience on campus. During the first summer of the program, students will spend approximately three weeks on campus. During the second summer, students will spend approximately six weeks on campus.
Can I complete my clinical practicum experiences in the MS degree program in Speech and Hearing Science online?
All students must complete a minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum experiences in speech-language pathology. Twenty-five hours must be spent in clinical observation, and 375 hours must be spent in direct client/patient contact. Thus, clinical practicum experiences cannot be completed online.
How will I complete my clinical practicum experiences for the MS degree program in Speech and Hearing Science?
The first summer clinical practicum experience will be spent at TSU working with preschool children in a Language Stimulation and Prevention Summer Camp. The second summer clinical practicum experience will be spent at TSU in a Summer Articulation, Language and Fluency Camp. The third and fourth clinical practicum experiences will be arranged during the fall and spring semesters in an approved site close to the area in which the student resides. The final clinical practicum experience will be arranged during the last summer of the students’ program in an approved medical site close to the area in which the student resides. All clinical practicum experiences will be supervised by speech-language pathologists who hold the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence.
What types of funding opportunities are available to help defray the cost of my education?
Counselors in the TSU Student Financial Aid Office are available to assist persons who are interested in finding out about various types of financial assistance and scholarships to pay for tuition and fees. To find out information about tuition and fees, financial aid and/or scholarships, go to
, click on “Current Student” and then under the “Funding” link, click on “Fee Payment/Confirmation”, “Financial Aid” and/or “Scholarships.
The Department offers some support to students via grants when the funding is available. “Become A Special Educator in Tennessee” (BASE-TN) funding is currently available to support the education of a limited number of students taking the master level courses via distance. Because the funding is highly competitive, the Department encourages you to search for additional scholarship opportunities via accessing www.fastweb.com or other available scholarship search engines.
How can I qualify for BASE-TN funding?
To qualify for BASE-TN funding, an applicant must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree
- Work in the TN Public School System as a:
- bachelor level speech-language teacher (SLT);
- teacher who has taken the prerequisite courses and desires to switch a current teaching assignment to that of an SLT.
- Hold a letter of acceptance to the graduate program in Speech and Hearing Science
- Complete the BASE-TN application
- Obtainawritten recommendation from a Special Education Director along with three additional recommendations supporting your application for BASE-TN
- Submit a letter of Intent regarding why you would be a good BASE-TN candidate
- Submit a 2-page typed personal statement indicating the pros and cons of taking classes online versus taking classes traditionally (on campus)
Can I receive funding for taking the prerequisite courses as a non-degree seeking student?
To receive Federal Student Financial Aid, the prerequisite courses in which you are enrolled must be required for the graduate program. Because you are required to take 15 hours of prerequisite coursework if you do not possess a bachelor’s degree in the area of speech-language pathology, you are eligible for financial aid.
To receive financial aid you must complete the “Special Graduate Students” form and be enrolled in six credit hours of prerequisite coursework. A list of all prerequisite courses in which you are enrolled must be sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid along with the completed and signed “Special Graduate Student” form.
When is the application deadline?
The Department accepts a new Distance Education Cohort Group into the MS degree program in Speech and Hearing Science every odd year. The application deadline for the 2015 Distance Education Cohort is July 1, 2014.
How do I apply?
You may submit your application package to the School of Graduate Studies and Research. You can access the application for graduate school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who do I contact for additional information?
For information regarding admission, please contact the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at 615-963-7081.