Masters Program

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology: Reno


The University of Nevada, Reno offers a two-year program leading to the M.S. degree in Speech Pathology. Students are prepared for professional careers as speech-language pathologist in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and community clinics. The program provides the academic and clinical requirements necessary for the Certificate of Clinical competence from ASHA. Students become eligible for ASHA certification following completion of the M.S. degree, successful completion of the national certification examination and completion of a one-year clinical fellowship year (CFY). The CFY consists of nine months of full-time professional employment as a speech-language pathologist completed under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist. If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact Dr. Debra C. Vigil, Director of Graduate Studies, at

Program of Study

Academic Work

Students work with their advisors to develop an approved program of study. The M.S. curriculum provides a variety of course offerings that emphasize evaluation and treatment of communicative disorders involving language, phonology, fluency, voice, alaryngeal speech, aphasia, cleft palate, augmentative communication and cerebral palsy. The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 45 semester credits at the graduate level plus one comprehensive examination credit.

Although individuality is considered in designing a program of study, students are encouraged to take the majority of curriculum offerings in order to adequately prepare for professional careers and successful performance on the comprehensive exam.

Thesis vs Non-Thesis

Graduate work may be completed on either a thesis or non-thesis option. Students selecting the thesis option must register for six credits of thesis and pass a comprehensive oral examination covering the thesis and background material. The non-thesis option requires comprehensive written examinations covering communication science, normal speech, language, and hearing processes, pathologies, and clinical procedures.

Clock Hours

Master's students must also complete a minimum of 375 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum. Students typically complete three to four semesters of practicum in our extensive on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic. Clinical services are offered for a variety of communicative disorders and are supervised by faculty. Students also are required to complete two off campus clinical internship placements. Numerous placements are available in the community's public schools, hospitals, Veteran's Administration Hospital, rehabilitation centers, and special children's programs. A criminal background check is required for placement at practicum sites.

Clinical Handbook

Graduate students enrolled in the Master's Speech Language Pathology program are required to read the Clinical Handbook and abide by all policies and procedures. Specific procedures regarding student assessment (evaluation, remediation, and dismissal) can be found in the Clinical Handbook on page 19.