Pre-requisite Courses

Application to the MSc-SLP program requires the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree and the completion of 7 prerequisite courses, each worth 3 credits. These courses are selected to provide speech-language pathology applicants with the background needed to succeed in the MSc-SLP program.  A maximum of 2 courses can be in progress during Winter term or courses noted to be taken in Spring or Summer sessions. As soon as a student has registered in a spring or summer course the student should send in proof to the department at  All courses must be complete prior to the start of Fall term. The following courses and associated knowledge/skills are prerequisites to the MSc-SLP program.

An undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology or Speech and Hearing Sciences does not exempt a student from the prerequisites listed below.

Applicants wishing to determine whether their coursework satisfies the prerequisite requirements at the University of Alberta should:

  1. Consult the list of approved courses at the universities linked on our website. If a course is not listed, applicants should follow the steps below:
  2. Consult the current academic calendar from the university at which the course was taken. Compare the course content to the description provided below. 
    • If the course description is an antirequisite to a course listed on our website, it will satisfy the prerequisite requirement. 
    • If the course does not closely match this description, it is not likely to satisfy the requirement. 
  3. Applicants in Alberta whose institutions are not listed on our website can use the Alberta Transfer Guide to see if the course is transferable:
  4. If the above steps have been followed and an applicant is still unsure whether their coursework meets the prerequisite requirements, email a course syllabus/outline to , having highlighted the relevant sections addressing the content listed in the Table of Prerequisite Course Descriptions. In your email, please be specific with regard to which prerequisite requirement you are submitting the syllabus for. 
  5. Pre-requisite courses should have been taken in the past 10 years. If you have pre-requisite courses that were taken more than 10 years ago, please contact for discussion.


  1. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all prerequisite course requirements have been satisfied. Failure to do so may result in challenges with program progression.
  2. Internationally trained students should send course syllabi to for approval of courses in each content area.
  3. An undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology or Speech and Hearing Sciences does not exempt you from the prerequisites.
  4. Courses from SLP Assistant diploma degrees are not acceptable.

7 Prerequisite Courses for Applying to the MSc-SLP Program


Introduction to statistical methods. Content should include the following areas:

  • Statistical inference
  • Experimental design
  • Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for means and proportions
  • Correlation and regression
  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA)

Research project courses are not acceptable.

Child Development or Developmental Psychology

A course describing biological, social and cognitive development from infancy through childhood.  Note: Introductory courses in Psychology do not fulfil this requirement, even if the topic was covered as a part of the course. Courses named Child Psychology may or may not fulfil the requirement.

Cognitive Psychology

A course in cognition, learning, or human information processing. The following types of courses are typically acceptable:

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Science
  • Learning and Memory
  • Perception
  • Psycholinguistics

Neuroanatomy or Neuropsychology

Structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous systems including mechanisms of neural activity and signalling, principles of neocortical organization, functional aspects of sensory and motor systems, and higher cognitive functions. 

Courses investigating animal anatomy and physiology, cellular biology courses, or neuroanatomy courses that do not cover areas relevant to speech-language pathology(i.e., hearing, speaking, breathing, swallowing) are not acceptable.

Introductory Linguistics

A general survey course that covers the core areas of linguistics (i.e., phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, pragmatics). Courses teaching another language or writing courses are not acceptable.

Articulatory Phonetics

A course covering fundamentals of articulatory phonetics, including an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and practice in phonetic transcription.

Child Language Development, Child Language Acquisition or First Language Acquisition

A course focused on typical language development in children, from birth to school entry. Courses primarily focused on general child psychology, child development, second language development, or language disorders are not acceptable.

Requirement for Students Accepted into the MSc-SLP Program

Indigenous Canadian History

Since Fall 2019, students admitted to the MSc-SLP program are required to complete a course focused on Indigenous history in Canada. The recommended course is the Indigenous Canada MOOC for certificate due by August 1 of the admission year. If you have previously taken a Canadian Indigenous History Course that you believe meets our requirements and the student has been accepted into the program please email a detailed course syllabus/outline to for review. The course will be reviewed at that time.