Two degrees, one great program in speech-language pathology

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders now accepting applications for combined master's and PhD program.

News Staff - 19 December 2014

(Edmonton) A career as a professional speech-language pathologist or one focused on research and advancing our understanding of communication sciences? Do both.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Alberta is now accepting applications for a combined master's in speech-language pathology and PhD in rehabilitation science. Starting in the fall of 2015, the new program emphasizes developing both clinical and research skills to train a new generation of academics in speech-language pathology, said department chair Karen Pollock.

"Canada faces a shortage of PhD-level speech-language pathologists, the effects of which are complex and wide reaching for their implications on teaching, learning and research," said Pollock. "By giving students the opportunity to combine clinically-focused courses, hands-on placements and thesis studies in a single integrated plan of study, we can help address this need."

The MSc-SLP/PhD-RS is a direct-entry program open to a select group of highly motivated students interested a research or academic career in speech-language pathology. It does not replace the separate master's or PhD program, which remain among the largest and best in Canada, said Tammy Hopper, associate dean of graduate studies and research with the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, but in addition to greater flexibility and choice can help students save time.

The traditional course-based master's degree followed by a PhD can take six years or more-and that's if life doesn't get in the way, said Hopper, noting that after completing one degree, plans and priorities sometimes change.

"Our combined degree allows students to focus on coursework, clinical placements and research in a single integrated program, in just five years," Hopper added.

Applications open until Jan. 15, 2015

Students interested in applying to the new program can learn more about admission requirements, or contact the department directly at The deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2015.

About the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

As the only free-standing faculty of rehabilitation medicine in North America, the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine's vision is to be at the forefront of knowledge generation and scholarship in rehabilitation. Through excellent teaching, research and service to the community, the faculty is committed to enhancing quality of life, promoting participation and autonomy, and improving function for citizens in Alberta and beyond.

A research leader in musculoskeletal health, neuroscience, aging, childhood development and rehabilitation technology, the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine aims to inspire the realization of the full potential of individuals, families and communities. The three departments, Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT) and Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) offer professional entry programs. The faculty offers thesis-based MSc and PhD programs in Rehabilitation Science, attracting students from a variety of disciplines including OT, PT, speech-language pathology, audiology, psychology, physical education, medicine and engineering.