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Pre-Professional Speech/Language Pathology

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Speech language pathologists research, diagnose, and treat communication disorders including disorders of speech and disorders of language.  Professionals in this area work with children and adults in a variety of settings (schools, hospitals, and private practice).

A clinical career in speech and language pathology (SLP) requires an advanced degree (MA, MEd, or MS). Graduate programs in speech language pathology prepare the student for the national certification exam and licensure processes, which vary by state. To ensure that students are ultimately successful in certification and licensure, graduate programs require the completion of specific prerequisite courses at the undergraduate level. The pre-professional speech-language pathology program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware is designed to provide students with the prerequisites they need in order to apply to graduate school.  While the courses we offer are broadly recognized as the core and are essential to later success in graduate school, some programs also prefer that students have taken additional coursework; these additional requirements vary widely from program to program.


Image of Steps on the Pathway to Practice as a Speech Language Pathology

A clinical career in audiology requires a clinical doctorate, i.e. the  Audiology Doctorate (Aud.D.) or a Ph.D.  Students who complete the pre-professional speech-language pathology sequence in Linguistics and Cognitive Science are equipped to apply to graduate programs in audiology.  For specifics regarding requirements for certification as an audiologist, visit the American Speech Language Hearing Association website, at

A student aspiring to conduct research related to speech pathology or audiology as a speech, language, or hearing scientist must earn a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree.

·        UD students who wish to prepare for graduate school in SLP should major in Cognitive Science with a specialization in pre-professional SLP.  This area of specialization provides the most common prerequisites for most graduate programs.  

·        Students are strongly encouraged to demonstrate special interests via participation in campus research related to speech pathology and audiology.

·        Because admission into speech and language pathology graduate programs is highly competitive, we strongly recommend that students maintain a 3.6 GPA or higher. 

·        Students should also seek volunteer experience, work in a lab for credit, and obtain other forms of experience relevant to the field. See 'recommended electives' (below) for more information.

·        Minors. Students are not required to take a minor. For those who wish to do so, popular minors for SLP include Disability Studies, Psychology, Human Development & Family Studies, and Spanish. Students can take more than one minor, but should not over-stretch themselves with minors.

·        UD Chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA): This is an organization for students interested in Speech and Language Pathology. The group functions as a source of information about admission to graduate programs, upcoming speakers and events, volunteer opportunities and more. If you wish to join, please contact NSSLHA at

·        You'll notice above (see flow chart) that 25 hours of clinical observation is required for certification. Some graduate programs require that a portion or, in some cases, all of those hours be acquired before admission.  The pre-professional course sequence includes upper-level coursework that connects students with community observation sites as well as guided, virtual observation opportunities recognized as counting toward those 25 hours.  See your advisor for details.

·        The American Speech Language Hearing Association website offers a wealth of information about graduate programs, access to research publications, professional affairs, and more.  Visit

Cognitive Science B.S

There are two parts to the Cognitive Science B.S.  The first is a set of core courses required of all CGSC majors.  The second is a minimum of 18 credits in an area of specialization.  See planning form (below) for details.

  • Students must earn a C- or higher in all courses within the major, including those that make up the area of specialization.  However, CGSC378, CGSC379, and CGSC380 have a pre-requisite requirement of a C or higher in CGSC376.
  • 600-level courses count only for those working towards an honors B.S. in Cognitive Science.
  • CGSC majors who are majoring or minoring in linguistics may not use the same courses to count towards both programs, with the exception of LING 101 and CGSC485. 

CGSC BS, Core Courses, 25 Credits

A. All of the Following: 12 Credits

CGSC 170 Intro. to Cog. Sci.Take 1st or 2nd year in major.
CGSC 485 Seminar in Cog. Sci.Take Sr year; Satisfies 2nd Writing Requirement.
LING 101 Intro. to LinguisticsTake 1st semester in major.
PSYC 100 General PsychologyTake 1st year in major.

B. Advanced PSYC/CGSC Course: One of the Following, 3 Credits.   Take Jr or Sr year.

CGSC 410 Embodied Cognition
CGSC 420 Research Methods in Cognitive ScienceCo-Req.: PSYC209 or STAT200
CGSC 451 Topics in Cognitive Science
PSYC 314 Brain and BehaviorPre-Req.: PSYC100 or NSCI100

PSYC 340 Cognition (X-list CGSC 340)

​Pre-Req.: PSYC207 and PSYC209
PSYC 350 Developmental Psychology ​Pre-Req.: PSYC207 and PSYC209​

C. Biology Requirement: One of the Following, 4 Credits. Take freshman or sophomore year.

BISC 104: Principles of Biology with Laboratory
BISC 207: Introductory Biology I

D. Computational Requirement: One of the Following, 3 Credits  Take freshman or  sophomore


CISC 101 Principles of Computing
CISC 103 Intro to Computer Sci. w/Web Apps

Acceptable Substitute: CISC 106. * Email 

your advisor for permission
CISC 108 General Computer ScienceCoreq: MATH115 or 117 or higher   
 LING 202 Science of LanguagePre-Req: LING101
 PHIL 205 Logic​​

 E. Statistics Requirement: One of the Following, 3 Credits  Take Freshman or Sophomore Year

MATH 202 Intro. to Stat Methods IIPrereq:  MATH201
MATH 205 Statistical MethodsPrereq:  MATH210 or MATH230
 PSYC 209 Measurement and StatisticsPrereq: PSYC100* Course is restricted to PSYC majors and minors.
SOCI 301 Introduction to Sociological ResearchPrereq:  SOCI201 and A&S Math Skills Req.
STAT 200 Basic Statistical Practice

Area of Specialization Requirement: Pre-professional Speech/Language Pathology. 27 Credits All of the following

LING 353 Introduction to Speech and Hearing Science
Pre-req: LING 101, Requires a laptop computer
CGSC 376: Intro. to Communication DisordersPre-req: LING 101
CGSC 378: Anatomy and Physiology of SpeechPre-req: C or better in CGSC 376
CGSC 379: Audiology (**)
Pre-req: C or better in CGSC 376
CGSC 380: Clinical Principles & Procedures in SLP (**)Pre-req: C or better in CGSC 376
CGSC 433: Introduction to Acoustic PhoneticsPre-Req: LING353; Requires laptop computer
CGSC 496: PsycholinguisticsPre-req: LING 101
(**) These courses require special Clearances

One of the Following, 3 Credits

LING 403: PhonologyPre-req: LING 101 and LING 202
LING 480: SociolinguisticsPre-req: LING 101

One of the Following, 3 Credits

LING 444: First Language DevelopmentPre-req: LING 101
LING/EDUC/PSYC 462: Lang. Acquisition

Most of the courses for the SLP area of specialization are offered in the fall and spring semesters, except...

  • LING 403: Introduction to Phonology                      Once a Year, Typically Fall
  • LING 480: Sociolinguistics                                           Once a Year, Typically Spring

Recommended Elective Courses for SLP: (Not Required, but Useful for Graduate School Admissions)

  • Graduate programs often have a physical science requirement.  Programs vary in terms of what courses they expect.  A safe way to fulfill the course is by taking a course with a title like "Intro to 

    Chemistry", "Intro to Physics," "General Chemistry" and so forth.
  • LING 403, if you did not take it as one of your area of specialization courses.
  • LING 480, if you did not take it as one of your area of specialization courses.
  • ENGL 410: Technical Writing  (Prereq: ENGL 110) -- OR -- ENGL 415: Writing in the Professions (Prereq: ENGL 110)
  • HDFS 339: Adult Development and Aging (Prereqs: EDUC 202 or HDFS 201)  -- OR -- HDFS 405: Aging & the Family
  • CGSC310: Orientation o Clinical Experiences. This is a hands on course that offers guided observation hours.  To register, you must contact the professor teaching the course.

  • Work in a lab for independent study credit.  To do so,

     create a list of faculty with whom you might want to work. To do this, go to the websites for UD departments such as the following: LING & CGSC, PSCY, Physical Therapy, and other related fields. Follow the instructions below.

    • Each website will have a list of faculty, many of whom also have websites that describe their research. Read the research descriptions and create a list of labs that interest you.
    • Once you have created the list, contact each professor to express your interest in obtaining research experience.
    • When doing so, tell them about yourself (your major, your GPA) and include an unofficial transcript and possibly a resume.
    • Indicate the semester in which you would like to work; ask whether there is space in the lab.
    • Ask what he or she requires of students who work in his/her lab for independent studies credit.
    • Plan on contacting more than one professor, as some labs may not need undergraduate research assistants.
    • You should make arrangements at least a month or two prior to the start of the semester, but it can't hurt to do it earlier. 
    • Once you hear back, hopefully receiving one more 'yes,' pick the lab in which you want to work. 
    • Sign up for an independent study with the professor who runs the lab. The number of credits will vary depending on the number of hours worked.
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Pre-Professional Speech/Language Pathology
  • Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science
  • 125 E. Main Street
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-6806
  • Fax: 302-831-6896