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Note: The Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) in Medical Speech-Language Pathology is currently undergoing revision.

This program is an advanced professional doctorate degree recommended for the student or speech-language pathologist (SLP) aiming for clinical excellence and leadership as an SLP in a wide variety of practice settings.

We are revising the program to best meet the professional needs of our students. We anticipate opening admission to the program in late spring 2021 with options for students to begin the program in fall 2021 or spring 2022.

Complete this inquiry form to receive updates about the revised program.

Admission Requirements

A Communication Science and Disorders MA/MS is required in order to fulfill the clinical component of this program.

Clinical Licensing Requirements

All applicants are advised to ensure that they meet the certification and licensing requirements before applying to the program. Queries must be addressed to ASHA or the PA State Board – the University of Pittsburgh cannot address these queries.

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)

The Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), indicates professional certification in speech-language pathology or audiology. For more information on obtaining the CCC, please see ASHA’s current Membership and Certification Handbook. Specific issues about ASHA’s requirements for the CCC should be addressed to:

Members: 800-498-2071              
Non-Member: 800-638-8255
Fax: 301-296-8580
TTY (Text Telephone Communication Device): 301-296-5650
The ASHA website also contains helpful information about certification.

Pennsylvania State Licensure

In order to engage in unsupervised clinical practice, graduates must obtain a valid Pennsylvania State License. Questions about Licenses for speech-language pathology or audiology may be addressed to the Pennsylvania State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language and Hearing.

Tel: (717) 783-1389                         
Fax: (717) 787-7769                

International Applicants

Pitt SHRS requires that applicants have the equivalent of a master’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. Please visit the International Students page for requirements including the academic credential evaluation and English language proficiency requirements.

The CScD program is designed for practicing clinicians who are seeking advanced study. Potential candidates need to ensure that they are able to obtain a PA State License to work clinically in Pennsylvania before they start the program.

Students in the program are required to have certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP). Candidates are advised to read the ASHA information and to contact ASHA directly regarding their individual case before starting the application to the University of Pittsburgh.

Students in the CScD program are covered for employment by Pitt on an F-1 visa and can work because it is a required condition of the program so employers do not need to worry about visas. Students are eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Visit Pitt's Office of International Services page for more information.

It is the responsibility of all applicants to complete all admission requirements prior to enrollment.

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Application Procedures

Application Deadline: December 1st for consideration to begin the program the following summer term. Applicants are encouraged to apply early due to the length of time required to secure a clinical position.

All application materials must be received by the SHRS Admissions Office (4020 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260) by the deadline. Once your application is complete, it will be forwarded to the CSD Department for review by the CScD Admissions Committee.

All applicants must:

  • Apply online using the SHRS ApplyYourself application.
  • Submit an essay describing your professional and educational goals that are realistically attainable during enrollment in the program.
  • Submit a resume including a summary of work and/or volunteer profession related experience.
  • Submit three letters of reference, preferably from individuals who have instructed you in academic settings and/or supervised profession related experience and/or supervised research activities. These letters should address the applicant's academic, professional and personal attributes and potential for meaningful graduate study.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to the University of Pittsburgh institution code 2927. For applicants who have taken the GRE 5-10 years prior to this application, the CScD program will accept a copy of the official GRE scores that were sent to the applicant (not just applicant's self-report). After 10 years, all applicants will need to retake the examination.
  • Applicants will be required to participate in interviews addressing content knowledge and discussions of the program.

A successful applicant will be offered conditional admission contingent upon:

  • Securing a one-half time clinical fellowship or post clinical fellowship position as a speech-language pathologist in a facility with which the academic department has a working relationship. The department will help to locate possible positions but is it the responsibility of the candidate to successfully secure the position following normal hiring practices at the specific facility. These practices typically include the provision of a letter of interest, a professional CV, and the successful completion of an interview with the appropriate personnel at the facility.
  • Engaging in unsupervised clinical practice in Pennsylvania. To engage in unsupervised clinical practice, you must obtain a Pennsylvania State License. This is most easily obtained by completing all academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). If you do not have your CCC, please review the requirements and process on the ASHA website. If you have your CCC’s, please make sure you have a current PA license.

In addition, be advised that maintenance of the clinical practice described above and the State License are mandatory throughout your time in the Program. Failure to maintain these requirements is grounds for dismissal from the program as they are an essential component of the academic Program.

Additional Information

Advanced Standing

All students must complete a minimum of 87 credits to satisfy didactic and clinical requirements for this degree. Eight credits of Clinical Mentored Experience will be waived for those entering the program with their Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC).

No more than one-third of the total number of required credits (87) may be granted to a student as transfer credit for work done at another accredited graduate institution. These credits must be appropriate substitute coursework taken beyond what was required for the MA/MS degree.

Where a course and/or clinical/teaching experience is/are being considered as a substitute for a CScD requirement, the candidate must show evidence of having attained the CScD course objectives. The request will be considered by the CScD Plan of Study Committee. Approval by both members of the committee and the course instructor of record (for CSD courses) are required for approval of the course substitute.

Tuition Waiver Program through SHRS

SHRS offers a $2,000 annual tuition scholarship to one student accepted into the CScD program who is not a Pennsylvania resident. The CSD admissions committee determines the recipient from each program. The scholarship is directly applied against the student’s tuition invoice in each year of their academic program in which they remain in good standing.