Dalhousie's Speech-Language Pathology Program
The speech-language pathology program at Dalhousie University involves three years of full time study allotted to course work, clinical pratica and research project or thesis. The program leads to a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Human Communication Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology). Upon completion of the program, students meet the requirements for application for certification by the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) and for licensure in any of the provinces with government regulation of speech-language pathology.
Our students are diverse with respect to undergraduate degrees. Backgrounds include psychology, biology, linguistics, education, music, anatomy, engineering, nursing and others. (See Admission Requirements)
Students enrolled in the speech-language pathology program begin by taking core or foundation courses in areas such as anatomy and physiology of the hearing system, child language development, phonetics, neuroanatomy and neurolinguistics, basic hearing measurement, communication disorders across the lifespan, speech science, and research design. In the second and third year, students take specialized, profession specific courses such as speech disorders in children, aphasia, fluency disorders and numerous others. (See: Speech-Language Pathology Curriculum)
The speech-language pathology program includes both academic and clinical components. Lectures, classroom activities and laboratory activities take place at the School of Human Communication Disorders. Many of these learning activities are augmented with field experiences, such as visiting rehabilitation centres, schools, and the Nova Scotia Speech and Hearing Centres. In addition, students must complete clinical placements in the community. Some clinical observations may occur during the first year of studies. During the second year of studies, clinical placements occur at the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres in Halifax, public school settings with the Halifax Regional School Board, or at private clinics. Students must complete a 12-week summer internship at the end of the second year and a 12-week externship in the winter term of the third year. The final externship normally occurs outside of Halifax. Some students return to their home province for this final clinical placement while others opt for a placement outside the country. Costs incurred for relocation are the responsibility of the student.
When applying for admission into our program, students have the option of also applying to the thesis track. Approximately three students per year are admitted into the thesis track program. All other students must complete a research project under the guidance of a faculty member and present it at the end of the fall term of their third year. The thesis is larger in scope than the research project, and students are expected to be more independent in the completion of a thesis. An oral defence is required for a thesis. Selection of the thesis students is typically made prior to the start of the program but may also occur during the fall term of the first year.