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Specialty Track in Speech-Language Pathology

Autism Spectrum Disorder

This program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education training grant entitled “Advanced Training for Speech-Language Pathologists to Address the Needs of Infants and Children with Autism.” Participation in the DHSS Autism Specialty track requires additional coursework and opportunities.

For more information, please read the Autism Track flyer along with the additional coursework and clinic requirements or contact Dr. Jim Bodfish,

Early Identification and Management of Children with Hearing Loss

This program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Training grant entitled “Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation to Serve Infants and Young Children with Hearing Loss”. Students enrolled in this Specialty Track will have additional coursework and practicum experience that will prepare them to work with infants and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This interdisciplinary approach to training – by combining core courses with speech-language pathology, audiology, and deaf education students, while continuing separate courses that are specific to their disciplines – is unique to our Vanderbilt program. For additional information, please contact Dr. Dana Kan (

M.S.-SLP Students with Background in CSD – HL Specialty Track Curriculum Flyer

M.S.-SLP Students without Background in CSD – HL Specialty Track Curriculum Flyer

School Specialty Track

The Vanderbilt Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences offers specialty track training in school speech-language pathology for those students who plan to pursue a career in schools working with students ages 3 through 21. The pediatric coursework in the required SLP curriculum provides a foundation for students to build additional skills for school speech-language pathology specialization. In particular, the language disorders course sequence and the speech sound disorders course are taught from the perspective of school-based practice, providing students a strong foundation in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Additionally, students on the School SLP Track participate in a one-credit seminar each semester (total of 5 semesters) and complete two school practicum experiences in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and a practicum in the Vanderbilt Reading Clinic. Additional professional development experiences that supplement academic training include Martha Lynch Lecture Series, It’s All About Language Workshops, and the annual School Speech-Language Pathology Conference at Vanderbilt as well as the MNPS SLP one-day conferences. For additional information, contact Dr. Melanie Schuele (

M.S.-SLP with Background in CSD – School Track 

M.S.-SLP without Background in CSD – School Track

Thesis Option

M.S.-SLP students who are interested in research and elect to do a thesis as part of their degree program will make their intention known by completing the form (which can be found in our Graduate Studies student handbook) and submitting it to their advisor and the DHSS Vice Chair of Graduate Studies between the end of their first, and before the end of their second semesters of graduate studies. The Master’s thesis is optional and will be pursued by M.S.-SLP students pending mutual agreement of student thesis advisor and Vice Chair of Graduate Studies. During their thesis experience, students should register each semester for SLP 7999 Master’s Thesis Research, using the section number of the thesis advisor in order to reflect the work on their transcript.

Thesis Submission
Candidates shall submit the written thesis to his/her thesis committee and have an oral defense of the document and project no later than the day preceding the student’s graduation date.