Speech-Language Pathology-Assistant Certificate Program

Program Overview

Are you interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist assistant?

Our fully online Speech-Language Pathologist-Assistant (SLPA) Certificate program is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in the areas of speech, language, and hearing development in order to be eligible to become assistants in Speech-Language Pathology, and includes an increased amount of credit hours dedicated to clinical application and observation in the fields of SLP. Being an SLP-assistant provides the opportunity to directly work with and help individuals with speech, language, and hearing disorders in schools, clinics, and hospitals, under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist.

The SLPA Certificate program is a pathway into the speech-language pathology professions. SLP-Assistants are not certified as Speech-Language Pathologists as certified SLP  are required to complete graduate training. The SLPA Certificate, however, can be a stepping stone to working toward the goal of becoming a certified SLP in the following ways:

  •  SLPA courses can be applied towards the completion of a University of Montana Communicative Sciences and Disorders Bachelors of Arts degree if students complete other UM Bachelors of Arts general education requirements.
  • Provided you already have a Bachelor's degree (in any major), the SLPA courses can be applied towards the completion of our Leveling Program, which allows you to then apply to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist.

The SLPA Certificate program consists of 8 online courses for a total of 23 credits. These 8 courses can be completed within one calendar year and are offered fully online (no face-to-face sessions required). The courses have an asynchronous learning environment, which means students can work on courses at times that best fit their schedule. However, instructors may assign deadlines for assignments, course projects, and exams.

Requirements Overview

Requirements for Certificate Completion

To receive the SLPA Certificate from the University of Montana, a student must fulfill the following criteria: 

  1. Complete a minimum of 23 credits, of which at least 51% of the required number of credits are earned from the University of Montana-Missoula.
  2. Possess a minimum grade average of 2.7 in all work attempted at the University of Montana-Missoula and a minimum grade of C or better in all courses that count toward program requirements.

Transcripts are subject to review, and student must be enrolled in the SLPA Certificate program. 

UM Technology Requirements for Online Education

Moodle is the Learning Management System that the University of Montana uses for online coursework. To be successful in the asynchronous online learning environment within the SLPA Certificate Online program, it is recommended students follow the ICT Guide-Basic Minimum System Requirements for Moodle 

SLPA Course Requirements, Credits, & Prerequisites

 Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites
CSD 110 Introduction to Speech, Language, and Audiology 3
CSD 205 Clinical Application & Observation in SLP & Audiology 2
CSD 210 Speech & Language Development 3
CSD 222* Introduction to Audiology* 3*
CSD 261 Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology Assistants 3
CSD 265 Speech and Language Disorders and Treatment 3
CSD 320 Phonological Development & Phonetics 3
CSD 330 Antatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Swallowing Mechanisms 3
CSD 365 Acquired Communication and Swallowing Disorders 3 CSD 210, CSD 320
Total: 23 or 26*

Please note CSD 222 Introduction to Audiology is an optional course. It is not required to complete the program*

Online Registration

Click HERE to fill out the SLPA Certificate program's preliminary inquiry form to reserve your spot in our program with limited seats. Once the preliminary inquiry form is processed, you will be contacted by the SLPA advising team who will instruct you in the next application steps and registration.

Tuition and Mandatory Fees

Cost of tuition will follow the University of Montana's tuition and fees matrix found HERE; fees are subject to change per academic year with Board of Regents' approval. The SLPA Certificate Program online tuition and fees are delineated on the Online Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate matrix. For a total estimation of tuition and fees, contact Student Accounts within Business Services at UMstudentaccts@mso.umt.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the SLPA Certificate Program Online

What is the deadline to apply?

  • We accept Certificate Program preliminary inquiries for both online and campus-based students throughout the year. The link for this preliminary inquiry form is HERE.
  • However, see UM Admissions (HERE) for specific deadlines to apply to the University of Montana in order to start your coursework in either Fall or Spring semesters. We recommend that you apply a minimum of one month prior to the start date of the course in which you intend to enroll.

Am I required to begin in the Fall?

  • Most online and all on-campus students start in the Fall to finish in one year.
  • A Spring start option is available online. However, this option does not guarantee you will finish in one year.

Do I have to take all courses?

  • All courses are required to achieve the full SLPA Certificate.

Do I need to log-in at certain times to join a virtual classroom if I am taking online courses?

  •  No. Although, there are set dates when assignments and quizzes must be completed. The online program was designed for individuals who are interested in completing the coursework, but need to work at their own pace around work and family schedules. The exact format of each course may vary; please contact the course instructor about questions regarding exams, proctoring, assignments, etc.

If I have taken similar courses at a different university- can these courses count toward this SLPA Certificate program, or do I need to retake them at UM?

  • It depends. If you think that you have covered the content in one of our Certificate program courses in another program (and earned a grade >C), fill out THIS Course Equivalency form and return it along with the course syllabus/syllabi to our Academic Advisor (meghann.schroeder@mso.umt.edu) for review.

If I take SLPA Certificate program courses at the University of Montana, will these courses be accepted at other graduate programs?

  • Since the bulk of the SLPA Certificate program coursework is the same as our CSD Leveling Certificate program coursework, this is a possibility. The content for most prerequisite course is relatively standardized nationally across CSD programs. Our courses are meant to meet the standards and requirements for admissions in speech-language pathology and audiology graduate programs across the country. The ultimate decision to accept prerequisite coursework is decided by your chosen institution. If you have concerns, we recommend that you verify with your intended graduate institution(s).

How much time should I devote to each class?

  • For every one credit hour in which you enroll in the campus-based program, you will spend approximately two to three hours outside of class studying (i.e., one 3-credit course= 6-9 hours per week studying over 15 weeks, for a total of 90-135 hours per regular university semester).
  • The same amount of content is covered in each of the courses in the online program, but the duration of each course is shorter. Keep in mind that you will still need to study for approximately 90-135 hours during the duration of the course (e.g., for an eight week course, plan to study 11-17 hours per week).

Online SLPA Certificate Program Contact Information

Mina May, M.S., CCC-SLP

Distance Program Coordinator | Clinical Assistant Professor
School of Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences (formerly CSD)
DeWit RiteCare Clinic
College of Health 
My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Curry Health Center 022 | Missoula, Montana
t: (406) 243-2102 |  e:mina.may@mso.umt.edu