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The NYU Steinhardt Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) is highly regarded within New York City and the State, as well as at the national level, resulting in the development of strong relationships with renowned field placement sites for our students.

Following the completion of theoretical courses, graduate student clinicians participate in a five-term Clinical Practicum and Field Placement Sequence (Practicum I-V) which consists of experiential elements (on-campus clinical immersions in Practicum I & II, and field placement externships for the remaining three courses) and accompanying seminar courses which are integral to the Speech@NYU clinical learning experience. Clinical practicum seminar courses and field placement experiences allow you to experience firsthand the role of the speech-language pathologist in a variety of unique settings.  During these experiences, you will aim to understand, assess, and treat individuals across the lifespan and with ASHA’s Big Nine.  You will take on both clinical and nonclinical responsibilities while mastering the clinical and professional competencies set forth by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC).

As a Speech@NYU student, you will be assigned a dedicated  Student Success Specialist who communicates with your dedicated Placement Specialist. The Placement Specialist, in collaboration with the NYU CSD Clinical Field Placement Team (consisting of licensed and certified speech-language pathologists), will match you to an appropriate field placement during the field placement sequence. You will have a variety of clinical experiences and work with individuals across the lifespan with a licensed and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)-certified SLP.

Required Direct Contact Hours

Our national governing body, ASHA, requires that students complete 25 guided clinical observation hours before beginning the Clinical Practicum and Field Placement Sequence. They are then required to complete a minimum of 375 direct contact hours to be eligible for certification and professional licensure

Each Practicum course is coupled with a different immersive clinical experience either at the NYU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic (during the clinical immersions) or a field placement, which will include a school setting. The Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) requires a minimum of 150 direct contact hours with the pediatric population. This allows for students to meet the necessary NY state requirements for Teaching Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) including:

  • Exposure to working in a private or public state-registered school setting.

  • 150 direct contact hours (treatment and diagnostic) with students with speech and language disabilities from early childhood to adolescence.

  • Supervision with a speech-language pathologist who has their TSSLD or TSHH, or state equivalent certification.

All students must meet the TSSLD requirements, regardless of which state they reside in. However, students seeking teacher certification outside of NY State should refer to the Professional Licensure page for additional information since individual state requirements may differ.

Additionally, all students must earn a minimum of 5 diagnostic hours over the Clinical Practicum and Field Placement Sequence (Practicum I-V). Most students do surpass the requirement by the end of their Clinical Practicum and Field Placement Sequence, thereby meeting all New York State and ASHA certification standards. Please note it is to a student's advantage to surpass the minimum direct contact hour requirements.

Clinical Practicum and Field Placement Sequence Schedule

Each field placement experience is full-time and a semester in length (can range from 12-16 weeks based on practicum level).  The cadence (daily/weekly) and schedule of each field placement are at the discretion of the field placement supervisor, in alignment with each Practicum’s requirements. Graduate students find maintaining employment responsibilities during the field placement sequence experience challenging. It is recommended that students begin to plan for full-time field placement experiences several semesters before entering the field placement sequence. 

Students complete their field placements in various settings, such as hospitals, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation clinics, specialized schools designed to meet the unique needs of children with various disabilities, public schools, and other settings.

Practicum I (Pre-Clinic and On-Campus Immersion) and Practicum II (Diagnostic Assessment and On-Campus Immersion)

Complete two 3–4-day clinical immersions on NYU’s campus in New York City: one in Practicum I and one in Practicum II.

Practicum III (Treatment) 

Participate for an entire semester (15 weeks) for two full days per week at a pediatric site for their initial field placement.  Students can expect to have additional responsibilities associated with their site beyond the two days per week on-site. 

Clinical Field Placement IV (Pediatrics) and Clinical Field Placement V (Adults)

A full-time advanced field placement experience, where students attend field placements three to five days per week for 12–16 weeks.   Students can expect to be onsite 35+ hours per week at their field placement site.

One setting will focus on the pediatric population and the other on the adult population.

All field placement schedules are determined by the field placement supervisor. Students are encouraged to be proactive and evaluate their personal commitments to meet the scheduling needs of their field placements. Student clinicians should be mindful of their pre-field-placement schedule and make arrangements to be available based on the supervisor’s scheduling requests and the requirements of the clinical practicum and field placement sequence.

Background Checks: Coverage

In accordance with applicable law and department guidelines, the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (“CSD”) at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development will require background checks for all students enrolled in the MS degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders who will be participating in an NYU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic or other related on-campus initiatives, including immersions (hereinafter, “clinical training program”).

A student may not begin to participate in a clinical training program unless and until CSD has determined that the student has completed the background check in accordance with applicable law and department guidelines. Please take note that a criminal history does not automatically disqualify a student from participating in a clinical training program. CSD will conduct a full analysis consistent with applicable law before any final decision is made with respect to participation in the program. If CSD determines that the student may not participate in the clinical training program based on the results of the background check, the student may not be eligible to satisfy the requirements for the MS degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders.

In accordance with applicable law, the results of the background check will be kept confidential and shall not be used, distributed, or disseminated to any persons other than those involved in making a decision about the student’s participation in the clinical training program.

Background Checks: Field Placements

Please be advised that students may also be required to undergo a background check before participating in a field placement program with a non-NYU site. The scope and review of the background check will depend on the process and procedures of the non-NYU site. If the non-NYU site determines that the student may not participate in the placement, while CSD will make every effort to help the student find alternative placement, if not possible, the student may not be eligible to satisfy the requirements for the MS degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders.

Background Checks: Licensing Requirements

Please also be advised that a criminal history may render a student ineligible to receive a state license or clinical certification. Students who are planning on working in the state of New York should address questions about licensing eligibility and background checks to the New York State Board of Regents’ Office of the Professions. Students who are planning on working in a state other than New York should direct questions about background checks to the licensing board of that particular state. Contacts for the licensing boards of each state, as well as applicable licensing laws and regulations, may be accessed through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Receive the knowledge base and clinical training you need to become a licensed speech-language pathologist. Learn more about the online master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from NYU Steinhardt.

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