Important Program Dates

Summer Start
Semester begins: May 8, 2017
First on-campus visit: June 7, 2017
Fall Start
Semester begins: September 5, 2017
Blended (Online and on-site) see curriculum for on-site dates
The Doctor of Clinical Science (ClinScD) in Speech-Language Pathology is designed to develop advanced clinician knowledge, skills and dispositions so that they can manage care and participate in system change through implementation of best practice in the care of individuals with communication and swallowing disorders.

The purpose of the ClinScD program is to prepare professionals focused on developing scientifically-trained and clinically-experienced speech-language pathologists as leaders and change agents by providing broad exposure to content relating the social, political, and economic forces at work in society. We expect our graduates to be viewed as individuals with substantial clinical expertise beyond that obtained in a master’s degree program, making our graduates able to function at a substantially advanced level compared to those with an SLP master’s degree.

Our ClinScD in Speech-Language Pathology is designed for the practicing speech-language pathologist who desires to continue working professionally while also pursuing a clinical doctorate. The courses emphasize the development of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are typically not emphasized during master’s degree programs in speech-language pathology including active use and integration of research and concepts of evidenced-based practice, clinical supervision, and quality improvement, organizational development, advocacy, ethics, and leadership. A final capstone is designed as a culmination of the student’s learning experiences, with an emphasis on the implementation and presentation of a complete evidence-based practice (EBP) project during which students demonstrate the depth of knowledge in select areas of clinical practice through the advanced synthesis of information and expertise in interpreting and applying clinical research. The ultimate goal of the capstone project is that students will demonstrate the ability to function as independent clinician researchers and use their knowledge and skills to effect systems change in professional environments.

The program is a six-semester sequence of 36 credit hours, designed to be completed in two years. Each of the six semesters includes two to three courses and four to nine credit hours. Courses include a combination of online and blended formats; the online courses can be completed entirely via distance education, while blended format courses require both distance and on-campus education. Two of the six semesters are entirely online, while four of the semesters require students to come to campus for four to six days per visit.

Degree Objectives

The ClinScD in Speech-Language Pathology Program is committed to the development of the healthcare professional who can:

  • Demonstrate analytical methodologies for the evaluation of clinical practice and the application of scientific evidence
  • Initiate evidence-based practice and policy strategies that optimize access to care and clinical outcomes
  • Develop expertise in an area of clinical practice
  • Influence ethical and legal management of healthcare through education of providers, consumers, and society at large
  • Collaborate with interprofessional teams necessary to improve clinical care for populations of clients
  • Integrate leadership expertise with clinical perspective and sound business practices to help transform the evolving healthcare system at local, regional, national and international levels


Core Courses: All students are required to complete research methods/ biostatistics courses as well as required leadership courses. These courses provide the foundation for the concentration courses and the ability to participate in and critique research.

Concentration Courses: These courses focus specifically on the discipline of speech-language pathology, emphasizing ethics, supervision and evidence-based SLP practice.

Discussion Corner

According to ASHA’s website, the post entry-level clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology is an optional degree intended to impart:

  • Advanced knowledge and skills regarding critical thinking and clinical problem solving
  • Depth of knowledge in select areas of clinical practice
  • Expertise in interpreting and applying clinical research
  • Leadership and advocacy, clinical teaching, oral and written communication about the clinical enterprise and interprofessional practice

The clinical doctorate is not an entry-level degree for speech-language pathology but rather an emerging optional career path degree and is currently offered at only a few institutions. Use ASHA’s EdFind to search for these clinical doctoral degree programs in Speech-Language Pathology. The Academic Affairs Board Report to the ASHA Board of Directors on the Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology provides additional information about this optional degree. Additionally, consider reviewing ASHA’s guidelines for the Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology.

Admission Requirements
Tuition Information
ClinScD SLP Curriculum
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“The speech-language pathology clinical doctoral program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions is an innovative, compact 2-year program that emphasizes evidence-based clinical practice, clinical supervision, leadership, and ethics. Because it is a blend of on-line and on-site educational experiences, it is ideal for professional speech-language pathologists who wish to continue employment and living in their home communities while simultaneously advancing their education.”
Mark J. Ashley, Sc.D., CCC-SLP, CCM

Doctor of Clinical Science Speech Language Pathology Faculty

Core Faculty

Tom Cappaert, PhD, ATC, CSCS
Maria C. Franca, PhD, CCC-SLP
Darcy Hammar
Amber B. Heape, ClinScD, CCC-SLP
Patrick McKeon
Angela Merlo, PhD, PT, DPT