The Strengths of Our Program


We have a long history of success in producing alumni who are prepared to launch their careers in the modern workplace. Our graduates are very competitive in the entry-level job market. About half of our graduates seek and secure initial positions in health care settings, while the other half seek and secure positions in public school settings, either as direct hires of public-school districts or as employees of companies that contract with public-school systems to provide services to students who have communication disorders.

That outcome is directly connected to our high expectations for students in the areas of clinical competence, professionalism, critical thinking, independence in making high-stakes decisions about the course of care for individuals presenting with communication disorders, and real-world job skills. In addition to teaching students about speech-language pathology, we groom them for on-the-job success from Day #1 in our graduate program. Along the way to graduation, we do our best to provide a safe, positive, and enjoyable “UVA learning experience.”

Our learning experiences, our projects, quizzes, and exams all center on practical hands-on, real-world clinical cases, decisions, and actions. You will observe (a lot) and you will practice (a lot). All students work closely with one another in observations and assessments under the guidance of our Clinical Supervisors.

In our clinic, you are no longer titled, as a student. Instead, you are an Associate Clinician. Our clinical learning experiences are all about your growth as a professional, a clinician, and as an independent decision maker. We approach clinical instruction as two adults (Associate Clinician and Clinical Supervisors) sharing the responsibility of providing quality care to our clients. Our expectations are high and achievable.

Our Orange Track curriculum is for individuals with an undergraduate degree in something other than communication disorders. The Orange curriculum is fully integrated into all aspects of our program and includes the same academic and clinical preparation as the Blue curriculum. We value and support individuals who are on the Orange path. They are as important to us as individuals who come to us having completed bachelor’s degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In fact, each year, we reserve seats in our program for well-qualified applicants who wish to pursue the Orange Track. Our students on the Orange path often bring fresh perspectives and diverse experiences to our collaborations.

Importantly, we are a relatively small program. Faculty members know each of our students very well. We are a close knit and supportive community. Furthermore, all faculty members are highly skilled mentors, teachers, researchers, and clinicians.

Our pass rate on the Praxis Exam has been 100% for many years. Importantly, our graduates practice in entry-level positions in both school and medically-based settings.

But the very best aspect of our Program is our students. Our students are highly motivated, goal focused, mature, responsible, innovative, and dedicated in their pursuit of a clinical career. We all work hard together and we have some fun along the way to graduation.