Penn State Harrisburg to add new master’s program in speech-language pathology

The new program, currently in process for accreditation, is on track to admit its first class in fall 2026
graphic of head with speech bubble inside with letters scattered around
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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — In the fall 2022 semester, Penn State Harrisburg welcomed Paul Evitts as the new program chair of the communication sciences and disorders program in the School of Humanities. With this new leadership, the school has been approved to and is now in the process of seeking candidacy for accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) for a new master’s of science in speech-language pathology.

This new program is a logical next step for students graduating from the college’s undergraduate communication sciences and disorders program, which was established in fall 2020. Those students are then able to apply to graduate speech-language pathology or audiology programs with the ultimate goal of becoming speech-language pathologists or audiologists. 

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, both fields are projected to experience a 29% growth in employment over the next 10 years.    

“This new degree and program will offer a new site for students to receive education in speech-language pathology, audiology and clinical care for autism in the Capital Region,” Evitts said. “This is an area of need for the region. Both the undergraduate communications sciences and disorders program and this new master’s degree will have students well-positioned for employment. The program will also strengthen the partnership between Penn State Harrisburg, the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and the Penn State College of Medicine.”

The new degree program will be included in the college’s 2026 academic year offerings with two optional concentrations, medical specialization and autism support. Pending completion of accreditation, it is projected that students could begin enrolling in the program in fall 2026.