Maryland Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Maryland Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Are you a person who loves helping others and watching how your assistance positively impacts someone else’s life? Have you always been interested in the different ways we use language and communication to improve our interactions with others? If you answered yes to both of these questions you may be ready for a career in speech-language pathology (SLP).

The growing field needs qualified licensed healthcare professionals to fill gaps in schools, hospitals, clinics, and anywhere else SLPs are employed. There are so many different career paths for you to embark on. Specialize in a specific language or communication disorder, or work with a particular population. You can even combine them and work with a certain population on a specific communication disorder.

For example, you may choose to help small children with stuttering disorders. Or work with elderly patients who have developed a swallowing disorder after a stroke. Whichever specialty area you select or don’t select, you will have a satisfying career. If you’re unsure about what steps to take to begin your journey as an SLP, continue reading to discover the eligibility requirements for licensure in Maryland.

Maryland Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

In Maryland, speech-language pathologist licenses are issued by the Maryland Board of Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers & Speech-Language Pathologists. The renewal cycle for licenses is every two years, and all licensees have the same cycle dates. Click here to read more about the statutes and regulations for SLPs.

Education Requirements

SLPs need a master’s degree in speech-language pathology to become licensed. The graduate program you enroll in heavily depends on the type of bachelor’s degree you hold. If your degree is in communicative sciences and disorders you can begin taking core courses in the graduate program right away. However, if your bachelor’s degree is in a different field, you’ll have to take foundational prerequisite classes before beginning the core coursework.

Here you can find all Maryland speech pathology degree programs.

Some of the prerequisite classes include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Voice
  • Phonetics
  • Speech and Voice Science
  • Articulation and Phonology
  • Speech and Language Development

Most SLP programs require a GPA of 3.0 or greater for admission, as they want to make sure you have a solid understanding of the coursework before you begin the graduate program. You’ll be taking more advanced classes in the following studies:

  • Survey of Communication Disorders
  • Language Disorders
  • Voice Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Language and Literacy Disorders
  • Counseling and Communication Disorders

Experience Requirements

Aspiring speech-language pathologists must complete a clinical practicum before graduating from the SLP program. The number of hours each student must complete aligns with the time the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) requires for certification.

A minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical practicums must be completed by each student. 25 hours need to be in guided observation and the remaining 375 hours are expansions of right contact with patients. A clinical practicum hour is equivalent to 60 minutes, and any sessions less than 60 minutes cannot be rounded up to one hour.

Experiences that count toward direct patient contact include assessment, management, or counseling of the clients or their families.

After graduating you’ll be required to complete a supervised work experience referred to as the clinical fellowship. To begin this process you’ll first need a limited license before you can begin accruing hours.

The supervisors of these experiences play an important role as they are legally and ethically responsible for the care provided by the student. That’s why supervisors have requirements to meet before they can begin guiding up-and-coming SLPs, which include:

  • Holding a valid full SLP license; or
    • A Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA
  • Have completed the clinical fellowship and been practicing for at least two years
  • Supervising a maximum of three limited licensees at a time
  • No formal disciplinary action from the Board within the past five years

If you choose to attend the clinical fellowship full-time, it will be a 36-week experience where you’ll be taught 2 complete clinical and diagnostic procedures. You’ll also learn to work with patients from different populations and of all ages with varying disabilities. Once the clinical fellowship is over you will have 1,260 hours of experience.

Part-time program attendees can choose one of the following schedules:

  • 12 months working 25-29 hours each week
  • 15 months working 20-24 hours each week
  • 18 months working 15-19 hours each week

When working 80% of your interaction must be direct client contact. The other 20% can be spent on observation. Before beginning the work experience a Verification of Supervision for Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship Year form must be submitted to and approved by the Board. Once you complete the fellowship, submit the Verification of Satisfactory Completion of Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellowship Year form. The Board requires both for SLP licensure.

Testing Requirements

ASHA offers a national exam through Praxis for all SLPs. Passing the Praxis 5331 exam for speech-language pathology allows you to apply for a Certificate of Clinical Competence. Although the certification is not needed for licensure, it’s a great qualification to add as it indicates your interest in the field goes beyond what the state requires to become licensed. That is something that will stand out to employers and separate your resume from others.

Register for the exam online and submit a copy of your officiate graduate transcript and a completed CF Report and Rating form. Registration can also be completed by phone or mail. To register by phone simply call the Education Testing Service (ETS) at (800) 772-9476, and be prepared to pay a $35 surcharge for the service.

A Test Authorization Voucher Request is needed when registering by mail. Follow the instructions on the form and send it back to:

P.O. Box 382065
Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8065

After three weeks you’ll receive a voucher number that allows you to make an appointment at a test center.

The exam will test your knowledge of basic scientific concepts and clinical and diagnostic procedures you’ve learned during classes and work experiences. A few of the topics that will be covered on the test are therapeutic measures, feeding and swallowing processes, social and behavioral aspects of communication and speech, and speech and production mechanisms.

Take the test as many times as you need to if you don’t receive a passing grade of 162. You will have to wait 28 days between exam dates before reregistering. The exam fee is $146 and will have to be paid each time you sit for the exam.

The practice website contains preparation materials so you know what to expect on the day of the exam. Use the Study Companion, Interactive Practice Test, or video resources available.

Background Checks

A criminal history record check (CHRC) is performed on in-state and out-of-state applicants. The two agencies that oversee the CHRC are the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS), and the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS).

Maryland prefers you have your fingerprints taken electronically. There are several CJIS-approved providers located throughout the state. That includes Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) sites and local law enforcement offices.

All fees are the applicant’s responsibility, and the in-person cost is $51.25 while the mail-in option is $31.25.

Out-of-state applicants need to request a fingerprint card six weeks before their anticipated licensure date. All fingerprint cards for in-state and out-of-state applicants are to be sent to:

CJIS Central Repository
P.O. Box 32708
Pikesville, MD 21282-2708

A copy of the receipt should be mailed to:

Maryland Board of AHSM
Attn: Background Check
4201 Patterson Ave, 3rd FL
Baltimore, MD 21215

Visit the Board’s website for further in-state and out-of-state instructions for completing the CHRC.

Application Process

Before you can get a full license you will have to apply for a Limited License. The Limited License is needed prior to beginning your clinical fellowship year (CFY). Qualifications for a Limited License include:

  • Candidates must be of good moral character
  • Candidates need a copy of the official transcripts to show completion of a master’s degree in speech-language pathology
  • Candidates must submit a supervisory plan for the CFY

If for any reason the supervisor or employment changes during the CFY, the Board requires a new plan to be submitted for approval. The Limited License fee is $100.

Applications are completed online and require a physical wet signature or e-signature to be considered complete. Your signed application and supporting documents are uploaded to the Board’s website. Once your information is submitted you will receive a link to take the Law & Regulations Examination required for licensure. Your application will be considered incomplete if the results from the Law Exam are not included.

The Board also requires a passport-size photo to be uploaded when submitting your Limited License application.

After the completion of your CFY, you can then apply for a full speech-language pathology license. The fee for full licensure is $150. Along with a notarized application, you’ll need to submit the following items:

  • Official transcripts from your graduate program
  • Verification that your CFY was completed
  • A current resume
  • A passport-sized photo
  • Praxis exam scores
  • Privacy Rights Act Form

Please note that the Board must also wait for your background check results before evaluating your application. They convene once a month, and it’s during that time and that time only that applications are examined for licensure. It then takes 3-5 days after their meeting for the application to be processed after which you’ll receive an email that the license has been issued.