Minnesota Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Minnesota Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Are you a resident of Minnesota or have plans to relocate to the state? Do you find speech-language pathology so interesting that you’ve considered pursuing a career in the field? If you’ve answered yes, you should know that now is a great time to find a program to earn your speech-language pathologist (SLP) license.

Speech-language pathology is the study of speech and language disorders. SLPs evaluate, diagnose, treat, and find ways to prevent communication disorders that impact human beings of all ages and backgrounds. Families of those inflicted with the disorder also benefit from the education and counseling services offered by SLPs.

Because the field is so wide-ranging there are a number of different career paths to follow. Finding your niche will be easy once you begin interacting with patients. You may find you prefer working with one population or a specific disorder, or a combination of both. Or working in a school setting might be more appealing than in a hospital or clinical environment. Speech-language pathology provides quite a few options for individuals entering the profession.

Right now, there is an SLP shortage in Minnesota, which means the state needs qualified SLPs to support the public. In response to the shortage, state universities have expanded their SLP programs to accommodate more students. Online courses are also offered as a way to reach more people who want to become SLPs.

So, if you’ve been seriously considering the profession but aren’t sure how to get started, this article will guide you through the licensure application process and eligibility requirements. Keep reading to find out how to become a licensed speech-language pathologist in Minnesota.

Minnesota Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is the licensing agency for speech-language pathologists in the state. These licenses are renewed every two years and more can be found regarding the state statutes on the Department’s website.

Education Requirements

To become an SLP, Minnesota requires individuals to hold a master’s degree in speech pathology, or higher. If enrolled in a doctoral program where a master’s degree hasn’t been conferred, submit a transcript that shows you’ve completed coursework equal to or exceeding the requirements for a master’s degree.

Letters from the program director or academic department chair stating that you’ve completed equivalent or exceeding master’s level course work, or that you’re eligible to enroll in a doctoral externship are also acceptable.

Here is a list of core speech-language pathology courses you can expect to take as you work toward your master’s degree:

  • Tracheostomy, Ventilator Dependency, & Laryngectomy
  • Disorders in Infants and Toddlers
  • Diagnosis of Communication Disorders
  • Orofacial Disorders
  • Dysphagia and Pediatric Dysphagia
  • Advanced Fluency Disorders
  • Disorders in School-Age Children
  • Applications in Communication Modalities
  • Counseling Application

Here you can find all Minnesota speech pathology degree programs.

Experience Requirements

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national certifying agency for SLPs. They have set forth guidelines for all SLPs to follow to ensure the most updated information and treatment methods are being used.

While completing the academic portion of your education, clinical practicums will help you gain some hands-on experience with patients. The practicums are observed by a qualified SLP who guides you during direct contact interactions. Direct contact is considered assessing, managing, or counseling the client and their family.

In total, 400 hours of this supervised experience must be completed, with 375 counting toward direct patient contact. The other 25 hours are spent observing the SLP completing different tasks. Supervisors are also required to provide feedback to the student to help them improve and develop clinical competence.

Clinical practicum supervisors must be ASHA-certified in speech-language pathology, have at least nine months of full-time clinical experience, and have completed two hours of professional development training.

Once you graduate from the SLP program, it’s time to begin your clinical fellowship year (CFY). The CFY incorporates classroom teachings with clinical training to hone your assessment, diagnostic, and administrative skills. Apply for a temporary license and once it has been issued, you can begin the supervised fellowship as a full or part-timer.

Your fellowship will be completed with a licensed and qualified SLP who will verify the hours, and activities you participated in, as well as your skill level at the end of the fellowship. The experience can be completed in 36 weeks if you work alongside the SLP for at least 35 hours each week.

Twelve- and eighteen-month courses are also available if you have other scheduling requirements. No matter which length of time you choose for the fellowship, the total required hours is 1,260. Eighty percent or 1,008 hours must be spent performing direct contact activities, and 252 hours can be spent attending in-services or giving presentations.

Upon completing the CFY, you are eligible to receive a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). It is a universally recognized credential issued by ASHA that represents a high level of excellence in speech-language pathology. Simply fill out the application and you’ll be notified once the credential is issued.

Testing Requirements

One of the major requirements for SLP licensure is the national exam all applicants must pass. Praxis hosts the ASHA-approved exam, which is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Before you can sit for the exam, you have to provide proof of completing a master’s degree and clinical fellowship. Once approved to take the test, you can register online, or if you prefer to register by phone or mail, those options are also available.

Phone registrations come with a $35 surcharge. Call ETS at (800) 772-9476 to set up an exam date. Registering by mail requires you to submit a completed Test Authorization Voucher Request Form. You’ll be sent a voucher number with registration instructions about three weeks later.

The exam cost is $146, and a score of 162 is considered passing. The questions will comprise topics covered in the core curriculum including, feeding and swallowing disorders, voice and resonance issues, clinical and diagnostic procedures, and more.

You are allowed to retake the test as many times as needed within the two years following your first exam date if you fail. Pay the $146 fee again and wait for the required 28 days before scheduling another test. As you wait, take advantage of that time by studying using one of the following resources:

Locate more resources by asking program faculty or alum for assistance.

Once you complete the exam, your scores are transmitted to the Board for review.

Background Checks

In October 2018, background checks became mandatory for all licensed SLPs in Minnesota. The checks are completed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) which will send the results to the Board. Applicants are asked to send in their application and start the background check on the same day to help move the process along quickly.

Visit the applicant portal, NETStudy 2.0 to register and wait for your temporary password to finish setting up the account. You’ll then be prompted to enter the required provider number for the Minnesota Department of Health, which is HP2Ap. Fill in the other fields as needed and make the $40 background study fee online. You are also charged $10.50 by DHS to process the criminal background check.

If all of the information was correctly filled out, and fingerprints are required as part of your background check, you will receive an email from IDEMIA/IdentoGO with a Universal Enrollment Identification (UE ID). The ID allows you to pre-enroll in IDEMIA’s fingerprinting system. Further instructions regarding scheduling your fingerprinting appointment will be included.

The databases that will be checked are the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Other agencies that may have information that can disqualify your licensure status will also be checked.

After the provider reviews and verifies the background check the results are submitted to DHS. To check the status of the background check call (651) 431-6620, and call (651) 431-6625 when you’re experiencing technical issues registering an account.

Application Process

Obtaining your SLP license after graduation requires you to first complete your clinical fellowship year. During that time, you will use what you’ve learned in the classroom to work directly with patients as you sharpen your skill set before beginning independent practice. But, before you can start the CFY, you must have a temporary SLP license.

The requirements for a temporary SLP license are as follows:

  • A completed application signed by you and your CFY supervisor
  • Completed criminal background study and one-time processing fee of $10.50
  • A completed Waiver & Release form
  • Official master’s degree transcript
  • A $25 check or money order payable to the Treasurer, State of Minnesota

Temporary SLP license fees are based on the length of time the license is issued.

  • 9 months – $75
  • 12 months – $100
  • 18 months – $150

If mailing the application packet, send it to:

Minnesota Department of Health
Health Occupations Program
Atttn: SLP/Aud Licensing
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882

Those using a courier for delivery should send the documents to:

Minnesota Department of Health
Health Occupations Program
Attn: SLP/Aud Licensing
85 East Seventh Place Ste. 220
St. Paul, MN 55101

The processing time for temporary licenses is 1-2 weeks after all requested documents are received. Applications received 30 days after the date of signature will be returned to verify the information as current. If a license is issued, a letter will be mailed to the address on file along with your license card.

Check the status of your application using the Health Occupation Program Credential Lookup application. Statuses are updated daily, so check back regularly to see if your name appears as a licensee.

Temporary licenses can be renewed twice if you need to extend your CFY. A letter must be sent to the Board with the renewal request. If you have any questions, email health.slpa@state.mn.us or contact (651) 201-4200.

After completing your CFY, you will be ready to apply for full licensure. Here is a list of requirements for full SLP licensure for those who do not have ASHA certification, but meet all of the requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Completed Records Waiver Authorization and Release form
  • Official transcript
  • Completed Supervised Graduate or Doctoral Clinical Training Experience Form
  • Completed Supervised Postgraduate Clinical Experience Form
  • Completed Verification of Credential Form

Individuals who are ASHA certified can become licensed by submitting considerably less paperwork than those without the credential. Simply follow these steps:

  • Complete and sign the application
  • Complete the Record Waiver Authorization and Release Form
  • Contact ASHA for a copy of your certification to be sent to you in a sealed envelope that you then send to the Board unopened

Licensing fees are prorated depending on the month your application is received. For example, those applying in January pay a fee of $218.50, while anyone licensed in October will pay $177.50.

The processing time for full licensure is 30 days from the date all required documents are received. As you wait for the approval letter, check the Occupations Program Credential Lookup database for status updates.