Mississippi Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Mississippi Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) play an extremely important role in our society. They have the ability to greatly improve the lives of others by providing high-level care. In general, speech-language pathology is an exciting field with plenty of career options. You get to work with different populations, age groups, and disorders. Your days will be satisfying as you teach those with communication handicaps how to interact effectively with others.

As an SLP, the services you provide are life-changing for patients who lack confidence when in social situations. You not only rehabilitate speech and language disorders but you also open doors to opportunities clients otherwise may not have.

Mississippi is currently offering top-notch SLP programs for students to become adept in the field of speech-language pathology. Jackson State University and the University of Mississippi are just two of the institutions offering graduate programs for SLPs. Remote learning is also available through online instruction.

But, even if you find a school with a top-notch program, there’s still the licensure process, which can be confusing when you aren’t sure where to start. Fortunately, this article will provide a breakdown of what steps you need to complete on your journey to becoming a licensed SLP in Mississippi.

Keep reading to discover the education requirements and other relevant qualifications you need to meet to begin practicing.

Mississippi Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The Mississippi State Board of Health issues licenses for speech-language pathologists (SLPs), which must be renewed every two years. State regulations for SLPs can be located on the Board’s website.

Education Requirements

To become a licensed SLP in Mississippi you’ll need a master’s degree (M.S., M.A., or M.Ed.) in one of the following subjects:

  • Speech-language pathology
  • Communicative disorders
  • Speech and hearing science

Your curriculum will consist of core speech-language pathology classes such as:

  • Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology
  • Organic Speech Disorders
  • Advanced Articulation and Phonological Disorders
  • Child Language Disorders
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Acquired Disorders of Language
  • Public Health Disciplines

Most SLP programs require a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for admission. The program you choose should be accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The accreditation shows that the institution meets the standards set by the national agency to prepare students for a career in speech-language pathology. Here you can find all Mississippi speech pathology degree programs.

Experience Requirements

Supervised clinical experiences are an essential component of your education. It’s where you can sharpen your skills and learn to employ tips and strategies when treating patients. The first clinical experience you gain will be while attending the master’s program. There are clinical practicums used to train students to work directly with patients.

The total hours spent completing the clinical practicum is 400 for each student. While 375 hours are spent in direct hands-on contact with patients, the other 25 hours are spent in observation. Supervisors overseeing the practicum are typically faculty members of the Communication Science Disorders Department, or Board-approved offsite supervisors.

Your supervised clinical experience continues after graduation with the Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY). Before your clinical fellowship can begin, you’ll need a temporary license. The license permits you to enter into a supervised professional employment experience with a qualified SLP.

During your CFY you’re expected to earn 1,260 hours of training in speech-language pathology over a 36-, 48-, 60-, or 72-week period. To be considered a full-time employee you must work a minimum of 30 hours each week.

Complete a Supervised Professional Employment Plan (SPEP) Agreement to show how you will satisfy the CFY requirements. After obtaining your temporary license, the following are the rules to follow for the SPEP:

  • Temporary licensees can only work in SPEP environments
  • SPEP environments must allow for the evaluation, habilitation, or rehabilitation of those with speech-language disorders
  • The SPEP must be completed as outlined in the plan
  • Work to be included in a SPEP involves direct patient contact, record keeping, or other relevant tasks
  • If the SPEP setting, supervisor, or number of hours worked changes, a new SPEP Agreement must be submitted
  • SPEP supervisors are responsible for all work performed by a temporary licensee
  • Supervisors have five calendar days to report unacceptable practices with a plan detailing corrective measures
  • Supervisors have ten calendar days from the SPEP’s end date to file a SPEP Report for the Board’s review

Eighty percent of the experience consists of direct clinical contact with patients, while 20% is spent observing the SLP perform daily duties. One hundred percent of your experience as a part-timer is spent in direct clinical contact with patients. Your supervisor will offer guidance and feedback to ensure you are ready to practice as an independent practitioner.

Testing Requirements

Passing the national SLP exam is a necessary step on your way to SLP licensure. The test you will take is the Praxis Exam 5331 for Speech-Language Pathology. Comprising 132 multiple-choice questions split into three categories, the exam assesses your knowledge of diagnosing and treating communication handicaps.

To sit for the exam, you’ll need to submit your post-graduate transcript showing your master’s degree, and proof that you’ve completed the CFY. Register online, by telephone, or by mail. Take a look at the FAQs for more information about registering online.

Call (800) 772-9476 and pay the $35 surcharge to register over the phone. Fill out a Test Authorization Voucher Request Form to register for the exam by mail, and send it to:

P.O. Box 382064
Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8065

Within three weeks you’ll receive a voucher number with further registration instructions. Follow the directives and schedule a test date.

The test can be taken at home or in a test center. At-home tests are monitored by an online human proctor and administered by ProctorU. Review the At Home Testing with ProctorU Tutorial Video to be aware of the technical and other testing requirements for the session.

If taking the test at a center, contact the site before scheduling the exam for a list of health and safety procedures. Download the admission ticket from your Praxis account and print it to take with you to the test site. Don’t forget your identification (ID) documents. View the What to Expect on Test Day video so you can easily navigate through the day.

The exam cost is $146, and that fee must be paid each time you take the test. Fortunately for those who do not pass the first time around, the test can be taken as many times as needed within the two years following the original exam date. You will need to wait 28 days after the test date to schedule the retest.

The passing score is 162, and it can be sent to a maximum of four separate institutions or licensing agencies if indicated during registration. Instructions for ordering additional reports can be found on the exam website.

Background Checks

A criminal history fingerprint check is required for each new licensee providing direct patient care and services. Your information will be checked against each of the following databases:

  • Mississippi criminal history record database
  • Mississippi sex offender registry or repository
  • Mississippi child abuse & neglect registry and database
  • National Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) criminal history database
  • National sex offender registry

Follow the steps below to request an appointment to complete the background check:

Once the Board receives the results of the criminal history record check, you are one step closer to becoming a licensed SLP.

Application Process

Before you are given a full SLP license, you will have to apply for a temporary one online to begin your CFY. Pay the $75 application fee and submit a copy of your official transcript. Temporary licenses are only valid for a two-year period that starts the day it is issued. The licensee must continue to be supervised until the license is upgraded to a regular license.

Once you are ready to apply for a full license return to the same online portal and prepare the following documents for submission:

  • Official transcript from the SLP program
  • Proof of state residence
  • Confirmation that the clinical fellowship was completed
  • Praxis exam score
  • $100 application fee

It takes the Board approximately four months to process the applications, after which time you’ll be notified of your licensure status. If additional paperwork is required and not supplied within six months of the original filing date, the application is considered abandoned and will not be processed.

Once licensure is granted, you will receive a certificate to display prominently in your place of employment. You’ll also get a “License Identification Card” to present to clients when performing services.