Montana Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Montana Speech Therapy Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Communication affects every facet of our lives and when executed inefficiently the negative impact it has on individuals is tremendous. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty conveying their thoughts and feelings effectively because of a communication disorder. These disorders may have developed before birth or due to an injury or illness.

However it is introduced into a person’s life, a communication disorder can severely hinder an individual’s social, personal, and professional growth. Fortunately, the field of speech-language pathology dives into different disorders and methods used to treat them. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) conduct research, assess, diagnose, and treat patients, providing them with alternative and augmentative communication techniques.

While the coursework for this occupation is intense, it is worth every single credit hour. You’ll learn to work with clients in several different settings and gain the real-world experience needed for success in the field. So, if you already reside in the natural beauty of Big Sky Country or plan to move to the magnificent state of Montana, continue reading to discover the qualifications needed to become a licensed speech-language pathologist.

Montana Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

Speech-language pathology licenses are issued by Montana’s Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. The state’s rules and regulations governing the annually renewed license can be found online.

Education Requirements

The minimum educational requirement for licensure is a master’s degree in speech-language pathology or communication disorders. The program you earned a degree from must be accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Getting accepted into one of these programs usually requires a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Here you can find all Montana speech pathology degree programs (you’ll need to use the filter to only list schools offering master’s programs).

ASHA is the nation’s scientific and professional credentialing agency for SLPs. They ensure the educational standards are being met for each program so that SLPs receive adequate training. Core courses will include subjects titled:

  • Voice and motor speech disorders
  • Advanced clinical procedures
  • Swallowing and fluency disorders
  • Language learning disorders
  • Argumentative and alternative communication
  • Professional issues in SLP

Choose electives based on which specialty areas you want to pursue. For example, pediatric dysphasia is a disorder specific to children who have difficulty speaking and understanding spoken words. As you continue taking classes, you may discover other specialties that narrow your scope of interest.

Your education will also include clinical practicum hours which are covered in the next section.

Experience Requirements

Clinical practicums are a significant part of the learning process. It is during the practicum that you gain the hands-on experience and SLP needs when interacting with patients. The 400 practicum hours needed for graduation are supervised by your instructor. Twenty-five hours are spent in observation and the other 375 are spent in direct contact with patients.

After graduating, another experience referred to as the clinical fellowship (CF) begins. The number of hours to be completed during this paid work experience is 1,260. Most finish the CF in nine months when working full-time hours. Part-timers must work more than five hours each week to have their time counted toward the CF experience.

Here are the eligibility requirements to begin the clinical fellowship:

  • HIPPA training
  • Current CPR certification
  • Current immunizations
  • Criminal background check
  • Completion of 25 observation hours

Choose a setting that offers the full range of services to properly have your skills evaluated by the CF mentor. mentors are required to provide a minimum of six hours of site supervision and six hours of indirect supervision for each segment. Devise a plan with your supervisor regarding the activities to be completed during the experience. Also, make sure the mentor is ASHA-certified.

During the CF your supervisor will provide structured feedback to prepare you for independent practice. The feedback session or where you’ll discuss how to apply your strengths and ways to improve your weaknesses so you can provide patients with the best treatment options available.

Upon completing the clinical fellowship your supervisor will fill out any necessary forms in the application packet required by the Board for verification.

Testing Requirement

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) administers the Praxis National Speech-Language Pathology Exam (5331) on behalf of ASHA. The exam measures your knowledge of speech-language pathology and assesses how well you apply these techniques learn during your clinical experiences.

Exam registration can be completed online rather quickly, or, you can register by phone or mail. Processing the exam application over the phone incurs a $35 surcharge. Registering by mail requires you to first obtain a Test Authorization Voucher Request Form. After submitting the form you’ll receive a voucher number after three weeks. Use this number to register for an appointment and take your admission ticket with you to the test center.

The test consists of 132 multiple-choice questions which you are given 2.5 hours to complete. The great part about this computer-based test is you can take it at a test center or at home. If taking it in person at a center be sure to arrive 15 minutes early and take two forms of identification, with one being a photo ID.

To take the exam at home you’ll need to have the proper equipment. Use the ETS Secure Test Browser to ensure you won’t have any technical obstacles on the day of the exam. A live proctor will be assigned to monitor you during the test.

Use the prep materials on the ETS website to study for the exam. Download the practice exam and utilize the study companion. The Praxis Tests Information Bulletin is another useful source for what you should expect on the day of the test.

If you need to retake the test you must wait 28 days from the last test date to schedule a new one. You can take the test as many times as needed within the two years following the initial exam date. The fee is $146 each time you sit for the exam.

Once the exam is graded the official score report will add it to your Praxis account. An e-mail notification will also be sent. Any institution or agency you select when registering will also receive a copy of your score. The exam is graded on a scale of 100 to 200 and you’ll need a 162 in order to pass.

Background Checks

Your application for licensure will contain a form titled Applicant Rights & Consent to Fingerprint Notice. The form authorizes your fingerprint results to be reviewed by the Board. Your application must be completed within six months of receiving your background check results, otherwise, you will have to resubmit your fingerprint and start the process over.

You can have two options to have your fingerprints captured. The first option is to request a fingerprint card from the Montana Department of Justice (MDOJ). Or, you can contact your local law enforcement agency to find out if they supply a fingerprint card. Visit the agency to be fingerprinted and take the appropriate identification and method of payment with you. After approximately 4 to 8 weeks the results are sent to the Board.

The second option is to visit the MDOJ in the state’s capital city, Helena. Before making the trip first schedule an appointment online. Any questions you have should be directed to (406) 444-3625, or

The agency you visit may charge a fee to capture your fingerprints in addition to the $30 processing fee. It’s recommended that you request your fingerprints be captured on two sets of cards to avoid any delays due to poor-quality prints. local law enforcement agencies are asked to send fingerprint cards to the following address:

Montana Criminal Records
2225 Eleventh Avenue
P.O. Box 201403
Helena, MT 59620

After three to five days your information is transmitted to the Board. For further instructions regarding the background check process, visit the Board’s website.

Application Process

Before you can apply for a permanent license, you’ll first need to obtain a limited SLP to begin your supervised work experience. You can apply directly online through the Board’s website or download the application packet from this site and send it to:

Montana Board of Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513

Below is a list of requirements needed to obtain the limited license.

  • A master’s degree in speech-language pathology or communication disorders
  • Proof of completing supervised clinical practicum experience
  • A passing Praxis exam score
  • Pass the Montana jurisprudence examination with a score of 80%
  • The work supervision experience must be overseen by a professional SLP

The jurisprudence exam is included in the application packet and is an open-book test. The exam is based on the rules and regulations found on the Board’s website and the information can be downloaded to reference as you take the exam. The test comprises 20 questions with the first 17 being multiple choice and the last three being fill-in-the-blank.

Another requirement for limited licensure is a signed Supervised Professional Experience form. Submit the necessary documentation along with the $27 license fee to have the application processed. These licenses are good for two years and cannot be renewed.

After finishing the supervised work experience you can apply for a permanent license through the online portal used for the limited license. You’ll need to submit the same documents listed for the limited license except for the Supervised Professional Experience form. Instead, a Supervised Professional Experience Completion Report form is required, and with your certified education transcripts.

A certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from ASHA can be used in place of the transcripts and the completion report form. The licensing fee is $192 and if you have any questions regarding the application process or requirements email the Board at

Incomplete applications are not automatically denied. Instead, a licensing specialist will contact you to help finish the form and have it submitted within the one year you are given to complete the application. Keep your e-mail information updated as it is the primary form of communication used by the Board.