New Mexico Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: New Mexico Speech Therapist Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are professionals who assess, diagnose, and treat speech and swallowing disorders. They work with a wide range of patient populations and ages. In a day SLPs will meet with clients and their caregivers, identify speech and language disorders, and implement a strategy to improve the patient’s communication.

If this is the occupation you are considering you’ll be happy to know that you have the option to work in a variety of environments. You’ll find SLPs in typical healthcare settings like hospitals, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation centers Or, you may decide to work for a public health department or university. There is also the opportunity to open a private independent practice and set your own hours.

No matter where you work you’ll be making a huge impact on the lives of those who have difficulty communicating with others. By improving a patient’s social skills you’ll also improve their quality of life. You’ll experience the kind of fulfillment many individuals look for in their chosen careers.

There are also several specialty areas you can consider such as pediatric speech, adult speech, motor speech disorders, feeding and swallowing, and more. You’ll get to interact with interesting people from all walks of life. If this sounds like a career for you keep reading For more information on how to become licensed as a speech-language pathologist in New Mexico.

New Mexico Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and Hearing Aid Dispensing Practices Board is the licensing authority for speech-language pathologists in New Mexico. They set the rules and regulations required for initial licensure as well as licensure maintenance. For example, the Board decides how often licenses are renewed (annually) and other qualifying factors to ensure SLPs are providing quality services.

Education Requirements

Obtaining a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, communication disorders, or speech pathology will enable you to become a licensed SLP in New Mexico. Most master’s level programs are competitive and require a minimum grade point average of 3.4 for entrance. Other admission requirements include:

  • Completion of Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Letter of Intent
  • Three letters of recommendation

Before you can enter a master’s degree program, you’ll need to complete prerequisite courses to give you the foundational knowledge you are expected to have. You will have already taken these courses if you earned a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. However, if you earned an undergraduate degree in a major unrelated to speech-language pathology, the prerequisite courses are listed below.

  • Phonetics
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Language Development
  • Intro to Communicative Disorders

Once you’ve completed the prerequisites, you can begin the core coursework which includes classes such as:

  • Language Disorders in Children
  • Phonological Disorders in Children
  • Dysphagia
  • Augmentative and Alternative Methods of Communication
  • Medical Speech-Language Pathology
  • Motor Speech Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Voice Disorders

Accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), which is an organization under the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), is one of the most important qualifications you should look for in an SLP program. The CAA sets the standards for SLP education to ensure students are having a unified experience.

As a student, you’ll have the opportunity to perform hands-on supervised clinical training which is covered in the next section.

Experience Required

Clinical practicums are part of your master’s level education. At least 400 hours of clinical training are expected to be earned during this time. Here are a few other requirements for the clinical practicum:

  • 25 hours of observing a wide range of cases
  • 375 hours of speech and language evaluation and intervention
  • Practicum experience with a variety of ages
  • Practicum experience with different types and varying severities of communication disorders and disabilities

After completing the clinical practicum education there is paid work experience referred to as the clinical fellowship (CF). The clinical fellowship year (CFY) is where you’ll hone your techniques to prepare you for the hands-on work you’ll be performing.

The CFY consists of 1,260 supervised hours that begin accumulating once your CF license is issued. The supervisor must be a licensed SLP in New Mexico, and you can choose to work full or part-time. Select one of the CFY plans below:

  • 9 months working a minimum of 32 hours each week
  • 18 months working 15-19 hours each week
  • 15 months working 20-25 hours each week
  • 12 months working 25-31 hours each week

During the CF experience, your supervisor will be a mentor as you navigate working in the field. You’ll be monitored on at least 36 occasions and counseled regularly. It is the supervisor’s duty to provide feedback and guide the clinical fellow through different procedures and observations. Once the CF is completed the supervisor will give you a certificate of completion to send to the Board.

Testing Requirement

Passing a national exam for speech-language pathology is a requirement for licensure. In the United States (U.S.) the exam is administered by Praxis for the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Once you register for Praxis Exam 5331 either online, by phone, or by mail, you’ll have the option to take the test at home or a test center.

Choose from any one of the weekdays, including Saturday and Sunday, to take the test at home. Be sure you meet the Equipment and Environment Requirements first or you may have to reschedule the appointment.

If you’re taking the exam at a center read through The Praxis Tests Information Bulletin for more information about policies and procedures at the test center. The Bulletin also has other useful information you will find helpful as you prepare for the test.

Security is a priority at the test center so call ahead to find out what special procedures you may have to follow. And don’t forget to take your photo ID with you or you won’t be allowed to enter the center.

Online resources are available to help you study, including:

A passing score is 162 on a scale of 100-200. If you need to retake the exam you must wait 28 days from the last test date before rescheduling, but you can take it as many times as needed within a two-year period. Each time you sit for the test the fee is $146.

Your test score will be available on your Praxis account and sent to any institution you requested when registering.

On top of passing a national exam, New Mexico requires you also pass its Jurisprudence Examination. The test consists mostly of ‘True and False’ questions with a few short answer questions. To prepare for the exam review the state rules and regulations for SLPs.

The exam is open book and requires a score of 80% to pass. Download the form and mail it to:

New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Boards and Commissions Division
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
  1. Background Checks

Healthcare workers in New Mexico must submit to a fingerprint-based background check. The first step is to register with the Department of Health’s registration system, which you must contact the Board to complete. Once the process is finished you’ll receive a Document Control Number which you’ll need to take with you to the fingerprint site along with a valid government-issued identification.

Gemalto Cogent fingerprint sites are approved to complete the process. Contact the site before traveling to it as they may have specific instructions for applicants to follow. You can pay the $73.30 fee online or take a money order or cashier’s check with you to the fingerprint site.

After being fingerprinted your demographic data and prints are sent to the state and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It takes about two weeks to process the criminal history background check and the results are sent directly to the Board.

Application Process

After completing steps 1-4 of this guide, it’s time to apply for a full license. But, the first license you’ll need is a clinical fellowship license. Be sure to submit the following information when applying:

  • A completed application
  • A clinical fellow plan
  • Official transcripts showing a master’s degree in one of the following disciplines:
    • Speech-language pathology
    • Speech and hearing science
    • Communication disorders
    • An equivalent degree; or
      • A certification proving the completion of degree requirements sent directly from the registrar’s office; and
      • Certify that haven’t been reprimanded for unprofessional conduct or incompetency; and
      • File a Board-approved clinical fellow plan with a licensed, qualified supervisor
  • $50 license fee
  • $10 application fee

When submitting the form for full SLP licensure, the application should be accompanied by the following items:

  • Official transcripts
  • Certification of completion of degree requirements directly from the office of the registrar
  • Certified copy of your CCC from ASHA; or
    • Proof of completion of your clinical fellowship year or equivalent; and
      • Proof of passing the Praxis exam
      • Proof of passing the Jurisprudence Exam
      • Verification of licensure from issuing jurisdiction (if applicable)
  • $100 license fee
  • $10 application fee

Mail the application packets to:

Boards and Commissions Division | Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and Hearing Aid Dispensing Practices Board
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, NM 87504

Send in all the requested information to have your application reviewed. Any omitted information will delay the overall process. You are given one year from the date of receipt to submit supporting documentation otherwise the application will be voided.

Once the Board has received the necessary documentation, processing the application will take 3-5 business days.