Utah Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Utah Speech Therapist Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 19th, 2024

Becoming a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) opens many different career paths for you to travel. The profession is as unique as it is vital to helping individuals improve their communication skills. SLPs face various challenges throughout the day and employ several creative ways to approach those challenges.

SLPs assist those who have trouble with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. These handicaps could be the result of developmental delays or a traumatic brain injury. Working with such a range of disorders means most SLPs encounter people of all age groups and backgrounds.

Engaging with such a variety of clients requires a great deal of patience, compassion, and proper training. SLPs are required to obtain a postgraduate degree before they can begin practicing, and it’s during this educational experience that they will hone the hard and soft skills needed to successfully treat patients.

Technology is often used to give patients augmentative and alternative methods of communication. Staying updated on new developments in the field is also crucial to the success of your clients. There are always seminars and courses that will continue to keep your knowledge and skills sharp throughout your career.

So, if you live in Utah and have a passion for helping others improve their lives, keep reading to find out how you can earn your SLP license in the Beehive State.

Utah Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

The Utah Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist Licensing Board sets the rules and regulations, including biennial renewals and reciprocity processes, for speech-language pathologists in the state.

Education Requirements

A master’s degree in speech-language pathology is the minimum education requirement needed to become a licensed SLP in Utah. Whether online or on campus, the program completed must be accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA).

Getting accepted into a graduate program is easier when your undergraduate degree is in communication sciences and disorders. When your bachelor’s degree is in an unrelated field prerequisite courses like the ones listed below, will have to be taken first:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Speech Development and Disorders
  • Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • Phonetics

Master’s programs in speech-language pathology typically require a grade point average of 3.0 for admission. Once accepted into a highly competitive program, the graduate-level coursework will include topics such as:

  • Introduction to Research in Communicative Disorders
  • Adult Language Disorders
  • Neural Bases of Communication and Motor Speech Disorders
  • Phonological Assessments and Intervention
  • Professional Practice in Speech-Language Pathology

Clinical practicums are also included in your SLP program as a requirement for graduation. The practicums, which are covered in the next section, will prepare you for the clinical fellowship and national examination.

Experience Required

Clinical practicums are essential to the educational process as it is where you’ll gain the in-person, hands-on experience needed to improve on the competencies taught in the classroom. To align with ASHA’s requirements for certification, 400 practicum hours must be completed for SLP licensure. Your instructor will supervise your work the duration of the practicum.

After graduating and receiving your master’s degree, a postgraduate clinical experience of 1,260 hours is needed for licensure. The clinical externship or fellowship is typically 36 weeks of full-time work experience, or longer if you participate part-time. Full timers work 35 hours each week, while part-timers cannot work less than five hours per week.

Eighty percent of the CF experience will be spent in direct clinical contact with clients, managing disorders that fall under ASHA’s scope of practice for the profession. A few examples of direct clinical contact include:

  • Writing reports
  • Billing
  • Treatment
  • Family/client counseling
  • Family/client consultation
  • Assessment/diagnostic evaluations
  • Client observations/screenings

Other activities that are permitted for the other 20% of the CF are in-services, or leading trainings and presentations.

You mentor will be there guiding you each step of the way and providing meaningful feedback. Mentors are required to complete at least six hours of onsite, in-person observation and six hours of indirect observation for each of the CF’s three segments. For this reason, the work site must treat a wide array of communication disorders, so that you gain a comprehensive clinical education.

Upon the conclusion of the clinical fellowship, you and your supervisor will complete the Verification of Clinical Fellowship/Externship form found in your application packet.

Testing Requirement

The test all SLPs must pass before they can become licensed is the National Praxis Exam for Speech-Language Pathology 5331. The test consists of 132 multiple-choice questions which you are given 2.5 hours to complete. You are graded in three competencies:

  • Foundations and Professional Practice
  • Screening, Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis
  • Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Treatment

Use the Praxis Test Prep Materials to help prepare for the big day. Inquire with faculty and other staff members in your department at school as they may have access to other study materials as well.

Register one of three ways:

Instructions for phone and email can be found here.

Each registration has its own unique process, so be sure to follow the instructions for each carefully. Check out the Online Registration FAQ for more information on the process.

One of the convenient features of the exam is that it is computer based. That means you can take the test at an approved site, or at home. Home tests are available seven days a week for those with very busy schedules.

Preparing for test day will depend on where you’ve decided to take the exam. Regardless of the location, you will need a valid form of ID to show the test center staff or live proctor. Also, if testing at a center, call ahead and ask about any special policies or procedure in place. For example, some centers may require you to wear a mask for entry. These are things you want to know before arriving as not being prepared can cause you to forfeit the $146 test fee.

You have up to two years from the initial application date to pass the exam. You will have to pay the fee each time you sit for the test and wait 28 days between scheduling appointments. Once you pass, your results are made available on your Praxis account and sent to the Board for review.

Download and read the Praxis Tests Information Bulletin for a complete understanding of what you’ll experience on test day.

Background Checks

Applicants are required to have a fingerprint search completed by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). As long as your SLP application is on file with the DOPL, or you will submit it when arriving for the appointment, you won’t have to pay an additional fee for fingerprinting services. Simply visit the online site to book an appointment.

You will visit the DOPL’s office at 160 E. 300 S., in Salt Lake City on the day of the appointment. Take a valid government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport, with you to the DOPL. It’s recommended you arrive five minutes before the scheduled appointment.

Include the correct fingerprint cards (Form FD-258) with the application. Make sure you and the fingerprinting technician sign the card before it’s submitted for processing. Also, review and acknowledge the Privacy Act Statement. There is an affidavit included in the form that gives your consent for the background check. The results are sent to the Board who will review the information and make a determination regarding licensure.

If you disagree with the results of the background check and want to challenge them, you can contact the FBI on its website, or by mail at:

FBI: CJIS Division, Attn. Criminal History Analysis Team 1
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

Challenge results from the BCI by following the instructions to complete the Record Challenge Form, and mailing it to:

Utah Department of Public Safety
Bureau of Criminal Identification
4315 South 2700 West
Suite 1300
Taylorsville, Utah 84129

Application Process

The first license you will apply for is the temporary SLP certification so you can participate in the clinical fellowship. The Utah Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL) has an online portal for applications. Select “Register a Person” to enter your Social Security Number (SSN) and birthdate to create a username and password.  Complete the application by submitting the following items:

  • $50 nonrefundable processing fee
  • Provide documentation to support any “Yes” answers on the “Qualifying Questionnaire” or Medical Qualifying Questionnaire”
  • Official transcripts showing a master’s degree in speech-language pathology; or
    • An original letter from the SLP program Director at your learning institution confirming you earned the required degree
  • “Supervisor Association” section completed
  • Documentation that you passed the Praxis exam

After completing your clinical fellowship, visit the online portal once again to apply for full licensure. The following items are needed to complete the application:

  • $70 nonrefundable processing fee
  • Supporting documentation for “Yes” answers on the “Qualifying Questionnaire” or the “Medical Qualifying Questionnaire”
  • Official master’s degree transcripts
  • Proof of passing the national exam
  • Verification the clinical fellowship has been completed

If you are a full-time active-duty service member or receiving public assistance from the Department of Workforce Services, you may be eligible to have the initial license fee waived. Fill out a fee waiver request form to upload with your application packet.

Military spouses licensed in other states or United States (U.S.) territories can apply for licensure through an exemption process. Simply print the memorandum available online to show to any employer who is not aware of the exemption.

Applications can also be printed and mailed or walked into an office for processing. Download the temporary license and full license applications and mail them to:

Division of Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 146741
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6741

If you’d rather hand deliver the packet, take a trip to:

Division of Professional Licensing
Heber M. Wells Building, 1st Floor Lobby
160 E. 300 S
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111