Applications to the Graduate Programs in Speech-Language Pathology are considered to be selective acceptance. Admission is quite competitive. This means that not all who apply will be accepted as there are limited seats and external clinical placement sites available.
Your application consists of ALL the steps below and ALL materials must be received by the deadline specified. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all materials are received by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and The Graduate School prior to the deadline for application. Failure to do so will result in not being considered for admission to the program.
We want to make sure that your experience in the graduate program is a positive one and that you enter the program with a clear understanding of what will be required of you and what credentials you will be eligible for. Please take a moment to carefully consider the following to make an informed decision BEFORE applying:
In addition to attending evening classes weekly in either a face-to -face classroom or an online classroom, a significant amount of time is required to participate in clinical courses. The clinical courses provide hands-on experience to provide students the opportunities to develop the skills competencies required by the program for graduation. There are two levels of clinical experience, please click on each of the links below to gain more insight into how many daytime hours are required for clinical participation:
It is simply not feasible to work full-time and complete this program. Students enrolled in the distance learning program may be able to work prior to the Summer Clinical Internship, however students enrolled in the on-campus program must be available a minimum of 2 days/week for the clinical internship during the first Fall and Spring semesters.
Students wishing to obtain employment as a speech-language pathology assistant (or equivalent title given to Bachelor's level professionals in a given state) may have that experience serve as their SLP 591 placement (if the employer and supervising SLP are in agreement). The Academic Coordinator for Clinical Education (ACCE) must also approve the placement. The supervising SLP must hold a current CCC for a minimum of one year and complete a form indicating his or her willingness to serve as the SLP 591 externship supervisor.
Students who are employed outside of the profession or in a setting where they will be unable to use that setting as an externship often need to modify their schedules as externship plans are made. Most facilities providing services do so during a typical workday. That means students will need to allow time during the day (a minimum of 2 and 1/2 days per week for a part-time externship or 5 full days a week for full-time externship) for time at the externships. They will also need to leave the evening hours free to attend classes.
The Academic Coordinator for Clinical Education (ACCE, also referred to as the externship coordinator) makes placement arrangements for the campus students. Distance-learning students are responsible for locating and securing their own externship placement sites. Many times this will require a new affiliation agreement. The student provides contact information to the ACCE when the student has identified a site that is willing to pursue a contract/affiliation agreement with WKU. The ACCE is responsible for initiating the contract/affiliation agreement after determining appropriateness of the placement in light of graduate program requirements. For all cohorts, there must be a contract/affiliation agreement in place prior to the beginning of the externship. While every effort is made to consider students’ residence location and preferences, students enrolling in SLP 591 may be assigned to externship sites that are 100 miles or more away for campus/home.
International applicants or US citizens living internationally must also consider that ASHA certified SLPs will be required in order to complete the externships.
Please note: a contract/affiliation agreement (also known as an affiliation agreement) is a legal agreement between the site and WKU. Due to required legal wording, it may be more difficult and time consuming to obtain a contract in some states.
Upon graduation, students will be eligible to apply for the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). Most settings require the CCC and it is considered the gold standard for employment in speech-language pathology. All states require a license to practice. The state license may be in addition to the CCC. Other states also require teacher certification to work in the schools.
Eligibility for teacher certification is not available as part of the Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program at WKU. Consequently, students graduating from the Master's program after September 1, 2014 are not eligible for teacher certification in Kentucky. Speech-language pathologists do not need teacher certification to work in Kentucky schools although some districts prefer it.
Students seeking school-based employment in states other than Kentucky should determine if their potential out-of-state employer requires teacher certification eligibility in Kentucky. Some states require that teacher certification applicants be eligible for certification in the state from which the Master's degree was earned. Some states just require that applicants be eligible for the ASHA CCC, while other states do not offer teacher certification for speech-language pathologists. Because of the array of requirements across the country, potential students should decide if the WKU graduate program would meet their needs based on the requirements where employment may be sought. Individual state requirements may be viewed at: http://www.asha.org/advocacy/state/info/
Externships CANNOT be completed in California nor will contracts be sought for placements there. Furthermore, applicants to the graduate program must understand that externship opportunities may not be available in the geographic region of choice. In the event they are not, students must be willing to relocate to obtain externship placement. Because WKU is in competition with other schools for externship placements, students in the Distance Learning cohorts (full-time web and part-time web) will not be permitted to seek placements within 160 miles of Bowling Green, Kentucky including the metropolitan areas of Louisville, KY, Lexington, KY, and Nashville, TN.
(Effective August 1, 2017) Distance Learning students living within 160 miles of Bowling Green who are employed as Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLP-A) and wish to use their employment as an externship placement may use this as their school site(s). Distance Learning students will still need to complete the medical placement outside of the 160-mile radius from Bowling Green.
The Department reserves the right to only admit students from locations where it is confident that students will have sufficient access to externship placements where appropriate and diverse clinical populations are available.
There are 3 cohorts available for our graduate program. An applicant must choose only ONE to apply to and must specify which cohort applying to. If you are unsure of which cohort fits you best please review the graduate program information and all three options by clicking here.
Please note ALL application materials must be received by the end of the day (11:59 pm central time) on February 5, 2018.
PART 1 – Apply to WKU Graduate School (all information in Part 1 is to be submitted to the Graduate School, NOT the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. Once all of the application materials listed in Part 1 have been submitted to the Graduate School they will forward to the CSD Department for consideration for admission):
If mailing, send above listed items to:
The Graduate School
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd #11010
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1010
Phone (270) 745-2446
Essay and Reference Information may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; Electronic transcripts (official) may be sent to the WKU Graduate School
PART 2 – Apply to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
(Applications will be here at a later date)
If you applied to the program in past years then you will need to complete all of the above steps except for submitting transcripts and GRE scores. The Graduate School will have any transcripts and GRE score reports submitted previously on file (however, it is always best to double check with their office to be certain they do have them). You will need to send any updated transcripts or new GRE score reports. You must apply again to both The Graduate School and the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department but you will not be required to pay the application fee again if you sign back in to the application which you will be prompted to do. Our admission requirements changed for applications beginning 2012 so be certain you review and submit all of the above information.