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Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


 

 

We are pleased to be able to offer this program in two different formats: residential (on-campus), distance learning - worldwide. The information contained within this page is the same for all formats. The requirements are the same for all formats.  The distance learning format offers all academic content online with the clinical portions requiring presence on-site. For more information regarding each format of the graduate program click on the relevant links found on the right side of this page.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

  • HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?
    • A ballpark estimate including tuition, course fees, and books (NOT including travel, housing, etc.) is:

      • $45,000 for the entire DISTANCE program.
      • $40,000 for the entire CAMPUS program for residents ($60,000 for non-residents)
      • For more information on tuition and fees, please visit:  https://www.wku.edu/bursar/coa.php
  • WHEN DOES THE PROGRAM BEGIN?
    • We only admit students once per year and classes start in the fall semester (which begins in August).

  • WHEN CAN I APPLY?
    • We start accepting applications (a 2-step process which includes applying to BOTH the WKU Graduate School and to our department) for our graduate SLP program beginning in the fall (usually in October), with all application materials due in the spring (usually at the beginning of February).  If you are interested in beginning the graduate program in fall 2021, for example, applications would be available starting in October 2020, and all materials would be due in February 2021.  DO NOT apply to the Graduate School after the deadline has passed in February, or before applications are opened in October - doing so can result in your application not being considered.  Detailed information about application requirements and admissions can be found at: https://www.wku.edu/communicationdisorders/graduateadmission.php
  • IF I AM ACCEPTED, DO I HAVE TO PAY TO RESERVE MY SEAT IN YOUR PROGRAM?

    • Yes.  To accept your seat, you must include a $300 deposit with your acceptance letter.  It will be applied to your first semester’s tuition.  However, if you decide not to attend our program, you will NOT receive a refund.  The deposits must be paid by cashier’s check or money order only – NO personal checks, cash or debit/credit cards. 

  • WHEN ARE CLASSES HELD?
    • If you are in the campus graduate program, first year classes meet in person during the day. Second year core classes meet in the evening, in person. Elective classes meet online in the evening. If you are in the distance learning program, classes meet online (with synchronious lectures) during the evening (usually between 6:00pm and 10:00pm central time).

  • CAN I WORK WHILE IN THE PROGRAM?
    • It is not recommended to work full time while enrolled in our graduate program.  However, students must make this decision for themselves.

  • ARE THERE ANY ON-CAMPUS REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM?
    • Yes - there is a six-week summer internship (which we call "bootcamp") that is required for all distance learning students.  This takes place during the summer (so, if you begin classes in fall 2020, your summer internship would be held during summer 2021).  This clinical internship is required before you can begin clinical externships in other locations.

  • I'M INTERESTED IN GETTING A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SLP, BUT MY BACHELOR'S DEGREE IS IN AN UNRELATED FIELD.  CAN I STILL APPLY?
    • If you have an undergraduate degree in a field other than speech-language pathology, communication disorders or speech and hearing sciences, you'll need to have taken the eight required speech prerequisites before being eligible for the graduate program.  We offer a Pre-SLP leveling program and we also accept prerequisites from other schools.  The eight pre-requisites are listed on our Pre-SLP program's webpage here: https://www.wku.edu/communicationdisorders/preslp.php
  • HOW DO I KNOW IF YOU'LL ACCEPT CLASSES I'VE TAKEN FROM ANOTHER SCHOOL?
    • If your undergraduate (bachelor's) degree is in communication disorders, speech-language pathology or speech and hearing sciences, we do not look at your individual prerequisites.  However, if your undergraduate degree is in another field, we do look at your undergraduate coursework to ensure you've had all eight prerequisites.  On our departmental application, we provide a worksheet which lists all the prerequisites, including the 4 basic sciences required by ASHA, and we ask that you fill that out for the faculty to review.  To view the full list of speech prerequisites and basic science courses, click HERE.  If there is any question about any of your prerequisite coursework, a faculty member will contact you for more information.  A full syllabus for each course in question will most likely be requested. 

  • WHAT ABOUT THE 25 REQUIRED OBSERVATION HOURS?
    • ASHA requires 25 hours of observation.  Many students do these as part of their undergraduate program.  However, if you did not obtain these observation hours as an undergraduate, you can enroll in a graduate course during your first semester as a graduate student to obtain them.  The course in which this is done is called SLP 580 - Clinical Observation.  To transfer observation hours from your undergraduate program, please see the following policy:

      • Students must complete 25 hours of observation prior to beginning the graduate program or during the first semester of the program. Observation hours must be earned under the auspices of university coursework. Hours must be submitted in writing. A written statement from the program director or designee of the institution where the hours were earned is required. The statement must indicate that the hours were earned under the supervision of an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. The statement MUST be a signed document on official letterhead from the institution. The letter should be mailed to the CSD departmental address to the attention of Catherine Martin or sent to catherine.martin@wku.edu via email. Observation hours do not have to be listed or broken down into categories.
  • CAN I TRANSFER CLINICAL HOURS THAT I DID AS AN UNDERGRADUATE?
    • Yes. Students will be allowed to transfer a maximum of 50 clinical hours from an undergraduate clinical experience.  Transfer hours must be submitted in writing. A written statement from the program director or designee of the institution where the hours were earned is required. The statement must indicate that the hours were earned under the supervision of an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. The statement MUST be a signed document on official letterhead from the institution. The letter should be mailed to the CSD departmental address to the attention of Catherine Martin or sent to catherine.martin@wku.edu via email. Clinical hours need to be specific and categorized by child/adult, hearing, treatment/diagnostic, and according to the 9 areas of competency.  

 

PROGRAM ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Click here for detailed information regarding admission requirements, prerequisite coursework, and how to apply.

GRADUATE CURRICULUM

The graduate program in Speech Language Pathology is 60 course credits in total. Following are the required courses to complete the graduate program in Speech Language Pathology effective Fall 2014. WKU reserves the right to modify these requirements as necessary.

**Click here for course descriptions

**Click here for sample course sequences

Core Curriculum (60 credit hours; all courses are 3 credit hours except where noted)

SLP 500 Research Methodology in CSD

SLP 501 Early Intervention in Speech Language Pathology

SLP 502 Motor Speech Disorders

SLP 504 Seminar in Child Language

SLP 506 Fluency Disorders

SLP 507 Aphasia

SLP 508 Voice Disorders

SLP 509 Speech Science

SLP 511 Neurology for Speech and Language

SLP 512 Speech Sound Disorders

SLP 513 Cognitive Linguistic Disorders

SLP 514 Dysphagia

SLP 515 Rehab Audiology

*SLP 518 Advanced AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication Modalities) - if a student demonstrates competency in this area from an undergraduate course then the student is not required to complete this course but must complete a 3 credit elective in place of this course

SLP 579 Professional Issues (1 credit hour)

Clinical Courses (8 credit hours) - Click on Clinical Internship and Clinical Externship links in the right column for more information

SLP 588 Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology (1 credit hour. This course is required of all students in distance learning formats; this course is not required of residential students)

SLP 590 Clinical Internship (1 credit hour. Residential students will enroll in SLP 590 twice while distance students will enroll in SLP 590 once.)

SLP 591 Clinical Externship (will enroll 3 times at 2 credit hours each or 2 times at 3 credit hours each)

Approved Electives (12 credit hours must be completed)

 

Required 25 Observation Hours

POLICY 4a:

Students must complete 25 hours of observation prior to beginning the graduate program or during the first semester of the program. Observation hours must be earned under the auspices of university coursework. (See procedure under policy 4b)

 POLICY 4b:

Students will be allowed to transfer a maximum of 25 observation hours and a maximum of 50 clinical clock hours from an undergraduate clinical experience. PROCEDURE: Transfer hours must be submitted in writing. A written statement from the program director or designee of the institution where the hours were earned is required. The statement must indicate that the hours were earned under the supervision of an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. The statement MUST be a signed document on official letterhead from the institution. The letter should be mailed to the CSD departmental address to the attention of Catherine Martin or sent to catherine.martin@wku.edu via email. Observation hours do not have to be listed or broken down into categories. However, if you have clinical hours that need to be transferred, those do need to be specific and categorized by child/adult, hearing, treatment/diagnostic, and according to the 9 areas of competency.

 

Transferring Graduate Credits

The Graduate School will allow up to 12 graduate credits from other accredited institutions. An official transcript showing a grade of B or better in the course with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required. All graduate transfer credit must be approved by the department's Committee to Evaluate Coursework. A syllabus must be presented to catherine.martin@wku.edu to be submitted for approval by the committee. All coursework towards the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology must be completed within 6 years, therefore, coursework older than 6 years  would not transfer.

STATE LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION

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. Some 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.  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/ 

ADDITIONAL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Summative Assessment: Summative evaluations are required by The Graduate School and our accrediting agency. In students’ last semester, WKU requires that a comprehensive exam be administered.  That can be either the completion of a thesis or passing a multiple choice exam. Either one of those can serve as the summative assessment. In addition, students complete a goal statement and a reflection statement regarding each their clinical experiences and skill acquisition upon beginning and ending each graduate clinical placement.   Those statements, which are reviewed by the externship coordinator and/or the graduate program director, are compiled into a portfolio which is considered as a type of summative assessment. 

Clinical Hours: A minimum of 400 clinical hours are required in order to graduate. See Clinical Internship and Externship links to the right of this page for additional information.

Knowledge and Skills Acquisition: All students must demonstrate that they are competent in the knowledge and skills as defined by the 2014 ASHA Standards. This will be measured by instructors and supervisors throughout the program. Academic and clinical competencies are kept in the web-based system called CALIPSO that allows faculty, staff and students to access and monitor them as they are completed.  There is a one time student access fee of $85.

Forms: The following forms are required by The Graduate School during your course of study:

Program of Study: This program form for Master's level students details your plan of study. The Graduate School checks this against what you have completed before you can graduate. The form must be completed with your advisor prior to completion of 12 credit hours.

Application for Graduation: Due after completion of 18 hours coursework.

Comprehensive Exam/Capstone Completion:  The department’s capstone project is either the successful completion of the comprehensive exam or successfully defending a thesis. Documentation is completed by the faculty advisor.

Degree Conferral:  Degrees are conferred either on May 31, August 31 or December 31.  The Department can issue letters or sign forms confirming a student has completed all program requirements (coursework, clinical requirements, PRAXIS passed, etc.) prior to the diploma being conferred by WKU.    

 

COMPUTER SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at WKU uses Adobe Connect Pro for most (if not all) of the on-line courses and web-enhanced courses. To be able to participate fully in these classes students should have the following computer hardware and software, along with DSL/Cable/or T1 internet connection (dial-up service is not acceptable) at a minimum:

Minimum Technology Requirements

Windows Operating System

  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 2GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows Vista®
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8; 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended) for Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10.3

Mac Operating System

  • 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Mac OS X, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7.4, 10.8
  • No Adobe Connect Add-in support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Users on Leopard can attend meetings in the browser.*
  • Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3

Additional equipment

  • Headset
  • Web-Cam

More Information for Different Formats of Graduate Program - Please read all information to the left before proceeding to one of the following links:

Residential (On-Campus)

Distance Learning

Clinical Experience Information

Clinical Fees

Clinical Internship

Clinical Externship

Communication Disorders Clinic

How Do I Apply to the Graduate Program in SLP?

Application and Admission Requirements


Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 10/29/19