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Western Kentucky University

Frequently Asked Questions

GRADUATE

  • Do I have to take the GRE to apply to your program?

Yes, the GRE is required and scores must be less than 5 years old (no exceptions).

  • Where do I take the GRE?

For information regarding the GRE please visit www.ets.org

  • What is the minimum GRE score required to get into your program?

We require a minimum of 143 or if taken prior to August 2011 a minimum score of 350 on the Verbal section and a minimum of 3.5 on the Writing section. 

  • What GPA is expected?

The department will look specifically at the last 60 hours coursework and determine the GPA for this portion of your coursework. We require a 3.50 GPA for the last 60 hours coursework.  This GPA is what will be used as a criteria for admission to the program. To figure your own last 60 hours GPA look at your college credits, begin at last semester completed and work backwards until you have 60 hours worth of credit, if this stops in the middle of a semester then you must add the remaining hours for that semester (this will give you more than 60 hours). Figure the GPA for those courses using strictly A, B, C, etc. No +/-.  We round up from the third decimal therefore a 3.47 does not qualify as that is less than 3.50.

GPA calculators are available on the internet to assist in calculating your GPA, however, please keep in mind that the GPA calculator provides only a "guesstimation" of the GPA.

  • How many students are admitted to your program each year?

We accept 25 students into the on-line graduate formats and 24 students into the on-campus graduate format each year.

  • Can I begin the program at any time?

No, cohorts begin once a year and you must apply and be admitted into the program.

  • What prerequisites are required to be admitted to your Master’s program?

There are 8 core classes and 4 basic sciences that must be completed prior to beginning any graduate courses. Those courses are:

Core Classes:

CD 405 Applied Phonetics

CD 481 Normal Speech & Language Development

CD 483 Articulation Disorders (or CD 440 which combines Artic and Language Disorders)

CD 484 Speech Anatomy & Physiology

CD 485 Diagnostic Procedures for Communication Disorders

CD 482 Audiology

CD 486 Language Disorders (or CD 440 – which combines Artic and Language Disorders)

CD 347 Science of Speech and Hearing (formally titled: Bases of Speech)

Basic Sciences (one 3 credit course from each of the following categories; suggested course types are listed in parentheses): ASHA does not accept remedial-level courses, methodology courses (methods of teaching), or courses modified for CD such as speech science (which includes some acoustics, but would be credited as a basic CD processes course). **WKU only accepts CLEP exams or AP credit for credit by exam** **WKU does not accept DANTES exams unless a person is on active military duty**

Biological Science (Intro to General Biology, Human Biology, Ecology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Animal Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, or CLEP: Natural Science or Biology)

Statistics: A 3 credit course in any STATISTICS course.  Research Methods courses are not acceptable.  Examples: Introductory Statistics, Introduction to Statistics, Statistics in Social Work, Psychology Statistics, etc.

Social Science (Behavioral) Psychology (including Dev. Psych or Applied Behavioral Analysis), Sociology, Anthropology, Human Geography, Gerontology, CLEP: Psychology)

Physical Science Physics, Acoustics (not the same as speech and hearing sciences), Astronomy, Geology, Chemistry, Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Earth Science, CLEP: Natural Science or Chem.

  • I’ve taken some or all of these courses at other colleges, what do I need to do to be sure your program will accept those?

Look at the Department Application in the Graduate Admission section of this website.  There is a worksheet to determine how courses will match the prerequisite coursework along with course descriptions and instructions to assist.

  • I have taken graduate coursework elsewhere, what do I need to do to determine if it will transfer to your program?

E-mail or mail to Janice.sandidge@wku.edu the course number and title along with a transcript and syllabus for each course you would like to be considered for graduate transfer credit. All graduate transfer credit must be evaluated by our Coursework Evaluation Committee. The cumulative GPA on the transcript must be 3.0 or greater in order for the course to transfer. All coursework towards the Master of Science in Communication Disorders must be completed within 6 years, therefore, courses taken more than 4 years before beginning the program would not transfer. The committee meets monthly and you will be e-mailed their decision as soon as your coursework is reviewed.

  • Are there any travel requirements for the distance education master’s degree program?

Yes, students are required to come to the WKU campus the first summer in the program for approximately 6 weeks for our Summer Clinic. This is a requirement of the program and is not optional.

  • Can I complete more than one externship during the same semester?

No, students can enroll in only one externship per semester.

  • How many clinical hours can I transfer?

A maximum of 25 observation hours and 50 clinical (treatment or evaluation) hours from undergraduate can transfer to the graduate program. All clinical hours earned while enrolled in a graduate communication disorders program will apply toward the 400 hours required by ASHA. However, graduate students must fully complete SLP 590 Clinical Internship and six credit hours of SLP 591 Clinical Externship meeting the minimum requirements for each section completed. At least 200 hours must be completed through WKU.

  • Will I have to pass a comprehensive exam prior to graduation?

Summative evaluations are required by WKU Graduate School and our accrediting agency. This department uses the PRAXIS exam as part of its summative evaluation. Students must take and pass the PRAXIS exam in Speech-Language Pathology. The passing score is 600 and meets the ASHA requirement for certification. For students beginning the graduate program August 2009 or after, the PRAXIS exam can only be taken during the last semester of the graduate program. Those students who began the graduate program prior to August 2009 can only take the PRAXIS exam during the last 6 months of the graduate program. PRAXIS exams taken before this period will not be accepted as the summative evaluation required for graduation. Students who do not pass the PRAXIS exam must pass one of the CSD graduate program's comprehensive examinations.

  • Where can I find more information on Distance Learning to decide if this option would be right for me?

There are a number of resources available at www.wku.edu/online to help you decide if an online learning format would be a good fit for you.

  • How do I apply to the graduate program?

Click here to go to the admissions and application page.

PRE-SLP

  • Is this program completely online and do I have to travel to campus for any portion?

The program is completely online. No travel is required.

  • Can I work as a SLP after completing this program?

This program will not prepare you to work as a SLP. You will not earn clinical hours or receive a bachelor’s degree after completion. This program is designed to provide the prerequisite coursework required for application to graduate school in the area of communication disorders.

  • Can I begin the program in fall or spring semesters?

At this time, students are only accepted into the program to begin courses during the summer.

  • What GPA is expected?

       The department will look specifically at the last 60 hours coursework and determine the GPA for this portion of your coursework. We require a 3.20 GPA for the last 60 hours        coursework.  This GPA is what will be used as a criteria for admission to the program. To figure your own last 60 hours GPA look at your college credits, begin at last       semester completed and work backwards until you have 60 hours worth of credit, if this stops in the middle of a semester then you must add the remaining hours for that semester (this will give you more than 60 hours). Figure the GPA for those courses using strictly A, B, C, etc. No +/-.  We round up from the third decimal therefore a 3.17 does not qualify as that is less than 3.20.

GPA calculators are available on the internet to assist in calculating your GPA, however, please keep in mind that the GPA calculator provides only a "guesstimation" of the GPA.

  • What is the tuition rate for this program?

Current tuition information is available at http://www.wku.edu/bursar/. The Pre–SLP courses are considered undergraduate distance learning courses. Distance learning tuition rates are the same for in–state and out–of–state students.

  • Is financial aid available for this program?

The program is now eligible for financial aid.

RANK I

  • What is the Rank I?

Designed for public school employees, the Rank I is a Planned Sixth-Year program. It is an approved, specific program of studies (i.e., set of courses). Upon earning the Rank I, employees can apply for a change in rank, thus likely resulting in an increase in salary. Earning a Rank I in Communication Disorders does not give a speech-language pathologist more credentials.

  • Can I get the Rank I in Communication Disorder without having a Master's in Communication Disorders?

No. The Rank I in our department is only offered to people with current teacher certification in communication disorders.

  • Can I work on the Rank I at the same time as my Master's?

You can only be admitted to the Rank I program if you have a Master's degree in the field. You may apply to the program in the last semester of your Master’s degree coursework.

  • Is the Rank I recognized outside the state of Kentucky?

Rank I is a designation that Kentucky uses. While many states offer Planned Sixth programs, we cannot guarantee that a Kentucky Rank I will be recognized elsewhere.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14