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Western Kentucky University

Additional Information for Distance Learning (Worldwide) Students

"I loved the flexibility this program provided. I was able to study and participate in class discussions without sacrificing time with my new baby and husband. And I could do it all in the comfort of my own home without traveling anywhere. This program also improved my self-motivational, organizational, and critical thinking skills that have been imperative for entering the field." – Kendra, August 2010 GraduateWe now offer the Distance Learning format in Full-Time and a Part-Time cohorts.  Applicants should read the program information thoroughly, and review the course sequences in order to make an informed decision on which cohort in which to apply.


In 1999, Western Kentucky University along with four other accredited programs, under the auspices of the Kentucky Virtual University, began to offer a collaborative distance master’s degree in Communication Disorders for residents of Kentucky. Given the success of this program and the frequent requests for individuals from out of state, Western Kentucky University launched its own distance learning format of the current on-campus Master’s degree program to be open to students globally.


international students are encouraged to apply! If you are an international student interested in this program, the only barrier may be that you must have access to ASHA certified SLPs with whom you can complete your externships and should explore the availability of such prior to applying.


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.


All coursework is completed online with the exception of SLP 590 – Clinic Internship and SLP 591 - Clinic Externship. For the Clinic Internship (we refer to it as Summer Bootcamp) portion we require that you come to our campus for approximately 6 weeks (typically the end of June and entire month of July) the summer following the fall you begin the program.  There is no other option for this.  It is a requirement of the program that you come to our campus for this internship.

For example, if you begin the program in Fall 2014, then you would come to campus for the Bootcamp in Summer 2015. Participation in Summer Clinical Internship (often referred to as Bootcamp) allows WKU faculty to evaluate clinical skills and preparedness for externships. For that reason, successful completion is mandatory in order to continue on to the externship experience; attendance is not optional. For detailed information regarding clinical requirements, please explore the Clinical Experience tab at the top of this page.

Distance Learning Worldwide cohort Web 10 during the Clinical Internship


Full-time students can complete the program within 2 full years (including winter and summer terms) following the recommended course sequence

Part-time students could expect to finish the coursework in 3 years (including winter and summer terms following the recommended course sequence

University policy requires that students complete their graduate program within 6 years.This time period begins with the first graduate course applicable, therefore, transferring graduate credit would need to be limited to 3 years prior to beginning this program.

Students are expected to adhere to the course sequence given and complete courses with their cohort.


The distance courses follow the regular WKU academic calendar, with established start and completion dates. Click here to access the WKU academic calendar.


The Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO) offers excellent resources to assist online learners. Their website has a number of helpful topics including an orientation to online learning and helpful information to aid you in determining if online learning is right for you.  Please click here to visit their website.

How is the coursework presented? Our faculty use Blackboard and Adobe Connect Pro as platforms for presenting learning materials, resource links, and instructional guidance. It also enables you, your professor, and classmates to communicate with each other. Using Blackboard and Adobe Connect Pro, your professor can present materials using several multimedia resources (including audio, video, animation, charts, etc) so that your classes are presented in the most appropriate way. Adobe Connect Pro allows live video stream so that the professor can present course lectures live via the Internet. You will have designated weekly or biweekly synchronous class meeting times for each course for which you will be expected to be logged into the course for instruction just as you would attend classes face to face. Class meeting times are scheduled in the evening and at night to allow time during the day to work and/or complete clinical requirements.


There is a uniform Distance Learning tuition rate for all distance students, whether in or out of state. For current tuition rates please click here.

For admission and application requirements for the graduate program click here


For more information and questions please contact:

Richard Dressler, Ph.D., CCC/SLP – Graduate Program Director (

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 Last Modified 11/11/15