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Graduate Admission and Application Requirements

The deadline for receipt of all application materials for Fall 2017 admissions was February 17, 2017.

Applications for Fall 2018 admissions will available at the bottom of this page beginning in late Fall 2017.  Please read over all the instructions and requirements on this page before applying

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.

Minimum GPA and GRE Requirements of Applicants:

  • 3.5 GPA for the last 60 credit hours of college coursework (There must be a minimum of 60 credit hours with a letter grade. Only courses with a letter grade will be used. Pass/Fail grades are not included.) Please click here to see an explanation of how to calculate your GPA in our Frequently Asked Questions
  • 143 on the new scoring system (350 on the old scale scoring system) for the Verbal portion of the GRE (GRE must have been taken within 5 years of application date).
  • 3.5 score on the Writing portion of the GRE (GRE must have been taken within 5 years of application date)
*If an applicant does not meet ALL 3 of the above minimum requirements the application will not be considered for admission to the program.  To view statistics regarding those accepted to our program in the past click here.

Things To Consider Before Applying 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: 


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 Admissions Committee Will Be Evaluating Applicants Utilizing The Following Criteria:

  • Transcripts will be evaluated to determine the GPA for the most recent 60 hours of completed coursework (for details on calculation click here) which will then be utilized in determining admission.
  • The verbal and writing scores from the GRE will be analyzed.
  • Essay will be analyzed for compliance with instructions (see below), content, grammar, and spelling.
  • Transcripts and Prerequisite Coursework Worksheet will be evaluated to make certain that all prerequisite courses have/will be completed prior to the semester in which you are applying to begin the graduate program - The prerequisite course requirements and worksheet can be found within the Departmental Application in Part 2 below as well as viewing the PreSLP curriculum by clicking here.
  • References will be contacted via email for further information – do not send letters of recommendation. Letters will not be considered or kept on file by the department.  Click here for reference form.  

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.

Explore the Clinical Experience menus in the right column by clicking here. You can search on the ASHA website for ASHA certified SLPs in your area.


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 February 17, 2017:

How To Apply:

It is recommended that you print this page and use it as a checklist as you complete each step. A complete application will include all documents presented on this page. It is solely the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all steps are completed accurately, that all documents are received by the university, and to send any additional information requested by the department or The Graduate School upon request prior to the deadline of February 17, 2017.

Your application will not be reviewed by the Department of Communication Sciences and  Disorders until the application is complete. Applications that are not completed by the deadline will not be considered for admission.



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):

  • APPLICATION TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL - Complete the Online Application for The Graduate School. Click here to access application. When completing this application it is extremely important that you complete it in its entirety including submitting the application fee. Make certain to apply to begin in the Fall 2016 term and to choose the cohort for which you are applying to so that your application is considered in the correct applicant pool. If either of these is incorrect it may cause your application to not be considered for acceptance.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS - Submit ALL official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. This includes those courses that show as transfer credit on another transcript. You must send all transcripts from the institutions where you completed the coursework regardless of whether it appears on another transcript as transfer credit. Failure to do so will result in a delay in your application being complete and possibly not being considered for acceptance if all transcripts are not received by the deadline. Some institutions will take longer than others to issue transcripts, be sure to request them well before the deadline. If you have a foreign transcript you must adhere to the Graduate Studies requirements for a transcript evaluation which you will find by clicking here and then choosing International Degree SeekingWe require that you provide translation/transcription for all foreign transcripts.
  • GRE SCORES - submit an official GRE score report taken within the last 5 years.
  • ESSAY – Submit a written essay describing why you want to be a speech-language pathologist using the following guidelines. The essay must be no more than 1 page typed, using a 12-point Times New Roman font, and double-spaced. The applicant’s name and the date on which the essay was written should be noted at the top. 
  • REFERENCES - List of 3 references and contact information. Click here for form to use.  Your references will be contacted as needed.

Mail 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; Electronic transcripts may be sent to the WKU Graduate School


PART 2 – Apply to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • Click on the appropriate application form below and complete the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department Application. Note: Be sure to open the form with Adobe Reader in order to fill it out. Some students have reported that this application is not compatible with Mac computers. Students have also reported issues with Google Chrome, so please use Internet Explorer or Firefox to submit this. This form must be completed and then e-mailed as an attachment to We no longer accept mailed applications therefore DO NOT MAIL this form.
  • Click the link for the application you need (you may only apply to ONE - Residential (On-Campus), FULL-TIME Distance Learning, or PART-TIME Distance Learning.
  • Fill out form. All fields must be completed.
  • To sign the form, you can either:
  • Save form to your computer.
  • Attach form to email and send to
  • Click on ONE of the following applications and complete as specified above:
  • Applications will not be reviewed fully until after the deadline.  Once the deadline has passed the department will consider all completed applications. You will receive notification of our decisions (accepted, alternate, or not accepted) within approximately 8 weeks of that deadline via email. Be sure to include on your application an email address which you will be checking regularly.
  • This year we are adding a video component to the departmental application process.  Instructions for creating the video are found on the departmental applications.


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.

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 Last Modified 2/28/17