The M.S.(Master's Degree) education program in speech-language pathology at Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The program is designed to meet the academic and clinical requirements of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), leading to national certification and state licensure.
The program consists of 49 credit hours (42 academic and 7 clinical credits.) Students will complete 1 internship and 3 externships where they will gain crucial hands-on experience in evaluation and treatment of clients with ASHA certified supervisors. The clinical component of the program will allow students to earn the clinical hours required by ASHA. For more information regarding the clinical experience and requirement please explore the Clinical Experience tab above.
We are pleased to be able to offer this program in three different formats (on-campus, distance learning - worldwide, and distance learning - New York City/UFT). The information contained within this page is the same for all formats. The requirements are the same for all formats. The two distance learning formats offer 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 at the bottom of this page.
Regardless of your academic background, applicants must complete the following prerequisite coursework prior to beginning graduate coursework. An undergraduate degree in the field will not guarantee the prerequisites have been met. Review carefully before applying to the program. You may apply prior to completion of all of the prerequisites but must submit a plan to complete the coursework prior to the semester you are applying to begin graduate school.
There are 8 core classes and 4 basic sciences that must be completed prior to beginning any graduate courses. Those courses are:
Core Classes (or equivalent at another university):
- CD 405 Phonetics
- CD 481 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 in Communication Disorders
- CD 482 Audiology
- CD 486 Language Disorders (or CD 440 – which combines Artic and Language Disorders)
- CD 347 Bases of Speech (Speech Science)
For course descriptions for the core prerequisites please click here.
One 3 credit course from each of the following categories: Biological Science, Physical Science, Social Science, and College Math/Statistics. *** Please Note: For those applying to begin the graduate program Fall 2012 or after a STATISTICS course is required in addition to or in place of Mathematics. *** ASHA does not accept remedial-level courses, methodology courses (methods of teaching), or courses modified for communication disorders such as speech science (which includes some acoustics, but would be credited as a basic CD processes course.) Please note that WKU does not accept DANTES exams unless a person is on active military duty. For example courses for each science please look in the FAQ section.
WKU offers a Pre-SLP program to provide the core prerequisites if your undergraduate degree is in a field other than communication disorders. Click here for more information regarding the Pre-SLP program.
Following are the required courses to complete the graduate coursework. Click on the course to link to the course catalog description. WKU reserves the right to modify these requirements as necessary.
All courses are 3 credit courses except CD 590 (1 credit) and CD 591 (2 credits) for a total of 49 credits:
- CD 500 Research Methodology in CSD
- CD 502 Motor Speech Disorders
- CD 504 Seminar in Child Language
- CD 506 Dysfluency
- CD 507 Aphasia
- CD 508 Voice Disorders
- CD 510 Professional Issues
- CD 511 Neurology for Speech and Language
- CD 512 Seminar in Phonology
- CD 513 Cognitive Linguistic Disorders
- CD 514 Dysphagia
- CD 515 Rehab Audiology
- CD 518 Advanced AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication Modalities)
- CD 590 Clinical Internship
- CD 591 Clinical Externship (will take 3 times at 2 credits each)
- Approved Elective in the Major
Transferring Graduate Credits
The Office of Graduate Studies and Research will allow up to 12 graduate credits from other accredited institutions. You must have a grade of B or better in the course with a cumulative GPA on the transcript of 3.0 or better. All graduate transfer credit must be approved by the department. A syllabus must be presented to Janice.email@example.com to be submitted for approval by the committee.
STATE TEACHER CERTIFICATION
Students who complete this Western Kentucky University, Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and NCATE approved educator preparation program in Communication Disorders, and upon completion of the program and all required Praxis exams, the students are eligible for teacher certification in Kentucky. Standards vary per state. If living or wishing to be employed in a school system outside of Kentucky you should check with the Department of Education in your state to determine if there are any additional requirements to be teacher certified. The Communication Disorders Department does not keep up with the licensure/certification requirements of each state.
ADDITIONAL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
Summative Assessment: Summative evaluations are required by Office of Graduate Studies and Research and our accrediting agency. This department uses the PRAXIS exam as part 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 CD graduate program's comprehensive examinations. The last 4 months is defined as:
- If graduating in Spring: January 15 - May 15
- If graduating in Summer: April 15 - August 15
- If graduating in Fall: August 15 - December 15
Final Portfolio: Each student will complete a portfolio during the last semester of coursework. The portfolio is comprised of clinical goal statements and reflection statements completed throughout the clinical experiences, and Knowledge and Skills Acquisition Form (KASA).
Clinical Hours: A minimum of 400 clinical hours are required in order to graduate. See Clinical Experience tab at the top of this page for additional information.
Competency: All students must demonstrate that they are competent in coursework and clinic. This will be measured by instructors and supervisors throughout the program. The competencies will be kept in a database called CALIPSO that students will be able to access and track as they complete. CALIPSO is a website that will also track additional information required during the graduate program. There is a one time student access fee of $75.
Forms: The following forms are required by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research during your course of study:
Form C – This program form for Master's level students details your plan of study. The Graduate College 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.
Form D – Admission to Candidacy. Due after completion of 12 hours and before 21 hours of coursework are completed. Research Methods (completed with a grade of B or better) and any deficiencies must have been completed before this form is submitted.
Form E – Completion of Candidacy. Due during the last semester once the PRAXIS or comprehensive examination has been completed.
COMPUTER SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
The graduate program in the Department of Communication Disorders at WKU now 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 graduate 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
• Vista/Windows 7 – 1 GB of Ram
• XP – 512 MB of Ram
Mac Operating System
• 512 MB of Ram
Adobe Flash Player 9 or later
• Internet Explorer 8 or later
• Mozilla 2 or later
• Safari 2 or later
• Headset (optional)
• Web-Cam (optional)
We are pleased to be able to offer this program in three different formats. The information contained within this page is the same for all formats. The requirements are the same for all formats. For more information regarding each format click on the boxes below.