Speech-Language Pathology, Master of Science (0466)



Program Coordinator

Lauren E. Bland, lauren.bland@wku.edu, (270) 745-8860

This program is designed to prepare professional speech-language pathologists to meet the needs of the communicatively handicapped in hospitals, clinics, nursing facilities, and schools. It is also designed to meet the academic and clinical requirements of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, leading to national certification and state licensure.  The Speech-Language Pathology program is accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology.

Program Admission

Applicants to the master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • GRE Verbal score of 143
  • GRE Writing score of 3.5
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the profession, OR outside of the profession and the following courses:
    1. Normal Speech & Language Development
    2. Science of Speech & Hearing
    3. Phonetics
    4. Language Disorders
    5. Articulation Disorders
    6. Speech Anatomy & Physiology
    7. Audiology
    8. Diagnostic or Assessment Procedures

      The degree and/or prerequisite course(s) in communication sciences and disorders must be completed, in progress, or on the applicant's undergraduate plan of study when applying to the program.

  • Average GPA for the last 60 credit hours of college coursework of 3.5 (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.)
  • Clinical observation through a university program (25 hours of clinical observation supervised by a certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist) is preferred but not required
  • The following prerequisite courses in basic sciences must be completed, in progress, or on the applicant's undergraduate plan of study when applying to the program:
    1. Biological Science (science of living things such as biology, human anatomy)
    2. Physical Science (science of non-living things such as acoustics, physics, or chemistry)
    3. Social Science (psychology, sociology, anthropology)
    4. Statistics

      All prerequisite or basic science courses must be completed before beginning the graduate program.

  • Essential Functions: Students must enter the program with a minimum level of ability in specific areas termed essential functions. Students must be able to meet minimum essential skills with or without reasonable accommodation during their internship or externship experience.

Applicants must also submit along with an application to the Graduate School:

  1. Written essay - 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. Visit www.wku.edu/communicationdisorders for designated topic when applying.
  2. 3 references listed with the reference’s name, relationship to the applicant, address, phone number, and email address. Letters of recommendation should NOT be sent.
  3. Official GRE score report.  Exam must be completed within the past 5 years.
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges attended.
  5. Departmental Application must be completed and submitted to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  6. Finalists may be contacted to provide a short video presentation and/or interview to assess interpersonal communication.

Applications to the Speech-Language Pathology graduate program will be ranked based on scores in the following areas:

  • Verbal score of the GRE
  • Writing score of the GRE
  • Average GPA for the last 60 credit hours of college coursework
  • Written essay
  • Interpersonal communication

Accreditation standards require that the clinical education component of the curriculum provide students with access to a client/patient base that is sufficient to achieve stated mission and goals and includes a variety of clinical settings, client/patient populations, and age groups. Therefore, this department reserves the right to limit enrollment in geographical areas where there are known issues in obtaining sufficient and appropriate clinical sites for students. Check www.wku.edu/communicationdisorders for further information before applying to the program.

Any academic deficiencies required to meet certification requirements of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association must be completed.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (60 hours)

Sixty semester hours are required for both the thesis and non-thesis option. The research tool requirement (3 hours) may be met by successful completion of SLP 500 Research Methodology in Communication Disorders (or equivalent). Additionally, the student must complete at least 400 clock hours of clinical experience by 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 162 effective September 1, 2014 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 4 months of the graduate program.

In order to protect client populations, students will be required to undergo criminal background checks and provide proof of a recent physical examination, professional liability insurance, and negative TB test prior to beginning any clinical experiences, and these must be updated annually. Some clinical externship placements may require students to undergo drug testing and submit proof of health insurance, CPR training, and other immunizations prior to beginning off campus experiences. Additionally, there may be certifications, training seminars, or other requirements specified by an institution that a student must meet in order to be eligible for training at an educational or health care institution. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all University and/or institutional requirements are met as a condition of participating in clinical experiences. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all institutional and/or facility requirements are met as a condition of participating in the on and off-campus experiences; students may be responsible in part or in full for any costs incurred to meet such requirements. Students are also responsible for transportation to and from off-campus experiences.

Required Courses
SLP 500Research Methodology in Communication Sciences and Disorders3
SLP 501Early Intervention in Speech-Language Pathology3
SLP 502Motor Speech Disorders3
SLP 504Seminar in Language Disorders of Childhood3
SLP 506Dysfluency3
SLP 507Aphasia3
SLP 508Voice Disorders3
SLP 509Speech Science3
SLP 511Neurology Speech Language3
SLP 512Seminar in Phonology3
SLP 513Cognitive Linguistic Disorders3
SLP 514Dysphagia3
SLP 515Rehabilitation Audiology3
SLP 579Seminar in Professional Issues1
Select one of the following:2
Clinical Internship (repeated for 2 hours)
Clinical Internship
and Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology
SLP 591Clinical Externship6
Select 12 hours of electives 112
Total Hours60

SLP 518 must be taken as an elective if the undergraduate equivalent has not been completed.