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Requirements for the master's degree with a major in speech-language pathology

Students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than communicative disorders (e.g., psychology, linguistics) typically need to complete undergraduate prerequisite coursework in communication sciences and disorders before applying and/or being admitted to a graduate program in speech-language pathology. Review our prerequisite guidelines for additional information.

Prerequisite Coursework
  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • College coursework in speech-language-hearing must include the following: physics of speech: principles of speech science; principles of hearing science, fundamentals of clinical phonetics, language analysis lab, language development, introduction to audiological assessment and rehabilitation, introduction to speech-language pathology, research methods in speech-language-hearing and statistics.
  • Additional requirements for certification by the American Speech Hearing Association include coursework in biological sciences, physical sciences and social/behavioral sciences. Courses in biological and physical sciences specifically related to communication sciences and disorders cannot be applied to this requirement.

Degree Requirements

Most students will be able to complete the program in four full-time semesters and one or two summers with a common entry point in the fall semester. Exceptions may occur for students with a number of prerequisites to complete or those conducting an extensive research project. The program requires 34 credit hours of experiences for breadth and an additional 16 hours for depth.

Required Graduate Experiences for Breadth (34)
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
SPLH 860 Evaluation of Speech and Language 2
SPLH 862 Clinical Processes1 2
SPLH 864 Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology2 7
SPLH 868 Professional Issues3 2
SPLH 888 Multicultural Considerations in Speech-Language-Hearing I 1
SPLH 889 Multicultural Considerations in Speech-Language-Hearing II 1
Research experience (thesis or nonthesis option) 3
SPLH electives (8 seminars, 2 credit hours each) 16
Required Graduate Experiences for Depth (16)
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
SPLH 866 Field Study in Speech-Language Pathology 5
Advanced electives (SPLH, outside department or thesis) 6
Second field study or fourth practicum experience 5

1 This course is taken twice for a total of 2 credit hours.
2 This course is taken more than once for a total of 7 credit hours.
3 This course is taken more than once for a total of 2 credit hours.

Other requirements: Pass both formative and summative exams (including thesis defense if applicable).

Program Without Thesis

The non-thesis program has the same degree requirements as those described for the master's degree. The thesis is replaced with a minimum of three credits of additional research-related coursework, a research practicum experience or an independent study course. The latter two options may include independent research projects or ongoing laboratory activities.

Graduate Courses

Many graduate courses are offered. Please consult the student handbook and KU Academic Catalog for additional information.

Vaccines and Clinical Site Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center requires various immunizations for its students. For a detailed list please visit the student health forms webpage or speak with Student Health Services. These immunization requirements help promote health and safety and facilitate clinical placement.

Many, if not all, clinical sites who partner with the University of Kansas Medical Center require proof of these vaccines for students engaged in training or other programmatic experiences at clinical sites. Not being vaccinated may preclude students from participating in activities, potentially impeding their ability to complete all program requirements for degree completion. Applicants with questions should speak with a representative from the academic program to which they intend to apply.

KU School of Health Professions