Department of Communication
Sciences and Disorders

West Chester University

Dr. Cheryl D. Gunter, Chair
201 Carter Drive, Suite 400
West Chester, PA  19383
Phone:  610.436.2115
Fax:  610.436.3388


Program Description

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) offers a graduate program leading to a Masters of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Students participate in the program by attending classes on campus and by completing clinical practicum courses both on campus and in affiliation sites. The program is not delivered via distance education.

The SLP graduate program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. The CAA is an organization of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).


The content of CSD’s graduate curriculum meets the standards defined by the CAA. The core curriculum consists of 63 semester hours, including 36 semester hours of didactic courses and 27 semester hours of clinical courses. All didactic courses are taught on campus. Clinical courses are taught on campus in WCU's Speech and Hearing Clinic and off campus at affiliation sites (schools, hospitals/rehabilitation centers). The clinical courses provide students with opportunities to earn a minimum of 400 clock hours for clinical work (therapy and diagnostics) in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the post-graduate Clinical Fellowship (CF) experience, which is a prerequisite for earning the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) offered by ASHA.  

In some cases, the actual number of credit hours that a specific student must earn may include more or less than 63 credit hours, depending on the following factors:

  1. The number of courses transferred into the program from another institution
  2. Academic deficiencies in a student's completion of undergraduate prerequisite courses (e.g., lack of coursework in chemistry or physics, biology, statistics, lifespan development, or neurology of speech and language).

The specific courses included in CSD’s core graduate curriculum are listed below.

Course Number Course Title Credits
Required Courses (63 semester credits)
SLP 501 Foundations of Research in SLP 3
SLP 511 Language Disorders I (0 to 5 years) 3
SLP 512 Language Disorders II (6-18 years) 3
SLP 516 Adult Neurogenic S/L Disorders 3
SLP 523 Voice Disorders 3
SLP 524 Fluency Disorders 3
SLP 526 Clinical Articulation and Phonology 3
SLP 543 Therapy for the Hearing Impaired 3
SLP 545 Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) 3
SLP 570 School Language, Speech, and hearing Programs 3
SLP 575 Medical SLP 3
SLP 582 Dysphagia 3
SLP 551 Graduate Clinical Practicum S/L-1 3
SLP 551 Graduate Clinical Practicum S/L-2 3
SLP 551 Graduate Clinical Practicum - Hearing 1.5
SLP 551 Graduate Clinical Practicum - S/L Dx 1.5
SLP 552 Medical Affiliation Practicum 9
SLP 553 School-Based Affiliation Practicum 9
SPP 610 Thesis 3


Program Progression

A new cohort of students enters the program each fall semester. The cohort includes 27 full time students. All students must be available for daytime classes. Full time students take 12 hours a semester and part time students take 6 hours a semester. A full-time student can complete the curriculum in two years, including summers (i.e., 4 academic-year semesters plus 2 summer semesters).

Academic Standards

Once students enter the program, they must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. This is the minimum standard established by the West Chester University for all graduate programs. Additionally, students must meet all of the standards listed on the Acquisition of Knowledge and Skills Assessment (KASA) form, a copy of which is available through the drop-down menu of the Graduate Program tab of this website. Students must also complete three comprehensive examinations, and they must pass the SLP Praxis, a standardized national examination. In addition to being a requirement of graduation in WCU's SLP program, the SLP Praxis is one of the requirements needed to qualify for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) awarded by ASHA. Students are encouraged to do thesis research, but it is not a requirement of graduation.

Requirements for earning the PA's Educational Specialist Certificate for SLP

Students who complete the graduate program may qualify for the Pennsylvania's Educational Specialist Certificate for SLP if they choose to complete the requirements established by the PA Department of Education (PDE). For information about the requirements that must be met to qualify for the PA Instructional Certificate, please visit the College of Education website.

English proficiency requirements

Given the scope of practice in speech-language pathology, and given that the mission of the SLP graduate program is to prepare students for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in the United States, oral English proficiency is considered an essential tool. WCU's Graduate Catalog states that, "Applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of satisfactory performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education before application forms can be processed." It also indicates that "a score of 550 is the minimum acceptable score (213 for computer-based exam)".  Additionally, if a student whose native language is not English is accepted into WCU's Communicative Disorders graduate program, and if there is evidence that this student is having exceptional difficulty with one or more of the tasks required in clinical service delivery (e.g., speech perception, speech/language modeling, comprehending speech or language produced by individuals with disorders, writing clinic reports, counseling families, etc.) then the student will be asked to address these deficits through a remediation plan (e.g., therapy for accent reduction, perceptual training, etc. as needed).

Additional Information

If you require additional information about the graduate program, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Mareile Koenig, at