Speech Pathology and Audiology

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Speech Pathology - Graduate Program words

Graduate Program - Clinic Scope of Services

The Masters of Science in Speech Pathology at Western is nationally accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The graduate program in speech pathology is comprised of 39 semester hours of didactic coursework, in addition to clinical experiences which vary throughout the duration of the program.

SPA graduate students take advanced coursework and undertake an extensive program of clinical practicum. Graduate class sizes average 20-25 students. Practicum experiences are in the WIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, as well as a number of off-campus hospitals, nursing homes, Schools, rehabilitation centers, etc. Students gain experience working with clients of various ages, and with a variety of speech, language, and hearing disorders.

At the completion of the B.S. and the M.S. degrees, all SPA students meet both academic and clinical practicum requirements necessary for obtaining the Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA and licensure for the state of Illinois. Both ASHA and the state of Illinois also require the successful completion of a national exam and a clinical fellowship year. Students who complete the program and pass Illinois State of Board of Education examinations will be eligible for Professional Educator Licensure (PEL) in the state of Illinois.

Our faculty provide a supportive environment for students to grow as professionals and as a result our students have a high success rate in meeting the requirements to become a practicing SLP and in finding a job after graduation. See our "Student Outcome Data" for more information.

Graduate Program Academic Advisor


Julie L. Cox (Ph.D., CCC/SLP)
Assistant Professor
Graduate Advisor
Office: 245 Memorial Hall
Phone: (309) 298-1955
Email: JL-Cox3@wiu.edu

Admissions to the Graduate Program

Our application deadline is January 15.

Applicants must submit both an application/application fee to WIU Graduate Studies and an application/application fee to WIU Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology via the Communication Sciences & Disorder Centralized Application Service, known as CSDCAS. Applicants who do not submit both applications will NOT be considered for admissions.

GRE scores are required as part of the admissions process. Applicants should send their scores directly to the CSDCAS system using the Western Illinois University CSDCAS code which is 6978. Applicants do NOT have to send scores directly to WIU; you only need to submit them using the WIU CSDCAS code.

Official transcripts must be sent to both WIU Graduate Studies and CSDCAS.

Admission Requirements

In order to be eligible for admission to the graduate program in Speech Pathology, applicants must have prerequisite coursework in the following areas:

  • Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Hearing Mechanisms (SPA 210)
  • Phonetics (SPA 212)
  • Speech & Hearing Science (SPA 311)
  • Normal Development of Speech & Language (SPA 312)
  • Audiology (SPA 390)
  • Communication Disorders (varies; SPA 381, 385, 386)

In addition, applicants must complete the following ASHA requirements prior to or during the graduate program:

  • Statistics
  • Biological Science
  • Physical Science
  • Social Science

Western Illinois University Graduate Studies Application

Applicants must submit an application directly to WIU. The application is online and can be found at the following address: Application for Admission

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As part of this application you must submit the following:

  • Online application form
  • Official Transcripts from all universities/colleges you have attended
  • Personal statement/essay
    Use the same statement/essay you submit via the CSDCAS system.
  • Three letters of reference
    Letters may be submitted online or via hard copy. If you choose the online option your recommenders will receive a link to the recommendation form via email.
    Ask the same recommenders you use for the CSDCAS system.
  • If you wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship position, please answer the relevant questions on the Assistantship link on the left side of the online application screen.
    A $30 application fee

CSDCAS Application

Applicants must also submit an application via the Centralized Application Service, known as CSDCAS. This system can be accessed via the following link: CSDCAS.

As part of this application you must submit the following:

  • All application materials requested by CSDCAS including
  • Online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement/essay
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Application fee
  • Official GRE scores sent to Western Illinois University CSDCAS using GRE code 6978

International Student English Requirements

ESL requirement globe

English Proficiency Non-Native English Speakers Graduate students who are non-native speakers of English are assessed during their first semester of graduate school. The clinical faculty conducts informal screening of the intelligibility and oral communication, in English, of all graduate students.

Any student, whatever his or her native language, who is identified by an instructor, whether academic or clinical, as having spoken or written language proficiency that does not meet the above standard will be offered the opportunity to receive assessment and intervention through appropriate venues, to include the program's Speech-Language-Hearing Center. The student will not be required to participate as a client in therapy; however, the student will be held responsible for development of communication skills sufficient to achieve effective clinical and professional interaction with clients and relevant others. Efforts will be made to assist students in locating appropriate services/resources.

Appropriateness of continuation as a student clinician in clinic will be made on a case-by-case basis if a student has been identified as presenting a deficiency in spoken and/or written English.

Students who have been identified as needing services to improve their English must be approved by the Clinic Committee for admission into, or continuation of, the clinical practicum experience. International students must achieve a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (paper-based exam); or 79 (iBT). They may alternatively submit a score of 6.5 or better on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Graduate Degree Requirement

The Master of Science in Speech Pathology degree program requires a minimum of 54 hours.

I. Core Courses: 45 s.h.

SPA 501 Introduction to Research Methods in Speech Pathology (3)
SPA 503 Seminar in Professional Affairs (2)
SPA 510 Motor Speech Disorders (3)
SPA 514 Assessment and Treatment of Child Language Disorders (3)
SPA 515 Autism and Special Populations. (2)
SPA 521 Methods in Public Schools (3)
SPA 523 Neurological Disorders I: Aphasia (3)
SPA 524 Neurological Disorders II: Cognitive and Degenerative Disorders (3)
SPA 525 Dysphagia: Assessment and Intervention (3)
SPA 535 Voice Disorders (3)
SPA 547 Fluency and Fluency Disorders (3)
SPA 548 Articulation and Phonological Disorders (3)
SPA 549 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (3)
SPA 550 Audiology for the Speech-Language Pathologist (2)
SPA 587 Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Evaluation (variable)
SPA 588 Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology (variable)
SPA 604 Graduate Portfolio (0)

II. Select one of the following internship options:

A. Internship

SPA 600 Internship in Communication Disorders

B. Public School Internship

SPA 522 Internship in the Public School

In addition to the coursework above, all students must complete all clinical clock hours required for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) before the master's degree will be awarded.

Graduate Program in Speech Pathology - Course Descriptions

481G Evaluation Procedures in Speech-Language Pathology. (3)
Consideration of the general role of evaluation in speech and language therapy with intensive study of diagnostic tests and procedures used to assess communication disorders. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; SPA 390, or permission of the instructor.

494G Aural Rehabilitation I. (3)
History and development of methods of speech reading and auditory training. Multisensory approach to rehabilitation emphasized including specific procedures for handling impaired students in the classroom. Prerequisite: SPA 390; ENG 180 and 280, or permission of the instructor.

501 Introduction to Research Methods in Speech Pathology. (3)
Explores clinician's role as researcher and need for science to inform our clinical practice. Students read and critically analyze existing research within the Speech Pathology, and review common research designs and data analysis techniques. Students are required to complete a formal project.

503 Seminar in Professional Affairs. (2)
The study of current problems, issues and legislation in the communication disorders profession. Discussions will be organized to accommodate both student and instructor interests and concerns. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in SPA.

510 Motor Speech Disorders. (3)
Study of assessment and intervention methods for apraxia of speech and the dysarthrias across the lifespan. Includes study of the etiology and characteristics of motor speech disorders as well as relevant anatomical, physiological, developmental, cultural, and psychological correlates. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in SPA or permission of the instructor.

514 Assessment and Treatment of Child Language Disorders. (3)
Study of assessment and intervention methods for child language disorders. Principles of evidence based practice will be emphasized. Issues related to English language learners and literacy will be discussed. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in SPA or permission of the instructor.

515: Autism and Special Populations. (2)
The study of assessment and intervention methods for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special populations including cognitive impairments, sensory processing disorders, ADHA, emotional/behavioral disorders, low incidence populations and multiply disabled children.

521 Methods in Public Schools. (3)
The study of general program considerations for the speech-language pathologist in the public school setting including case management and state and federal legislation.

522 Internship in the Public School. (variable)
Supervised clinical practice in speech–language and/or hearing in the public school setting. Prerequisites: SPA 521, completion of required SPA coursework, no more than one C grade in SPA 587/588, and approval of faculty.

523 Neurological Disorders I: Aphasia. (3)
Assessment and management of fluent, nonfluent, mixed, and global aphasia, with emphasis on the nature and cause of acquired language disorders in adults, including right hemisphere disorder. Prerequisite: SPA 382 or permission of the instructor.

524 Neurological Disorders II: Cognitive and Degenerative Disorders. (3)
Identification, classification, and treatment of degenerative disorders and cognitive/memory disorders that affect speech and language, with emphasis on intervention across the continuum of care. Prerequisite: SPA 382 or permission of the instructor.

525 Dysphagia: Assessment and Intervention. (3)
The study of swallowing and deglutition across the age span, with concentration on the methods of assessment and intervention in disorders of swallowing. Prerequisites: SPA 210, 312 and 382.

535 Voice Disorders. (3)
Voice production, including vocal development and life–span changes. Pathophysiology of voice disorders, their assessment, management and treatment. Prerequisites: SPA 210, 380 and 384.

547 Fluency and Fluency Disorders. (3)
Theory, research and clinical applications in fluency disorders. Emphasis on assessment and treatment of behavioral, affective, and cognitive features of developmental stuttering across the lifespan. Consideration of cluttering, neurogenic stuttering, psychogenic stuttering. Prerequisite: SPA 384.

548 Articulation and Phonological Disorders. (3)
The study of assessment and intervention methods for children with articulation and phonological disorders. Includes study of etiology and characteristics as well as relevant anatomical, physiological, developmental, linguistic, cultural, and psychological correlates. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in SPA or permission of the instructor.

549 Augmentative and Alternative Communication. (3)
Study of the various alternative and augmentative communication techniques and assistive technologies including the assessment and intervention strategies utilized to implement them. Prerequisites: Graduate standing in SPA or permission of the instructor.

550 Audiology for the Speech-Language Pathologist. (2)
Study of selected auditory disorders, screening procedures, and habilitation/rehabilitation approaches from a speech-language pathology perspective based upon current scope of practice and research. Prerequisites: SPA 390 and 494, or permission of the instructor.

587 Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Evaluation. (variable)
Supervised practicum in speech-language evaluation procedures in the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Prerequisite: SPA 481(G).

588 Graduate Clinical Practicum I Speech-Language Pathology. (variable)
Supervised clinical experience in on–campus and off–campus clinical facilities while working with children and adults having speech and language disorders. A minimum of 20 contact clock hours must be obtained for each credit hour. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

599 Graduate Clinical Practicum in Audiology. (variable)
Supervised clinical experience in on–campus and/or off–campus clinical facilities while working with children and adults having hearing impairments. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

600 Internship in Communication Disorders. (variable)
Supervised applied experience in an occupationally related area in line with the students' career objectives and approved by faculty. A minimum of eight weeks will be required for this experience. Prerequisites: Completion of required SPA coursework, no more than one C grade in SPA 587/588, and approval of faculty.

601 Thesis. (3)

604 Graduate Portfolio. (0)
Throughout their graduate program, students will develop a portfolio documenting their evolving knowledge and skills in speech-language pathology. The portfolio will be submitted to a faculty committee at the end of each semester, and the student's mastery of identified knowledge and skills will be documented. The final portfolio will show that the student has met the knowledge and skills outcomes for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP).Students will take PRAXIS:II Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Students taking SPA 604 must be in their final semester of course work, and obtain permission of SPA Graduate Advisor to enroll.

Graduate Assistantships

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Graduate assistantships are award programs which provide students with work opportunities in a job closely related to the academic field of study. Assistanships are awarded on a competitive basis using academic performance (e.g., undergraduate GPA or Graduate GPA, recommendations), clinical performance, and professional attitude as criteria. Students with graduate assistantships in Speech Pathology receive a monthly stipend and a waiver of tuition. Salaries for assistantships are set at the Vice Presidential level. Appointees on a two-month contract or greater will receive a tuition waiver for the period of appointment and for the summer session immediately preceding or following the period of appointment. The waiver does not include insurance costs or student fees.

Graduate assistants must adhere to the same standards of professional ethics as regular faculty. Assistants must meet their normal assigned duties but are not be asked or required to perform additional duties and complete jobs assigned to them throughout their assistantship. Graduate assistants must be full-time students (at least 9 semester hours) without other employment. Graduate assistants must also maintain a 3.0 G.P.A.

Student Clinical Sites and Other Resources

Clinical Sites


Students enrolled in clinical practicum may be located on campus at the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic as well as at one of several off-campus sites supervised by WIU SLP faculty including but not limited to the following:

  • Bridgeway Rehabilitation Center, Macomb, IL
  • Elms Nursing Home, Macomb, IL
  • Macomb Public Schools
  • VIT Schools
  • West Prairie North
  • West Prairie South

Students may also be placed with off-campus SLP supervisors at these sites and others in the surrounding area:

  • Macomb Public Schools, IL
  • First Choice Therapy, Quincy, IL
  • Bushnell Schools, IL
  • Quincy Medical Group, Quincy, IL
  • OSF Healthcare, Galesburg, IL
  • West Prairie Schools, Good Hope and Colchester, IL
  • Fort Madison Hospital, Fort Madison, IA
  • Great River Medical Center, W. Burlington, IA

Speech Language Hearing Clinic Library/Workroom/Computer Lab

A library/work room is available at the clinic. A large variety of tests, materials and clinic forms for use in therapy are located here. Ample space is provided for clinicians to prepare for speech therapy sessions. A computer lab is available exclusively to our clinicians, which is useful for the completion of clinic reports as well as word processing necessary for academic work. A copy machine is located in this area as well.

Web resources for SLP students:

data outcome

Program Completion Rate

Academic Year On-Time Completion Extended Program Not Completed On-Time Completion (%)
2018 - 2019 20 0 1 95%
2017 - 2018 20 0 1 95%
2016 - 2017 20 0 0 100%
3 year average 20 0 1 97%

PRAXIS Examination Pass Rate of Graduates

Time Period # taking the exam # passed the exam Pass rate (%)
2018 - 2019 20 20 100%
2017 - 2018 20 20 100%
2016 - 2017 19 19 100%

Employment Rate in the Profession within 1 year after Graduation

Time Period # of graduates # of grads with employment
2018 - 2019 20 100%
2017 - 2018 20 100%
2016 - 2017 20 100%
3 year average 20 100%

Campus Visit words

Interested in the Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology? We would love to host a visit for you! We conduct open houses in the fall and spring semesters, but we also offer one-on-one visits for anyone interested. During a visit, you will meet with the Graduate Coordinator, attend a graduate level course (if scheduling allows), and spend time with current graduate students to learn their perspective on the program.

For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact:  

Julie Cox, Graduate Coordinator
Email: JL-Cox3@wiu.edu
Office Phone: (309) 298-1955