The Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) degree program is designed for post-master’s speech-language pathologists holding the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence wanting to specialize in an area of interest with a clinical doctoral degree. At this time, the SLPD program does not require accreditation from ASHA.

Master's Degree and GPA
Admission to the program requires a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an ASHA-accredited university program with a cumulative grade-point average of a minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Note that applicants with higher GPAs may receive admissions preference.

ASHA Certification
In addition, applicants must present evidence of current ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence.

English Language Requirement
All students are expected to have strong command of the English language. Both domestic and international students may be subject to evaluation of English proficiency. All students may be subject to the TOEFL requirement if his/her native language is not English. The requirement is posted in the Academic Catalog and on the International Programs website.

Background Check
The Joint Commission requires all incoming students to pay for a background check, and this may affect eligibility to enter the program. Applicants will be asked to provide information and make the payment once officially accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check instructions. A drug screening is required of all students participating in clinical settings.

Technical Standards and Accommodations
Please read the program technical standards carefully. Signed verification will be required of students after they have been accepted. Reasonable accommodations will be made for any accepted student who has a documented disability and can meet program expectations. Applicants with documented disabilities can request reasonable accommodations if needed during the admissions process.

International Students 
An applicant is considered an international student if he or she requires a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently resides in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please visit the KU Office of International Student Services before applying. More information: information for international students in the School of Health Professions.

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What does an SLPD plan of study look like?
All students complete an evidence-based course sequence and a capstone project of their own design. Remaining elective courses are taken within and outside of the department and are tailored to the student’s interests and career goals.

All plans of study are individualized to student interests and are created through collaboration between the student and the mentor. A minimum 30 credit hours are required to complete the SLPD program requirements.

Is there an opportunity for distance learning?
Yes, although it is not possible at the moment to complete the full SLPD curriculum remotely. Course work within the program is, in some cases, accessible without being physically in the classroom. Depending on a student’s plan of study, course work or other experiences could also be done offsite or via distance education. However, at the moment, there are no plans to offer the SLPD in a completely online or distance education format.

Is a dissertation required?
A dissertation is not required. SLPD students will complete a capstone project. Capstone projects may take a wide variety of forms, but most are long-term investigative projects relating to the student’s professional interests and with clinical applicability in the work setting. Capstone projects will be in written form, with a final presentation to the student’s committee. The project must include a plan for dissemination to relevant audiences/readers.

Will I be required to complete additional clinical experiences?
Because SLPD students enter this program with ASHA certification, no additional clinical experiences are required. However, students may choose to include further clinical experiences as a part of their identified plan of study. Additionally, students may be asked to apply clinical methodologies discussed in course work in their professional settings, and subsequently report on the outcomes.