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.

For more information or to contact the program, please visit the IPCD website.


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.

For more information or to contact the program, please visit the IPCD website.

Technical Standards
The clinical doctorate degree in speech-language pathology signifies that the holder is prepared to assume leadership in clinical practice after developing advanced practice competencies. Therefore, all individuals admitted to the University of Kansas must meet the following abilities and expectations with or without accommodation(s). KU is an AA/EO/Title XI institution.

NOTE: Reasonable accommodations will be considered and may be made to qualified students who disclose a disability, so long as such accommodation does not significantly alter the essential requirements of the curriculum and the training program, or significantly affect the safety of patient care. Students who disclose a disability are considered for the program if otherwise qualified. Qualified students with a disability who wish to request accommodations should provide appropriate documentation of disability and submit a request for accommodation to one of the following offices:

Cynthia Ukoko
Senior Coordinator for Academic Accommodations
3901 Rainbow Boulevard, MS 4029
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-7035; 711 TTY

Andrew Shoemaker
Academic Achievement & Access Center
1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 22
Lawrence, KS 66045
785-864-4064; 711 TTY

All students admitted to the KU Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders must be able to meet the following requirements and expectations with or without accommodation(s). 

Problem Solving:

The culminating activity in the preparation of the clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology is advanced clinical reasoning. The SLPD student is expected to develop advanced expertise and demonstrate leadership, teaching, advanced practice, and evidence-based practice skills. Therefore, a candidate should be able to understand research, make correct observations, and engage in reasoning, analysis, and synthesis.


  • Written Communication – The student must be able to assimilate information from a variety of written sources (e.g., medical/school records, professional journals and texts, etc.). Students are required to use information from written sources and to produce appropriate written documentation for a variety of readers. Students demonstrate the ability to prioritize written information based on the needs of the reader.
  • Verbal Communication – Students must be able to communicate factual information effectively to a variety of audiences. Student communication must be appropriate to the setting (e.g., patients/clients, caregivers, professional colleagues, etc.). Students demonstrate the ability to prioritize verbal information based on the needs of the audience.


Students must have sufficient gross motor, fine motor, and equilibrium functions, and functional use of sensory systems to enable them to perform all tasks essential to their career paths.

Behavior and Social Attributes:

Students are expected to exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during their participation in classroom, clinical, and research experiences. The student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to, an ability to establish rapport and communicate with others, to use appropriate language, possess flexibility toward changes, and to accept responsibility for one’s own conduct.