Frequently Asked Questions

What is the length of the Master of Science (MS) degree program?

A minimum of 53 hours of graduate credit is required, which includes the completion of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experiences in the practice of speech language pathology. Murray State University operates on a 17-week semester system. One summer session is required and can last up to six weeks. Students will register for four academic semesters and one summer session. The graduate program in speech-language pathology is designed for full-time students. Students will begin their studies in the fall.

My undergraduate degree is not in communication disorders. What do I need to do?

Applicants who do not have a baccalaureate degree in communication disorders or the prerequisite coursework should apply for the post-baccalaureate program.

How can I check on the status of my application?

You may email the department about the status of your application at Due to the volume of applicants please allow at least one week for a response.

When will I know if I am accepted?

Applicants who receive first-round offers or who do not meet admission criteria will be notified in early March regarding the Admissions Selection Committees’ decision. These students will be notified they have been accepted for admission or denied admission. Other students will be sent an email asking if they wish to be placed on our wait list. 

Please note that all initial offers have until April 15th to respond. This means that students on the wait list may not receive any further communication until after the April 15th deadline. When a student notifies us that he/she will not be accepting our offer, we return to our wait list applicant pool and invite another applicant. We do rank our wait list, but the ranking is not shared with applicants. Being placed on a wait list is very common as admissions are competitive across the country and most students apply to more than one program. Please be patient with us, as this process covers the span of weeks. When all our positions have been accepted, all students remaining on the wait list will be notified by Murray State University.

Can I complete the program as a part-time student?

No, our program is structured for students who are admitted full time. Students are expected to be available for courses and clients throughout the week. Clinic schedules vary given the breadth of settings we offer.

Is the program accredited?

Yes our program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Is there a clinic on campus?

Yes, the Murray State Speech-Language Clinic is a very active and diverse clinic that provides a broad base of clinical experiences. All clinical activities are under the supervision of a Murray State faculty member who holds the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence and a Kentucky State License.

Where do I complete my off-site practicum placements?

Students will complete an off-site placement in a school setting as well as two different medical settings. Traditionally, Murray State students complete their off-site placements in Kentucky although we do have a few sites in bordering areas of west Tennessee. Off-campus practicums are completed during the last two semesters of your program. Students who wish to complete their final semester medical placements outside our typical placement area are responsible for working with the Clinic Director to arrange those placements. This process involves contracts between facilities and should be initiated early in the student’s program.

Do I have to take comprehensive exams?

All students who pursue the non-thesis option in the Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology are required to take and pass a comprehensive examination in order to meet graduation requirements. The exam is completed during the second year of your program.

Do I need to complete a thesis in order to graduate?

No, our program does not require the completion of a thesis. Thesis is an option for students who are academically above level, who enjoy independent learning, or who may consider pursuing doctoral education at a later date. Students taking thesis will have a slightly different program of studies than those who don’t and will complete 54 hours rather than 53 hours of study. A completed thesis takes the place of the comprehensive exam.

When will I start graduate school at Murray State University?

Students will typically have orientation the day before fall classes start. Students should refer to the MSU academic calendar for the exact date classes begin in the fall term, as the date will vary.

Why do you have two cohorts?

The faculty of the graduate program in speech-language pathology value their students and always seek excellence in their academic and clinical endeavors. Our faculty are committed to developing critical thinking in our students and we have found that a smaller class size enables us to build better relationships with our students. For that reason, we divide our new class of graduate students into two small cohorts. Each cohort completes the same program of studies but the sequence of academic and clinical experiences is slightly different.

Sequence of Courses:

Year 1

Fall I (12 credits):

  • CDI 620: Speech Sound Disorders (3)
  • CDI 646: Designing and Applying Research in SLP (3)
  • CDI 647: Assessment and Intervention in Early Childhood (3)
  • CDI 670: Practicum Semiar (1)
  • CDI 674: Clinical Practicum (2)

Spring I (13 credits):

  • CDI 624: Assessment and Treatment of Voice (3)
  • CDI 632: Acquired Speech and Language Disorders (4)
  • CDI 686: Adult and Pediatric Dysphagia (3)
  • CDI 670: Practicum Seminar (1)
  • CDI 674: Clinical Practicum (2)

Summer I (9 credits):

  • CDI 625: Fluency Disorders (3)
  • CDI 636: Cognitive-Linguistic Disorders (3)
  • CDI 675: Advanced Clinical Practicum (3)

Year 2

Fall II (9 credits):

  • CDI 648: Pediatric Language and Literacy (3)
  • CDI 652: AAC and Technology for Communication (2)
  • CDI 621: School-Based Clinical Externship (4) OR CDI 641: Pediatric Clinical Externship in SLP (4)

Spring II (10 credits):

  • CDI 696: Professional Issues (2)
  • CDI 676: Medical/Clinical Externship in SLP I (4)
  • CDI 688: Medical Clinical Externship in SLP II (4)

* Students who elect to pursue a thesis will take CDI 698 and 699 in lieu of 652 and 675.

Do you have any graduate assistantships?

Yes, you may submit the graduate assistantship application to the program.

How many students apply for your graduate program each year?

We typically receive over 145 applications each year.

My GPA is kind of low, will I get admitted?

Admission to the graduate program in speech-language pathology is highly competitive. In order for an application to be reviewed by the faculty and to be considered for admission, the application must be complete and the student must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00. In addition, the student’s grades in their communication disorders courses must show a GPA of 3.0.

Do I need a science class?

Yes, Standard IV-A of the 2020 Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in SLP requires the applicant to have demonstrated knowledge of biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics and the social/behavioral sciences. Acceptable courses in biological sciences should emphasize a content area related to human or animal sciences (e.g., biology, human anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, human genetics, veterinary science). The physical science requirement must be met by a course in chemistry or physics.

How much does it cost to attend Murray State as a graduate student?

Graduate Tuition and Fees

I live in Tennessee. Can I pay in-state tuition rates?

Graduate Tuition and Fees

What are the prerequisites for acceptance into the Graduate Program in Speech-Language Pathology?

Applicants must meet the Murray State University requirements for admission. In addition, applicants must have:

  • a baccalaureate degree in communication disorders or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution
  • a minimum 3.0 undergraduate grade point average
  • successful completion of the following prerequisite courses (or their equivalents) at the time of application
  • Clinical phonetics (MSU course CDI 350)
  • Anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms (MSU courses CDI 310 and CDI 405)
  • Speech and hearing science (MSU course CDI 315)
  • Speech and language development (MSU course CDI 340)
  • Pediatric speech disorders (MSU course CDI 425)
  • Pediatric language disorders (MSU course CDI 445)
  • Audiology (MSU course CDI 405)
  • Aural Rehabilitation (MSU course CDI 451)
  • Neuroanatomy (MSU course CDI 410)
  • Adult neurological disorders (MSU course CDI 440)
  • Basic clinical skills (MSU course CDI 475)

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