The Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology educates competent speech-language pathologists to critically evaluate communication disorders and the methods used in the habilitation and rehabilitation of those disorders. Master's degree applicants must apply through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS).
Getting Started - What to Know Before you Apply
The program is completed over six (6) academic terms of full-time study. Students wishing to complete the master's without the clinical component (not seeking licensure and certification in speech-language pathology) can complete the program over five (5) academic terms of full-time study and includes the following:
- 14 courses in the different disorders of speech, language, and swallowing
- two courses in normal processes
- one course in research methodology
Clinical practicum is provided in both on- and off-campus locations for those seeking clinical licensure and certification in speech-language pathology. The master's program typically requires two years of full-time study depending on the student's practicum needs.
Review Application Procedures Before Applying to Kent State University
Application Procedures for M.A. Program
Master's Degree Students
Master's degree applicants must apply through the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). Only after program acceptance, applicants choosing to attend Kent State will be asked to apply through Kent State's online application system and pay the university application fee in order to begin the on-boarding process for the program. All applicants may apply for Fall admission with an application deadline of Jan. 15.
PLEASE NOTE: It is important you apply as early as possible through the CSDCAS program, since completing your application can be a lengthy process. As a general rule, you should be requesting your transcripts 10-12 weeks prior to the application due date. You should submit your completed application 6-8 weeks prior to the deadline date to ensure that your application can be verified by CSDCAS prior to the application deadline. Click here to access the link to the application process and deadline requirements on the CSDCAS website. Finalists for the master's degree program will be invited to complete an interview as part of the application process.
Students who have completed post-baccalaureate coursework in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology may apply for Fall admission to the M.A. Program. The following courses are prerequisites to the M.A. program. Applicants must have completed at least 4 of the following courses or their university's equivalents before applying:
- Applied Phonetics
- Hearing and/or Speech Science
- Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
- Speech and Language Development
- Neural Processes (or evidence of substantial coverage of neural anatomy in another course)
- Speech-Language Disorders Course (Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders/Differences, Language Disorders, or Articulatory/Phonological Disorders, etc.)
Though it is not required for post-baccalaureate students to be admitted to the graduate program, it is recommended that students complete a course in Aural Rehabilitation (or their university's equivalents) to expedite the process of ASHA clinical certification.
Also relevant to undergraduate prerequisite coursework, ASHA requires that applicants for clinical certification demonstrate knowledge of the 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). Acceptable courses in physical sciences should include physics or chemistry. Acceptable courses in social/behavioral sciences should include psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health. A stand-alone course in statistics is required.
Spring M.A. program admission for Kent State Undergraduates only
Kent State Speech Pathology and Audiology (SPA) majors who are current undergraduates anticipating December or May graduation, post-baccalaureate students, or Kent State SPA students who have graduated in good standing within 12 months of the application deadline, are permitted to apply for Spring admission to our M.A. Program in Speech-Language Pathology. Applications are to be completed through the CSDCAS by Oct. 1, choosing the Spring start option. Finalists will be invited to complete an interview as part of the application process. The university online application is required only if accepted and attending the program.
Kent State SPA students accepted for Spring admission (Kent State undergraduates only), who wish to combine their final semester of undergraduate study with their first semester of graduate study will need to indicate "yes" in the university application system when asked if they wish to apply to the combined baccalaureate-master's program (CBMP). These applicants must also submit a completed CBMP form. This will be accomplished in advising prior to the start of the spring semester.
To be eligible to combine the undergraduate and graduate credits, students must have a minimum of 90 credit by the end of the Fall semester preceding the program start. The date to have all application materials in for the Kent State undergraduate Spring admission program is Oct. 1. Please consult with your Kent State academic advisor to assess whether you are eligible to combine undergraduate and graduate credits. Students graduating in December or 12 months prior to the anticipated program start date are eligible to apply for the Spring M.A. Program admission.
Speech-Language Pathology Program Applicants From Other Disciplines
Applicants who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline and who need to pursue our post-baccalaureate program, must apply to the general admissions office of the university as a post-undergraduate student not seeking a degree. Please contact Dr. Sloane Burgess or visit the non-major section of our website for further information.
Early Intervention Certificate
The Early Intervention (EI) certificate is primarily intended for individuals interested in working with young children ages 0-3 who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities and their families. Early Interventionists deliver services across a variety of settings, including the home and other locations in the community in which children and families participate.
The Early Intervention certificate provides skills and competencies specific to:
- contemporary and recommended practices in EI that are empirically based,
- contemporary philosophical orientations about young children and families,
- supporting families and caregivers to enhance children's growth and development,
- federal IDEA Part C (EI) legislation,
- teaming with professionals and family members,
- ethical conduct in all professional activities,
- advocacy, and
- inclusive practices.
Our goal is for students to become reflective, collaborative, and evidence-based practitioners upon completing student field-based action research in Early Intervention settings. Upon graduation, most students assume roles across Ohio County Boards of Developmental Disabilities as Developmental Specialists, Service Coordinators, or other Early Intervention professional roles at the local and state levels.
Undergraduate Minor in Early Intervention
The Early Intervention Certificate is now offered at the undergraduate level as a minor to students in junior/senior standing, minimum 2.75 GPA. For more information, please contact Dr. Sanna Harjusola-Webb at email@example.com.
Gainful Employment Disclosures
Scholarship Opportunity (for 2023-24 Academic Year)
The Early Childhood Special Education program at Kent State University has received federal funds from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to prepare individuals at the master's degree level to work with families of infants and toddlers with disabilities in Early Intervention settings (home and community contexts). The funding will support up to six students per year in a full-time plan of study. The program is designed for individuals with existing bachelor's degrees in special education and related fields (e.g., teacher licensure or certification) or master's degrees in speech-language pathology, but all interested individuals are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the program.
The training opportunity is a one-year program designed to prepare future Early Intervention practitioners to:
- provide developmentally appropriate, research-based strategies for infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities
- provide empowering and capacity-building support to their families
- consult with a team of other professionals from related disciplines
- apply evidence-based practices to promote positive outcomes for young children and families.
The training program includes significant internship opportunities in EI programs (125 hours per semester, including the summer).
Program activities include (a) research-based course work in early childhood special education; (b) internship experiences in early intervention programs; and (c) ongoing coaching and supervision. If a student is funded by the OSEP grant, full-time commitment (1 credit hour = 3 clock hours of work, at minimum; 12 credit hours total per semester = 36 clock hours of work per week, at minimum) is required. The internship will require approximately 8-10 hours per week. Courses are offered in a “hybrid” format (combination of on-campus participation and online participation).
Support provided for full-time students:
- Full tuition support for one calendar year (fall, spring, and summer semesters)
- Stipend, including the summer months
At the completion of this program students are eligible for the state certification in early intervention. Students funded by the US Department of Education are required to fulfill a two-year service obligation (full-time position in early intervention, service coordination or any position that involves direct services to infants or toddlers with disabilities) within seven years of graduation.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and meet Kent State University graduate school admission requirements.
Interested individuals can complete the pre-application survey below by May 31, 2023,* to be considered for admission for Fall 2023:
*The pre-application survey is now OPEN.
Due to the high number of applicants for this scholarship, we regret that a confirmation receipt is not automatically provided after the completion of the pre-application survey. We will be in direct contact (through email) with candidates who are invited to our initial round of interviews.
This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.
Students may also elect to attend on a part-time basis using other sources of funding or financial aid. Information on other scholarship options are available below:
Please contact the program faculty below for more information about the part-time plan of study.
EI Project Coordinator:
Kimberly Travers, M.Ed., ABD firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to the following programs who have provided internship placements:
Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Nisonger Center, Ohio State University
The graduate program prepares competent speech-language pathologists who will critically evaluate communication disorders and the methods used in the habilitation and rehabilitation of those disorders.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university1
- Minimum 3.000 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000 point scale
- Official transcript(s)
- Goal statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
- Minimum 587 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
- Minimum 94 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
- Minimum 82 MELAB score
- Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
- Minimum 65 PTE score
- Minimum 120 Duolingo English Test score
The bachelor's degree may not necessarily be in the areas of speech-language pathology and/or audiology. However, students wishing to enter the master's degree who have neither completed an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology and audiology nor possess the necessary prerequisite coursework, are required to complete that coursework.
- Fall Semester
- Priority deadline: January 15
- Spring Semester
- Priority deadline: October 1
Applications submitted by this deadline will receive the strongest consideration for admission.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of this program will be able to:
- Effectively communicate knowledge and interact with diverse populations (age, culture, disability).
- Collect, analyze, synthesize and apply research and data regarding the nature, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders throughout the lifespan and across cultures.
- Engage in the development and implementation of research-based and ethical prevention, assessment, diagnostic and treatment plans for individuals with a variety of communication disorders throughout the lifespan.
Course List Code Title Credit Hours Major Requirements SPA 64301 APHASIA 3 SPA 64302 LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD 3 SPA 64303 DISORDERS OF ARTICULATION AND PHONOLOGY 3 SPA 64304 ACQUIRED COGNITIVE COMMUNICATIVE IMPAIRMENTS 3 SPA 64305 FLUENCY DISORDERS 3 SPA 64306 VOICE DISORDERS 2 SPA 64308 LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION WITH SCHOOL-AGE POPULATIONS 3 SPA 64311 AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS 1 0-2 SPA 64312 MOTOR SPEECH DISORDERS IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS 3 SPA 64354 PEDIATRIC MEDICAL ISSUES 2 SPA 64356 ADULT DYSPHAGIA 3 SPA 64500 NORMAL LANGUAGE PROCESSES 3 SPA 64504 ADVANCED SPEECH AND VOICE SCIENCE 3 SPA 64600 RESEARCH METHODS IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY AND AUDIOLOGY 3 SPA 64891 SEMINAR:COMMUNICATION MODALITIES AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY 3 Minimum Total Credit Hours: 40
SPA 64311 is required for students who did not complete Kent State’s Autism Spectrum Disorders minor or who do not have previous appropriate coursework in autism spectrum disorders approved by the program coordinator. For those students, the total credit hours for the program will be 42.
Graduation Requirements Summary Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA - 3.000
For any clinical practicum (on campus or off campus) in speech pathology or audiology that requires candidates to be placed within the on-campus speech and hearing clinics, school or agency setting, the college requires candidates to complete Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCII) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check and submit the results to authorized personnel at their assigned clinic/school/agency before the beginning of their placement or the first day of the semester in which the practicum will take place. Authorized school/agency personnel will determine whether a candidate may participate in practicum in the off-campus setting. The BCII and FBI background checks are good for one year and the candidates will need to complete one each year that they are in graduate school.
Electronic fingerprinting is available for BCII and FBI in 221 White Hall and should be completed one month prior to clinical practicum. Candidates are responsible for fees incurred for this requirement. For more information on this policy contact the Clinical Coordinators for the Speech and Hearing Clinics. Visit the Ohio Department of Education website for more information about background check requirements for those wishing to hold pupil personnel licenses in Ohio. Contact the Office of Professional Conduct at the Ohio Department of Education for specific information about the results of the background check.
Candidates seeking Speech-Language Pathologist licensure are required to pass Praxis II test Speech-Language Pathology and minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of speech language pathology. Additional clinical coursework is required for Ohio Board of Speech Pathology License and optional ASHA certification.
- In person
- Kent Campus
The Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology (residential) at Kent State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.
The clinical practicum experience at Kent State University allows graduate students to gain supervised clinical experience through application of the knowledge and theory gained in the classroom by working directly with experienced and skilled clinical instructors. Our program has a thriving on-campus speech-language clinic that serves the university and the community and averages over 4,000 visits per year. The caseload is varied and gives students experience in providing diagnostic and therapeutic services to a broad clientele base.
Clients are children and adults who present with a variety of communication needs related to speech, language (including English as Second Language), social skills, voice, fluency, hearing, and cognition, swallowing and augmentative communication. Graduate students are typically assigned to work in our on-campus clinic for their first three to four semesters in our program. Our graduate program requires that students complete 25 hours of ASHA-compliant clinical observation prior to beginning clinical practicum, so students must be prepared to provide official documentation of those hours upon arrival to our graduate program. Observations must be within the scope of practice of speech-language pathology.
In the last two semesters of the program, students participate in semester-long full-time culminating experiences at off-campus sites such as schools (leading to eligibility for the Ohio Department Education Pupil Personnel License), hospitals, rehabilitation centers and skilled nursing facilities. Our program provides students with a liaison for each off-campus experience. The liaison provides support and works to ensure that the student, the supervisor and the site have the best experience possible. We are proud that community agencies welcome our student clinicians and that our program's reputation allows us to place students in settings that are outside our immediate geographic area.
Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply for the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology license to practice, as well as American Speech-Language Hearing Association certification.
Early Intervention Certificate
Students who are interested in working with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities are encouraged to apply to work towards their Early Intervention Certificate, a collaborative venture with the Special Education Program. The Kent State Early Intervention Certificate program prepares students to be Developmental Specialists in the State of Ohio. This qualification would be in addition to their MA in SLP and ASHA certification in Speech Language Pathology. Students who opt to participate in this program add three semesters, or one full year, to their MA program. For more information, contact Dr. Sloane Burgess (email@example.com) or Dr. Sanna Harjusola-Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Graduate Program Open Houses
Speech Pathology and Audiology Graduate Program Open Houses
M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology
Open houses are provided annually for applicants who complete the interview phase of the application process. Specific Open House meetings and dates will be provided to those applicants during the admissions process.
You may schedule a visit to the Speech Pathology graduate program during the monthly department visitation days. The link to the schedule is provided here:
The Open Houses are held in the Speech and Hearing Clinic which is in the Kent Center for Performing Arts.
Speech Pathology and Audiology
1325 Theatre Drive
Kent Center for Performing Arts
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242-0001
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