Department of Communication
Sciences and Disorders

West Chester University

Dr. Cheryl D. Gunter, Chair
201 Carter Drive, Suite 400
West Chester, PA  19383
Phone:  610.436.2115
Fax:  610.436.3388

Admission Requirements


Graduate Students


Requirements for admission to the M.A. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders:

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders welcomes qualified applicants from mainstream and diverse cultural backgrounds. To be qualified, an applicant must (1) meet the general requirements for admission to a graduate degree program at West Chester University and (2) meet the following application requirements of the CSD Program:

  1. Present an undergraduate background of at least 30 semester hours including the following content areas: lifespan development, linguistics, statistics, neurology, anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism, speech and language development, phonetics, speech disorders, language disorders, hearing disorders, basic speech and hearing science, and supervised clinical observations.  PLEASE NOTE: Some applicants to WCU's MA program complete their undergraduate degrees or Pre-SLP brdige programs in institutions where some of this course work is not included.  In such cases, if these students are admitted to WCU's program, we work with them to create a plan for their acquisiton of this competence. 
  2. Present undergraduate transcripts showing cumulative and major GPAs of at least a 3.0.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in written communication by formulating a 500-word personal statement describing future goals and aspirations. (Click here for instructions).
  4. Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores.
  5. Submit a Structured Vita (Click here for instructions).
  6. Be prepared to submit a log of supervised clinical observation hours if accepted to WCU's program..
  7. Submit a log of undergraduate clinical practicum hours (if applicable).
  8. Submit two letters of recommendation.

Academic competencies expected as a pre-requisite for admission to the M.A. program:

The list of competencies is provided below. Occasionally, students are admitted to the program even though they are missing one of the competencies on this list. When that occurs, a student is expected to complete a course in which the competency is addressed. This must be done in addition to the standard MA curriculum.


A. Linguistics and Phonetics--Competencies in BOTH areas is required.

A linguistics course which introduces the student to language description, classification, change, reconstruction, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.

A course which addresses the areas of phonetics, classical phonetic feature system, distinctive feature system, I.P.A., application of broad and narrow transcription and phonological principles.

B. Basic Sciences–Competencies in two areas: biological sciences and physical sciences

A course in biology and a course in the physical sciences (chemistry or physics) are required by ASHA in order for a student to meet the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC).

C. Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism

A course which includes a detailed study of the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory, phonatory, articulatory, auditory and nervous systems. Attention should be given to the way in which physiological processes support human communication as well as to learning the structures associated with each system.

D. Speech and Hearing Science: Acoustics

A course which includes the study of the bases of physical measurement; simple harmonic motion, complex waves, measurement of sound, resonance and filters should be included.

E. Mathematics and Statistics–Competencies in BOTH areas is required.

The mathematics and statistics competency includes: ability to carry out basic computation of algebraic equations and trigonometric functions, ability to work with exponents and logarithms, ability to solve word problems, ability to compute basic descriptive statistics and the ability to compute inferential statistics.

F. Introductory Psychology

A basic course in Psychology that includes: an introduction to the scientific study of behavior. The multiple bases of human behavior with emphasis on the learning process. The course should address basic concepts, principles and methodologies used in psychology.

G. Human Lifespan Development

A course (or a combination of courses) which trace human development through infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

H. Speech and Language Development

A course which emphasizes normal communication development: biological, cognitive, social, and ecological bases of language. It should include developmental milestones from prelinguistic communication to oral language, literacy, and changes associated with aging. It should also address normal variations in development associated with cultural diversity and bilingualism.

I. Speech Disorders

A survey course in human communication disorders AND a course in which at least one third of the content concerns articulation and phonological disorders and which includes units of study in voice disorders and fluency disorders.

J. Language Disorders

A course whose content emphasizes the clinical management of developmental and acquired language disorders in children and aging adults. Categories of language disorders, including risk indicators, etiologies, symptomatologies and maintaining factors associated with each disorders should be studied. Evaluation and treatment protocols indicated by developmental theories, processing models and sensitivity to normal variations among culturally diverse populations should be included.

K. Hearing Disorders

The course should include an introduction to audiology and its relationship to other educational and medical fields concerned with hearing impairments. It should also include information pertaining to the developmental, medical, social, physical and psychological properties of hearing and sound and evaluative techniques for assessing hearing loss.


Clinical competencies

L. Clinical Principles

This course should familiarize students with the evaluative and therapeutic materials and methods which are applicable in a professional clinical setting.

M. Clinical Observation

At least 25 clock hours of supervised clinical observation must be completed prior to beginning initial clinical practicum. Applicants who are admitted to WCU's graduate program must submit a log of completed observations, signed by the responsible supervisor(s).

N. Clinical Practicum (optional)

Supervised clinical management of individuals with communication disorders, including diagnostics and treatment. A detailed log of practicum hours, including age of clients, type of disorder, hours of spent in diagnostic and in treatment activities must be presented. The signature and ASHA certification number of the supervising clinician must also part of the log.


Essential functions expected of students in the M.A. Program:

In addition to meeting the academic and clinical pre-requisites described above, applicants to the MA program must also be able to demonstrate certain essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodations. These functions involve physical health, motor skills, observational skills, communication skills, cognitive skills, and behavioral/emotional health. Each is described in a document at the following link: Essential Functions (2009)

Applicants are expected to read this document. Students who are accepted into the M.A. program are required to sign the document indicating their commitment to this standard.


For more information, please contact

Mareile Koenig , Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Graduate Program Coordinator

Phone: 610 436-3218

Department Office: 610 436-3401


Application Materials


Applications forms may be requested from
Office of Graduate Studies & Research and Sponsored Programs
McKelvie Hall, 102 Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383-2300

Voice: 610–4367–2943
Fax: 610–436–2763

The deadline for receipt of applications is January 15. Applications are accepted only for Fall admission to the program. Full-time and part-time students must be available for day time classes.

Completed applications should be returned to the Graduate Studies office.

Click here to link to the Office of Graduate Studies

Financial Aid

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. For information and an application, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies. For information about other types of financial aid, please contact:

Office of Financial Aid
E.O. Bull Center
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: (610)–436–2627