#slp2b, SLPeep

What are my chances of getting into grad school for SLP?

On Feb 8, 2014, I published a Part 2 to follow-up with this data – Check it out!

When you decide to pursue an undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) or Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), you must consider that you cannot work independently with just a Bachelor’s. You must pursue a masters or doctorate in order to be considered a fully independent Speech-Language Pathologist (CCC-SLP).

Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders

So, what are the chances you will get into a graduate school for speech-language pathology? Here are some statistics:

  • In 2010-2011 45, 790 *applications for Master’s SLP programs were received for the 249 possible programs in the United States (found here)
  • Of the 45,790 *applications, only 11, 866 were accepted (info found here)
  • Of the 11,866 *applications that were accepted, only 6,847 actually enrolled in a first year graduate program. (Info found here)

That means  there is a  *25.9% chance of getting admitted to a Master’s SLP program, based on the data.

Ouch. That pained me to write. But now you know. This is where the cut-throat applications come from. When programs only admit 20 or so people, the statistics makes you wish you had worked a little harder making those extra A’s for your GPA. Or it makes you rethink paying a little extra for the GRE prep classes. Or it gives you more reason to find a current SLP willing to take you under their wing.

If you are 100% serious about becoming an SLP, do whatever you can to boost your resume and GPA as an undergrad. Don’t worry if you look nerdy or lose time with friends here-or-there; it will be worth it if you can make it. And you CAN make it! 

Find more statistics via The Higher Education Data System (HES) Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Education Survey

*Update: After viewing a comment and fixing the terminology of my post, a valid point is to be made: Many people apply to more than 1 University which skews these statistics. This could mean the odds could be upwards of 50% to 60%, depending on how many people applied to more than 1 program.

Reference: Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2011). HES CSD Education Survey. Rockville, MD: available at http://www.asha.org and http://www.capcsd.org

And a totally unrelated comic that makes me giggle 🙂

Natalie Dee comic: im the plantsecutioner * Text:

125 thoughts on “What are my chances of getting into grad school for SLP?”

  1. Great post, but there is one pretty big error in the numbers. 45,790 total APPLICATIONS, not applicants (The number of applications reported does not reflect a 1:1
    correspondence with the number of students applying to graduate programs. – from ASHA document). Most students apply to more than one grad school. I applied to 4 AuD programs personally, accepted at 3, waitlisted at 1. That 25.9% represents the chance that any single application has of being accepted into graduate school, not one individual’s chance. It’s hard to say the exact average number of applications a student submits but I would imagine it to be in the neighborhood of 3-5. Some may only apply to one school, I have heard of other students applying in the 8-10 range. I do totally agree that grad school admissions are very competitive and you should do whatever you can to strengthen your application. Be active and involved! Show your passion!

  2. I love your blog! I tried twice to get into graduate school for speech pathology and didn’t get into any. I’m taking my GRE again and starting to volunteer with an SLP soon. I was working as a behavior therapist for some time now and quit my job to focus on getting into grad school. I also have my undergrad in communicative disorders and worked overseas as a speech therapist. Do you think working in another field is a disadvantage when applying to grad school for speech pathology?

    1. I think working in another field, especially behavior therapy, will only INCREASE your chances. There are so many overlaps between speech therapy and behavioral therapist. When writing your letter of intent, I would highlight how you implemented behavior changes (even if not related to speech) because it will show the similarities. Feel free to email me at ladyecho88@gmail.com if you have any more questions. 🙂 Best of luck with the GRE and applications!

  3. I have a daughter who worked hard throughout her undergrad and also had a well-rounded extracurricular life. She came out with a 3.7 GPA but didn’t even make the waiting list in the same University’s Graduate Program. I am kind of ticked that of the 50+ students in the undergraduate program, less than 1/3 of them were accepted to the school’s own graduate program–evidently anyone with less than a 3.9…and this is a school whose program is fairly new. In my opinion it is irresponsible/unethical for my daughter’s school and any other similar school to take in so many undergrad students when they know good and well only the top of the top are going to be accepted (a fact that is to a large extent hidden from the students), while the majority of the students–who are not selected–end up with fairly worthless undergrad degrees. My daughter just got her second rejection from a school in a neighboring state. She applied at 5 total, and two of the other three have more established programs, so I’m not optimistic. It’s really strange to me that there is supposedly a shortage of speech pathologists yet schools go about axing everyone with less than a 3.9 GPA. One of my siblings is a well known academic/publisher/professor in the field, a fact which helped me and my daughter form positive impressions regarding the pursuit of a career in the field. I hate to say it, but at this point I kind of regret ever encouraging her to pursue the undergrad. Sorry, I’m trying not to be too negative. Any thoughts, insights or advice?

    1. DJ, your daughter’s situation is a similar one a few of my friends face and one of the main reasons I started this blog. I don’t know where you live, but some programs are more competitive than others. Depending on the applicant pool, defining “best” seems to vary year-to-year.Have her consider other options like working as an SLP in a state that does not require a Master’s degree (http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/State-Teacher-Requirements-Licensing-Trends-SLP.pdf), try to find one of the few-and-far between SLP-assistant positions, or substitute teacher (a friend became an SLP assistant that way). Also, check out some of my previous posts for ideas. Thank you for sharing the true colors of getting into graduate programs for SLP. 🙂

      1. Thanks for your helpful ideas, including the State Teacher Requirements Licensing Trends ASHA chart. I’ve conveyed all this to her. That gives her some new ideas to consider. 🙂

    2. I could not agree with you more. When the mortgage industry crashed I decided to go back to school, using what I considered to be my children’s college fund. I was able to graduate in 2010 with a 3.7 GPA much higher than most of the younger students in the program. I didn’t immediately apply to Grad school and now I feel that the bar just continues to go up making it completely out of my reach. I am working in a school through a contract company. There are no benefits and the pay is just OK. In the state of MA, there are very few opportunities and when there is a positing on school spring it is usually not in southeastern MA. At this point, I honestly don’t know what to do and I am at a loss. I worked my butt off and spent our family savings so that I could get a degree in a program that has left me in limbo.

  4. So someone with a 3.08 GPA, no work history, an undergrad in Creative Writing who took the certificate pre-req program has virtually no chance in hell?

    1. There is always a chance depending on the applicant pool and university. Building a relationship with faculty, showing an interest in the program and field can help tremendously, whether university faculty admit it or not. I NEVER discourage anyone from pursing this field, but I also don’t want people to be unaware of how competitive and tough admittance is.

        I’m posting this here since I can’t reply directly to crystal.
        I had taken language development and phonetics as part of a linguistics minor I was considering (and ultimately did not do) but those were the only “speech” prerequisite I had when applying to grad school
        I think what made the difference is having something unique to put in the application. I had a lot of travel experience in the developing world, and medical volunteer work. Schools get so many applications from students with an undergrad in speech, excellent GPAs and all the typical speech related extra-curriculars. I think all these things are great to have, but I think having something different and unique on your application will catch their eye and get you that interview.
        I also took some time off between undergrad and graduate school and worked – I’m not sure if that helped or not, but I don’t think work/life experience is ever bad when applying to grad school
        Good luck 🙂

      2. J…I am so with you. People with no experience in speech but unique or varied backgrounds stand out in different ways. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Just to give some hope, I had a 3.2 in undergrad with a degree in political science, and next to no prerequisites, and i’m finishing my first year (finals tomorrow) in a well established grad program. Many applicants look very similar on paper – try to find something unique that makes you stand out enough to get an interview, then your personality, confidence, and passion can shine 🙂 good luck!

      1. What do you mean by no prerequisites? If you dont mind me asking what do you think helped you get in?

      2. J. Congratulations on your first year in grad school! May I ask which school it is? Or at least which state?

    3. I was able to get into a well established speech pathology and audiology program with only a 3.2 gpa, absolutely no prerequisites, and an undergraduate degree in exercise sport and science . I Believe my many extracurricular activities on top of holding a full time and part time job throughout my whole undergraduate years made them overlook my low gpa. Depending on the program, some desire well rounded students vs students with impressive academics only.

      1. Where did you get accepted to? my overall gpa is only a 3.4 with my major gpa 3.5 and my last 60 hours a 3.7. I have a lot of research experience and just hope my chances are good enough!!

  5. I recently graduated with my degree in speech pathology and this is my second year applying for grad school. While applying I have been taking grad classes (and gotten good grades) and have been helping out with a Traumatic brain injury group to get some experience. I have also been a nanny for over 4 years and have babysat a number of kids with language difficulties. My grade point average is a 3.4 but I am so dedicated to this field. All growing up you hear that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Well I want to be a speech pathologist and yet that looks like it is never going to happen. With every rejection letter my dreams begin to shatter. I now am waiting for three more schools to respond and if I do not get accepted I will have a degree that is totally worthless to the rest of societly and will have to go back to school for degree that I have no desire to get. It is so hard for those who are like me and my heart goes out to all of them. Students should be warned about this in undergrad their freshman year. I can honestly say I do not remember talking about this before my second semester junior year and mostly my senior year. I remember a lot of students changing their major senior year and If I did not love this field so much I would have too. Sorry to vent I am just very discouraged

    1. hi kaleigh – i am going to be a senior in undergrad studying csd, do you mind if i email you asking a couple questions? because i have the same gpa as you and also want to get into grad school next year.

  6. Hi,
    I am currently obtaining an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Spanish linguistics with a minor in child development. I am super invested in pursuing a degree in speech pathology but everything seems to point to that not happening. I have a current gpa of 3.3 and im working on getting it higher but with everything else i do and school it seems impossible. I have called my local graduate programs in speech pathology and they all seem to say that I need a bachelors in speech pathology so thus I cant apply and need to first apply to their pre-req programs. I feel like I am doing so much to try to boost my chances like I am currently one of the coordinators for a non profit organization who works with children who are disabled, I volunteer at a center that works with children who have autism , I have a job and intern at two child care centers and i hold a position at a sign language club because I am really trying to learn it since I feel it would be very beneficial. My monday-fridays are literally endless I feel like i have no time for myself and yet i feel like its not enough. I am so worried about applying to grad school and not being accepted just because of a #.

    1. Crystal, you seem to have everything you need to show your dedications and interest in the field. However, having a bachelor’s degree is a basic requirement for most graduate programs. Many do have the “pre-requisites” you mentioned, but some do not. For instance, my program admits a few “3-year track” grad students who pay grad school prices for undergrad pre-req. It’s different at every university, so if you can branch out of state, try and do so. Best of luck 🙂

  7. What was your GPA, GRE Scores, and experience when you got accepted into the program? How many years did it take you to get accepted into a program?

  8. Wow, seeing these statistics makes my heart sink. 😦

    I am in a 3rd year undergrad and just switched my major to Speech-Language Pathology. Unfortunately, I got a ticket for a Minor In Possession charge last month. I am freaking out about it and afraid that I’ve just ruined my chances for grad school because it is already so competitive. The attorney said in 6 months I can have the conviction “set aside” on my record. I’m applying to the undergrad program in 2 months so I will have to mention the charge there. However, when I apply for grad schools, should I still disclose it if it is set aside by then? The attorney said I don’t necessarily have to, but it would still be a good idea to let them know. Do you think this MIP will affect me getting into grad school? I wish I would have known all these facts about how competitive grad school is before I got into trouble. I feel so incredibly discouraged now. 😦

    Also, do they put more emphasis on your GPA once you’ve been admitted in the program or do they determine acceptance based on the overall GPA? The reason I ask is because my GPA right now is a 3.6 and this is before I switched the speech pathology.

  9. Hi everyone, I was just accepted into a speech pathology graduate program on Monday and I am soo thankful! I graduated last may with my bachelors degree in speech pathology with a 3.96 GPA. My senior year, I applied to 7 schools and got denied from 6 and waitlisted to 1. I ended up taking the year off and became a certified substitute teacher in my district in New Jersey. This past December, I applied to 6 schools. I got my first acceptance and can’t wait to start in September! I’ll admit it was tough to swallow at first that I had no choice but to take a year off. Although, being accepted this year makes me feel sooo accomplished. I cried tears of joy. It is so worth it to keep trying! I wish everyone good luck!

    1. Congratulations Nicole, I plan to taking the GRE and crying tears of joy when I get accepted too. Way to go!!

  10. I think there should be a warning on the top of the blog warning onlookers that they are about to ingest very discomforting information! I applied to three schools and have just heard back from my top school. Sadly, it was a rejection. I am just curious, Nicole, where did you get in?

    1. I was accepted to The Richard Stockton College of NJ. I graduated from there so I think that helped, along with applying a second time. I have been waitlisted to Towson University and rejected from East Stroudsburg University and Montclair University. Still waiting to hear back from Seton Hall University and William Patterson University but I’m 99% positive I got denied because last year when I had heard this late, they were all rejections. I don’t care though because Stockton was my first choice! Love the campus and the speech professors! Good luck Stephanie! Where did you apply too?

  11. From a fellow SLP, don’t get too discouraged! I had a 3.6 gpa and applied to 4 schools. I was wait listed to my two top schools (Iowa, univ. of n. Iowa), accepted to one (w.illinois) and rejected from one (northwestern) and I ended up getting acceptance to both I had been wait listed to (my top choices). Best of luck to all!

    1. Thanks for the comment! And yes. The statistics are scary, but it’s more something to keep you thinking realistically. Be persistent and keep at it! 🙂

  12. I graduated in 2008 with my BA in COMD. I applied to 6 schools and didn’t get in anywhere. I had a slightly below average GRE, a 3.9 in both my core classes and gen Ed courses, great letters of ref, great letter of intent, and extra curricular/volunteer activities. As upset and discouraged as i was, rather than sulk and just give up on this career goal, I decided to get my SLP-A license. Then in a few years, reapply to grad school after gaining practical real-world experience.
    I’ve worked as a SLP-A, managing a caseload of 32 clients, in a private clinic for 3 years this July. I finally decided that I was ready to endure the admissions process for graduate school again. I took a GRE prep class but only managed to improve my writing score. This was going to be my second attempt and probably my final attempt to get into grad school. I broadened my range of programs to apply to, looking all over the country. I also doubled the number of programs I applied to from round 1. Well I ended up being rejected from 8, wait listed at 6, and accepted at 2. Of the two I was accepted at, one was in face to face interview. I really think having the interview helped me immensely.
    I think more programs need to go the interviewing route for admissions. They have no idea what type of candidtate they are really getting by judging you off pieces of paper. I know the program I got into said they conducted interviews so they could find individuals who would be a good fit with the faculty and other potential students. A friend of mine, who graduated from Southern Illinois University in Illinois’ graduate SLP program, said their program ended up with groups of students in the past that just didn’t cohesively flow well. While they don’t do interviews, they have played a lot with their admissions criteria. One year they take a mix of students the next they take students with really high GPA/GRE or the opposite end of that spectrum. If programs would interview their applicants, they could see for themselves individuals communication, critical thinking, and writing skills first hand. I was asked a variety of questions that required adequate communication and critical thinking skills. I also was given an on-the-spot writing prompt and 5mintues.
    I think there are a lot of reasons why it’s so difficult to get into graduate school. First, programs are small and I read that this is due to there being a shortage of PhD level faculty members. Then since master level programs are so competitive, obviously it’s expected that there would be limited PhD level SLPs. However, I found programs that range from class sizes of 15 to 60. University of Texas at Dallas admits 60 students. The program I got into accepted 40. Second, I feel that, in my expeirence, a lot of programs take a good majority of their own undergraduate students. I applied Governors State University in IL. I even met with the program director to ask questions and give my file a face to remember. Well I was wait listed then rejectd. When I asked why,I was told that I had a strong file but there were a lot of strong candidates (typical general vague blanketed statement). When I asked how to make my file stronger, I was told to take grad classes as a student at large at their school to “become more familiar with their program”. That basically told me they prefer their own students.
    As far as there possibly being an overflow of SLP-As due to students not getting into masters level programs, I think it just depends what state you live in. For example, I received my assistance license in IL and they only have 1 program in the entire state. I know there is a need for assistants, especially in the early intervention program in Illinois. It is hard to come by jobs though unless you want to do only home visits (early intervention). I was lucky to have found my job in a clinic. Jobs in the schools are scarce and private clinic jobs are just as difficult to find. However, if you don’t get into grad school the first time,I think it’s a wise decession to go the assistant route, gain practical experience, network a little with other therapists, and then go after graduate school again. If you truly love the field, you’ll do whatever it takes to somehow be involved in it, even if it’s not ideal at the time.
    Being an assistant has taught me a lot about the field and solidified my decession to pursue graduate school. As I said earlier, I manage a caseload of 32 clients and do home visits through early intervention. I write daily SOAP notes, 6-month progress notes, assist in implementing evaluations, and participate in co-disciplinary treatment sessions. As an assistant, at least in Illinois, I am required to be supervised every 10 weeks with 1hr per client. I think it comes out to roughly 10-20% direct supervision and 5% indirect supervision. Needless to say, I am relatively independent at work. It is a good avenue to take if you are serious about graduate school but can’t get in the first time, yet you still want to be active in the field. This will give you a realistic idea of what it would be like to be a fully licensed speech language pathologist.
    Don’t give up on your career dream! Apply EVERY WHERE and make sacrifices, if you’re able to. It’s only for two years. I graduated from undergrad in 2008 and will begin grad school this September 2013, 5 years later! I never gave up and gave it my all. If you really want this career, you’ll find a way to get there. A few helpful tips, look for programs with larger class sizes, inquire about going in for an interview, schools that don’t require a specific GRE score, and new programs. New SLP programs may not have had as much publicity yet and the number of applicants may be lower ths typical. GOOD LUCK!

    1. This was extremely helpful! I’m a CSD major and a junior looking for grad schools but i do not have GPA of a 3.6 etc. I have many extracurriculars and I am a leader in many of them, but I do not think my GPA will get me in. If I may ask how do you get your SLPA license?

  13. I just started college last year and since the very first day have been interested in Speech-Language Pathology. During high school, I became very involved with the SLP at our school and helped out a lot with her activities and kids — I even skipped class to hang out in her office! Seeing how she worked with her students as well as watching as our SLP worked in correspondence with the special education teachers really affected the way I looked at what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I’m now a sophomore and I didn’t do great in my first year, but I didn’t do all too bad, either. Ever since a couple months ago when I was talking to a friend who was graduating with a BA in Comm Dis who said that she applied to 5 different schools and was never accepted with a 3.8 GPA finished in just 3 years, my heart sank. How am I supposed to top that? I’ve never been that great in school, but I have the passion for this as well as the motivation to do well in the field. I don’t have to be good at test taking in order to work one-on-one with kids with communication disorders. Isn’t it a little sad that someone who is passionate in wanting to help those with communication problems is judged by their ability to take a test rather than on their motivational and communication skills?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’ve been very stressed out (to say the least) about how this recently acquired information is really going to affect the rest of my life. I don’t want to get a bachelor’s degree in something completely useless to me if I’ll just have to go back for something else. I’m still a sophomore, so I could potentially change my major if I really had to. What can I do? There’s nothing that I’m more passionate about, and not many other things that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

    What can I do now to help my chances of being accepted to a graduate program in 3 years? Is it better to try to finish in less time, or complete all coursework in 4 years? I’m not much for getting involved in the college community (I don’t tend to like people of my age, seeing as most of them are partiers), but what kind of involvement should I have in the community? Any other tips? Thanks!

  14. Be careful or you may get your wish. I just completed my MS SLP and it was two years of nonstop stress that left me with stress related health problems and total burn out. The two year program consumed every minute of my life. I lost all of my friends because I had no time to spend with them. If I had known two years ago what I know now, I wouldn’t of persued this degree. If you try and try but still can’t get into a grad school for speech pathology, move on. Do something else.

  15. WOW this blog is an excellent resource! Thank you. I am a mom of a high school student entering her senior year so knowing the difficulties of this career route is very helpful. I am wondering the importance of undergrad degrees – location rather than gpa. My daughter has her heart set on a school for undergrad that is not one on the list of accredited programs. I am trying to forecast roadblocks in her future and I really think she should attend a school on that accredited program list at the very least. ?? Thanks

    1. Kim, I would agree with you that attending an accredited university for all courses is the best, if not only route. She would have to retake the speech courses at an accredited university before she could attend a graduate program later down the road. Thanks for the compliment on my blog. 🙂

  16. Nicole, I would prefer not to say at this time but my comments reflect the feeling of most students in my cohort. We had practicum all day, classes at night M-Th and mandatory community service projects every other weekend. Add to that mountains of homework… You get the idea. And in our program nothing below a grade of B is accepted. Get a “C” and your gone. We all began grad school as enthusiastic “speechies” and all ended it with total burn out many questioning their career choice.

  17. I am interested in making a complete career change. I have a BA in Supply Chain Management (business degree). I graduated with a 3.8 and have been working in the “business world’ for 3 years now. The SLP profession stood out in my career research because I can not imagine anything more rewarding than helping someone better communicate with their family, friends, peers. The stats provided above are alarming to say the least, do you think I stand a chance of being accepted into a Masters program. I was hoping to eventually apply to programs on the east coast or in Illinois or Michigan. Are there any schools you suggest? Do you think my business background will hinder my ability to get into a Masters program?

    Thank you for your insight!

    1. Emily, I don’t think your background will hinder you, anymore than others making a career change. There was a gentleman in my cohort who spent 25 years as a banker…then switched for the reason you described.
      Your letter of intent will need to be strong to stand out and having stellar recommendations. Every year a different set of people apply to universities across the country, so you just never know the “competition” for each university. It’s a very rewarding profession, and I hope you find your way into a program!!

  18. There is hope. I had a 3.6 GPA and I my undergrad major wasn’t in SLP I got rejected from University of West Georgia and Georgia State but I got into Teachers College, Columbia University, Northwestern University and Howard University. My projected graduation date is June 2014

    1. Hi Dani, I’m applying to both universities with the almost the same stats as yours. I live in GA and my undergrad isn’t in speech. Did you ask admissions why you were not admitted? Also what was your GRE score, if you don’t mind me asking. Thanks

      1. Hello TC,
        I am so sorry for the late reply I didn’t select notify me of follow-up comments so I wasn’t aware of your follow up questions. I didn’t get into West GA or GA state due to my GRE scores which were pretty low. However, I didn’t want to let living in GA and potentially being rejected discourage me from pursuing my dream and passion. I’m sure you are aware these programs are very competitive which is why I applied to 3 schools out of state and 2 schools in state.

      1. Hello Kayleigh,

        Sorry for the late reply the 3.6 GPA was my cumulative GPA and my major GPA was a 3.8.

  19. I messed up a lot and got a majority of B’s in my undergrad. I never had any C’s and definitely had some A’s…but my GPA is nothing great. The SLP that took me under her wing thought I was great and really knew what I was doing. I am unfortunately the worst test taker and I feel like I’ll never be able to get into the program =/

  20. Hello. I have an undergrad in speech pathology, but I didn’t obtain it from a university in the US. I’m planning on doing grad studies 3-5 years from now (I’ll get all the clinical experience I need). My grades weren’t that high, as when I tried to convert my grades into GPA, it appears that I mostly just got B’s, a few A’s (and even a couple of C’s, I think). My cumulative GPA would be 3.0, and even 3.2 at most. This makes me feel bad, since I heard that competition is tough when getting into grad school.

    Do you think I still stand a chance of getting into grad school? Or what else do you suggest I do, or which school/s do you recommend I apply in to increase my chances of getting into the program? This is my ultimate dream, and I REALLY REALLY want this. (I even kind of turned down my parents’ offer of sending me to med school cause this is what I really want.)

    1. I would suggest you beef up your resume with relevant experience over the next 3-5 years. Volunteer with related organizations like SERTOMA, NSSLHA, and other service organizations. GPA is only one aspect of the applcation process. Unfortunately many schools have so many applicants, they select things like GPA and GRE to help narrow down final selections. Give them reasons to look past your GPA and see all you’ve done to achieve this dream 🙂

      1. Thank you! I really hope I get in. Though really, I haven’t tried yet but I’m already disheartened. Still, I’ll give it a shot though it’s nearly impossible.

      2. Hey! So I’m finishing up with a undergraduate degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. I really want to go to grad school for slp but my undergrad gpa isn’t great at all. No way of being competitive. However, in order to show how much I want this, I’m going to go back to get a second degree in speech pathology. I volunteer for different organizations (not related to slp but great organizations nonetheless). I just don’t know what I should do in order to have a higher chance of being admitted. Is getting a second degree helpful? What jobs and volunteering opportunities can I look for to help my chances?

        Thanks for the great blog!

    2. Thanks to everyone, your blogs have been so helpful. Iam a Nigerian,with a Gpa of 3.9 in linguistic, I am really dreaming of furthering my Education in USA, to pursue,a career in this prestigious course,am currently preparing for gre test . graduated (degree)in 2010, being baby sitting for the past four years. Please how do I go about getting admission. Thanks to you all.

  21. Hi, I just saw this blog and it encouraged and discouraged me at the same time. I am terrified to apply to grad school. I am a bilingual Hispanic student. My overall gpa is a 3.68 gpa, I have had a part time job for 5 years, I am in a sorority, president of NSSLHA, and have about 300 hours of community service.My comd course gpa is not that great, but what do you think my chances are?thank you

    1. Hey Tiffany,
      You should have no problem getting accepted 🙂 this blog and other peoples comments about the difficulty getting into a grad csd program made me be fearful of my future. It made me realize that many people wanted this and if I wanted it I had to work HARD! These people’s comments on this blog made me be realistic about my chances but it also created doubt. Thankfully it was unwaranted because I applied and was accepted to every program I applied to. I graduated with a 3.79 and am fluent in Spanish. I had several volunteer experiences and shadowing experiences. I had excellent recommendations including 2 from SLP-CCC. My interview went really well, I naturally have an ability to communicate with others with ease, I think this really helped me. Trust me you will be fine!

  22. I am from MN and graduated with a 3.2 GPA. Like many of you above, I wasn’t accepted to grad school and after 6 rejection letters and hundreds of dollars spent, I was discouraged and got a desk job. I HATED not being able to work with people and so I looked for a job related to schools, people with disabilities, and speech. I found the most wonderful job as an SLPA in the Minneapolis area. I am gaining so much knowledge and receiving a context for all of my undergraduate work in CSD. I plan to reapply to graduate school this winter, and am really hoping that my hundreds of hours of experience in the speech and hearing field will put me on the top of the applicant pile. Moral of the story: don’t give up, keep searching, and be passionate about what you love and you will find a wonderful career. I love coming to work every day.

    1. How can I apply as slp in school what are the requirements and studies you took to qualify for this job,and what’s the job title please I really want more experience to help my three kids

  23. I graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. I decided to take the year off to work and hopefully make some money to afford graduate school. I have been researching graduate programs in order to apply this winter and am finding that my GPA (a 3.0) and GRE scores are the minimum of what is required to be accepted. I have been working on gaining experience and currently am a Para-Professional with special needs students at a high school. This experience has helped me to find that working with special needs kids is exactly what I would like to do, especially in an SLP position. I am hoping that this new found direction will give me the boost I need to overcome my low GPA and GRE scores, but as I do more and more research into the area I feel more discouraged that what I have worked so hard for during the last four years of my life was basically meaningless. I need some advice as to where to go from this point. Is it worth all of the money that I don’t really have to send out applications? Should I consider pursuing another degree? I would appreciate any insight into the graduate application process and if I would even have a chance…

  24. Hi Everyone,

    I am currently a Sophomore at the Univ. of RI pursuing a major as a Communicative Disorders student. At my school there is a 5 year program offered where I would be able to get my masters degree in 5 yrs instead of 6. However, I would be applying to graduate school in my Junior yr instead of senior year. I am quite stressed out that my grades won’t be good enough. Currently, my GPA is a 3.82, I am involved in the Sign Language Club, which I am secretary for, NSCS (an honor society) which I am also a secretary for, the Speech Hearing Association on campus, which I am a Class Representative for, and a member of the Random Acts of Kindness Club. I also currently work as a Spanish Tutor and English as a Second Language Tutor at my school where I work 9 hours a week. I know that next semester my course load may bring my GPA down since I am taking Neuroanatomy, Speech Science, Communicative Processes, Spanish, and Behavior Problems & Personality Disorders Psychology class. I am hoping that my extra curricular activities and involvement on campus may help lookover my GPA if it goes down to a 3.7 next semester. I know I also need to start preparing for the GRE’s however I wasn’t very strong for the SAT where I received a 1650 for all three parts. Any comments on what I can do to improve my chances of getting excepted or advice would be greatly appreciated!

  25. Hi Katie,

    I’m one of those people who has an unrelated undergrad and wants to pursue a masters in speech language pathology. You mentioned in this post or another that we can volunteer at nursing homes, children’s hospitals and/or a few other places. How do we specifically find a relavant volunteer opportunity at these places. I mean for example, I live near children’s hospital and it’s one thing for me to tell them I want to volunteer there but how do I specifically get to work with children who have communication disorders? Same thing with a nursing home, how can I get to work with hearing impaired elderly people?

  26. For those of you mentioning your GPA, are you referring to your cumulative GPA or the GPA for your CSD classes? How important are your general class grades to grad schools?

  27. I just got accepted into a school that is ranked in the top 5 percent of all communication disorder graduate programs. I am still shocked! But here are a few things about me personally and some things that I think helped me get accepted.
    -I received my undergraduate degree in Earlychildhood Education (Certified EC-6th grade).
    -I graduated with a 3.6 GPA
    -My GRE scores were horrible: Quantitative reasoning-152, Verbal:143, Analytical Writing: 3.5

    Honestly, I think there were multiple reasons I was accepted.
    1) I did a lot of volunteering over the summer. I worked at a camp alongside speech pathologists. I also worked at the school I was accepted to. This was HUGE. Do your research. I found the school I wanted to go to and looked into any camps they may have. I found a few and applied. I did this all my junior year and was very persistent. The camps didnt even start until the summer and I was emailing them in September. This really showed how interested I was. While I was there, I did everything I could do to be helpful and show my interest. Researching your school and volunteering as much as possible in ADVANCE is really the key to getting into the a school.
    2) Show who you really are in your letter of intent. Be professional, but also show your personality. SLPs have personality.. so don’t show them your boring side!
    3) I set up an appointment to meet with the Head of the department in May. I was applying for the Spring semester (this coming January), so my meeting was pretty early on.
    4) I am starting in the spring. Unfortunately, many programs only start in the fall. At the school I was accepted into, of the (about) 700 that apply in the Fall, 35-40 are admitted. Of the (about) 400 people who apply in the spring, 25 are accepted. So I had better chances and less compitition.
    Your GRE and GPA matter, but not near as much as you think.

    I hope this helps!! Don’t stress too much though. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. Just show them how interested you really are in this field and do as much volunteering as possible… And be Persistent!

    1. Hey Melissa, would you mind emailing me? I have questions about a lot of things and I feel like you would be the best at answering them. Kpingel@siue.edu is my email. Really appreciate it! Thank you!

  28. Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to mention to those applying to grad school at this point that I know how stressed you feel while doing grad applications. I went to a community college, transferred to a university and got my undergrad degree in Communication Disorders. I had a 3.8 cumulative GPA, and O.K. GRE scores. I ended up being accepted into the Masters program that I did my undergrad work at, and just finished my first semester of grad school in a school that’s ranked in the top 15%. I just want to stress to all those that have passion and drive to get into grad school, that the type of drive you have, will get you to your destination. I ended up applying to 12 programs, got rejected from three, and waitlisted at 8 (one of which was my dream school that I ended up being accepted at), and accepted at one without a wait list. I ended up being accepted into over half of the programs I was waitlisted for, but I had already said yes to my dream. It is important to keep an open heart and mind while waiting for acceptance letters!

    I am paying out of state tuition, but I just wanted to remind all the hopeful, future speechies to apply to as many as you can. You NEVER know what those departments want, so why not try to make your chances the best. If a GPA cannot be changed, like mentioned above, do some shadowing or volunteer work and beef up your application. I think something that helped me get into the program I wanted was constant contact with the department professors. I asked them questions, took tours, and tried to make myself so that they could put a face to the name they saw when they came across my application. People do need to be aware of the work and time spent into this major, but I am so very happy because this is exactly what I want to do.

    To the people applying currently to programs: YOU ARE ALMOST THERE! I have several friends who did not get in initially, but got calls 5 months later asking them to come to the program. I did have friends who did not get into programs that they initially wanted, so they applied to programs that began in the spring, which increased their chances greatly due to less people applying at that time. I also have many friends who became SLP-A and plan to reapply in the next couple of years.

    Have faith in yourself to get to where you want to be, and keep trying until you get there future SLPs!

    -Hope this helped answer some questions.

    1. Hi Zoe,

      Was your cumulative GPA for your CMD classes or for all of your classes in general? I am currently a Sophomore student and my cumulative GPA is a 3.82 however after this semester I believe it may go down since I believe I received a B+ in two of my General Education Classes. How important are those classes to Grad schools?

      1. Nicole, general ed classes are not always looked at in specifics. Many universities look at cumulative GPA and program GPA. If your overall GPA is low, but program courses are higher, put that on your resume under where you list your university. Hope that helps!

  29. I am currently doing my bachelor’s in speech pathology and audiology. I also volunteer in a program called “Child Life” at a local hospital. Would this look good when I apply to graduate programs? Can anyone give me any feedback on what types of volunteer work I should be involved in?

    Thank You,


    1. Sonam, that is a great experience to include on your resume under “Related Experience” even. Volunteer work with special needs programs, hospitals/nursing homes, are related areas that look good on a resume.

      Hope that helps!

  30. Hi, I am reapplying to graduate school for the third time for speech pathology. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. My GRE scores are pretty low but I have a 3.7 GPA in a communication disorders undergrad program. I have worked with typically developing toddlers for 5 years. I have worked at a private high school with mainly students diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders and on the autism spectrum. I have volunteered at an aphasia center for a semester with geriatric population. I have observed at a cerebral palsy center and I currently work at a different cerebral palsy center. I feel like I have a basic background in speech. Any suggestions to improve or any ideas to highlight in my personal essays? This is my third time and I hope its the last!

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Sam, your background sounds outstanding! I just hate to hear you haven’t been accepted yet with what sounds like relevant experience.
      Are you applying to the same university? Is it the same university each time? Are you able to move or afford to pursue online programs? While online programs often have wait-lists, you’ve already waited 3 years, so if something happens again, you have a back up. Please keep me posted via my contact page. I truly hope you are admitted to a program this year!

    2. Hey Sam,
      Based on your credentials you have this in the bag! The only suggestions I would give you is to retake the GRE until you score above average, that should really help (I had to retake it 3 times! ) You’re should also work on your interviewing skills. I felt that my interview really helped me, I’m pretty good at interacting and communicating with others. Hope this helps!  

  31. Hi. I’m wondering about my chances now. I’m 52, resigning from my job to complete all leveling course work before I’m 55, I thought I would be completed with grad school by 55 instead of 58. Becoming an SLP is starting to feel like a fantasy and I should be getting back to the real world. What are the chances of someone my age getting into grade school? Might it be better to apply for online programs. By the way, I live in the USVI and teach first grade. There is no possibility of getting clinical exposure here. Our hospital does not have SLPs on staff.

    1. Hello there. There was a gentleman in my SLP grad program who was over 50 years of age. He had retired from the business world to pursue SLP. I think there’s always a chance, but it rests upon the applicant pool at the university, your previous experience, and other application submission (GPA/GRE). I truly don’t have any specific advice, other than if it’s your passion, then you should pursue it for a time. But in the end, you may want to consider something else. It’s competitive…but very rewarding 🙂

      Glad you had the opportunity to live in AK…It’s been the best decision of my life!

  32. By the way, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at NCADD in Juneau, AK. I love Juneau and hope to return as a SLP one day.

  33. Hello! I just applied to 13 grad schools all in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. I am reading through blogs and forums and freaking out! What are my chances? I double majored in Psychology and Communication Disorders. My cumulative GPA is only a 3.48 but my CSD classes GPA is a 3.92. My GRE (took it twice) wasn’t great. 150V 144Q and 3.5AW. I work part time in a physical therapy office for the past 4 years (getting insurance authorizations). I managed to get an internship with a local SLP working in a fluency group for little kids (I do this once a week). Last semester I did clinical work under the supervision of a supervisor. I had my own client, learned how to write SOAP notes and more. Due to my work schedule and commute, I don’t have time to take part in any school organizations. I just feel like my cumulative GPA is so much lower than what schools will be looking for. Help!

    1. Niecy, I think your other activities are an excellent background. School organizations help you find experiences/work like you already do. Your double major also is a bonus on your side. Between 13 schools, that increases your chances. It’s all about the applicant pool and the strength of it all put together. Please post again once you hear back. I’m glad you found my blog and decided to share 🙂

      1. Hello! This is Niecy. I just wanted to share that I was accepted into Saint Rose in Albany 🙂 I couldn’t be happier. It was worth the stress!

  34. This was a really great post! I guess not every school does this, but mine had a graduate panel where speakers would come in and discuss the application process and all that other fun stuff. It got to a point where they basically advised people to branch out and be willing to relocate and consider schools they probably wouldn’t normally have considered. I’m in NYC and for whatever reason everyone wants to stay in the immediate area but they keep getting rejection letters. I told them to think about it, if almost everyone from even our tiny program is applying to the same nearby schools, what do you think the students from larger schools are doing? It’s a popular area, so I understand the desire to be here, but I just can’t rationalize potentially not being able to work toward/ obtain my masters because “I like the city.”

    I’m actually stuck with the opposite problem. I really want to leave the city. It was nice for a while and not driving was convenient but I need some space. Unfortunately, I’m locked into the NYC/Long Island area because I’m in a vocational rehabilitation program due to a military service-connected disability. My counselor did say if I really needed to go elsewhere that technically I could have my case transferred but she did not recommend it. I understand that part, too. I hear way too often about VA counselors who basically ignore their veteran clients and my current counselor does not. I wish I could take her with me everywhere! I told her I’d compromise. I’m going to apply to a large amount of the ones here and then a few that aren’t. If I don’t get in here but do get in elsewhere, I’m going to have to take my chances and ask for my case to be moved. I hope that doesn’t have to happen because she’s really attentive and organized and I’d hate to downgrade, so to speak.

    Just a little background, all of which seems pretty typical with the exception of the first few things: I was an Army medic, then an Army nurse, then a civilian nurse working for the Department of Defense. I do some volunteer work here and there locally and am my school’s NSSLHA president. Overall GPA is a 3.83 and my major GPA is around a 3.9, I believe. I’m scheduled to do more volunteer work for this summer, as well, and I’m supposed to meet with a liaison from the Veteran’s Affairs medical center here about getting some time in with one of their SLPs.

    All those shenanigans aside, I was wondering if anyone here has any military veterans (or is a veteran) in their graduate programs. I’d love to speak to them if that’s the case. I’m curious to see how they got to where they are and what a good course of action would be. I’m interested in seeing where other veterans have ended up on the totem pole. This may not make sense to some of you guys, but it’s important because a lot of us are generally pursuing this when we’re a bit older but not the “I got married, had kids, and wanted to go back to school” kind of older. Our experiences are different than those of the general population and I would love to see how well the veterans are doing and if they felt their prior military experience proved to be beneficial (or a hinderance!!!!) throughout the course.

    Thanks and good luck everyone!

  35. Do you think attending conventions and conferences (related to Speech Pathology, of course) can help with my grad school application?

    1. I think attending will look good on a resume, but the connects you make face-to-face are what’s more important. Attending the graduate school fairs, seeing if any professors at potential universities are speaking and attend those sessions. Go up and speak to them afterwards.

  36. My daughter graduated Sum Cumme Laude, undergraduate SLP, applied at several schools last year most importantly the school she graduated from. Which Id like to ad she received academic scholarships, as well as retaining a 4.0 the in tire time, working, and in the health science honors society . And She didn’t even get an interview The other 7 schools she was wait listed. She worked the past 2 years in the school district with children with disabilities.

    I am baffled by this. She took a year worked FT in the same school district with a contract.

    Reapplied at all the school, haven’t heard yet from the school she graduated from, but so far wait listed at one.


    1. I wish I had an answer. One that made since and one that would give her some area to improve in. But to me, it looks like she did everything right. The applicant pool at the universities must have been outstanding for her to be wait listed and denied an interview.

      This is the story I hear the most often…the people who work so hard and don’t abandon the field, yet aren’t admitted past a certain education level for reasons they do not and probably cannot disclose.

  37. Hi everyone!
    I am currently a Sophomore majoring in Communication Disorders at Univ. of Rhode Island. I am trying to get into a 5 year masters program here. Therefore I will be applying to the Graduate School here Fall of my Junior Year. I have been trying to build up my resume as much as possible in order to show I am a well rounded student. My current cumulative GPA is a 3.78.For my CMD classes, I have not received lower than an A-, my GPA was effected by General Education Classes.
    Besides grades, I am the secretary for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, an honor society here. I am the secretary for the American Sign Language Club and have taken 3 years of the language in high school. I am the class representative for the Student Speech and Hearing Association on Campus as well. I currently work as a Spanish and ESL tutor at an academic enhancement center on campus. Lastly, I am currently gaining experience with one of my professors being a facilitator of a program which works with adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries. I help assist plan their cognitive activities weekly.
    I am planning on preparing and taking my GRE this summer. Besides that though I was hoping for some feedback about my current credentials and if there’s any more that I should try to add to my current activities. Thanks and good luck everyone!

    1. Nicole, it’s great that your a sophomore and already have that much experience. That will definitely be in your favor as you start applying. Your credentials all sound like they are on the right track to me. Aim for a high GRE score— a total of around 300 (150 in each) if you can. Highlight your experience in letters of intent and start asking and confirming letters of recommendation from all of these people you are working with, especially those with PhDs.

      I hope you are successful on your first attempt with application. But be proactive and have a back-up plan if you aren’t. Good luck!

      1. Hi thank you so much for your feedback. I have taken one free GRE online as practice just to experience the test. I don’t remember my exact scores but without preparation I scored just below the 150 each I think. I am planning on getting a letter of recommendation from the professor that I am currently doing the TBI program with.I am not sure about the other two yet. I am trying to look for opportunities that I can do over the summer to also add to further my experiences. However, most Speech Clinics won’t take interns unless students have finished their Junior Year. In regards to a back up plan, if I don’t get into the 5 year program I am thinking of spending my Senior Year taking more classes in Spanish or Psych to do a minor and then doing the TBI program for an independent study class to gain credits.

  38. Everyone seems to think there is a formula to this process.

    First off, there is a lot weighted on GPA, GRE, letters of rec, volunteer, personal statement etc…but it’s really not one thing or another that will disqualify you. It’s not like because you have a low GPA you won’t get it, just like having a high GPA won’t get you in. If you get denied, retaking the GRE to gain a few points won’t do much. Nor will getting TONS of volunteer experience. It definitely helps to have things that will put you “ahead” of other applicants……but when they receive hundreds of applicants, do you really think it comes down to someone having 2 points higher on the GRE or one more “resume builder?” than someone else. (it doesn’t).

    My first two years in undergrad were rough. I got two MIP’s and a DUI. (to the poster above who talked about this, you may want to listen because people make mistakes). I was told by multiple judges/people that I may want to look into a new career path. However, I worked my ass off for the next two years and have been accepted to 6 schools already, all within the first pool of acceptances they sent out. I have a high GPA (3.91), average/low GRE (149, 145, 4.5), and probably volunteer experience similar to everyone else.

    So, my point is…what do I think it was that made me irresistible to these programs? FOCUS. My personal statement echoed my GPA, with all the classes I got A’s in being the “area” I would like to pursue. I sold myself as not just being a “general” grad student, but they want me because I will make a difference in the area of voice disorders. The research I had in undergrad was in this area. Why? Because I see speech pathology as a growing field with so many unanswered questions. Why me? Because I am a person who has a drive to answer these questions. Obviously I plan to get a good foundation as a general practicing clinician, but they already KNOW THAT. They don’t need “just another student”. They want to be sold on someone who has a passion for an area and will be beneficial to their program by making a difference. The last thing that I think got me in was my letters of rec, also which supported my PS. I talked to them all individually, telling them my goals were to work with voice disorders and that I have the drive to pursue a specialty area and I want them to make that clear. Having letters of rec from professors is better than just SLP’s because SLP’s cannot testify for how well you will succeed in a program. Professors have years experience and can usually have a good idea of if you are the type of student who will make it through.

    Obviously, mine is my own experience. But like I stated, there is no formula. You have to find your strengths and stop focusing on your weaknesses. We all have downfalls, but pick areas that you have passion for. If you are interested in stuttering, don’t just write that you have experience working with kids and you want to learn more. Say that you want to come out an expert in this area. You want to assist in research pertaining to stuttering. You want this school because you know they have a great stuttering lab and include which professors you would be honored to work alongside who are well known for stuttering or have published research in this area.

    THIS is what puts you ahead of the game.

    1. Leah. I completely agree. While my post focuses on the numerical components of the application, the most important parts cannot be broken down into values to reach for.

      GRE, GPA, etc are all important, but will not stand alone to get you into a program. There are so many components.

      Your point is valid, but even students who have the same enthusiasm, experience levels, and passion for the field are being denied entry. I myself do not understand how passionate individuals are passed up, but some universities have their own rating system unbeknownst to the applicants. Thanks for reading!

      1. I really think you need to post something in your blog about the difference in acceptance rates for students with a communicative disorders undergrad and those with something completely unrelated. It is astounding to see the difference. You can have a lower GPA, lower GRE score and less impressive extracurriculars but still get into a speech grad program with a film degree simply because the school will make more money of the film student who will spend an extra year in grad school taking prerequisite classes. It all comes down to the bottom line. Which is really unfortunate but absolutely the case!

  39. I guess the most disheartening point is she didn’t even get an interview.

    What message does that sent to students? Work hard, meet / exceed all your goals, and what?

    Good luck to all of you out there!

    1. You are right, its total crap. The reason why she didn’t get an interview and theatre majors with 3.2 gpa’s and no pre-req’s do get in, is because the school makes a lot more money off the theatre major who will pay for 3 years of grad school (an extra year to complete all those pre-req’s) versus your daughter who would only be paying for 2.

  40. Hi
    I’m in a bit of a dilemma and am hoping for some advice. I’m a sophomore at a school in Ohio, CSD major, trying to increase my chances for grad school. I have an average cumulative GPA of 3.6 and a major GPA of 4.0. Haven’t taken my GREs yet and I work as a research assistant in a CSD lab. I’m trying to figure out what to do for the summer, preferably a job that relates to SLP and would look good on my resume. I interviewed at a special needs camp and got the job but I am hesitant to take it—never worked with special needs kids before and I’m not sure if it relates enough to the major to do any good for my resume. I really hope to work with TBI patients. Should I just accept the job to gain more experience? Does working at a special needs camp look good on a grad school application?

    1. Jamie, that camp will look great on a resume and it will be good experience. A huge part of our job is working with special needs students in school and private practice settings. Even if TBI type therapy is your interest, you have to show diversity in your interests too on applications.

      1. Hi. Thank you so much for this blog. It has been terrifying but very informative. I am about to enter as a transfer student to complete the prerequisite courses for a masters program (my previous undergraduate institution did not have speech courses). Could you give me some advice as to how I can make myself a better applicant? I have a lot of experience working with children ages 2 to 10 at day cares and homes for children with behavioral disorders. Are there any entry level positions or volunteer positions you would suggest I apply for that would make me a more desirable candidate?

    1. Here’s some ideas – not sure if you’ve already graduated. If so, #5 may be something to look into https://slpecho.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/plan-b-for-the-slp2b/ …. You may just have to wait another year to apply. In the mean time, you could look for the lucrative SLPA positions out there. During that time, revisit your application and consider some of these factors https://slpecho.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/why-cant-i-get-into-slp-graduate-school/

  41. That sounds about right. I was rejected by six graduate schools around Texas and Kansas before finally being admitted to a program in Texas this falll. I have a BA in English with a low GPA. I had excellent grades on my leveling courses and extensive experience working in a pediatric clinic as a slp-assistant. This did not make a difference. I decided to complete the BS in communication disorders from the university that I completed my leveling courses in before applying again. This year I applied to three Texas graduate programs and only one took me. They took me after a two-month wait list. I’m extremely grateful, My old GPA was a 2.4. and my new GPA is a 3.9 in the program and 3.7 overall. This school did not require the GRE.
    When I got my acceptance letter I felt like Charlie finding his golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
    This field made me work harder than I’ve ever had to to get to the next step in my career.

  42. Hello,
    I just graduated with a SLHS major, I am extremely nervous to apply for grad school so I decided to take a year off before I applied. I will be studying for my GRE’s this summer and will be taking them in the fall. I have an overall 3.2 gpa which I know is extremely low for what colleges and universities accept. Reading a bunch of blogs with people who have not gotten in and have been trying has been extremely discouraging as well. During my year off I plan on shadowing speech pathologists and hopefully work on some research opportunities as well as attend events that are closely related to the field. I want to know if there is any possibility of me getting into a graduate program or if it is not worth it to even try. Does anyone know of anybody who has gotten into a program with a low gpa like mine? If so please let me know. I could really use some encouragement to lift my spirits during this process. Thank you !

  43. Hello everyone!
    I am a junior in the CD undergrad program and I can def relate to all the stress and anxiety about not getting into a program! I’m so scared because I have been in school for 5 years and I am afraid this will hurt my chances of getting in. At first I was an undeclared major and I was lost but then I realized this is what I wanted to do. I had one bad semester that impacted my GPA tremendously! I have a 3.54 but will be retaking the classes I messed up in and that will bring me up to a 3.7 hopefully! I have completed an internship with an early intervention agency and have been volunteering with a clinic where they do Speech Therapy. I will also be taking my GRE in the fall so I’ll be studying in the summer. Hopefully I get in!! If I don’t I will become an SLPA gain experience and keep on trying! If you really love this, we just have to keep trying and don’t give up!! 🙂 Let’s be optimistic. Good Luck to everyone out there!! and read this “Psalms 29:11” it always makes me feel better! 🙂

  44. Hi everyone,
    So I just graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a certificate in Portuguese. I was accepted into a graduate school program for Social Work, however I have always been interested in speech related disorders, more importantly those tied with developmental disabilities such as autism. I don’t want to attend graduate school for Social Work anymore so I’ve decided to take a year off before applying to graduate school for slp. I have a ton of experience working with children in a lot of different settings, camp, school, preschool, etc. I was a substitute paraprofessional for preschoolers with hearing disabilities, camp counselor and supervisor, an aide at a before and after school program and I currently work as a therapeutic support staff for children with autism. My gpa is 3.1, really low because I transferred schools my junior year. I haven’t taken the GRE’s yet because my graduate program that I applied for didn’t require them however I plan on taking them in the fall. I was just wondering if there was ANY advice you could give me before applying to graduate school as an slp. Is there any specific jobs I should get? I can’t find ANY slp assistant jobs in my area and don’t really know any slps either. I’m located near a big research hospital but I don’t have research experience, is that something I should try to get? I am really serious about getting into a graduate program and am willing to do whatever it takes!


  45. As a SLP, I would encourage those that do not get into graduate school to look into becoming a SLP assistant. I currently supervise two assistants and they both enjoy their jobs. One of the reasons it is so difficult to get into a grad program is that the statistics show that those with lower GPAs, particularly in the communication disorder undergrad classes, are unable to complete the graduate program. Some states are in need of SLP assistants, so consider relocating if you cannot find a job. Texas is one state that always has available jobs.

  46. I know this comment will not help those already in a Undergrad program, but those that are in high school need to look at the few 5 year accelerated programs in the country. My senior in High School has applied to the four programs in Pennsylvania. (LaSalle, Marywood, Misericordia, and Duquesne.) She has been accepted in all four. She is a unweighted 4.0 and volunteered this summer at a speech pathologist’s office. She will finish in 5 years with her Masters. No need to apply to grad school. Takes so much pressure off her. She still must maintain a high GPA, but not as high as needed for consideration to enroll in Grad School. Good luck.

  47. Dear SLP_ Echo,
    I am among the many students here who are so highly appreciative of your blog and all these posts! I have just recently taken the GRE and scored 158V/145Q (math=me screaming like Chewbacca, hah!) and my GPA is over 3.8 (nothing below an A-.
    Application deadlines are around the corner but honestly, knowing how competitive it is to get into any SLP program, what can I do to increase my chances next time around if I don’t get admitted Fall 2015? I had been told by a faculty member that volunteer services mean nothing to their school and had no time in between full time school and other major responsibilities (work) to do extracurricular activities. Am I a hopeless case this time around? I applied to Idaho State U. (for an online program too).

    Thank you!!!


  48. Oops, sorry, I applied to a total of 7 schools and am also considering applying to NOVA (but I know they are so expensive…..)

  49. There are a lot of graduate programs in Texas. Baylor University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center are excellent. I recommend applying to as many programs as possible.

  50. Hello, I am getting ready to apply for the Master’s program in my school, CSUN. I have a GPA of 3.72 for Division and 3.63 Overall. I scored a total of 298 in GRE. I do volunteering work in school and outside of it. Considering I have 2 classes pending grades ( i believe I got A’s in both). However, I just scored my only “C” in Audiology, are my chances of getting in gone? or should I create a purpose letter so good that increases my chances. I just don’t know what to do here..Please help ..

  51. My daughter was an exceptional student in her undergrad studies, did moderately well on the GRE, had no work experience whatsoever, but a great deal of life experience (i.e., world travel). Of the 10 schools to which she applied, only 1 accepted her (and we thank God for that one!). It seems like many schools make decisions strictly by the numbers. They don’t interview, so I assume that they plug the numbers in, offer spots to those who come out on top and go from there. The school to which she was accepted interviewed 60 candidates (her among them) and she walked away from that interview recognizing that that particular school really wanted to know who they were getting. Two weeks after the interview, they called her to offer her a spot and followed up with a very personal letter. At that point it wouldn’t have mattered had she gotten another acceptance, that school sold her. I, too, agree with one of the posters that it is somewhat unethical to accept so many undergraduate candidates into SLP programs knowing full well a majority of them will not get in to graduate school — not because of their performance, but because the programs are so limited in size.

  52. Honestly, I would say DON’T get your undergrad degree in CSD. It seems most schools are accepting more and more non-majors into the grad programs. They like the students that have “something else to offer”. The schools make you think you should specialize and do the undergrad degree and get the experience, but it doesn’t seem to be trending that way. The schools are graduating more undergrads than they can possibly enroll in the graduate programs (and that is NOT including non-majors applying too). Save yourself the heartache. There is really nothing that can be done with a Bachelors degree in CSD. Go for something else, take the year of per-requisites in CSD and then apply for SLP grad school. Or get into one of the 5 year programs where you get the Bachelors and Masters all in one tract. I wish it existed before I started my undergrad in CSD.

    It really seems like a CSD major really needs a ton of volunteering (which is really hard to get because the students already in programs are taking all the spots for clinical hours) and at least a 3.9 gpa to get accepted into grad school. Also high GRE scores, most schools want 70th percentile or higher in math and verbal, and 4.0 or higher in writing. On the ASHA website there is a list of all schools offering SLP graduate degrees and the statistics of how many applicants they get and take and what the average gpa and GRE scores are of those they accept. They say that they take lower scores, but it is only if those students have something very unique or real life work like volunteering in a clinic. At least from my experience and all the graduate school councilors I have spoken to.

  53. Hello, I am about to go into my senior year at Arizona State University. My last year is going to include certification to become an SLPA, including an internship in a school shadowing an SLP each semester. So, I will graduate with licensing to become an SLPA. My cumulative GPA is about 3.5, however my CDE GPA is only a 3.0, which worries me tremendously. I am wondering if my graduating with the SLPA certification and also coming from such a large school increases my chances of getting accepted at all?

    My plan was to take a year off and work as an SLPA, but now I am seeing that people say those jobs are not very easy to come by. Is this true?

    Thank you!

  54. More than one person has commented that they were able to get into grad school without any type of speech/aud background and with GPA’s on the lower side (3.2 or so). Each person who has said this, has claimed that it was because of things like world travel, working full time, or a varied extracurricular background etc…. Let me just say, they are completely wrong! The reason they got in has little to do with them and so much to do with $$$. Grad programs love people who have an undergrad in something other then speech pathology or communicative disorders, and who have no pre-req’s bc it means they will spend 3 years in grad school instead of 2. They will have to take all those pre-req’s as part of their grad program which brings in tons of money for the school. Its all about the bottom line. Universities will never admit it, but that is why the 3.2 gpa student with an undergrad in marketing gets into the speech grad program and the 3.9 gpa communicative disorder student does not. Its total crap!

    1. I agree! All schools say that students from other majors add diversity to the speech program but how do they know that these students will get all A’s in all their prerequisite classes? They do not but us speech students who have pursued this path from the beginning will get penalized for anything less than an A.

  55. I’m a senior CSD major and my mom and I have talked to SLP’s and people in related fields and my aunt who is a Developmental Psychologist who works with kids who have autism and knows many SLPs; I talk to my advisor- who is very blunt has been known to tell people that they might as well join the Peace Corps because grad school’s not an option and have people leaving her office in tears- and my professors and grad students a lot and ask lots of questions about graduate school admissions, and I’m JUST hearing that it is easier for non-CSD undergrads to get into grad school than CSD majors. Is this true? What’s the deal here? And why am I just hearing about this now?

    1. My daughter recently started grad school for SLP. She is 1 of 15 in her program and every one of them was an CSD undergrad. The graduate program required a certain number of observation hours which a non-CSD major would never get a chance to acquire. I think there probably are some grad schools that do take graduates from other majors, but it is certainly the exception, not the rule. You are expected to hit the ground running in grad school — there’s no room or time for students without the proper background. One thing I do concur with on this blog however, is that the undergraduate programs graduate far more students than there are spots in grad school. They should be more upfront about the slim chances of getting into grad school.

    2. I found the biggest difference when I was applying was the overall package. When I first started as a CSD undergrad, a professor told me in private that basically I need to stand out. For example: think about it, volunteering with and/ or babysitting special needs kids is great, but basically every other candidate is going to have that listed on their resumes, on top of also having above average GPAs and test scores. Think outside the box and separate yourself from your peers.

      Also, save your money and apply to many programs. This isn’t foolproof, but it will increase your chances. For example, I applied to 11 and was accepted to 7 as an undergrad speech major, whereas one of my classmates applied to 10 and was accepted to 1, but she originally only wanted to apply to 5 big name schools. If she hadn’t bothered to add the others, then she would have been out of luck. I also noticed that the majority of the people that received acceptances from my program were the ones that were willing to relocate. Consider this: an employer generally won’t care where you got your master’s since you have to take the same Praxis as everyone else anyway. Check out the smaller schools. They may not be your dream school, but at least you’d be getting some sort of education.

      I’ll say this much, don’t be angry about the people from out of the field being accepted. By completing their pre-reqs, they’ve fulfilled their basic requirements for entrance. One of the most creative and effective graduate clinicians in my current grad program was a history major who had “only” (I use the quotes there because that’s hardly bad in the larger picture) a 3.4 GPA. He’s also in his mid 20s and has a most impressive resume.

      I’m a little older and already have licenses in other fields, but I wish that when I was an undergrad (for the first time…it took me two tries to finally get my bachelor’s), that someone had told me to have a contingency plan. That’s really my only suggestion.

      1. Let me add, that the students from out of field were required to have pre-reqs completed prior to admission, although some were still finishing observation hours after they were accepted. I’m curious as to where this idea that they’ll be spending extra time and money in a grad program came from. I think it’s dependent on the school, because the majority of the ones I applied to had similar requirements. Many programs are lock-step, so that wouldn’t make any sense.

  56. I’m a double major in Communicative Disorders and Psychology at the Univ. of Rhode Island. My overall gpa is a 3.72 and my gpa in CMD is a 3.64. I took the gre today and received a 153 in verbal and 150 quantitative, my writing score is not available yet.

    I am primarily taking psychology classes this semester since I only have one speech class left to take before it graduate. I am applying to 8 graduate schools: 5 in NY, 2 in Boston, and 1 in Rhode Island.

    I was planning to apply to those schools after receiving my grades from fall semester because I believe my gpa will go up. Is it worth sending in an application closer to the deadline if the school offers rolling admissions for the possibility of showing a higher GPA? Or do you think I should get my application in earlier with a “lower” GPA?

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