Applying to Grad School for Speech Language Pathology: How Do I Get My Application to Stand Out?
By Guest Blogger Kayla Perry
The thought of applying to graduate school is stressful not only to me, but to many of my fellow soon-to-be graduating peers. When I first decided on a major, the average GPA requirement for Speech Language Pathology graduate programs in the New England area was 3.2, which I thought was definitely achievable. As I enter my senior year of undergrad, the average GPA that graduate schools in New England are looking for is now 3.8. My current GPA is a 3.6, not the worst, but not the best either. A lower GPA also means that I must do well on my grad school entrance exams. This is a concern for me because I don’t have the best track record taking standardized tests. I up to the challenge and with some study and practice, I hope to do well.
My concerned hightened when none of the students in my program who applied to graduated school this past year got accepted. So the dilemma becomes, what to do if I don’t get into graduate school upon my first round of applications?
4 out of the 5 students in my program who did not get accepted into graduate school this past year, have been accepted as speech language assistants in various school systems around the area. I’m now questioning if becoming and SLP-A is going to be my only option a year from now. Will working as an SLP- A give me more practical experience the field of speech and language and help to guarantee me a grad school slot the following year? Are graduate schools even looking for this type of experience?
I would appreciate any suggestions on what I could do that might give me an edge during the application and review process. I’ve been doing observation hours at a variety of locations, which I am hoping will look good on an application.
Although I don’t know what the future holds for me at this point in time, I plan continue to pursue my goal of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist. I will keep on doing what I’m doing, stay involved with National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, study/practice for the GRE and look for opportunities that will make my graduate school application stand out.