(Closed) Becoming a Speech Pathologist

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 3
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m a school psychologist and work very closely with SLPs in my school district.  While I don’t know exact requirements, I know that you don’t have to have a major in communication disorders, but I think there may be certain prereq. communication classes you would have to take.  Because you have a minor in Comm. Skills, you may have already taken them.  That would give you the basis that you would need to start a program.  I would check into an individual program at a University you are interested in.  For example, many people that were in my specialist program for school psych. did not have psychology degrees but were still admitted to the program.  Good luck!! 🙂

Post # 4
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I am going to school to be an SLP. I am also in California where it is the most competitive. You have to go back and take all of the undergrad classes in Communicative Disorders before you can apply to a masters program. Yes, it is VERY VERY difficult to get into a masters program!!!!!!! You LITERALLY need to get as close to all A’s in the prerequisites as you can. I just submitted all of my grad school apps this month and I am not sure I will get in. I have a 3.7 GPA!!!!!! I say go for it though because there are plenty of jobs! 


P.S. I am not sure where you are in CA, but STAY AWAY FROM CAL STATE FULLERTON!!!! Go to any other school. They are horrible!

Post # 5
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I found this at the University of Washington website:

“By completing the Postbaccalaureate program, students from other disciplines become eligible to apply to our master’s programs.

Individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or another advanced degree in a discipline other than speech and hearing sciences (also referred to as communication sciences or disorders) cannot apply directly to our master’s programs. Students who complete the postbac program earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. The postbac degree is intended to be completed in five quarters of intensive study.

While completion of the postbac program does not guarantee admission into any of the SPHSC graduate programs, it does qualify the individual for consideration.”


And here’s their requirements for direct application to their Core SLP Master program:

All applicants MUST have one of the following undergraduate degrees:

1) Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Communication Disorders, Communication Sciences & Disorders or a similarly named major


2) An undergraduate degree in another major, with undergraduate coursework in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Communication Disorders, Communication Sciences & Disorders or a similarly named program that encompasses the following areas of knowledge:

  • Linguistics
  • Phonetics
  • Speech & Language Disorders
  • Hearing Science
  • The Hearing Mechanism
  • The Speech Mechanism
  • Speech & Language Acquisition
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Audiometry
  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Principles of Assessment
  • Principles of Treatment

We cannot accept applications from individuals with undergraduate or graduate degrees outside the field of Speech and Hearing Science (e.g., Linguistics, Education, Psychology, etc.) who do not have the prerequisite speech and hearing sciences coursework.


Link to their site: http://depts.washington.edu/sphsc/prospect.html

I’m assuming that the standards for admission will be similar regardless of where you apply, but less competetive institutions may be less strict in their requirements. Do you have a particular university you wish to attend?

Post # 6
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I got in to my program in SLP with a BA in Psychology. I have to do an extra year, but it was all post-graduate work. I didn’t have to complete the Undergrad work to be accepted; they have it built into their program. It’s just either a two-year or three-year Masters.

This of course is relevant to where you apply. Do your research – there are schools that will take non-SLP undergrads. I’m not sure about California, but everywhere I applied here took non-SLP undergrads. Perhaps the field is just less popular as an Undergraduate degree here.

Post # 7
14 posts

I’m applying for SLP programs next year.  I already have a BA in Psychology and a double minor in other fields.  Depending on what program you apply for you most likely will have to do 8-9 prerequisites.  After you take the pre-requisites and the GRE then you can apply for a master’s program.  Also, most programs only ADMIT 25 people.  It’s hard to get into an SLP master’s program!!!  Good luck!!!

Post # 8
48 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

I’ve also applying to MA-SLP programs for next fall!  I’m so nervous waiting to hear!  I have a BA in French, and I decided to go back immediately after graduating the first time to check out Speech-Language Pathology and I love it. I didn’t want to apply to the graduate programs right off the bat without taking the pre-reqs, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to be an SLP yet.  I’ll be graduating with the BA in Speech, Language Hearing Sciences this May. I had to take 3 extra classes to get the undergrad degree on top of the pre-reqs for grad school, so I decided to just go for it. For reference, it took me 4 semesters to get the second degree (at the same school I got my first degree at).

Some schools (but not all) do offer leveling programs for people without a degree in the field.  It will take you an extra year.  However, if you don’t have a degree in a related field like SLHS or Communication Disorders, I’ve been told it is harder to get into graduate programs. Even with the undergrad degree it’s not easy to get in.  I had a 3.7 my first time around, but I wasn’t sure about it yet, so I decided to just get the SLHS degree before applying to grad school.  I’ve kept a 4.0 so far the second time around, but I’m still so freaking nervous that I won’t get in!  The MA-SLP programs are clincial programs so they have a very limited number of spots, even at larger universities…  It’s definitely not a bad idea to take the pre-reqs before you apply anyway, as it will give you a stronger chance at admissions (especially if you don’t have a super high GPA).  

By the way, depending on your location, the Spanish degree will probably be a huge boon to you getting a job as an SLP eventually….

Good luck!

Post # 9
474 posts
Helper bee

I am a speech pathologist and my BA was in psychology (minor in communication sciences). I worked for 2 years (teaching and at a daycare) before I went back to school for my Master’s. During that time, I took the one prereq.  I didn’t have that was required for admission into the programs I was looking at. We also had room built into our program for students to take courses that they might not have completed at their particular universities.

People are going to tell you that you need an absurdly high GPA to even be considered; however I am proof that you do not. I had a 3.4 in undergrad; however my GRE scores were very good and I was a college student-athlete (which grad programs like to see). Your background in Spanish will make you stand out from other applicants. During the application process, apply for graduate assistantships. If you can get some or all of your tuition paid for it is extremely helpful! Also, try to arrange to shadow a local SLP so you can see what a typical day is like.

As competitive and tough as the application process is, the 2 years of graduate school combined with clinical experience is TOUGH. There is no comparison to any other type of graduate work that I can think of besides Med School. 


Send me a private message if you have any other questions.

Post # 11
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I can tell you that you NEED to be on your A-game to be accepted as a grad student for speech path!  I’m an undergrad and let me tell you… it has pretty much doubled in popularity the past few years.  At our school, which is a decent school, it’s not Harvard or anything though, about 150 people have applied for fall semester & only 15 will be accepted.  It’s the same with most schools.  This is because you have clinicals and they HAVE to limit their space for clinicals.  One of my friends just met with the advisor for our school & he said this year, the GPA cutoff was about 3.8 since it’s so competitive.  Good luck, though! Don’t let this discourage you, just know how competitive it is, even for students who have the undergrad degree.

Post # 12
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I am finishing my MS in speech right now! I had a 3.4 in undergrad (communication disorders) and terrible GREs. I made it my business to go straight to the directors of the programs I was applying to and let them know that I was applying and I was planning on coming. As a result, I got into Northeastern! I LOVE being an SLP, good luck to you!

Post # 13
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011



Noreastern?! Congrats, that is such a great SLP school! I’m still stunned that you got in with a 3.4 and terrible GREs.  Did you do a lot of in-field work in undergrad? Or just knew prof,’s well?


I have a 3.8 right now, but still a year to go… and still have to take the GRE’s!  Fiance and I plan to move to WA or OR so I feel a lot of pressure to get into one of those schools!

Post # 14
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011


I had a good resume. I volunteered, was a research assistant and a TA in undergrad. I did not mention that I did not get in anywhere my first time around. I took a year off and worked as a Speech Assistant for a year, which was the BEST decision of my life. I loved being out of school for a little while, get my priorities straight, and then really buckle down for grad school. I honestly believe that my resume was not what got me in, but the meeting with the head of the department was. If you need more help, send me a msg! I’m happy to help!

Post # 15
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

You can check out the http://www.asha.org. It’s the website for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.


If you don’t have a communication disorders background, you would have to take about 6 prereq. classes prior to beginning a Master’s Degree program. The Master’s program is 2 years full time, including the summer in between. May also include the summer before to get the prereqs done. Following that, you have a 9 month clinical fellowship year and then you become certified.


It seems like a lot but it flies by! I love my job (well, everyhintg but the paperwork!). Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.

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