Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Graduate School Preparation

This page is designed for SLHS students of Junior and Senior standing to help guide them through the sometimes daunting and overwhelming task of applying to graduate schools.  There are numerous links to helpful sources as well as downloadable files and information to assist in the process. Students are encouraged to thoroughly investigate each underlined link.

Message from the Faculty

Grad StudentA primary goal of SLHS faculty is to assist and guide each student who has a GPA of 3.0 or higher to successful graduate school placement. The success of the NMU SLHS graduate placement lies in the strong, academic, research, personal and clinical development leading to highly individualized applications. We believe in helping every student create his or her best impression in this very competitive process. Graduate placement as a result has been highly successful, above 90% in recent years.

On the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association website: http://www.asha.org/edfind/, you will find information is provided on schools in each state that have SLP master’s or AuD programs.  Some receive as many as 400 applicants per year for 25 grad spaces.

Students should ask themselves the following two very important questions:

  How will you stand out from the crowd?

  What will make each school choose you as a potential graduate student? 

Active participation and/or leadership in your NMU Chapter of NSSLHA, volunteer experiences, Superior Edge, Student Leader Fellowship Program, related work experiences and involvement in other student organizations can all help ensure successful application.  Consult with your academic advisor to choose schools that you realistically have a chance for admission. Research the mean GPA of students who were admitted in recent years.  What is the typical percentage of students who are admitted out of total applicants?  Check Peterson’s web site to investigate GPA ranges required by various graduate schools.

Your GPA Level

 Approximate Number of Schools to Apply To

        3.75 +

       3-5 schools

      3.5 - 3.75

       6-7 schools

      3.0 - 3.5

       8-12 schools

   2.9 and below

       Programs do not accept students with GPA's
       below 3.0

Please ensure you allow either faculty or other professionals you request letters of recommendation from a minimum of 30 days to formulate and prepare all the documents necessary to help you succeed. Proofreading is critical and you should have at least one other set of eyes review the package before submitting it. Aim for having your applications in ahead of the due date. Take your GRE early in case you need to take it a second time.

Additionally, ASHA established clear certification standards that each student will want to track in order to document how their undergraduate experiences at NMU will carry over to most graduate programs.

Message from Alumni:

Credit for the following wonderful information is due to our SLHS 2008 Outstanding Graduating Senior - Ms. Gayla Rovelsky.  Much of the below information was authored and organized by her.

  • Do your background information on the application process for each school.
  • Know their web site inside and out! If you are able, go and visit and meet with faculty members.
  • Look for: deadlines, forms needed, costs, addresses, contact numbers, extra forms, etc.
  • Look into the CSDCAS Program: this is one general application that is sent to several schools. It may be a little more expensive than applying individually; but, is time-saving and the new-and-upcoming thing for our field’s application process.
  • Make and Label a Folder for EACH SCHOOL you are applying to:

o   Write on the folder—school name, log-in information to site if necessary.

o   Include in folder—to-do list, contact information, copy of all forms, any notes about the application or program.

EXAMPLE TO-DO/CHECKLIST FOR WRITERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS:

Recommendation Forms and Letters Organized

February 2

•         University of Minnesota Duluth (Fifth Choice School)

•         UMD will contact you for Letter

•         Form included

February 1

•         Central Michigan University (Second Choice School)

•         CSDCAS will contact you

•         Western Michigan University (Third Choice School)

•         CSDCAS will contact you

•         St. Cloud University (Fourth Choice School)

•         CSDCAS will contact you

February 15

•         Michigan State University (First Choice School)

•         Form and Letter of Recommendation

•         Requirements: NMU Letterhead, Sign Seal of Envelope

•         Send via USPS in the provided envelope

Suggested Timeline for Getting it all Together and Mailed Out

Junior Year

    Look into Schools, Make Your “Interested List”

      Attend SLHS Graduate Information Meeting (Fall)

      Schedule Advisor Meeting to Talk about Graduate Schools

      Attend Conferences; Graduate Fair (Fall: ASHA, Spring: MSHA)

      Visit Schools of Vast Interest

       Apply for NMU Clinic—summer and/or fall (if applicable)

Summer (JR-SR)

    Take the GRE

    Visit Schools of Interest (pleasant weather)

      Formulate Resume

      Write Personal Statement Draft

      SAMPLE PERSONAL LETTER OF INTENT

      The Owl at Purdue Advice on Letters of Intent

Senior Fall Semester

    Early in Semester Finalize Application List

    Attend SLHS Graduate Information Meeting

     Ask Individuals to write Letters of Recommendation (30-Day Notice)

     Schedule Advisor Meeting to go over Applications and Personal Statement

     Start Application Process (some applications due as early as October)

     Get Information Packet to your letter writers (no later than Thanksgiving)

      Visit Schools of Interest

      Conference: ASHA Conference                                

Winter Break

    Finish Application Process

Senior Winter Semester

    Finish any Applications that need to be completed

    Call Applied Departments to check your application status

    After Spring Break, you will begin to hear back from schools

    April 15 is general deadline day to students to make a final decision. After this date, waiting list spaces may become available.

Important Note:  The waiting is the hardest part. Please gather all your patience you can. Schools may notify some students sooner than others and there are waiting lists that filter throughout the process.  Just because a student hasn't been accepted while others have doesn't necessarily mean that they won't eventually be accepted too. Be sure to celebrate your colleagues' successes while you wait - your turn is coming. Be aware that students may not know until August whether or not they were accepted at a given school.