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
It is probably our most paramount goal and one we take great pride in assisting and guiding every student to successful graduate school placement. Each faculty member enjoys and endears the process of teaching and mentoring students to this point in time. Our dedication to writing the best possible letters of recommendation is un-matched. 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 put their best impression forward in this staunchly competitive process and have been highly successful ranging between 80-90% placement.
You are one of many students who will apply to each graduate program.
On the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association ASHA web site, you will find information on schools in each state that have SLP master’s or AuD programs. Some get as many as 200 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 them choose you?
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. Choose schools thatrealistically you have a chance to be admitted to. 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 find those schools that take GPAs of 2.5 or 2.75 and above if you have a low GPA..
Your GPA Level
Number of Schools to Apply To
3.5 - 3.75
3.0 - 3.5
2.9 and below
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. Don't just aim at the deadline due date. 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 academic standards that each student will want to begin keeping track of using the ASHA Standards Form. This form is designed to help students document how their undergraduate experiences at NMU will carryover 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 can 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, 2009
• University of Minnesota Duluth (Fifth Choice School)
• UMD will contact you for Letter
• Form included
February 1, 2009
• 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, 2009
• 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
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)
Take the GRE
Visit Schools of Interest (pleasant weather)
Write Personal Statement Draft
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
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, usually start to get responses back
April 15 is general deadline day to make a final decision
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 very likely.