SLPA Frequently Asked Questions
Is your program accredited?
Yes. The program is administered under the College of Education at the University of West Georgia and is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
How long will it take me to complete the program?
Applicants with undergraduate majors other than SLP may be admitted to the program, but they must complete an undergraduate prerequisite course sequence before taking graduate level courses in SLP. The undergraduate prerequisites are taken while enrolled as a graduate student and these courses lengthen the time required for obtaining the Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology by approximately one year, for a total time of approximately three years of full-time enrollment required to obtain the master's degree. The program requires two years of full-time enrollment if undergraduate prerequisites were completed prior to enrolling in the master's program.
When should I submit my application?
All materials should be submitted to the Graduate School by January of each year. Please refer to the graduate studies webpage for yearly deadlines.
What materials are required to be included in the application packet?
- Completed application for admission
- Non-refundable $30.00 application fee (one time only)
- One official transcript from each college or university attended
- An acceptable admissions test score
- Three strong letters of recommendation
- Photocopy of your highest teaching/educator certificate (if you hold one)
- Satisfactory Certificate of Immunization (New Students Only)
- Academic Honor Form
- Applicants should also be prepared to participate in an on-site interview with department faculty.
- A writing sample will be requested of each applicant during the interview process.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
You want individuals who know your academic potential to write letters of recommendation for you. Typically this would be academic faculty members who taught courses in which you were enrolled. Personal friends, friends of the family, family members, etc. are not acceptable sources of recommendation.
What are the minimum GPA and GRE requirements?
For regular admission:
- 3.0 cumulative GPA
- An official GRE test score of at least 1000 (minimum 500 Verbal score and minimum 500 Quantitative or Analytical score - whichever score is higher of the two sections on tests taken before October 2002. Test taken after October 2002 require verbal, quantitative, and minimum GRE Analytical Writing test score of 4.0.)
- The Miller Analogies Test will not be accepted for admission in Speech-Language Pathology. Applicants must submit official GRE scores.
- PRAXIS or GACE Basic Skills test scores will not be accepted for admission, but they are required for certification.
For provisional admission:
- Applicants applying to a masters degree program in the arts and sciences or education with less than the required GPA and GRE scores may be considered for provisional admission.
- They must submit official GRE test scores and must also have a grade point average of at least 2.2. In no event may the grade point average be less than 2.2.
- Programs may have higher grade point average and/or test score requirements.
- Applicants may also be admitted provisionally for reasons other than, or in addition to, grade point average and GRE test scores. Meeting departmental test score and grade point average requirements is no guarantee of admission.
- Provisional admission is ultimately subject to departmental approval and the Dean of the Graduate School.
Is the GACE or Praxis I Exam required for admission?
For some applicants it will be required. Applicants applying for admission to the graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology must be eligible for admission to Teacher Education. To be accepted into Teacher Education, applicants must document a passing PRAXIS I or GACE Basic Skills Assessment score or be exempted from it. An applicant who holds a valid Georgia teaching certificate and/or who achieves a specific score on the GRE, SAT, or ACT may be exempted from the PRAXIS I or the GACE Basic Skills Assessment. PRAXIS I or GACE Basic Skills Assessment may be exempted if high enough scores are obtained on the SAT, ACT or GRE. According to the Professional Standards Commission (PSC), exemption scores are as follows:
- SAT exemptions: minimum combined verbal and mathematics score of 1000
- GRE exemption: minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 1030
- ACT exemption: minimum combined English and mathematics score of 43.
What can I do to strengthen my application?
You should be certain that you are knowledgeable of the profession of speech-language pathology no matter what your undergraduate major was. You should visit the website of the national professional organization, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and www.asha.org, to learn as much as possible about this career field. You should also contact speech-language pathologists in your community and make arrangements to meet with and observe them in their day-to-day activities. Be sure to observe individuals who are employed in different settings (schools, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, private practice, etc.) to understand the various roles and activities of speech-language pathologists.
How do you decide who to admit?
The University of West Georgia Speech-Language Pathology Admissions Committee uses a Total Score Rating Formula based on GPA, Interview, Verbal GRE score, Total GRE score, Letters of recommendation, and writing sample. Please see the following form for a sample. http://www.westga.edu/%7Egradsch/forms/printable/SLP.pdf
Why do you interview applicants?
Interviews give you the chance to learn about our graduate program. You want to know as much as possible about a program before you make the important decision of where to do your graduate studies. Also, our faculty members have found that interviewing gives us a chance to get to know you better than a paper application does.
What happens if I can't come to the interview on the scheduled day?
You must submit a letter to the Program Director with a strong rationale for why you are unable to attend (e.g., living outside the United States, enrolled in a study abroad program, etc.). The director and faculty will review your request and inform you of the decision to reschedule.
When will I know if I'm accepted?
You should receive your letter of acceptance to the program in late March.
What semester would I start the program if I attend?
You would begin the program Fall semester along with the other individuals who have been admitted.
How many students are typically admitted each year?
Are there any scholarships/graduate assistantships and financial assistance available?
Financial aid is available through the Office of Financial Aid: http://www.westga.edu/financialAid/index_2718.php
Graduate Assistantships are posted through Career Services: http://careerweb.westga.edu/index_3048.php
When will I know what courses to take?
Once you are admitted, you will be assigned an advisor. You will meet with your advisor to plan your program.
When will I start my clinical practicum?
If you have an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology you will begin your clinical experience in the on-campus clinic your first fall semester of the program.
How many semesters of on-campus clinical practicum will I have?
You will take three semesters of on-campus clinical practicum. Each semester you enroll in clinic, your clinical experiences will increase to include more clients and more responsibilities to prepare you for your internships.
Will I do any off-campus practicum?
Yes. You will have one semester of a part-time medical externship, one semester of a full-time school externship, and one semester of a full-time medical externship.
Do I find my own internship placements?
No. Your internship placement will be determined by our Clinic Director in consultation with the facility based on your interests and need for client clock hours.
Do you offer distance learning or online courses?
Most classes are in person, but some will be taught via distance learning.
Can I take classes only at night?
No. You will take classes during the day and in the evening. The time each class is scheduled varies from semester to semester, and classes are only offered once per year. In addition, students must be available to participate in clinical practicum experiences during the day.
Can I maintain a part-time job while in the program?
Most students cannot maintain a part-time job; unless it is for a few hours a week and the hours are flexible. Remember, once admitted into the program, you are a full-time student. The program is intensive both in academic and clinical work, leaving little time for outside employment.