1. How does the Vanderbilt M.S. SLP program compare to others? Our Master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology program is ranked #5 in the 2009 Edition of 'America's Best Graduate Schools,' published by U.S. News & World Report.
2. What are the entrance requirements for the Vanderbilt M.S. Program? We have no set criteria for GREs of students we accept, but the successful applicant must have GRE scores consistent with Vanderbilt standards. Our decision to admit is based on a composite of information about the applicant, not merely one variable. Within this mosaic of information, we are looking for consistency of abilities and performance, so that, for example, strong GREs appear coupled with strong grades together with solid letters of recommendation (with the letters coming from individuals who know you academically and/or clinically) and a strong personal statement.
3. Do I need a background in communication disorders in order to be admitted? Many (25 – 50%) of our current students have no or minimal undergraduate background in SLP; however, whether a student enters with or without an undergraduate AUD/SLP background, all of our master’s students must, by the time they graduate with a Master’s in SLP, achieve the four pre-requisites in FAQ #4, below, as well as the basic master’s academic/clinical curriculum in SLP.
4. What undergraduate classes should I take to prepare for the M.S. Program? No specific courses are required. However, courses in biological science (e.g., biology, human anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, human genetics, veterinary science); social/behavioral science (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health); physical science must be either physics or chemistry); and statistics are required for ASHA certification. Many interested students inquire about prerequisites for the program. There are four basic areas that you will want to consider and coursework in these areas should be completed prior to enrollment in the M.S. program:
1) Biological Sciences (at least one course, for example, Intro to Biology)
2) Physics or Chemistry
4) Social/Behavioral Sciences (at least one course in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, or Public Health)
The above four areas cover the most crucial prerequisites you’ll need for purposes of credentialing. Transcript credit in the form of coursework, AP or CLEP credit may be offered to meet these requirements.
Additionally, certain prerequisite coursework in the area of communication sciences and disorders may serve to expedite completion of the graduate curriculum. Typically, students who have a background in communication sciences and disorders may graduate after five semesters in the M.S. program while non-background students are enrolled for six semesters.
For students without a background, the completion of the following courses prior to enrollment in graduate school may serve as prerequisites and reduce course load requirements: (1) Normal Language Development or Language Acquisition, (2) Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism, (3) Basic Audiology, and (4) Aural Rehabilitation. To meet prerequisite requirements, these courses should be taken in a department of communication sciences and disorders.
5. Can I be accepted for any semester (e.g., Fall, Spring or Summer)? No. The M.S. program in SLP at Vanderbilt admits applicants only for Fall Semester (classes beginning late August).
6. Does the faculty have experience as clinicians? Most definitely – in fact, we consider this to be one of the strengths of the program. Of the 13 Ph.D. speech-language faculty members, nearly all have worked as clinicians at one time in their careers, approximately one-half currently are involved in direct clinical patient care activities. Moreover, several adjunct faculty members in the speech-language program on the Vanderbilt campus are involved in direct clinical care. Finally, students will work with a large clinical staff whose only responsibility is clinical care.
7. What courses would I take at Vanderbilt for the M.S. degree? A sample curriculum is provided in a separate link on our M.S. program page.
8. How early in the program can I begin clinical work? Typically, the first semester, with depth and breadth of involvement depending on background.
9. Are research projects required for completion of the M.S.? No. A master's thesis option is available for MS-SLP students.
10. Are part-time students accepted? No. The M.S. program at Vanderbilt University is for full-time residential students only.
11. Is it possible to work while obtaining the degree? Yes. It is possible for students to work provided they are making satisfactory academic and clinical progress in the program. It is, however, strongly encouraged that such work be part-time.
12. What is the cost of tuition? The total tuition for 2013-2014 (fall, spring and summer) will be $33,840 (regardless of the number of credits taken). This works out to be approximately $11,2850 per semester.
13. Does the department assist the students in finding employment after graduation? In the final semester of enrollment prior to the initiation of the externship, students are enrolled in a class addressing professional issues. Significant portions of that class are used to address the credentialing process as well as successfully applying for professional positions, including focused lectures on resume' writing and interviewing. Faculty members review resume's and applications for students and perform mock interviews to prepare them for the process. The network of Vanderbilt graduates and personal contacts by faculty members are utilized in supporting the graduate seeking employment. One hundred percent of our students who seek employment post-graduation are successful in finding employment.
14. Are scholarships available? Many (up to 70%) of our graduate students receive some level of financial support. For the practitioner degrees (M.S. in SLP and Au.D.), such support comes in the form of remitted tuition, ranging from 25% to 100%. Financial awards – which are competitive in nature - are offered at or around the time we let students know of acceptance, wait lists, etc., which is generally around the second week of March. Given that 100% of graduate students need financial assistance, need is not a factor; financial awards are offered on the basis of merit, using criteria very similar to that used to judge acceptance into the program.
15. Is financial aid available? Yes. Our department supports a financial aid department that is committed to assisting students with financial aid/loans.
The Medical School's Office of Student Financial Services can be reached by contacting them at:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST
404 Light Hall
Nashville, TN 37232-0740
(615) 343-2312 (FAX)
18. Can I visit the department? Of course! We see visiting students (depending upon the availability of faculty and by appointment only) on Monday’s and Friday’s at 9:00 a.m. central time. During these visits you will meet faculty, staff and students as well as see some of our facilities. In order to schedule a visit please e-mail our Education Specialist, Penny Welch at email@example.com.