If you´re trying to become a Speech Language Pathologist, you´ve probably asked yourself, “What are my chances of getting into SLP grad school?”
It is a scary question and one that isn´t so easy to answer.
I did a bit of research for you, and I´ve got some numbers to share. The data comes from the results of a survey conducted annually by ASHA and the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD) and the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). If you want to check out the full & original report, click here.
What are my chances?
It´s hard to say… for 2 big reasons
First off, to have a really good estimate, you´d need to know about the competition. If you´re head and shoulders above the rest of the applicants, then your chances are much higher. If you have average GRE scores or a sub-par GPA, your chances are a little lower. I hope that doesn´t sound scary or harsh; I´m simply trying to give everyone a clear estimate.
Second off, the data is incomplete. ASHA says there are 260 existing programs that provide a Masters in Speech Language Pathology. Unfortunately, only around 240 responded to a survey which would give us more info about this.
What can we learn from the numbers
Even though the survey results are incomplete, we can learn a lot from them.
For 2013 to 2014, there were 65,076 applications received for a Masters in SLP at 243 institutions that responded to the survey.
Of those 65,076 applications, only 15,159 applications were accepted for admission.
Just those 2 numbers give us a 23.3% chance of an application being accepted for admission
Remember to keep in mind these are applications, not people. Most people applied to multiple programs and/or were accepted and rejected at multiple programs. There were actually only 7,764 applicants who ended up enrolling for their first year of graduate school.
What about the missing data?
About 17 schools didn´t respond to any given part of the survey. That´s almost 7%. I´m no statistician, but that doesn´t seem like a very significant number. Just to be safe though, I played around with the numbers.
Based on averages, I estimated values for the missing data. The result still came out to be a 23% chance for admission.
One piece of data that would be very useful would be how many schools people apply to on average. This could drastically alter the chances based on how many people submit multiple applications. I´m surveying a few SLP Facebook groups right now to try and get a good idea of this. Hopefully I´ll get enough responses to be able to use the data. I´ll let you know!
Other Interesting Data
In case you were wondering, I found some other interesting nuggets of information when I was reading through the ASHA reports…
- The average GPA range for students offered admission was 3.27-3.96.
- 2,229 were offered funding along with admission to a masters program (that´s 23%)
- 27% of programs said that insufficient student funding has a moderate to major impact on enrollment
- Only 4.7% of applicants (or 292 people) who enrolled were male (that means 95.3% are female)
- I´m not sure if schools actively boost male applicants, but it is definitely a factor that will make an application stand out
- Of the 7,764 enrolled only 14.9% were racial or ethnic minorities (923 people).
- I´d be interested to see how this compares to graduate level programs in general because 14.9% seems pretty low to me.
What does all this mean for me and my applications
The first take-away is that SLP school is pretty competitive. To get in, you´ll need to craft a stand-out application, have a high GPA, and rock your GRE.
If you´re still in undergrad, work hard to earn A´s in all of your classes – those few points might make all the difference.
Even if your numbers are in the “average” range, don´t make the mistake of only applying to one or two programs! Boost your chances by applying to various schools in various regions. Diversifying your applications should help reduce the risk.
Overall, it is definitely a competitive area to get into, but it is not impossible. In the near future, I´ll be publishing some posts on how to boost your chances of getting into SLP grad school. For now, here is a link to a great article on how to make your application more unique.
One final thought: The chances of getting in aren´t the best, but if you don´t even apply… your chance is zero.
Credits: The background for this cover image was donated by Freepik.com