Core Speech-Language Pathology Program
Do I really need to have an undergraduate degree or coursework in Speech and Hearing Sciences or Communication Disorders to apply?
Yes! As an accredited graduate program, the Core Speech-Language Pathology curriculum adheres to the standards and guidelines set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. ASHA has specific undergraduate coursework requirements that are a prerequisite to graduate study and clinical certification. In order to be eligible for graduate study, all applicants must have one of the following:
1) Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited institution with a major in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Communication Disorders, Communication Sciences and Disorders or a similarly named major
2) An undergraduate degree in another major (from a regionally accredited institution), with sufficient undergraduate coursework in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Communication Disorders, Communication Sciences and Disorders or a similarly named program that encompasses the following areas of knowledge:
- Phonetics / Language Science
- Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
- Speech & Language Acquisition / Development
- Speech & Language Disorders
- Hearing Science / Nature of Sound
- The Hearing Mechanism
- Hearing Disorders
- Aural Rehabilitation / Management of Hearing Loss
- Social-Cultural Aspects of Communication
- Principles of Assessment
- Principles of Treatment
We cannot accept applications from individuals with undergraduate or graduate degrees outside the field of Speech and Hearing Science (e.g., Linguistics, Education, Psychology) who do not have the prerequisite speech and hearing sciences coursework.
Can I apply to both the Core Speech-Language Pathology and the Medical Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree programs?
Yes, students may apply to both programs within the same application. However, applicants must state a preference for either the Core Speech-Language Pathology or Medical Speech-Language Pathology program on their application. In addition, individuals are required to write a personal statement which specifically reflects their interests in the preferred program.
Do you accept transfer students from other master’s programs?
No. We do not accept transfer students into either of our Master of Science programs (Medical Speech-Language Pathology or Core Speech-Language Pathology)
Can I transfer between the Core Speech-Language Pathology program and the Medical Speech-Language Pathology once accepted?
No. Students are accepted into only one program. The curriculum and practica are uniquely designed to support each specific degree program and cannot accommodate student transfers.
If admitted, may I defer entrance to the program?
No. Planning for your program begins immediately upon admission. On-campus and off-site clinical experiences are arranged annually. If you are admitted, then choose not to enter the program, the strength of your re-application in subsequent years is considered within the pool of applicants at that time.
How many students are admitted to the Core Speech-Language Pathology Program?
18 – 20 students are admitted each year.
Are there minimum GPA and/or GRE scores required for admission to the Core Speech-Language Pathology Program?
A minimum GPA of 3.0 during the last 90 quarter credit hours of study (60 semester hours) is required. There are no GRE score requirements. We consider all applicant credentials and information during the application process. High GPAs and GRE scores are desirable, but are not the controlling factors in admission. Please review our Student Outcomes Data for details about average GPA and GRE scores for our admitted students.
If I accept an offer of admission what happens next?
All new students receive a welcome letter from the Department with instructions on how to prepare for the graduate program. Students will access the dedicated section of our website for New Graduate Students which provides specific instructions, forms, and checklists to new students, and will communicate with their assigned Graduate Program Advisor about preparation for graduate school.
Costs & Funding
How can I learn more about applying for and receiving financial aid at the University of Washington?
Prospective students who want to learn more about loans, work study, grants, and scholarships should carefully read the information on the University of Washington Office of Student Financial Aid website.
To apply for a Federal Stafford Direct Loan, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line at www.fafsa.ed.gov or on paper and submit it to the address included on the application. If you are offered admission to the graduate program and your FAFSA is approved, the University of Washington will send you a financial aid eligibility letter and a promissory note asking how much you wish to borrow. You will need the University of Washington’s federal financial aid code for the FAFSA: 003798.
If a student qualifies for UW Work Study, the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences makes every effort to employ the student within the Department, including its laboratories. Work study positions are readily available throughout the UW campus, as well. Student should review all Work Study Program information on the Office of Student Financial Aid website.
Is other financial assistance available for CoreSLP students through the Department?
The Department usually does not have financial assistance for master’s students; therefore no special application for aid is necessary. If teaching assistantships or research assistantships become available, we notify all graduate students and interested students may apply. A list of possible financial aid sources (from inside and outside the Department) is available in the Financial Assistance section of our website.
What is the WICHE/WRGP Tuition Waiver?
The state of Washington is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which is a 15-state commission working to improve access to higher education for students in the western region. The University of Washington’s CoreSLP Master’s program is part of WICHE’s Western Regional Graduate Program that allows out-of-state applicants who are legal residents of one of the WICHE states (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, ND, OR, SD, UT, WY) to apply to receive for the resident tuition rate if accepted into the program. See the Tuition and Fees section of the web for more information on the WRGP resident tuition rate option.
If out-of-state applicants from the 14 WICHE/WRGP states receive priority during admissions , should I even apply if I am not from one of those states?
Yes! The admissions committee evaluates applications from all students. We strive for student diversity in our program, which includes geographic diversity. All out-of-state students are encouraged to apply.
If I previously lived in a non-WICHE state but now currently reside in one of the 14 eligible states for the purpose of attending college, can I apply for the WRGP resident tuition rate?
Not unless you have established legal residency in the state. If you are attending school and paying the non-resident tuition rate and/or still maintain a permanent legal residence in a non-WICHE state, you are ineligible to apply for the WRGP rate.
Is there a different tuition rate for out-of-state students?
I am not a Washington resident. What do I need to do to establish in-state residency?
Information on residency requirements are available at http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/residency.html (see the section on “Graduate and professional nonresident students”)
Are out-of-state students still eligible for the “Graduate Student Residency Tuition Waiver” at the University of Washington?
No. Between 2005 and 2011, the University of Washington Regents offered non-resident graduate and professional students who had lived in the state for at least one year, an annual waiver of the differential between resident and non-resident tuition. However, any student entering a graduate program as of July 21, 2012 will no longer have access to this waiver.
Fortunately, out-of-state students who are applying to the CoreSLP Master of Science program and are residents of AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, ND, OR, SD, UT or WY can now apply to receive the WRGP resident tuition rate for the first 3 years of the program thanks to our partnership with WICHE.
Program of Study
What makes the Core Speech-Language Pathology Program unique?
- The Core Speech-Language Pathology program provides opportunities for students to focus their studies through elective coursework reflecting their career and/or research interests.
- Classroom and clinical experiences enable students to enter a variety of areas of clinical practice including early childhood programs, schools, outpatient clinics, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals.
How are the Core Speech-Language Pathology and Medical Speech-Language Pathology programs different? How are they similar?
Program emphasis: The Core Speech-Language Pathology program is for students interested in exploring the practice of speech-language pathology across a variety of settings. The Medical Speech-Language Pathology program is designed for students specifically interested in working in the field of medical speech-language pathology, and provides focused coursework and community-based experiences in this area.
Program requirements: In the Core Speech-Language Pathology program, students are required to select an “emphasis path” and choose didactic and practicum electives in accordance with the emphasis path. The identified emphasis path also determines the student’s practica plan and scheduling. The Medical Speech-Language Pathology program has a predetermined curriculum structure in terms of coursework and practica. There are no elective coursework options in this graduate program due to its fixed nature.
Coursework: During the first year of both graduate programs, students take a similar series of courses to gain a foundation of clinical knowledge that covers the full range of communication sciences and disorders. In the second year, however, Core Speech-Language Pathology students complete their elective coursework while MedSLP students take specialized courses significant to the practice of medical speech pathology.
Practica: There are different clinical practicum requirements for each graduate program and different clinical instruction models are employed. Core Speech-Language Pathology students complete the majority of their practicum experiences in the highly supportive context of the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic and then complete one practicum and one internship experience in a community-based setting.
Medical Speech-Language Pathology students also spend one year in the highly supportive context of the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic, but the entire second year of the program is spent completing clinical practica and internship rotations across a variety of community-based settings.
Regardless of the program, all students learn to assess and treat a variety of communication disorders across the lifespan as required by ASHA and complete a culminating full-time internship at the end of their second year, before beginning a clinical fellowship.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The Core Speech-Language Pathology program takes 2 years or 8 quarters to complete if students adhere to the program plan as designed.
Can I complete my graduate program in less than 8 quarters?
No. A minimum of 8 quarters are necessary in order to complete the didactic and clinical requirements of the program.
Are any of your graduate courses or programs offered online?
No. We currently do not offer any online degrees or courses at the graduate level.
What are the academic performance expectations for the graduate program?
- Maintain satisfactory scholarship with a cumulative and quarterly GPA of 3.0 or greater while in the program.
- Demonstrate satisfactory progress by obtaining at least a 2.7 or “credit” in all their didactic and clinical courses. If a student receives a grade below 2.7 he/she must retake the course. Students should be aware that retaking a course(s) can delay subsequent coursework and/or planned practica, and may extend time in the program.
- Demonstrate (with or without accommodations) the essential behaviors and abilities outlined in the “Essential Requirements of Speech and Hearing Science Education”.
When are classes offered?
Typically courses are offered between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Many classes are typically scheduled between 8:30-10:30 and 12:00-2:30 during the week. Faculty provides students with didactic and clinical schedules on a quarterly basis, and the official curriculum is available quarterly on the UW Time Schedule. Ultimately, though, all classes are scheduled around the needs of clinical practicum and placements. Prospective students should be aware that some required courses may need to be offered during evening hours (e.g., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.). In addition, classes may occasionally need to meet on Saturdays. The graduate program is also in session every quarter, including Summer quarter, and students will have required classes during that time.
Are Summer quarter classes required?
Absolutely. The Core Speech-Language Pathology program is in session every quarter, including Summer quarter. Breaks in your program greatly complicate your plan of study and preclude the careful planning that has gone into matching your classroom experiences with your clinical training.
When is the master’s degree conferred?
The degree is conferred (a) after the successful completion of all didactic and practicum requirements (minimum 8 quarters), and (b) upon successful completion of the master’s thesis requirements where applicable.
Clinic & Internships
Can I do practica at off-site placements instead of at the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic?
In general, no. In the Core Speech-Language Pathology Program, clinical education and practica are completed at the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic, with one rotation through the UW Center for Human Disability and Development. Only the pre-internships and internships are completed at off-site, community facilities.
When do I do my internship?
Most students complete their internship during the Spring quarter of their second year, although some complete their internship during Summer quarter of their second year. Internship scheduling involves a variety of factors but importantly, a student must complete all prerequisite practica at the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic and the Center for Human Disability and Development prior to beginning a full-time Internship.
Do I get to choose my internship site?
Our faculty internship coordinators schedule all offsite practica and internships. However, student interests and input are solicited and integrated into the decision-making process. Designated faculty work to match student interests with the best available community site and clinical supervisor. Assignments are ultimately made by the internship/fieldwork coordinators, but are guided by the emphasis path chosen by each student. In addition, depending on the number of students interested in a particular site —from our graduate programs and others—students may be required to interview for an internship.
What types of facilities/settings are available for internships?
Internships can occur in public schools, outpatient clinics, private practices, hospitals and skilled nursing/assisted living facilities. Please note, however, that students in the Medical Speech-Language Pathology program receive priority for scheduling acute care and inpatient rehab internships.
Do I need to provide my own transportation to off-site practica placements?
Yes. Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from community sites starting in their second year of the program. Many, but not all, facilities are served by public transportation. For those students without cars, the UW offers a Zipcar option with discounts to UPASS holders.
Will I have to work on weekends during my off-site practica placements?
Possibly. Many of our affiliated sites provide speech–language pathology services seven days a week. Subsequently, students may be placed at facilities that will require weekend attendance due to supervisor or site availability.
If I do my internship in the Spring quarter of my second year, do I have to come back to the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic in Summer quarter?
Yes. Students will not be able to complete all their required coursework prior to their Spring internship. Students are expected to return to the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic for the entire Summer quarter. However, students may not need to enroll full-time during their final Summer quarter depending on the number of remaining coursework requirements.
Are there research opportunities for CoreSLP students, such as completing a master’s thesis?
Yes. All interested graduate students can interview with faculty during their first year in the program for the opportunity to complete a master’s thesis.
What if I don’t want to complete a master’s thesis? Are there other types of research opportunities for CoreSLP students available?
Yes. Students interested in smaller scale research can complete one or more independent studies with faculty on topics of interest, or obtain positions working or volunteering in faculty research labs.
Is the Clinical Fellowship process included in the Core Speech-Language Pathology program?
No. As with other two-year graduate programs in speech-language pathology, students find their own Clinical Fellowship employment upon receipt of their master’s degree.
Will I be able to get a job when I graduate?
Although no one can predict economic conditions, many demographic factors indicate that employment opportunities for Speech-Language Pathologists will continue to be plentiful. Please review our M.S. Program Statistics page for data about our students' specific post-graduation employment. For more detailed information about SLP employment, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–11 Edition, Speech-Language Pathologists.
What is life in Seattle like?
The Pacific Northwest is often described as the best of all worlds. Our climate is mild. Because we are located on the beautiful Puget Sound, but close to the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, you can be sea kayaking on Saturday and cross-country skiing on Sunday. Year-round hiking and world famous ski resorts are within easy reach of Seattle. Miles of bike paths, incredible on-campus sports and workout facilities, and the vibrant, energetic Seattle culture make the University of Washington a perfect place to study and live. The greater metropolitan area offers the full range of cultural and recreational opportunities you would expect, from the world-class Seattle Symphony to professional sports. Seattle is the home of the Seahawks, the Mariners, the Storm, and the Sounders as well as a friendly culture of community sports leagues. Clean air, a pervasive international flavor, and the warmth of the Pacific Northwesterner are all big draws.