Approximately 25-30 individuals are selected for the new class each year. Typically, about half of these individuals have undergraduate degrees in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) and about half have undergraduate degrees in areas other than CSD.
Admission decisions are based on several pieces of information: GPA, GRE, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and extra-curricular activities. Ideally, letters of recommendation come from individuals in a university setting: instructors, supervisors, deans, etc. Typically, the applicants we accept have GPAs above 3.0 (average equals about 3.4) and an average GRE of 150 verbal and a quantitative of 150. However, these GPA and GRE numbers do not constitute absolute minima; we have accepted exceptional students with numbers below those benchmarks. All of an applicant’s materials are carefully considered; the applicant’s personal statement and letters of recommendation are very important, as is what an applicant has done outside the classroom.
An application file is forwarded to our program by the Curry School Admissions Office only when all required materials have been received. Prior to that point, we have no knowledge of application files. Therefore, applicants should be proactive in making certain that their file is complete. All application materials must be sent directly to the Curry Office of Admission - please do not send any materials directly to the department.
Please see our FAQ page for further information.
Essential Skills. Speech-language pathology students must demonstrate effective and professional communication with individuals and groups (e.g., clients, parents, members of the professional community, faculty members, and fellow students). Effective professional communication includes professional oral communication, interpersonal communication skills, and professional writing skills (e.g., SOAP notes, diagnostic reports, treatment plans, and telecommunications). That is, the speech-language pathology student must demonstrate proficiency in English in both oral and written expressions. Speech fluency, articulation, language comprehension, as well as voice quality and resonance must be adequately within functional limits in order to provide professional services.
Undergraduate Course Work. No matter which graduate program you ultimately choose, you must satisfy three sets of criteria to become a practicing speech-language pathologist. Of course, every university establishes criteria that must be satisfied for the degree to be conferred. These requirements will differ somewhat in technical detail, but most are fairly similar in a conceptual sense.
The second set of criteria concerns licensure. Each state or commonwealth determines its own criteria and process for obtaining a license to practice speech-language pathology. ASHA provides a nice compendium or these criteria. Our graduate curriculum is designed to meet all of the requirements for licensure in Virginia. A graduate practicing in another state is responsible for meeting the requirements of that state.
The third set of criteria concerns the national credential, the Certificate and Clinical Competence, and is determined by ASHA. Every graduate student must satisfy these criteria. Some of these concern undergraduate studies. Student who did not satisfy these undergrad prerequisites’ as a part of their undergrad studies must complete them before applying to ASHA for clinical certification. The courses are
• 1 course in the biological sciences
• 1 course in the physical sciences
• 1 course in math
• 1 course in the behavioral sciences
• 1 course in statistics
A course in statistics may satisfy the math requirement. However, a student must have a statistics course, even if the math requirement is satisfied otherwise.
For Track I students, the pre-professional courses must be transferred in with a grade of B- or better.
Clinical Observation and Clinical Hours. At least 325 of the 400 clock hours required by ASHA for certification must be completed at the graduate level. This means that 25 hours of supervised clinical observation and up to 50 hours of supervised clinical practicum earned at the undergraduate level may be applied to the 400 hour requirement. In order for hours to be used, the clinician who supervised the undergraduate experience must have been a speech-language pathologist (or audiologist in the case of hearing screening/treatment hours or speech-language screening hours) holding ASHA certification, who signed for the hours and provided his/her printed name and ASHA number.
Transferring Graduate Credits. Graduate-level courses completed at a CAA-accredited program may be accepted as replacing up to 6 semester credit hours of Professional Coursework (as defined in the ASHA Membership and Certification Handbook). A grade of B- or better is required for transferring a graduate credit.
All decisions on transfer credits are made by the Graduate Advisor.
Curriculum. The masters degree curriculum fulfills academic and clinical requirements for obtaining professional credentials in speech-language pathology from the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Board of Audiology and Speech Pathology, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of professional settings, including public and private schools; medical centers; hospitals; rehabilitation centers; community clinics; university training centers; federal, state, and local government programs; home health care agencies; and private practice. They are prepared to provide a wide range of clinical services to individuals of all ages and cultural/linguistic backgrounds who experience communication difficulty.
The masters degree program consists of two curricular tracks. Track I is designed for students with undergraduate preparation in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Students in Track I typically complete graduate training in five semesters. Track II is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in areas other than CSD. Completion of the Track II curriculum requires approximately seven semesters. Both curricula require summer enrollments.
Students begin their clinical experiences in the UVA Speech-Language-Hearing Center under the supervision of licensed and certified Clinical Instructors. Advanced clinical training is provided through externship experiences in various settings throughout central Virginia. Clinical training culminates in a full-time internship at one of dozens of facilities located across the nation. All students complete clinical practicum in both medical and educational settings.
Like all academic programs accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation of ASHA, our curricula are outcome-based. This means that graduates must demonstrate a set of entry-level clinical competencies to be eligible for ASHA certification.
A career as an SLP — http://www.asha.org/careers/professions/slp.htm
Certification - http://www.asha.org/certification/
Licensure — http://www.asha.org/advocacy/state/
NSSLHA - http://www.nsslha.org/default.htm
Summer Coursework and Clinical Assignments. Most students who enter graduate training with undergraduate preparation in CSD (i.e., Track I students) are eligible for off-grounds clinical externship assignments during their third semester, i.e., their first summer. Summer externships are three- to five-day placements, usually in hospital or rehabilitation settings. During the same summer, these students are taking a classes in the evening and may have clinical assignments in the UVA Speech-Language-Hearing Center. Therefore, they are given first priority for externship sites within commuting distance.
Students entering without undergraduate degrees in CSD (i.e., Track II students) also take a summer course during their third semester (their first summer) but become eligible for externship during their sixth semester (their second summer). An advantage of the latter schedule is that these students are free of summer courses while on externship and, as a result, are able to take externships anywhere in the country. Track I students can have the same unlimited choice of sites if they come during the summer before their first Fall Semester and take the required summer course early. Freed of courses, these students may opt to spend the next summer away from Charlottesville.
Termination of Matriculation. It is important for an applicant to note that termination form the Program can occur. For instance, a student committing an honor violation, or committing an egregious violation of policy, or receiving a second failing grade may be dismissed from the Program. Furthermore, a demonstrated record of performance that is not leading to clinical competence sufficient for meeting ASHA certification standards will lead to termination or possibly to a non-clinical degree.
When signs of struggle or difficulty are detected, faculty members intervene for the purposes of:
(a) educating/counseling a student
(b) identifying and invoking appropriate student support services
(c) formulating a remediation plan
(d) setting explicit expectations on outcomes, and
(e) monitoring progress.
When the outcomes of counseling interventions and remediation plans do not indicate acceptable growth, the Program must fulfill the ethical responsibility of terminating a matriculation that is not leading to clinical competence sufficient for meeting ASHA certification standards.
Please see our policies governing dismissal from the Program.