Oh the joy of applying to graduate school. It is exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. I can tell you one thing… IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT! I have started my graduate school program just this week, and I am already in love. This post will give you a basic overview of the pre-application process.
First things first, think about where you could see yourself attending a graduate program. Research the schools you are dreaming of, and find the important information about the programs. You should ask yourself a few questions when researching…
- Is the program American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) accredited? You can find all the accredited schools HERE. This is the most crucial aspect of your research. If the school is not accredited, do not attend. You will not be able to lawfully practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
- What are the credentials for being accepted into the program? Make sure your GPA and GRE scores are within the school’s range (If you have not yet taken the GRE, it is good to know what score the school is looking for because you can set a score goal for yourself).
- What is the mission statement of the program? Remember, do not sell yourself short. You must appreciate and feel passionate about the program you will be applying to.
- What is the cost of the program? Graduate schools charge by credit so be sure to check out the number of credits the program is.
- When is the application due?
- Does the school use CSDCAS (Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service) or a private application portal? What in the world is CSDCAS you ask? I will discuss this in detail below.
I recommend keeping a notebook or word document organizing all the information you find about the schools. When you feel you have an adequate list of schools, you can go back and compare programs.
CSDCAS is an online “common application” many of the programs use to conduct the application process. You create your personal portal by using your email and creating a password. I highly recommend using a personal email address and not your undergraduate university email address. The personal email address does not have as many spam filters, and you want to be sure you receive all email notifications from CSDCAS. Also, do yourself a favor, and make sure your email address is appropriate. I know some people that have interesting email addresses, and you would not want to give the graduate school you are applying to any reason to disregard your application over something that is an easy fix. CSDCAS makes applying to graduate school fairly simple. It has all the schools that use the program in a database. You simply select the programs you want to apply to, and it creates a dashboard. This dashboard alerts you of all the information you must upload to complete the applications such as personal information, transcripts, etc. CSDCAS saves a lot of time when applying because everything is all in one place. Familiarize yourself with CSDCAS. It will be your best friend through application season.
Schools may use a private application portal. This method of applying is similar to that of undergraduate applications.
My next post will be about the application process, but in the meantime, go research the programs and “shop around”. Have fun while hunting for the graduate school programs of your dreams.