top of page

About Me

me.png

Hi, I'm Jo! I'm a dedicated and creative speech pathologist with varied experience, excellent collaboration skills, and a passion for fostering inclusive environments with cultural awareness.

Support

stickers.png

Stickers are designed with SLP students, practicing Speech Pathologists, and professors in mind. New designs added all the time!

Recent Posts

Recent Videos

SHOP

Illustration Portfolio

Untitled-2.png

Click here to view all available digital illustrations. Open to collaboration and offering limited commissions.

Services

Copy of Beige and Green Minimalism Lifes

SLP Grad School Application Review

A general consultation for wherever you are

Copy of Beige and Green Minimalism Lifes

SLP Grad School Application Review

A general consultation for wherever you are

Copy of Beige and Green Minimalism Lifes

SLP Grad School Application Review

A general consultation for wherever you are

I'm interested in SLP & my degree isn't in CSD. What do I do?


TLDR; each graduate program will have their own list of courses you'll need to complete before applying (& some don't require any!)



Are you...

  1. Interested in becoming a Speech Language Pathologist?

  2. Is your undergraduate degree in something other than Communication Sciences and Disorders?

  3. Not sure where to start?

This post is for you!





My advice would be to come up with a list of 5-10 Speech Language Pathology grad school programs that you'd be interested in attending. It's fairly likely that all of their prerequisites will be slightly different.


Let's start with the basics:

There aren't any set definitions for prerequisite, leveling, and post-bacc courses in SLP, and they're often used interchangeably anyway. This is sort of a rule of thumb you can follow, but there are quite a few exceptions:



OPTION 1


Prerequisites

Also known as pereqs, these are courses that can be taken a-la-carte. What do I mean by a-la-carte? You can enroll in one class at a time, or four classes at a time -- it's up to you how many classes you take, which classes you take, and when you take them. It's even up to you which universities you choose to get your prereqs done at: you could complete 2 prereqs at one university, and 5 at another. For example, you could do two night classes per semester until you have all the prereqs done for the graduate programs that you're interested in!


Pros:

  • You usually don't have to apply to a program or university to take courses a-la-carte: so this option is perfect if you have a lower GPA and you're not sure if a post-bacc or second bachelor's program would accept you.

  • Most programs don't really look at where you got your prerequisite coursework done - so don't worry that it might not be 'prestigious' or a 'high-ranked program.'

  • This is also a wonderful option for students who need to work while completing coursework - there are quite a few options that include night courses, online, asynchronous, summer courses, etc. You can choose the option that's best for you!

Cons:

  • If you're looking for letters of recommendation from professors in the field, it is MUCH harder to develop relationships with professors when you choose this option. This is because you're not likely to have the same professor across multiple semesters. (However, it's certainly possible, and if you ask me: take as many classes as you can with the same professor & go to ALL the office hours!)

  • It can be difficult to qualify for financial aid if you're not enrolled in a degree-seeking program.

  • It won't be as easy to develop relationships with your peers, as you're not as likely to have multiple courses you're taking together over time. I've heard that it can feel isolating, so make sure you have a support system in place!

  • Most of the time, you cannot apply to graduate programs that require an undergraduate degree in CSD if you choose this option.

  • If you're taking courses a-la-carte, some of the university supports might not be available to you: student insurance, scholarship applications, free or low cost counseling services, etc.


Some other things to note about this option:

  • DON'T just start taking random prerequisite courses without a plan. Check the websites of the grad programs you're interested in, and you should see a list of their prerequisite courses. They'll be different for each program, but some courses might be similar between programs.

  • If you find prerequisite courses that have a different name, number of credit hours, or outcomes: DEFINITELY email the grad programs that you're interested in to make sure that the courses you're taking will count toward their prerequisite requirements. You don't want to shell out cash for classes that won't get much bang for your buck!

  • People seem to really enjoy ENMU's a-la-carte offerings - I believe each course is online, asynchronous, and under $300 out of pocket.

OPTION 2


Leveling Courses

Most of the time, this term is used for a listing of courses that are offered through a university as a way for you to get all of your prerequisite coursework knocked out in a few semesters. This differs from prerequisites in that these courses are usually laid out as a program - you're not going to be able to mix and match which courses you take as easily, or when you take them. These programs tend to be shorter or involve less coursework than a post-bacc or second bachelor's.


Pros:

  • Most of the time, you don't have to apply to a program or university to take leveling courses: so this option is perfect if you have a lower GPA and you're not sure if a post-bacc or second bachelor's program would accept you. Check with the leveling program directly to see if there is an application process, or if you're able to just enroll.

  • If you're looking for letters of recommendation from professors in the field, it is easier to develop relationships with professors when you choose this option. This is because you are more likely to have the same professor across multiple semesters. You're still going to want to make sure that you're going to office hours!

  • Most programs don't really look at where you got your leveling coursework done - so don't worry that it might not be 'prestigious' or a 'high-ranked program.'

  • In some cases, you'll have a cohort or a group of leveling students who will be taking these courses with you! If there is not a separate leveling cohort, you might take courses with CSD major undergraduate students at the university.

Cons:

  • It can be difficult to qualify for financial aid if you're not enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and most leveling programs do not offer a certificate or degree when you've completed their requirements. Most of the time, the only thing you'll be able to show for your time and effort is your transcript.

  • It is not as easy, in most cases, to individualize a leveling program. You might end up taking courses (& shelling out extra cash) that aren't necessarily required by the graduate universities you're planning on applying to.

  • Most of the time, you cannot apply to graduate programs that require an undergraduate degree in CSD if you choose this option.

  • It might be more difficult to find a program that has evening, online, or asynchronous courses that would allow you to keep a consistent work schedule.

  • If you're taking leveling courses, some of the university supports might not be available to you: student insurance, scholarship applications, free or low cost counseling services, etc.


Some other things to note about this option:

  • BEFORE YOU ENROLL: Check the websites of the grad programs you're interested in, and you should see a list of their prerequisite courses. They'll be different for each program, but some courses might be similar between programs. Make sure that the leveling courses you are taking will satisfy the requirements for the grad programs you're interested in!

  • If you find leveling courses that have a different name, number of credit hours, or outcomes: DEFINITELY email the grad programs that you're interested in to make sure that the courses you're taking will count toward their prerequisite requirements. You don't want to shell out cash for classes that won't get much bang for your buck!

OPTION 3


Post-Baccalaureate Programs

Also known as a post-bacc, these programs are much the same as leveling courses. However, these programs tend to be a little longer and involve more coursework requirements than a leveling program. Generally, it's not as likely that you'll be able to enroll without an application and acceptance to these programs.


Pros:

  • If you're looking for letters of recommendation from professors in the field, it is easier to develop relationships with professors when you choose this option. This is because you are more likely to have the same professor across multiple semesters. You're still going to want to make sure that you're going to office hours!

  • Most programs don't really look at where you got your post-bacc coursework done - so don't worry that it might not be 'prestigious' or a 'high-ranked program.'

  • In most cases, you'll have a cohort or a group of post-bacc students who will be taking these courses with you! If there is not a separate leveling cohort, you might take courses with CSD major undergraduate students at the university.

  • It's more likely with this option that you'd qualify for some university supports, like student insurance, scholarship applications, free or low cost counseling services, etc. Check with your post-bacc program directly to see if the services you'll need are available to post-bacc students!

Cons:

  • You are more likely to need to submit an application and wait to be accepted. If you have a lower GPA, this might not be the best option for you. Check with the post-bacc program directly to see if there is an application process, or if you're able to just enroll.

  • It can be difficult to qualify for financial aid if you're not enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and most post-bacc programs do not offer a certificate or degree when you've completed their requirements. However, it is more likely that you'll receive a certificate after a post-bacc than a leveling program, so it's worth it to check!

  • It is not as easy, in most cases, to individualize a post-bacc program. You might end up taking courses (& shelling out extra cash) that aren't necessarily required by the graduate universities you're planning on applying to.

  • Most of the time, you cannot apply to graduate programs that require an undergraduate degree in CSD if you choose this option.


Some other things to note about this option:

  • BEFORE YOU ENROLL: Check the websites of the grad programs you're interested in, and you should see a list of their prerequisite courses. They'll be different for each program, but some courses might be similar between programs. Make sure that the post-bacc courses you are taking will satisfy the requirements for the grad programs you're interested in!


OPTION 4


Second Bachelor's Degree

These degree programs usually include all of the major-specific coursework that is required of other undergraduates in CSD that come from the same university. Essentially, you'd be earning a second bachelor's degree by taking only the in-major Junior/Senior courses that are required of undergraduates, without any of the gen-eds like English 101 and geography. When you complete the requirements, you should receive a degree that is just as valid as a regular undergraduate degree in CSD.


Pros:

  • Most of the time, you CAN apply to graduate programs that require an undergraduate degree in CSD if you choose this option.

  • The websites of most graduate programs require an undergraduate degree in CSD or prerequisite coursework. So, you likely won't need to worry as much about the second bachelor's coursework matching the grad degree program's prereqs exactly.

  • If you're looking for letters of recommendation from professors in the field, it is easier to develop relationships with professors when you choose this option. This is because you are more likely to have the same professor across multiple semesters. You're still going to want to make sure that you're going to office hours!

  • As this is a degree-seeking program, you'd likely qualify for similar financial aid opportunities as other undergraduate students. Check with your financial aid counselor to see what your options are!

  • Most programs don't really look at where you got your second bachelor's coursework done - so don't worry that it might not be 'prestigious' or a 'high-ranked program.'

  • In most cases, you'll have a cohort or a group of second bachelor's students who will be taking these courses with you! If there is not a separate cohort, you might take courses with CSD major undergraduate students at the university.

  • It's likely with this option that you'd qualify for most university supports, like student insurance, scholarship applications, free or low cost counseling services, etc. Check with your post-bacc program directly to see if the services you'll need are available to post-bacc students!

Cons:

  • You are more likely to need to submit an application and wait to be accepted. If you have a lower GPA, this might not be the best option for you. Check with the post-bacc program directly to see if there is an application process, or if you're able to just enroll.

  • It is not as easy, in most cases, to individualize a second bachelor's program. If you're interested in enrolling in different electives or courses, contact the program advisor directly.

  • Make absolutely sure that this degree program is accredited!




OK, so which one is best for me?


My advice would be to come up with a list of 5-10 grad school programs that you'd be interested in attending. It's fairly likely that all of their prerequisites will be slightly different. The prereqs that are required for each program will be listed on their website.


For example,

CSUSM's prereqs are:

  • SLP 150 - Introduction to Communicative Sciences and Disorders (Formerly EDSL 350)

  • SLP 201 - Hearing Disorders and Measurement

  • SLP 251 - Language Development and Assessment for Practitioners

  • SLP 320 - Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism

  • SLP 357 or PHYS 357 - The Science of Speech and Hearing

  • SLP 364 - Cultural Diversity in Schooling (OR EDUC 364 OR ID 340)

  • SLP 391 - Clinical Phonetics and Analysis of Disordered Speech

  • SLP 450 - Diagnostics for Speech Language Pathologists

  • SLP 491 - Neural Correlates in Speech-Language and Swallowing Functions

  • EDUC 380 - Applications in Child and Youth Development (OR PSYC 330)

  • MATH 142 - Basic Statistics (OR PSYC 220)

University of the Redlands' prereqs are:

  • Speech and Language Science

  • Audiology and Hearing Science

  • Functional Anatomy/Physiology of Communication

  • Language Development

  • Phonetics and Phonology

  • Statistics

University of the Pacific

  • this university offers an accelerated program, so you wouldn't need any prereqs at all!


You'll want to find a post-bacc, leveling, prerequisite, or second bachelor's program that would satisfy the requirements for most of the graduate programs that you'd be interested in attending. You likely won't find one that fulfills all the requirements for all of the programs. However, by meeting the prereq requirements of the SLP graduate programs that you're interested in, you'd be giving yourself the best chance possible for an acceptance!



I saved the best news for last!


You might not need to take any prerequisite coursework, depending on the graduate programs you're interested in.

There are many schools that have extended three year programs, and for some of those you wouldn't have to take any prerequisites before applying to the grad program! The prerequisites are usually just built in, which is why these programs tend to be 3 years instead of the usual 2.

There are a few key differences between going this route and going through the options I've listed above:

  • You are already admitted to the grad program while you complete the leveling coursework, so you don't have to worry about sinking an entire year of tuition into a leveling program that might not pan out when you actually start applying to grad schools.

  • Additionally, if you're dependent on student aid, it can get a little tricky for some prerequisite programs if they do not offer a degree or certificate - you'd have to be enrolled in a "degree-seeking" program to qualify for some types of financial aid. You'd avoid this in a grad program that includes the prerequisites: in most cases, you'd qualify for graduate student aid options, even while you're completing the leveling courses.

ASHA edfind has a tool that allows you to search for programs that don't require prerequisites. There are 46 (out of 298) - just go to ASHAedfind and one of the search options will be "does not require prerequisites."

If you do enough searching, you'll find that ASHAedfind's list isn't comprehensive: there are some programs that don't require prereqs that aren't listed here! Want to learn more about those programs? Check out this post!

742 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page