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Application Information – MS-SLP

To apply:

Each year the application portal opens on Aug. 1.

Application Deadline: Jan. 15
The application, test scores, and all supporting materials must be received by Jan. 15.

Admission Decisions

Admission decisions will be mailed by March 15.

Response from Students: April 15

If your written response is not received by April 15, the Department has the right to rescind the offer of admission and financial award. Confirmed receipt of an email to the Director of Graduate Studies specifying your decision by April 15 can be used to extend our deadline for receipt of the written response.

The Vanderbilt Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences is committed to recruiting, admitting, and training a diverse student body of future audiologists, speech-language pathologists, educators of the deaf, and researchers. Accordingly, we are continually working to establish and maintain equity and inclusivity in all areas of our educational mission.  Our commitment to embrace and promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity is broad with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, disability and differences, among others.  This commitment is founded in our core belief of equality for all humans. Our goal is that our culture and the diversity of our department will reflect the diversity of the nation and the populations that we serve.  Furthermore, we strongly believe that our focus to embrace diversity is a critical element in education that will prepare our future audiologists, speech-language pathologists, educators, and researchers to serve the populations with whom we work in all settings. To learn more about our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, please visit our DEI webpage.    

Application Fee* 
The $50.00 application fee is non-refundable and may be paid online by credit card when the application is officially submitted. A check or money order should be made payable to Vanderbilt University and sent to:

Program Manager
Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences – Vanderbilt University

1215 21st Ave. South, Room 8310
Medical Center East, South Tower
Nashville, TN 37232

*Applicants who are unable, as a result of financial hardship, to pay the application fee should contact Todd Ricketts, Ph.D.; Vice Chair of Graduate Education ( to request an exemption.

Personal Statement and Resume/supplemental materials

The Personal statement is a required and important part of your application. The DHSS has no set criteria or expectations for your personal statement. You can write about how your past personal experiences shaped your interest in communication sciences, or you might write about how you envision your future career. We are interested in learning what your test scores alone cannot convey about who you are. In any case, your statement should be no less than one page, but no more than 1.5  (single spaced) pages. We also encourage you to upload a 1 to 2-page resume to supplement the personal statement. Once your application is submitted, you may upload your resume/cv or other appropriate documents (e.g. master’s thesis, publication) by accessing the status page of the application and adding the documents in the “upload materials” section.

Required Materials

Transcripts/Academic information

Official transcripts, which also should be sent after the completion of your degree, must be sent directly to Vanderbilt at the address below. You will be prompted to upload your academic record for each college or university you have attended when you officially submit your application. An academic record can be in the form of a legible scanned copy of a transcript or an academic record from the institution’s Student Information System portal. If you are currently enrolled, please submit your academic record after your fall semester grades have been posted, if at all possible.

If you don’t have your official transcripts when submitting your application, unofficial transcripts can be provided instead. Official transcripts are required only after an offer of admission is made and accepted. To be considered official, a transcript must be sent directly from your institution to Vanderbilt. Official transcripts are submitted as instructed via the university registrar. All other transcripts are considered unofficial. Please do not mail transcripts to our department office.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters are required and up to five (maximum) can be accepted. If possible, three letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can best speak to your academic abilities and accomplishments and likelihood of your success in a clinical or research program. For example, letters from current or former professors from whom you have taken classes or for whom you have worked in research laboratories are especially helpful. Additional letters from supervisors, teaching assistants, etc., are welcome.

Recommenders must submit their letters electronically. The application allows you to identify your recommenders and the system will notify them (on your behalf) by e-mail. When the electronic recommendations are submitted, they are “attached” to the application, and you will receive an email message confirming receipt of each recommendation.

Please note: Email addresses should be proofed for accuracy before finalizing the application. If an incorrect email address is entered into the system, the recommender will not receive the request for recommendation.

If you choose not to use the electronic method, it is your responsibility to contact your recommenders and provide them with our recommendation form.

Test Scores

We require GRE scores for applications. Official GRE scores come electronically from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and are required for all applicants.

Important Note: It is the applicant’s responsibility to allow sufficient time for the ETS to score and report test results. Please refer to the ETS website ( to access the Detailed Score Reporting Schedule for the GRE exam.

Official TOEFL scores are required for international applicants only, even if you have completed a 4-year degree in a U.S. institution.

  • The minimum acceptable score on the paper-based TOEFL is 637, 270 for computer-based and for the Internet-based test, 110.

The scores should be sent to institution code 1871. The department code is not required in order for your official scores to attach to the application.

Although International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test scores are not required, applicants who have taken the IELTS can report their scores in the online application.

Additional Information for Applicants

The average GPA of recent successful applicants was 3.9 and all successful applicants had strong letters of recommendation. The average GRE scores from 2019 and 2020 incoming students were between 317 and 319 (combined qualitative and quantitative scores). However, applicants with a GPA and/or GRE scores lower than our typical averages are still encouraged to apply if the remainder of the application is strong. The GRE, GPA, and letters of recommendation are components that contribute to our holistic admissions practices, which also consider diversity, leadership, educational background, and research experiences, among others.

Tuition Scholarships

Given that most graduate students need financial assistance, need is not a factor; financial awards are offered on the basis of merit, using criteria very similar to that used to judge acceptance into the program. In addition, our department has dedicated resources specifically to support our commitment to a diverse student population. There are no additional forms to complete for scholarships.

Special Requirements for International Applicants

Previous Degrees
International applicants should apply only if you have four years of college (four-year degree or three-years plus one year of a master’s program).

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Prior to consideration for admission, international student applicants for whom English is a second language must submit a report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. Scores should be less than two years old and above 637 (paper-based) and 270 (computer-based) and 110 (internet based) to demonstrate proficiency (, or address inquiries and requests for applications to TOEFL, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151

International students applying to or enrolling in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Proficiency in English for Coursework and Clinical Practicum

International students (whose native language is not English) who are accepted to and progressing through the program may also be required to complete an intensive English language program at Vanderbilt University during their initial semester of classes in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences or, later in their course of study, in the event that spoken English skills adversely affect academic/clinical performance. Information about Vanderbilt’s English language program may be obtained at


International student applicants must supply official academic records from all colleges and universities attended including certificates, mark sheets and examination results. These may be copies of the original documents certified by an official of the institution issuing the record. If you are currently enrolled at a USA university, Vanderbilt will accept (for admission purposes only) copies of documents that may be on file at that university. Should you be admitted, you must supply the official documents described above.

Financial Resources

In order to meet requirements for entry into the USA, applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to cover the cost of their education. Please be prepared to provide evidence of this funding.