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There are four prerequisite courses that are required by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for certification and are considered to be an essential background for the graduate program. While the prerequisite courses are not a requirement in order to apply, it is highly encouraged that students satisfy the following prerequisites prior to enrollment in the Vanderbilt Master in Speech-Language Pathology program.

  • Biological Sciences (at least one course, for example, Intro to Biology)
  • Physics or Chemistry (coursework does not have to be at a level for science majors, but it does need to carry full college credit and be applicable to a general science requirement)
  • Statistics
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences (at least one course in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, or Public Health)

For a list of accepted courses, view the ASHA prerequisite courses.

The above four areas cover the most crucial prerequisites you’ll need for purposes of credentialing. Transcript credit in the form of coursework, AP or CLEP credit may be offered to meet these requirements if they were approved by your undergraduate institution and show on your transcripts.

We have no set criteria for GREs of students we accept, but the successful applicant must have GRE scores consistent with Vanderbilt standards. Our decision to admit is based on a composite of information about the applicant, not merely one variable. Within this mosaic of information, we are looking for consistency of abilities and performance, so that, for example, strong GREs appear coupled with strong grades together with solid letters of recommendation (with the letters coming from individuals who know you academically and/or clinically) and a strong personal statement.

Additionally, certain coursework in the area of communication sciences and disorders may serve to expedite completion of the graduate curriculum. Typically, students who have a background in communication sciences and disorders may graduate after five semesters in the M.S. program while non-background students are enrolled for six semesters

For students without a background, the completion of the following courses prior to enrollment in graduate school may serve in order to reduce course load requirements:

  • Normal Language Development or Language Acquisition
  • Basic Audiology
  • Aural Rehabilitation

To meet prerequisite requirements, these courses should be taken in a department of communication sciences and disorders.

Our Masters program in Speech-Language Pathology is ranked #1 of ‘America’s Best Graduate Schools,’ published by U.S. News & World Report.

Many (25-50%) of our current students have no or minimal undergraduate background in SLP; however, whether a student enters with or without an undergraduate MS-SLP background, all of our masters students must, by the time they graduate with a Masters in SLP, achieve the four prerequisites, above, as well as the basic masters academic/clinical curriculum in SLP.

No. The M.S. program in SLP at Vanderbilt admits applicants only for Fall Semester (classes beginning late August).

Most definitely in fact, we consider this to be one of the strengths of the program. Of the 12 Ph.D. speech-language faculty members, nearly all have worked as clinicians at one time in their careers, approximately one-half currently are involved in direct clinical patient care activities. Moreover, several adjunct faculty members in the speech-language program on the Vanderbilt campus are involved in direct clinical care. Finally, students will work with a large clinical staff whose only responsibility is clinical care.

Typically, the first semester, with depth and breadth of involvement depending on background.

No. A master’s thesis option is available for MS-SLP students.

No. The M.S. program at Vanderbilt University is for full-time residential students only.

Yes. It is possible for students to work provided they are making satisfactory academic and clinical progress in the program. It is, however, strongly encouraged that such work be part-time.

Please note that tuition is subject to change every year. See your estimated Cost of Attendance.

In the final semester of enrollment prior to the initiation of the externship, students are enrolled in a class addressing professional issues. Significant portions of that class are used to address the credentialing process as well as successfully applying for professional positions, including focused lectures on resume’ writing and interviewing. Faculty members review resume’s and applications for students and perform mock interviews to prepare them for the process. The network of Vanderbilt graduates and personal contacts by faculty members are utilized in supporting the graduate seeking employment. One hundred percent of our students who seek employment post-graduation are successful in finding employment.

Many (up to 70%) of our graduate students receive some level of financial support. For the practitioner degrees (M.S. in SLP and Au.D.), such support comes in the form of remitted tuition, ranging from 25% to 100%. Financial awards which are competitive in nature – are offered at or around the time we let students know of acceptance, wait lists, etc., which is generally around the second week of March. Given that 100% of 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.

Yes. Our department supports a financial aid department that is committed to assisting students with financial aid/loans.

The Medical School’s Office of Student Financial Aid can be reached by contacting them at:

Office of Student Financial Aid
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CST

Eskind Biomedical Library and Learning Center
2209 Garland Avenue
Suite 226
(615) 322-2145
(615) 343-2312 (FAX)

In order to schedule a virtual visit please fill out the online form.

Clinic start two weeks after you enter in the program.