The Basics

Preparing to be a speech-language pathologist does not happen overnight. Most people know that it is important to have strong grades, but just as important is gaining experience to develop the skills, knowledge, and maturity necessary to be an effective healthcare provider. As with others on the health care team, the speech-language pathologist’s decisions and actions affect human life and well-being. They must have high ethical standards, communicate well with patients and other healthcare providers, maintain reliable records, and be knowledgeable about existing and new treatment techniques to ensure each patient has optimal therapy results. 

Knowledge of Self and Profession

Throughout the application process, you will need to demonstrate knowledge of yourself (values, goals, motivations, strengths, weaknesses), an understanding of the profession, and a commitment to become a speech-language pathologist. You must clearly articulate your readiness to enter the profession as a result of first-hand experience in the field. There should be evidence in your application that you are committed to service and helping others. You must demonstrate your ability to work on a team, to lead, and to communicate with people with different backgrounds, values, and perspectives from your own.

Major and GPA

Most students will choose Speech & Hearing Science as their major to prepare for speech-language pathology graduate programs. However, that is not the only option for speech-language pathology students. You can choose ANY major and be successful in your application to speech-language pathology school. Admissions personnel will review your GPA from a variety of perspectives…cumulative GPA, science/math GPA, prerequisite GPA. Choose a major that you will enjoy and allows you to successfully complete the required and recommended courses while also gaining experience outside the classroom. Consider a major that will provide many career options, recognizing that students commonly change majors and career plans multiple times as they learn about themselves and their career options.