Deciding on Graduate Programs
It’s been 15 years since I graduated with my masters in speech pathology and I reflected on what mattered THE MOST about that experience. I think that there is a lot to unpack. Instead of writing something I decided to film my thoughts about the experience. I start talking a little bit about deciding on a graduate program and what I ultimately decided to do. Then what I think about it now that I’ve been doing this for so long. I finally answered what REALLY mattered now that I can look back.
After all this reflecting, I came up with the three out important things for prospective candidates for the speech masters programs to think deeply about. I do not want to spoil the video by saying what they are, but also I really explain things well in the video. That’s why I’m not going to tell you what I say, but here are a couple hints:
- Cost of a masters in speech pathology
- Where you live and where you want to work
- The value, if any, of expensive, private programs
Masters for Speech Pathology? Yes!
Yes, you need a masters for speech pathology and to become a speech-language pathologist. The masters is the entry degree to be certified in this profession so there’s no way around it.
Speech Pathology Master’s Programs
There is a wide range of programs to get your masters in communication disorders (aka speech pathology or speech therapy). Essentially the options are public or private schools and in-person or online. There are in-person public programs, online public programs, in-person private programs, and online private programs. Typically public schools are the most affordable and private schools are the least affordable. I went to and graduated from Northwestern University’s masters program in speech-language pathology in 2006, which was an in-person private school program. Don’t forget to make sure that the program is accredited by American-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA), but most are aside from any that are brand-new on the scene programs.
Online Speech Pathology Master’s Programs
When I first got going in this profession, there were not very many online speech therapy master’s programs. Now there are a ton more. Are online programs just as good? Yes, they are. Many are structured in a different way than traditional programs. Many traditional programs that are in-person give graduate students both classwork and therapy clients at the same time. Online programs load up the students with course work at the beginning and then the clinical and school-based placements that revolve around clinical contact hours are loaded up at the end of the program. ASHA requires 400 clinical contact hours so graduate programs mirror that requirement. In the online programs those hours would be offered in-person (mostly – there could be teletherapy) in your home community.
I have already written a lengthy blog post about online speech pathology master’s programs here: 24 Online Speech Pathology Programs
I know the video (above) help you understand the main considerations you need to keep in mind when you are considering where to go to graduate school. If you want more information, feel free to read my other blog post about choosing the graduate school program that’s right for you.