FAQs in Speech Pathology

What materials does the application process require?

(1) GRE scores.  Scores should be sent directly to the University of Arizona institution code (4832).

(2) Official Electronic Transcripts (E-Transcripts). E-Transcripts are accepted by the Graduate College as official if sent directly from the institution or transcript service to the Department representative at slhs_app@email.arizona.edu or to the Graduate Admissions email inbox at gradadmissions@grad.arizona.edu . If your institution does not provide Official E-Transcripts, then you may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts and documents. Unofficial copies of documents provided in your Graduate Application are for initial evaluation purposes only. You will still be required to provide official documents to your program's coordinator if you are accepted into the program.

(3) Three letters of recommendation from people who can comment on your academic skills and your clinical and research potential. We recommend that at least two letters be from faculty members (preferably all 3). The letters of recommendation need to be submitted electronically.

(4) A personal statement (1 single-spaced page) that addresses the following:

a) Discuss the factors that led you to pursue studies in speech, language, and hearing sciences. You may comment on aspects of the discipline that interest you, insights gained from coursework, and clinical, research, or other personal experiences.
b) Describe your career goals.

The personal statement serves as both a writing sample, and a chance for you to let us know about your interest in the field. The best personal statements do not simply repeat the information on the resume, but give us insight into the candidate. There is no ‘formula’ for a good personal statement, so don’t worry if your story is different than your colleagues. We appreciate diversity.

(5) Resume that includes the following:

a) Any academic, scholarly, and professional awards that you have received.
b) Research experience.
c) Leadership experience, extracurricular activities and volunteer experience.
d) Any supervised clinical practicum experience (indicate number of hours and nature of the disorders).

It can be helpful to list a few bullet points under your experiences to give reader a sense of what those experience included.

(6) For nonnative English speakers: TOEFL or IELTS scores

What grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores do I need to be accepted into the MS program at University of Arizona?

The typical successful applicant has a GPA of 3.5 or better on 
the last 60 units, has a verbal GRE score in the 70 %ile or better, a quantitative
GRE score in the 60 %ile or better, and a GRE analytic writing score in the 60 %ile or 
better. The typical successful applicant also demonstrates participation in a research laboratory, volunteerism, and/or a solid work history, and has strong letters of recommendation. Note that these are not criteria for admission, just descriptions of the types of students admitted to our program in recent years. The Graduate College at the University of Arizona requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.

What is the process for determining which applicants are accepted into the MS program?

A faculty committee rates applicants on several variables including GPA (4-year and last 60 units), GRE (verbal, quantitative, and writing), personal statement, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. We look at the application package as a whole, not just a single score or component. We highly value diversity. If there is something in your story that we should know, please tell us, in a professional manner.

Is there an application fee?

Yes, there is a $85 application fee payable to the Graduate College.

How long is the traditional MS program?

The MS program is five semesters in length (two years). This includes the summer between the first and second year of the program. Students are expected to be enrolled in a clinic registration during the summer session to complete their clinical hours. No formal coursework is typically offered during the summer term.

Does UA accept students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines?

Yes. Students with degrees in other disciplines usually enroll in our 3-year MS program (rather than our traditional 2-year program). The applicant with an undergraduate degree in another discipline follows the usual procedures for applying to the MS program. If the applicant is accepted, we will assess the undergraduate courses and determine what additional courses will need to be taken.

What is the difference between a 2-year and a 3-year master’s program?

Students who have an undergraduate degree in speech, language, and hearing sciences (or communication disorders, speech-language pathology, etc.) will be enrolled in a 2-year program. Students who have an undergraduate degree in another discipline may be enrolled in a 3-year program (depending on what undergraduate courses they have taken) in which the first year is spent in foundational (primarily undergraduate) courses, and the second year begins the regular 2-year graduate program. The application process is exactly the same for both these programs. If the applicant is accepted into our program, we will determine whether the applicant requires a 2-year or 3-year program.

Is there funding available for graduate students?

We typically have several teaching assistantships 
per year for incoming students, and occasionally we have research assistantships available. We also may offer some out-of-state tuition waivers. We encourage prospective domestic students to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, some prospective domestic students, who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic, or educational obstacles, may qualify for funding.

Do the Audiology and Speech Langauge Pathology programs participate in the Western Regional College Programs (WRCP)?

No. Currently our graduate clinical training programs do not qualify for the WRCP.

What is the current tuition at the University of Arizona for graduate students?

Numbers listed below are for the 2017-2018 academic year:


Graduate Program

Resident Tuition (full-time)

Nonresident Tuition


Mandatory Student Fees

Program Fees

Total Resident

Total Nonresident






















For additional information, please visit the University of Arizona tuition calculator.

Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?

We require three letters of recommendation. At least two of those should come from academic faculty members. If you have had some clinical experience, it is also a good idea to include a letter from your clinical supervisor. The request for letters of application can be sent anytime after you have started the application, it is a good idea to send these early. If you have been out of school for several years, you might not have access to academic faculty. In this case, letters from employers or other people who could speak to your potential success in graduate school will be accepted.

How do I know if my letters of recommendation have been submitted?

You can check on the status of your recommendations at any time by logging in to the UA Graduate Admissions Application (https://apply.grad.arizona.edu/), selecting your application from the section titled "My Applications", and clicking "Letters of Recommendation".

Are my GRE scores too old?

If you have taken the GRE within the past 5 years, they are still considered current. If they are older than 5 years, you need to take the GRE again.

Are there special requirements for second-language English speakers?

English proficiency is one of the conditions for admission to the UA Graduate College for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 paper based (PB), 79 internet based (iBT), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6).

To be admitted into our clinical master’s program, and particularly to perform successfully in the clinic, a student also needs to meet our technical standards, one of which is “a high level of English proficiency.” To view our technical standards for speech-language pathology, see Technical Standards for the Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Program (see Appendix A of the Program Requirements: Cactus Book). 

Do you accept applicants with disabilities?

To be admitted into our master’s program, a student needs to meet our technical standards. These standards relate to observation, communication, motor, and intellectual skills. See Technical Standards for the Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Program (see Appendix A of the Program of Requirements: Cactus Book). 

Do you consider applications for early decisions?

No.  ALL applications submitted by the dealine (February 1) will be considered equally.

Do you accept late application materials?

No. ALL materials must be received by February 1st for your application to be considered. This includes your online application forms, resume, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.   

Do you allow students to begin the program in January?

No. All students begin their master’s program in August (fall semester).

Do you allow part-time students in the MS program?

No. Our master’s program is a full-time program.

May I visit the University of Arizona?

Yes. The best time to visit the department is on the designated visitation dates (contact the department for the specific dates; typically held in October and March). On these days you will meet academic faculty, clinical faculty, and current students and you will get tours of the clinics and research laboratories. You may also visit on other dates; however, be sure to contact someone several weeks before your trip so that some arrangements can be made for you to meet some of the faculty.

What types of clinical opportunities do you offer?

All graduate students complete a minimum of 400 clinical hours. Our in-house clinics include pediatric and adult populations from birth to senescence. Disorders include genetic syndromes, neurogenic disorders, autism, dysphagia, vocal abuse/misuse, specific language impairment, phonological disorder, articulation, cochlear implant and hard-of-hearing, aphasia, traumatic brain injury, stuttering/cluttering, phonological awareness. Special programs include, but are not limited to, Aphasia Program, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, LSVT, Cochlear Implant Program, Accent Reduction, Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing, ALS/MDA Clinic. We are affiliated with over 50 off-campus sites including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, schools, private practices, and clinics.

Is it possible to do a clinical rotation outside of Tucson during the master’s program?

Yes. Although it is not possible to do this during the fall or spring semester, it is possible to do during the summer. If this is something you might want to do, you need to discuss this with your clinical supervisors during your first semester in the program.

Is it possible to get experience in bilingual speech-language pathology in the UA program?

Yes, given Tucson’s diverse population, there are many clinical and research opportunities to develop your understanding of cultural diversity and bilingual speech-language pathology skills (particularly Spanish-English) in the UA program.   We also offer a formal bilingual certificate program for students enrolled in the clinical graduate programs.  Students apply to the bilingual program after they are enrolled in a graduate program.  There is a $500/semester fee for this program.

Is a Masters thesis required?

No, a Masters thesis is not required. However, applicants who are interested in doing a Masters thesis are encouraged to start this process as early as possible once they are in the program.

What is the employment rate of those who graduate with an MS in speech-language pathology from the University of Arizona?