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Since I don't see a recent one, I wanted to start a thread for people accepted to the University of Iowa SLP MA program.  I'm especially interested to hear the experiences of those who go to the Visit Day (when it happens), because I won't be able to make it.  Also, if there are any current/former students on here, I'd love to get your take on the program.  Here are a few questions I have so far:

1. How would you describe the feel/vibe of the program?  Is it high-pressure?  Relaxed?  Supportive?  Competitive?

2. What's your impression of how common funding (RA/TA/grants) is?  If you get funding for the first year or term, how likely is it that you'll keep that funding for future terms?

3. What do you like least about the program?  What do you like most?

If you were accepted and want to add questions or just introduce yourself, that's great too!

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Former student here. 

1) I would say that they have high expectations but not over the top. My overall take on grad school was that it was challenging but not overwhelming. The professors themselves will tell you that it's okay to get B's now that you've been admitted to the program. The clinical faculty is supportive and take the process of helping students improve seriously. The atmosphere also depends on your specific cohort as well. My cohort was very supportive and we were all very friendly with each other. We were not competitive with each other at all. We shared notes, study guides, studied together. We all felt like there wasn't a point to being competitive because we'd all really already achieved the ultimate goal of getting into a good school.

2) Funding is not all that common. Of the students in my class maybe 2-3 people got a TA-ship or paid research position. The TA-ships were offered to students specifically but I think the paid research positions were something people sought out. TA-ships were only offered for one semester with no repeats. I do know that some students sought out TA-ships in other departments, like linguistics or Spanish. One nice thing is that the final semester in the second year you only pay for 4 credits so it's significantly cheaper than the other semesters. 

3) What I like most about the program was how close my cohort was. We all helped each other and were very supportive, I really felt like I could have gone to any one of them with a problem and they would have listened and tried to help. I also liked how knowledgeable the clinical and academic staff were, they are very good at their jobs and I always felt like I was learning cutting-edge EBP practices. I also really liked doing the stuttering camps for kids and teens in the summer. It's a great crash course in stuttering therapy which not all universities have experiences in. Iowa also allows you to do your clinical practicums anywhere in the country and will help you find one if they have connections in the city you are looking for. You may still have to do some cold calls on your own if it's a new city but they'll assist you in setting it up once you've ascertained the place you are looking at is open to taking a student. My least favorite part was that team experiences during the summer are shorter than during the semester--I was doing early intervention team during the summer and was sad that I didn't get to do a full semester's worth of working with clients. I was there when they had two preschool classrooms in the building that we serviced and they no longer have those, which is a shame because it was a great experience.

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@flowerbloom  Thanks so much for responding!  Bummer about funding (and probably a deal-breaker assuming I get funding anywhere else), but it sounds like you had a good experience.  This is not exactly on topic, but I noticed that you also got into Purdue.  Was there a reason you preferred U Iowa over Purdue?  I haven't heard back from Purdue but they're kind of in the same category for me out of the schools I applied to (Midwest, good reputation, relatively selective, research-focused, etc.).

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27 minutes ago, charlottearoora said:

@flowerbloom  Thanks so much for responding!  Bummer about funding (and probably a deal-breaker assuming I get funding anywhere else), but it sounds like you had a good experience.  This is not exactly on topic, but I noticed that you also got into Purdue.  Was there a reason you preferred U Iowa over Purdue?  I haven't heard back from Purdue but they're kind of in the same category for me out of the schools I applied to (Midwest, good reputation, relatively selective, research-focused, etc.).

I went to both Iowa's and Purdue's open houses and I preferred the vibe that I got from Iowa. All the faculty, no matter how busy they were took the time to pop in and introduce themselves to the group and talk with us during the luncheon. I didn't get that same welcoming feeling at Purdue. I also didn't care for the fact that the department head bashed a bunch of the other top schools in his address to the group. Like you, I was interested in getting a research position and had contacted people at both universities. I got a prompt response from Iowa and met with her to discuss a potential position when I was there for the open house.  I never heard back from Purdue, even just to say they didn't have anything open. My friend went there and had a good experience so I think it just depends.

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