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Speech Language Pathology advice


phanam
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Hi, I’m in my 3rd year of undergrad and if i’m being completely honest online school has kicked my butt. I got a C+ in phonetics and i’m possibly thinking of doing a 5th year. However, i don’t know how grad schools will feel if I did take another year. Any advices on what grad schools would think if I did take an extra year of school? Also should I retake phonetics? 

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I would say retake phonetics because I know a lot of programs at least want a B- in all of the core communication courses. I say at least a B- because I got a B- in one class (can’t remember which one) and it wasn’t an issue. Why would you take a 5th year? I don’t think colleges care about how long it took you to get your degree to be honest. My friends took 5yrs because of many major changes and they all got into different post grad programs. I took 5yrs undergrad then 2yrs in a post BA program and got into schools.

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I think what matters more is where you see yourself going for your masters. If you're aiming for schools with a certain GPA average and this C+ drags you below that number, I would definitely retake the class. Consider both major GPA and overall GPA and look at the ASHA EdFind stats for programs you're interested in. If your GPA with the C+ does not make you a potential outlier, retaking it may not be worth it to you, especially if there were circumstances that led to that C+ that don't speak to your mastery of the material by the end of the course. 

I would consider retaking for these reasons: 1) it'll make any other phonetics classes you take in graduate school a much less stressful experience (I just finished mine and it was the most technically challenging class I've had by far, and I'm a very strong transcriber with a good ear), and 2) a C+ in a core class may limit where you're accepted. I don't know of any program that sees more school as a problem, especially if you show improvement over that time. That said, you don't need to take it at the same school. I did leveling work at several different institutions and got into most of the schools I applied to once I satisfied the prerequisites. Many of the people in my cohort have similarly winding-roads and came from other fields. 

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I got a C in speech science and still got into programs but I also had mainly A's in my other CSD courses which balanced it out. However, I would consider retaking phonetics since the content matter is very important for speech-language pathology. However, if the C isn't impacting your GPA that much and your GRE scores and extracurriculars are strong I wouldn't bother retaking it but practice the material on your own time. I would also ask your academic advisor for their input because my undergraduate course required students to get a B to continue in the undergrad program.

I really wouldn't worry about what programs will think of you if you have 5 years of undergrad instead of 4. Everyone's academic journey is different and you can even make it sound like a pro in your personal statement by saying you were so dedicated to the field you wanted to take extra time to really learn the material.

But of course as others have mentioned I would look at the competitive level of grad programs such as on ASHA EdFind stats. I also encourage you to speak with your academic advisor before decided to take on two extra semesters of undergrad and retaking a class.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you can afford to retake it and know you'll earn a higher grade, do it. If you're not sure, don't. 

As for 5 five years vs 4 years for a degree, I'm guessing admissions committees wouldn't care one bit as long as your overall application fits what they're looking for. Everyone's academic path is different, and it doesn't matter how long you took to finish your degree as long as you finished it and learned the material. 

Also look holistically at your application: GPA and GRE are important for sure, but you should absolutely spend time writing a killer personal statement, strategically planning letters of rec, and polishing your resume. 

 

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