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WKU Pre-SLP Program vs FSU Bridge

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Hey everyone! I am graduating in May with my degree in psychology and want to begin classes for speech this summer. I have already been accepted into WKU and am currently working on my essay for FSU. Does anyone know if either program is considered "better" or more esteemed by graduate schools? After my bridge year I plan to enter a 2-year masters program. Any thoughts or advice would be helpful! 

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Hello @EmilyL99!

For pre-requisite programs, you only need to look at whether the courses listed in the program match the required pre-reqs for the master's programs you'd like to apply to. Under most circumstances, it doesn't matter much where these courses were taken, only that you have taken all of the courses that your programs of interest require. You'll find that some pre-requisites are the same for pretty much every school, like a Physical Science (Chemistry or Physics), Biological Science, Statistics, and a Social Science course. These are ASHA requirements, so you'll probably find those requirements are necessary for all the grad schools you apply to. 


That being said, most grad schools have other pre-requisite requirements. They will vary from program to program. For example: 

  • To be accepted to WKU's graduate program, you will need Speech-Language Development, Speech Science, Phonetics, Speech-Hearing Anatomy, Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Audiology, and Assessment. 


  • To be accepted to FSU's graduate program, there is no direct information about whether pre-requisite credits will be accepted from other programs at all. Their bridge program includes: Introduction to Communication Science, Neurological Basis of Communication, Clinical Phonetics, Anatomy and Physiology of Speech/Language and Hearing, Normal Communication Development, Introduction to Clinical Audiology, and Clinical Methods.


Some have stated on this forum that if you have a specific master's program in mind, attending that university's pre-requisite program can give you a leg up. I don't know if this is true for every program, and I would assume that it would only matter one way or another if you and another candidate were very similar in just about every other way. 


Other unsolicited advice:

Try to keep those grades up in your pre-req classes!!!! That's what is going to help you most as you look into graduate programs. Take your GRE more than once if that's possible for you and if the master's programs you're interested in require it. Get involved as much as you can - there are quite a few posts about ways to improve your application and resume as an out-of-field applicant, but the advice is usually pretty similar for SLP undergraduates and pre-req students. I'll link one of my previous replies here.

(These are all suggestions, they are in no way required and please don't try to do them all. You'll burn yourself out and your grades are arguably more important):

On 12/30/2020 at 2:07 AM, jomyers.online said:

Jobs/Volunteer Positions:

  • Volunteer or apply at a preschool: this experience will improve your knowledge of child speech and language development
  • Volunteer or work with adults with intellectual disabilities: working with adults with communication differences will ready you for work in the field. In this sort of a position, you will likely gain experience with data tracking and goal setting as well. The process that we use to create and track goals at the company I work for is incredibly similar to the IEP process that SLPs use in school settings. 

Clubs/Student Organizations:

  • Best Buddies
  • Start your own CSD or Pre-SLP club! Nancy over at the Sunshine Speechie podcast had some good tips on how she got a Pre-SLP club going at Clemson University, but I can’t find the exact post.
  • Leadership positions are highly sought-after, but they really do offer you a leg up if you can get one!

Observations/Job Shadowing: 

  • It’s always worth it to cold-call Speech Pathologists in your area to see if they’d be willing to let you job shadow for a day or two. Try to branch out: ask SLPs in medical settings, at schools, and in private practice settings. 
  • You could also sign up for the Master Clinician Network (I think it's $50ish) for informal observations online. I did this during Covid-19, as the observations that I had set up fell apart as soon as the pandemic hit. *keep in mind, these will NOT count towards the 25 guided observation hours required by most programs*

CEUs/Professional Organizations:

  • There are TONS of free and low-cost CEUs available since the start of the pandemic! They usually offer certificates for completion. Doing a couple of these will show your school that you are dedicated to learning more about the field
  • Join the NSSLHA! If you can, ask a local university that does offer an undergraduate CSD program if you can sit in on their meetings.

Undergraduate Research:

  • See if one of your linguistics professors offers volunteer positions in their research labs. Most master's programs really want to see research experience, even if it isn't directly related to Speech Pathology.


Some master's programs don't require pre-requisites at all, so those might be worth looking into, as well.


Best of luck to you!


Edited by jomyers.online
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