Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

  • How do I apply?
    • For an overview and list of requirements, please refer to the graduate application process described in detail on our website.
    • We use an application portal called CSDCAS for all graduate application for the SLP Master’s program.
    • The application deadline is January 15th.
  • When does the application process open?
    • July 15th of the year prior to desired enrollment.
  • What if I miss the application deadline?
    • All application materials must be received by the admissions deadline to be considered.
    • If you miss the current application cycle (July 15-January 15), you must wait to apply until the next cycle opens.
  • When should I submit my application to ensure it’s verified by the application deadline?
    • At least four weeks prior to the admissions deadline.
  • What if my application isn’t verified by the deadline?
    • Monitor your application until your status is verified.
    • Please contact CSDCAS Customer Service for questions and concerns regarding verification updates.
  • What are the minimum admission requirements?
    • A complete application submitted by the deadline.
    • An undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders, or successful completion of a levelling program, both of which must meet the University of Montana’s SLP prerequisite requirements listed on the leveling program page.
    • GRE scores—GRE scores are not required for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle
    • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all college work.
      • Any and all prerequisite courses (levelling) must be passed with an 80% or 3.0.
    • Please note that each application is reviewed carefully and assessed individually using the list of required documents, in addition to letters of recommendation and students’ essay responses.
  • What factors besides GPA and GRE do you consider for admission when evaluating applications?
    • We use holistic process that takes into account GPA, GRE (not required for the 2021-2022 application cycle), letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and related experiences to make a determination.
    • What are the prerequisites for the master’s program?
    • How do I know if my leveling courses from another program meet the pre-requisite requirements?
      • Our program will review prior leveling coursework to make a determination.
      • Please contact Meghann Schroeder, Academic Advisor, or Amanda Jackson, Graduate Advisor for course review.
    • What if I’m missing a pre-requisite course?
      • Students are generally required to complete all prerequisite courses prior to program enrollment.
      • Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis after acceptance to the SLP graduate program.
    • What do I do if my undergraduate degree is in a different field?
      • You will need to complete a post baccalaureate levelling certificate program that meets the prerequisite requirements (see UM’s CSD Leveling program for one option).
      • You may contact Meghann Schroeder, Academic Advisor, for more information.
    • What can I do to strengthen my application?
      • When writing your essay, consider how effectively you are answering the essay prompt, and find ways to make your essay represent your unique strengths as a student and future clinician (remember that the admissions committee reads many essays, so find a way to make yourself stand out).
      • Another way to strengthen your application is to gain additional experiences and opportunities that are directly related to the field of speech-language pathology. This may mean serving as a speech-language pathology aide/assistant, gaining research experience under a faculty mentor, getting more volunteer experience in an area related to communicative sciences and disorders, or working in a related field.
    • Whom should I ask for letters of recommendation?
      • Individuals who have seen your skills related to the field of speech-language pathology through school, work, or volunteer opportunities, rather than someone who only knows you on a personal level.
      • A strong recommendation comes from someone who can reflect on your ability to be successful in a graduate SLP program and can recommend that you might be successful in areas such as your ability to: 1) engage in academic rigor (e.g., writing, critical thinking, problem solving) , 2) establish clinical rapport with clients, 3) effectively manage your time across multiple areas, 4) contribute professionally in a team setting, and 5) demonstrate the essential skills foundational to the SLP profession found on our graduate program webpage.
    • When will I found out if I’ve been accepted?
      • At University of Montana, each eligible application is carefully reviewed to be considered for acceptance in our highly competitive program. As such, the review process of your application will take a significant amount of time and you will not hear from us during that review period unless there is an error in your application. You will be contacted about your acceptance status no later than April 15. 
    • Do you have spring start as an option for admissions?
      • No
    • How many spots are available in the master’s program?
      • Approximately 35 per cohort
    • What’s the program’s acceptance rate?
      • Approximately 14%
    • How many spots are available in the Western Regional Graduate Program?
      • There are minimal available slots for this program.
      • After admission to the program, students are selected for this opportunity based on their applications.
    • Do you accept international students?
      • However, students may be required to complete clinical rotations in the US if no appropriate opportunities and/or ASHA certified supervisors are available in their home countries.
      • International applicants follow the procedures described above.  In addition, see the information in the International Admission section on University of Montana Graduate School website.
      • Non-native English Speakers must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Our institution code is C122.
    • How can I get a tour of the school?
      • We are not currently offering in-person tours due to COVID restrictions. However, we have developed a short video that will provide you with a snapshot of the department.

Program Information and Expectations

  • Will I have to relocate while enrolled in the program for clinical placements?
    • Like most clinical programs, we are not always able to accommodate all local placement requests. We strongly recommend that students, when possible, be prepared for placement in other communities during their second year. 
  • Is the academic and/or clinical program flexible enough to work around my schedule?
    • The structure of the SLP master’s program requires a significant commitment of time as well as a commitment to flexibility in your schedule. As a student, program requirements should be prioritized and will require students to demonstrate flexibility. 
    • Your presence is required in academic and clinical activities throughout your program as outlined in your program of study and includes summers for all students in distance and on-site programs. For the duration of your program, vacations and other absences must be planned around your coursework and clinical load. Clinical rotations often cannot accommodate prolonged absences such as a vacation. They are not possible to make up and absence may delay your graduation. 
  • Is it possible to attend the distance program if I live out of state?
    • Yes, but the distance program requires students to have adequate technology to participate in streaming courses attended in real time (synchronously).
  • What are the dates for the required on-campus clinical rotation for distance students?
    • Generally, Mid-May through July and are variable based on the clinical intensive to which you are assigned.
    • Plan to be on campus for approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • If I don’t already live in Missoula, where will I find housing when I come to campus for my first clinical experience?
  • UM Residence Life has some options but must be reserved early in spring semester prior to your summer residency:
  • Other options are extended stay hotels and Airbnb:
  • Let your classmates know you need accommodations for summer clinics.
    • Some on-campus students may have guest rooms, an extra bed, or may sub-let.
  • Can I do my external clinical practicum anywhere in the US?
    • Yes, however, placement is contingent on availability, amenability of the facility to student placement, appropriateness of opportunities, state reciprocity guidelines, and/or ASHA certified supervisors available for supervision.
  • Do I find my clinical placements or will the program find my placements?
    • The program takes suggestions from students, but will initiate contact and secure agreements with potential facilities.
    • Students must not independently contact facilities for placement opportunities.
  • Can I complete the ASHA standard IV-A while enrolled in the program?
    • Students are generally required to complete all prerequisite courses prior to program enrollment.
    • Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis after acceptance to the SLP graduate program.
  • Do I get to choose my plan of study?
    • All students take the same courses during their program, but you will be surveyed about your desired academic and professional focus and assigned a sequenced plan of study accordingly.
  • Will I be required to do a thesis?
    • A thesis is optional.
    • All students not completing a thesis are required to develop a professional portfolio as part of their graduate coursework, featuring research and case studies followed by a professional presentation.
  • Who are your faculty members and what are their research interests?
  • Can I take your graduate courses if I am not enrolled in the program?
    • Due to space limitations, only enrolled UM SLP graduate students may take our graduate classes.

Time Commitment & Scheduling

  • What time of day do classes take place?
    • Academic courses are scheduled primarily during the morning and afternoon. We do have occasional evening classes.
  • How long will it take to complete the program?
    • On-campus students will complete the degree in a minimum of 4 semesters and 1 summer term.
    • Distance students will complete the program in a minimum of 4 semesters and 2 summer terms.
  • Can I attend the graduate program part time?
    • We do accept a small number of part-time students, evaluated on a case-by-case basis with limited availability, but this will extend the length of their program with corresponding semester fees and tuition. Students should apply and indicate in the application that they are interested in part-time status. If a student is accepted in the program, then part-time state will be considered and a plan of study may be developed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Is it feasible to work while I’m in the program?
    • This is a full-time academic and clinical program and student are expected to be available from 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM and some weekday evenings.
    • The coursework is rigorous, and it is recommended that students focus entirely on their academic and clinical obligations.
    • Some students have been able to work part time while in the program, but their work schedule must be tailored around the academic and clinical schedule.
  • If I am a distance student, do I have to attend class during scheduled times?
    • Distance students attend class in real time (synchronously) with their on-campus classmates using streaming internet technology and as such will have the same schedule as their on-campus classmates.

Cost

  • How much does the master’s program cost?
    • Please see the University of Montana’s web page with detailed information about base tuition and fees.
    • The SLP master’s program has additional program-specific tuition.
  • What is program-specific tuition, and how much does it cost?
    • Program-specific tuition reflects the higher cost to deliver clinical educational programming.
    • The current cost of program-specific tuition for the SLP Master’s program is approximately $6,881 for each year you are enrolled in the program and may change based on a biannual Montana Board of Regents review cycle.
    • The annual fee is divided between your fall and spring semester tuition bills.
    • Program-specific tuition is eligible for coverage by student loans.
  • See the UM Business Services website for additional information about tuition and payment options.

Financial Aid

  • What kinds of financial aid am I eligible for?
    • Scholarships and assistantships are available each year through an internal department application process. The application time periods vary throughout the year. Scholarship opportunities will be posted in the SLHOS department and can be found on the College of Health website under Scholarships. Information about assistantship opportunities will be made available following acceptance into the graduate program, if applicable.
    • For information about financial aid, please refer to the University of Montana’s Financial Aid web page.
  • Does the SLP program offer graduate assistantships?
    • In any given year the SLP master’s program may have funding opportunities associated with teaching and research.
    • Eligible students are selected based on their graduate applications after admission to the program.