Learn about the Communication Sciences and Disorders M.S. Program
The master of science degree education program in speech-language pathology at the University of New Hampshire is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, MD 20850; 800.498.2071 or 301.296.5700.
Applicants for admission should possess a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders or its equivalent. The following courses, or their equivalents, are undergraduate prerequisites for the master's program:
- Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
- Language Acquisition
- Clinical Phonetics
- Basic Audiology
- Speech-Hearing Science
Students are also required to have completed course work in typical human development, social/behavioral sciences, and both biological and physical sciences in preparation for fulfillment of ASHA requirements.
Acceptance to the program is based on grade-point average, written statement, and letters of recommendation. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission. Generally, admitted students have grade-point averages above 3.5.
GRE scores are not required.
In no more than two pages, respond to the following prompts:
We are interested in learning about you as a person. Describe your unique talents, interests, and/or experiences that make you who you are. Speculate about how these might contribute to your experience in our graduate program and/or to your future career.
- Describe your career path for the next 10 years - where do you see yourself professionally five years from now? Ten years from now?
- Discuss one issue in the field of communication sciences and disorders that currently interests you most. Why does this issue interest you?
- Briefly discuss how research is important to the field of communication sciences and disorders.
OPTIONAL (may increase page limit to a total of three pages). If you currently have interest in participating in research, pursuing a master thesis, and/or wish to be considered for a graduate research assistanship, briefly describe:
You will submit your application to the UNH Graduate School: https://gradschool.unh.edu/admissions/apply
Once your application is complete, it will be forwarded to the Department for review. Your application will not be forwarded to the Department for review until it is complete. Please check the status of all elements of your application, including letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other documentation, to ensure your application is complete by the due date.
If your application is complete by the due date, it will be reviewed by the Department’s graduate admissions committee. This committee will determine which students to accept, conditionally accept, place on a waitlist, or reject.
Decisions are typically made by late February/early March.
Students have until April 15 to notify UNH of their decision.
Letters of Recommendation
At least two of your three letters of recommendation should be from academic referees because they are the best individuals to evaluate your academic potential. Letters should be from CSD faculty or faculty from other disciplines who:
- you have taken at least one course with (those with whom you have taken multiple courses tend to know you even better)
- you have completed research with
- know you well enough to speak to your potential to complete graduate studies in CSD
Reviewers look for the following evidence in your letters of recommendation:
- your potential to complete graduate study
- interpersonal and/or humanistic qualities that are essential to be a caring, competent clinician (e.g., flexibility, cooperation, problem solving and critical thinking, time management skills, ability to accept feedback and direction)
In evaluating the quality of your application, academic potential is essential although it is not the only indicator of potential for success or your ability to contribute to our community of learners.
UNH is unique in that we ask you to respond to a series of questions, rather than leave the personal statement open-ended. Your responses serve two purposes:
- We have an opportunity to get to know you. This personal statement format serves as a proxy to an interview.
- We have a formal writing sample to analyze -- what can we say, we are SLPs, and we love analyzing language!
In writing your personal statement, explicitly address each question. You can answer the questions one-by-one or combine your responses into a single narrative.
Regardless of the style or organization, keep in mind that each question is designed to help reviewers learn more about you as a person, a potential member of our learning community, and a future speech-language pathologist. Here are some tips for writing your statement:
- Draw on your life experiences: What makes you unique? How will you add to a diverse community of learners at UNH? Highlighting your uniqueness in a way that catches your reviewer’s attention should be a priority in writing your personal statement.
- Consider what you have learned as an undergraduate or a post-baccalaureate in CSD and how that relates to your personal statement. Your responses provide you with the opportunity to connect your experiences with content from your courses within and outside of CSD.
- Proof-read and edit your writing for length, organization, typographical and grammatical errors, etc.
1. What sources of financial aid are available to graduate students?
Students are encouraged to check with the Graduate School for available sources of financial aid. http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/grad_aid.php
The Department awards approximately five graduate assistantships per year. Assistantships include a 50% tuition waiver for fall and spring semesters as well as a stipend. Students on full assistantships are expected to assist one or more faculty members in the Department for 10 hours per week during the academic year. Graduate assistants are appointed before starting their first year in the program and are often (though not always) re-appointed in their second year.
2. Can I work during my graduate program?
The UNH CSD master’s program is a full-time program. Thus, students are expected to be available between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday for classes, clinical assignments, colloquium/ grand rounds, meetings (e.g., office hours, meetings with supervisors, meetings with peers to work on assignments), and other events. In addition, you should expect that at least one class per semester will be taught in the evening.
3. Do I need a car while in graduate school?
A vehicle is strongly recommended. Students without their own transportation are limited when it comes to clinical placements, including satellite programs and externships. Limited public transportation is available in the Seacoast area; however the Coast bus does not cover a wide geographic area.
4. How many students do you admit per year?
Each admission cycle, UNH’s Department of CSD aims to enroll approximately 30 students. To reach that goal, the program typically admits 60-70 applicants, with approximately half accepting our offer of admission.
5. What factors do you consider in the admissions process?
UNH’s graduate admissions committee considers multiple factors when making admission decisions, including the applicant’s:
- course grades / grade point average (GPA)
- personal statement, and
- letters of recommendation
6. When do students start their clinical placements?
All students begin their clinical education during their first full semester of graduate school (Fall of year one for traditional master’s students, Spring semester after completing their undergraduate degree for accelerated master’s students). Students complete three clinical rotations on-campus. Students may be assigned clients who attend the UNH SLHC, CNCD, and/or a University-Sponsored Satellite Program. During year two, students complete two externships and participate in Assessment Clinic in either fall or spring semester.
7. What options are available for capstone experiences in the master’s program?
All students must complete a capstone experience as part of their master’s program in CSD at UNH. Students have the option to either take a comprehensive examination or complete a master’s thesis with a CSD faculty member who is a member of the graduate faculty and who conducts research.
8. How can I get involved in research? Is a master’s thesis my only option?
There are four ways that students become involved in research as part of their master’s degree program:
- The student is awarded a graduate assistantship and is assigned to assist with a faculty member’s research.
- The student completes a master’s thesis.
- The student takes an independent study with a research faculty mentor, to learn more about the research process. In some circumstances, such independent studies may count as elective credits, with the appropriate approvals.
- The student volunteers in the lab.
9. What opportunities are available for gaining specialized experiences?
A primary way we offer opportunities for gaining specialized experiences is our elective course offerings, which are based on the research expertise of faculty. For example, we regularly offer coursework in autism spectrum disorder, advanced language acquisition, and cognitive-communication disorders (all elective offerings are subject to change).
Additional opportunities include:
- Regular Colloquium and Grand Rounds presentations, which expose you to specialized areas of the field. Prior Colloquium and Grand Rounds presentations have addressed: pediatric feeding, gender affirming voice training, pediatric NICU care, neuroimaging in adults with aphasia, narrative analysis, prosody.
- NH-ME Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program: in your first year, you can apply to participate in the LEND program to learn more about neurodevelopmental disabilities. Typically, 2-3 students per cohort are accepted into the program. LEND is a substantial time commitment and can be a wonderful experience for those hoping to gain expertise in neurodevelopmental disabilities.
- Unique on-campus clinical experiences, including but not limited to: multi-lingual assessments and intervention, gender affirming voice training, in-depth assessments of individuals with aphasia or traumatic brain injury, treatment delivery as part of research/clinical trials (e.g., treatment of childhood apraxia of speech).