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Speech and Language Pathology
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Application Process

Can you mail me the application materials?

The application process for the program is entirely online and therefore we do not distribute paper application forms. For more information regarding our application process, please visit

How many recommendation letters are required?

Two letters of recommendation are required, but a third is acceptable.

How much does tuition cost?

Do you offer financial support for tuition?

We do offer some support at the masters level in the form of tuition scholarships. These are allocated on a case-by-case basis after admission.

Please see the following link for scholarship information, and other forms of student aid including loans and federal work-study:

How many applicants do you have for the program? How many do you accept?

Of course, these figures vary from year to year. Recently, we have received around 600 applicants each year. We accept around 20% of the applicants.

What are the criteria for an admissions decision?

We evaluate each applicant on their own merits. We look for unique candidates that we feel would make a contribution to the program, their fellow students, and eventually the profession.  So, leadership experience is considered, something that sets the applicant apart in a positive way from the other applicants, commitment to multicultural values, strong supporting letters that address the applicants academic potential and suitability for clinical practice.

What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for receipt of application materials is January 15th. (This is a received-by deadline, NOT a postmark deadline.)

Do you accept applicants for spring semester?

No. All our applicants begin their program in the fall.

Do I have to submit the GREs with my application?

No. We do not require the GREs for admission.

However, many of our students take the GREs for other programs, and you do have the option of submitting your GRE scores to us if you have them. We use all the information we receive in our admissions decisions.

I want to apply to the Masters Speech Pathology program and do the bilingual certification as well. What steps should I take?

Some questions you may have:

Does this mean that I would mark SPEECH PATHOLOGY - BILINGUAL OPTION: Initial Certification or would I just put SPEECH PATHOLOGY under "Please indicate the program for which you are applying"?

Answer: We strongly encourage students to select the program that you are interested in. Therefore, if you are planning on the Bilingual focus, please select the bilingual option.

Do you need the official undergraduate transcript to be uploaded by my college, or am I supposed to mail it in myself?

Information regarding the process for submitting transcripts can be found in our Guide to Admission, which is available online.  We require a hard copy transcript to be sent either directly from the school or from you, but still in a sealed envelope issued from the school. Transcripts should be sent to the Office of Admissions, Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 302, 525 West 120th Street New York, NY 10027.

I am not a native speaker of English. Is there a second language competency requirement for admission?

Applicants to the program are required to have at least 100 on the TOEFL IBT, so you should only apply to the program upon receiving at least that score on your next TOEFL exam. Official TOEFL scores should be submitted to the Office of Admissions, Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 302, 525 West 120th Street New York, NY 10027.

I obtained my baccalaureate / undergraduate degree from a country other than the United States. What should I do?

If your transcripts do not show GPA – or, the transcript has a different system for documenting your performance:

The Office of Admissions requires international transcripts to be evaluated by WES (World Education Services) More information is available on the Office of Admissions website.

What is the average undergraduate GPA of the students you admit?

The average GPA is somewhere around 3.6 – 3.7. However please note that GPA is only one factor taken into account during the admissions process.

What is the average score on the GREs of the students you admit?

 Since we do not require the GRE for admission, we do not calculate any averages for GRE.

My university has a specific procedure for sending in recommendation letters. Is it required 
to have the Teachers College recommendation form included?

So long as your letters are submitted in a form that verifies that they came from the sender, there should be no problem. You can check with the Admissions Office if in doubt:

Can I speak with someone to get more information about the admission process, or about the program?

Appointments (in-person or phone) can be scheduled with the Admissions Liaison to your program of interest to answer questions you may have about the program as well as any questions regarding the admission process. For more information, please see the following:

About the Program

What are the pre-requisites for the program?

Our program does not require prerequisites to be considered for admission.

I have a bachelor's degree in a field other than speech pathology. Should I apply as a non-matriculated student first?

We do not require any specific prerequisite courses in the field before matriculation.  It is possible for students who enter the program without coursework in the field to accomplish all the required coursework as part of their masters program, usually requiring one additional semester and summer session beyond what students entering from undergraduate degrees in the field.  We usually admit about half our class from students without previous coursework in speech-language pathology.

What is the typical profile of the students in your program?

We do not have a profile of our students because the specifics vary somewhat from year to year.  For example, last year the group that entered in the fall were from 39 different undergraduate institutions, represented 26 different majors, came from 14 different states and 3 foreign countries. 45% were self declared minority students, and 64% have at least one language in addition to English representing 12 different languages.

With a Masters in Speech and Language Pathology, would I be able to teach in schools, or would I need a separate M. Ed to do so?

If you are interested in working in the schools as a speech and language pathologist, you need a teaching certificate for teacher of students with speech and language disabilities (the TSSLD).  Most of our students obtain this certification. In our program, it is accomplished by the addition of one two point course, plus a school-based practicum experience. All the other content information required by the state is infused within the curriculum. You do not need an M.Ed.

I speak a language other than English and would like to work with a non-English-speaking population after I graduate. Does your program support this?

Yes. You can obtain a bilingual extension on the TSSLD that enables you to work with bilingual students. Again, one additional course is required, and a practicum experience with bilingual children.

Additionally, a unique part of our program is the chance to participate in the Transcultural Speech-Language Pathology practicum experiences. At present we have programs in Bolivia, Ghana and Cambodia. For more information, see links from the program's home page:

How long does it take to complete the program?

Depending on your undergraduate coursework and your progression through the clinical practicum and training requirements, it takes a minimum of 2 - 2   years to complete the masters degree, fulltime. Typically, a student coming in with undergraduate background in SLP will be able to complete the program in two years. A student with no SLP background will need 2 years.

What are the graduation rates? (How many students complete the program in the expected time?)

More than 95% of our students graduate within the predicted timeframe. Please click here for additional information.

How many students pass the PRAXIS?

Our average PRAXIS pass rate for the past three years is 97%. Please click here for additional information.

What professional status is associated with completing the Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology?

Our Master of Science degree qualifies graduates to obtain the state license in speech and language pathology, and if elected the teaching certification (TSSLD: certification as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Difficulties).

The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology also ensures that you meet the academic and practicum requirements for certification with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). However, there are additional requirements post-qualification in order to obtain the ASHA certificate of clinical competence (CCC-SLP). You can read more about ASHA certification requirements here:

How many students graduating from your program find work as Speech-Language Pathologists?

A very high percentage of our graduates are employed as Speech-Language Pathologists within a year of graduating. Well-trained SLPs are in demand and our graduates are very successful at finding work. You can download a document here listing numbers of our students who have found employment in the field in the past several years, along with other details of Praxis pass rates and program completion. You can find more information about the career paths of our graduates here:

I don't have U.S. citizenship / I don't have a green card / I am not a permanent resident of the U.S. How does this affect my licensing / certification?

Getting a license in New York State requires proof of your legal status in this country - a work visa or H1B status.

The TSSLD is different. For initial certification, a work visa or H1B visa is fine. But for permanent or professional certification, you need permanent residency (a green card), or U.S. citizenship.

Program Governance and Professional Issues

What is the procedure for students to follow in the event that they have a complaint?

The student's first step should be to discuss the issue, if possible, with the person against whom they hold a complaint. If the issue cannot be addressed this way, the student should discuss the matter with their academic advisor and/or the program coordinator. If a resolution still cannot be reached, TC offers several possible avenues by which to resolve a complaint, informally and formally. The Office of the Student Ombudsman can provide support and advice, as can the Office of the Vice President for Community and Diversity Affairs.

ASHA's procedures for pursuing a complaint against an academic program is detailed here.

Where can I find out more about the ethical guidelines that are observed by Speech-Language Pathologists?

The profession of Speech-Language Pathology follows a Code of Ethics agreed upon by our professional governing body, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. You can access the ASHA Code of Ethics here, and you can also discuss any questions about professional ethics with any of the academic and clinical faculty in the program.