Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

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

Two letters of recommendation are required.

You can find the most up-to-date tuition costs on the Tuition & Fees website.

These figures vary from year to year. In recent years, we have received approximately 800 applications each year. We have an acceptance rate of approximately 15%.

We evaluate each applicant on his or her own merits. We look for unique candidates that we feel would make a contribution to the program, their fellow students, and eventually the profession. Many areas are considered including, but not limited to, previous academic performance, leadership experience, commitment to multicultural values, volunteer or community engagement activity, strong supporting letters that address the applicants academic potential and suitability for clinical practice.

The deadline for receipt of all application materials is January 15th. Please note that this is a received-by deadline, not a postmark deadline.

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

The GRE is optional, but not mandatory. 


For applicants submitting transcripts from the U.S. or Canada, unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to the Online Application for the review process.  If offered admission, students will be required to submit official transcripts to the Office of Admission.  Visit the Office of Admissions application instructions page for more information.

Applicants to the program are required to have at least 100 on the Test TOEFL IBT.  The Office of Admission strongly prefers that all application materials, including TOEFL scored, be submitted online through the online application system.

If your transcripts do not show GPA or, if the transcript has a different system for documenting your performance the Office of Admissions requires international transcripts to be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). More information is available on the Office of Admissions website.

The average GPA is approximately 3.6 – 3.8. However, please note that GPA is only one factor taken into account during the admissions process.

The Office of Admission strongly prefers that recommendations be submitted online through the  online application system. Letters should be submitted in a format that verifies they were submitted by the sender (e.g., on official letterhead) and should be signed.

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

Our Program

The program requires that all five of the above pre-requisite courses be completed prior to beginning the CSD program. See our Prerequisite Information page for details.

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.  For more information, please visit the Office of Teacher Education.

Yes. You can obtain a bilingual extension to the New York State Education Department Teaching Certificate for Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities (TSLD) that enables you to work with bilingual students in the schools. One additional course is required, and a practicum experience with bilingual children. Generally about two thirds of our speech language pathology masters students are bilingual.

Completion of the program is most directly related to the student’s completion of the clinical requirements after they have become fully matriculated students with full-time status. Once the full-time student begins clinical training, presuming continued full time enrollment and satisfactory progress through the clinical sequence, a student will likely be eligible for graduation at the end of the second spring semester.

More than 95% of our students graduate within the predicted time frame. Please visit our Student Outcomes page for additional information.

During the past three years, over 95% of our students have passed the Praxis Exam.  Please visit our Student Outcomes page for additional information.

Our Master of Science degree qualifies graduates to obtain the New York State license in speech and language pathology and, if they so choose, the Teaching Certification for Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities (TSLD) and the bilingual extension certificate to the TSLD.

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders 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). For more information about ASHA Certification requirements, please visit the ASHA website.

Information regarding employment rates can be found on our Student Outcomes page. You can also find more information about the career paths of our graduates from our Office of Career Services.

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

The Teaching Certification for Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities is different. For initial certification, a work visa or H1B visa is required. However, for permanent or professional certification, you need permanent residency (a green card), or U.S. citizenship.

Over 95% of our students complete all requirements for either Master of Science Initial Certification initial certification (MS-CSDR-IN) or Master of Science Bilingual Extension - Dual Certification (MS-CSDB-DU) if they are bilingual. Your selection has no impact on admission decisions as all CSD masters students are considered together as one cohort.

There are several Professional Certification levels available for registration. When you arrive in the September, your academic advisor can help you determine if you need to make any changes, which can be done easily.

  • MS-CSDR: Master of Science is for students who do not plan to obtain teacher certification following graduation
  • MS-CSDR-IN: Master of Science Initial Certification is for students who do plan to obtain teacher certification following graduation
  • MS-CSDB-DU: Master of Science Bilingual Extension - Dual Certification is for students who plan to obtain teacher certification following graduation and also plan to complete the bilingual extension
  • MS-CSDR-PF: Master of Science Professional Certification is for students who have extensive professional teaching certification and who already have NY state teacher certification

We involve our student in research when we can. We recommend researching ongoing research projects on our website and contacting faculty you might be interested in working with to see if there are opportunities available.

Living on campus is a personal choice, and is certainly not required.  We have students who live on campus and others who commute from the local area, including the five NYC boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut, and New Jersey.  You may wish to look at the housing options on our website for more information at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/housing/.

International programs vary from year to year depending on a variety of factors.  Your ability to participate in a particular international trip will depend on how many students are interested at the time and whether or not you are fluent in another language.  Please see our International Programs page for additional information about our offerings.

No, our program is a Masters degree program only. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders must first complete a Masters degree and then apply directly for those programs.

No. This is a clinical program, not a research program.

The incoming class is typically 50-60 students. This includes students with and without backgrounds.

Tours of our on-campus clinic, the Edward D. Mysak Clinic for Communication Disorders (EDMCCD), will be offered during Admitted Students Day.  Unfortunately, due to HIPPAA and FERPA regulations, we cannot offer tours on alternative days/times.  If you are interested in a tour of campus on alternate days, you should contact the Office of Admissions.

Funding & Scholarships

For more information about scholarships, please visit the Financial Aid website. If, on your application for admission, you clicked "yes" when asked if you were interested in scholarships, you will automatically be considered for many scholarships.  However, there are some scholarships that require an additional application.  Visit the Financial Aid website to determine if you are eligible and to apply.  In addition, the NYC Department of Education offers a scholarship for graduate students interested in pursuing a career in an NYC public school after graduation.  Click here for more information about the Department of Education (DOE) scholarship.

The NYC Department of Education Graduate Scholarship Program requires a signed College Acceptance Form to be completed by an authorized college/university representative as part of the application.  We are happy to complete this form for you.  You can bring it to our Admitted Student Day or alternatively, you can email Yvonne Wallace at ywallace@tc.edu for assistance.  Please complete the top portion of the form with your name and social security number before sending.  Keep in mind that the Scholarship Program requires supporting documents to be submitted within 10 business days from the date the application was filed.  Please wait until AFTER we have returned your completed College Acceptance Form to submit your application, in order to avoid undue time demands on our staff.

Students apply directly to the NYCDOE scholarship site.

If a work-study position is available in the clinic, we will announce this to students via email. Available work-study and graduate assistantship positions in other offices at TC are posted on the Human Resources website. For more information about student employment, visit the Financial Aid website.


Students who enroll in the program will be assigned an academic advisor in late May. Once this assignment is made, your advisor will contact you directly by email. Your academic advisor will help you determine courses for you first semester registration and will help you get started on your Program Plan, an important document that will guide your course of study. Advising sessions will occur during the summer as well as during new student orientation.

Students entering our program without a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders must complete prerequisite courses prior to beginning the program. These courses include: (1) Anatomy and Physiology of Speech, Language and Hearing; (2) Phonetics; (3) Speech Science; (4) Language Development and (5) Audiology. Note: applicants do not have to have completed these courses prior to applying to the Master’s program but must complete the courses prior to beginning the program in the fall of the year in which they have been admitted.

Please note that ASHA requires that you show competency in the following subjects in addition to your graduate coursework: statistics, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences.

As a general rule, most 2- and 3-credit classes meet once a week for about 2 hours. Class meeting times may be Monday – Friday and may be during the day or in the evening. Evening time slots are 5-7PM and 7-9PM. However, some classes will have alternative schedules—for example, a course may have longer sessions but meet fewer times during the semester. Days and times of class meetings will be advertised on the semester course schedule during registration.

Credits taken each semester will vary. Typically students take a larger academic course load in their first several semesters, and take fewer classes once they begin their clinical externships. In the first two semesters, you will most likely take between 12-17 credits.

This does sometimes happen in later semesters; however, it is during those semesters that you are typically registered for practicum and have an off-campus placement. Off campus placements qualify for full time “equivalency.” There is a form that you can file with the registrar to be considered a full-time student. Please see financial aid for additional information https://www.tc.columbia.edu/admissions/financial-aid/.

Yes, all students will have clinical obligations in the summer semester, and most also take academic coursework.  A 12-credit course load is not required; depending on the coursework you elect to take, you may be registered for fewer than 12 credits.  However, if you are working at an external placement, you will still be considered full-time.  See “What if I’m taking less than 12 credits in one semester?” for additional information.

There is a one-week break between semesters.  See the academic calendar for details: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/academics/resources/ .

Clinical Placement & Externships

We have relationships with over 200 placement sites in NY, NJ and CT, including schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and private practices. We do our very best to make sure that our students are matched with placement sites that meet their needs and interests, and provide them with diverse clinical experiences.

Students will complete a minimum of 1 full semester (fall or spring) in our on-campus clinic before transitioning to their first external placement. Generally students entering with a background will have their first client in the clinic in their first spring semester and will have an off-campus placement in their first summer. Students entering without a background will transition to the clinic in their first summer, continue in the clinic in their second fall, and have their first off-campus placement in their second spring semester.

Placement matches are coordinated by our dedicated Placement Coordinator. Completed coursework, previous clinical experience, location, course schedule and student preferences are all considered during the matching process. We make every effort to assign you to a placement that is easily accessible (i.e. you will not be assigned to a site that is not accessible by public transportation if you do not have a car) but please remember that in NYC, commuting is a way of life. Generally, up to a 1-hour commute is considered a reasonable assignment.

ASHA requires a minimum of 400 clinical hours for certification. A maximum of 25 hours of clinical observation may be counted towards this total. If you have completed observation hours prior to entering the program, please make sure they are properly documented and signed by the appropriate supervisor from your observation site or undergraduate program. You may count previously acquired observation hours towards your 25 hours of observation, however all students in our program will complete at least one semester of observation hours in our on-campus clinic.

Clinical therapy hours completed before entering the program may also be counted towards your 400 hour total, provided they are properly documented. However, the number of therapy hours accrued prior to entering the program will not significantly impact the number of hours you will be expected to complete in the clinic or at off-campus placements.

Every student completes three placements, including 2 external placements and one placement in our on-campus clinic. With few exceptions, you will only have one placement each semester. However, depending on your schedule, you may also be assigned a client in the on-campus clinic during a semester in which you have an external placement.

Bilingual Extension Program

The Bilingual Education Assessment (BEA) is a New York State exam which tests proficiency in a foreign language. One portion of the exam also includes questions about theory, research and policy in bilingual education. A passing score on the BEA is required for the bilingual extension. Students can take the BEA at anytime during the program or even before they enter.


No. Because most of the information is integrated into the required coursework for the master’s of science program in speech-language pathology, students only need to take one additional three-credit course to meet the requirements of bilingual/bicultural program.


You may begin accruing bilingual hours as soon as you start your clinical hours. If we have a bilingual client to pair you with in the on-campus clinic, we will. If not, we can assign you to a placement where you will get bilingual hours. A minimum of 50 bilingual hours is required for the bilingual extension; however, students often complete more than 50 bilingual hours, depending on their placement. These hours are part of the ASHA required minimum of 400 clinical hours and are not completed in addition to your required hours.


Licensure & Certification

If you are interested in working in the schools as a speech and language pathologist, you need a teaching certificate for Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities (TSLD). Most of our students obtain this certification. In our program, most of the required content is infused into the curriculum—students seeking the TSLD certificate must complete only one additional two-credit course, plus a school-based practicum experience. Additional TSLD requirements include at least one course in each of the following areas: Math, Science, History, English, Foreign Language. Most students fulfill these requirements with undergraduate coursework or AP credit. Fulfillment of the requirements must be verified through transcript review at the Office of Teacher Certification.

The TSLD teaching certification in New York is for New York only. If you go to another state, you will need to apply for teaching certification in that state. Typically, if you are certified in one state, moving to another is just a matter of paperwork.

No. The TSLD teacher certification is specific to speech-language pathology, and only allows you to practice as an SLP in a school setting. To work as a substitute or classroom teacher, you would need a regular teacher certification.

No. Since the TSSLD-specific coursework is limited to one class, the length of the program will not change.


Graduates of the program satisfy all requirements for a professional license as a speech language pathologist in New York State and all requirements to pursue national accreditation as a speech language pathologist through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).


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