What is Speech Language Pathology (SLP)?
“The speech-language pathologist is concerned with the study, assessment, and treatment of disorders of speech and language. Speech-language pathologists assess and treat communication disorders in children and adults. Areas of specialization include disorders of developmental language, neurogenic speech and language, fluency, voice, articulation/phonology, swallowing, and alternative and augmentative communication. ”(Department of Speech Language Pathology, University of Toronto)
What are the common academic requirements for SLP programs?
- 4-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.
- A minimum mid-B (3.0 GPA) average in your fin al 1-2 years of full-time study. Meeting the minimum does not guarantee admission, since these programs are competitive.
- SLP programs in Ontario require 5-6 prerequisites in areas such as child development, linguistics, phonetics, statistics/research design, human physiology, life science, social science, and psychology.
- Clinical volunteer or paid experience working with a registered speech language pathologist.
- Proficiency in the English language.
- Applications must be submitted through The Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs Application Service (ORPAS) www.ouac.on.ca/orpas
- For specific admission requirements, visit the university websites.
What supporting documents may be required?
- Two letters of reference from professors
- Clinical reference form completed by the direct supervisor from the clinical experience
- Statement of intent/personal statement
What should I include in my personal statement?
- Your interest in pursuing SLP as a career and knowledge about the profession.
- Reasons for applying to the program.
- Related knowledge, experience and skills, including community involvement.
- Accomplishments and/or research experiences in academic or non-academic careers.
SLP programs require a minimum B average. Many look for demonstrated interest in SLP on your application.
Improve your GPA:
Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills.
Get to know a few professors early so that they write a strong reference letter for you.
Gain volunteer experiences that demonstrate your skills and ongoing interest in a career in SLP.
What other considerations are there?
- Students generally take 2 years to complete the SLP program full-time.
- In addition to the courses, students complete clinical placements in various settings.
- To practice in Ontario as a speech-language pathologist, one must be registered with the College of Speech-language Pathologists and Audiologists of Ontario (CASLPO).
- M.Sc. p rogram (research-intensive degree) is available for students who want to conduct basic and clinical research in the field of human communication sciences and disorders. However, the program does not provide students with the professional training required to practice clinically as speech-language patho logists upon graduation.
Where can I study SLP?
There are 2 institutions in Ontario that offer SLP programs:
- University of Toronto (Master of Health Science in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology)
- Western University (Master of Clinical Sciences in Speech-Language Pathology)
- McMaster University (Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology)
There are other accredited programs outside of Ontario. For more information visit www.caslpo.com/applicants/apply-to-the-college/canadian-graduates
How much does it cost?
All health care programs have a significant tuition cost, because hiring strong instructors and providing up-to-date facilities cost a great deal. SLP is a lower-cost program. Each institution’s fees are different. Annual tuition for Ontario students ranges $4,000-$8,000 plus travel to placement sites.
Where can I find more information and resources?
College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologist
Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
Professional Programs Guide accessible through CLN (Resources section)
Application & Personal Statement Resources
- Effective Admission Letters (U of T Writing Centre)
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab
- CTL’s Graduate School Application and Personal Statement Assignment Calculator
The AA&CC can help! Attend the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair (October), go to a Preparing for Professional & Graduate School workshop, meet professionals in the field through Extern, or speak with a Career Counsellor to learn how to get relevant experience!
Please note: While this tip sheet aims to ensure accuracy, requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual Speech Language Pathology program websites for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures
Last update: May 2015