School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

COMMUNICATION DISORDERS MS FAQ

Does the Master’s Degree Program Provide Scholarships or Financial Aid?

There are limited resources for supporting incoming master’s students. Students can apply for need-based financial assistance, including loans, grants, and work-study positions, through the University’s Office of Financial Aid. Students offered work-study as part of their financial aid package will find opportunities for employment at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, including research and administrative positions. Competitive scholarships also are available which, when awarded to nonresident students, allow them to pay resident tuition. There is no separate application required for these. Other positions are periodically available through faculty research grants and as-needed to assist in practicum and other program activities.

Can I Visit the Master’s Degree Program?

The program welcomes visitors before or after admission but we request that you apply prior to scheduling a visit. Please note that the primary location for the master’s degree program is the UTD Callier Center-Dallas, which is near the UT Southwestern Medical Center District and downtown Dallas; it is NOT located at the main UT Dallas campus in Richardson. We do not have a specified visitor’s day, but we set aside time each week for visitors. If you visit in the morning you may be able to observe some of the student practicum programs. Call or email the program office to schedule a visit and for directions to Callier-Dallas, which is located at 1966 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX 75235. Note that parking and the building entrance are accessed from our driveway off Southwestern Medical Ave. The Callier-Dallas Center is closed on weekends.

What are the GPA and GRE Requirements for Admission?

Although there is no specific GPA or GRE cutoff for admission, most students admitted to the master’s degree program have an overall GPA of at least 3.6 and a GRE of 305 or higher. For students entering the program recently, the median GRE score was 311 and the median overall GPA was 3.8.

How Many Students do you Accept Each Semester?

We typically enroll 85-90 new students in the summer and fall terms combined, and 25-30 new students in the spring term. Students who are admitted for summer may defer to fall term, and students who are admitted for fall term may reverse defer to begin in the summer term.

What are the Requirements for Students Coming from Out-of-Field?

We welcome students whose undergraduate degrees are in fields other than communication disorders. We feel that adding students from variety of fields enriches the educational experience for everyone. As a result we make every effort to limit the number of prerequisite courses to those which cover material not taught at the graduate level. Students from out-of-field apply directly to the master’s degree program; we do not offer a separate “leveling” or “post-baccalaureate” program. Out-of-field students who are admitted to the master’s program will have specific prerequisite courses assigned as part of their overall degree plan, and it will only take one additional semester to complete the program. Out-of-field students also may take prerequisite courses elsewhere before applying to the UT Dallas master’s degree program. Contact the program office for more information regarding prerequisites.

What if I’m also Interested in Doctoral Study?

Students with exceptional academic records who have career goals in university teaching and research may apply for admission to both the master’s degree program in Communication Disorders and the PhD program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Students should be aware, however, that the PhD is a research-intensive degree, not an advanced clinical degree; and completing the PhD will generally require an additional 3-4 years of study beyond the master’s degree. Students pursuing both degrees may have the opportunity to complete their clinical fellowship year at the Callier Center while enrolled in the doctoral program.

In general, we recommend that students who are interested in both the MS and PhD programs apply first to the master’s program. During the first year of master’s study, students can meet with faculty and doctoral students and participate in faculty research to identify an area of research focus and a potential doctoral mentor. At the start of the second year, if the student has a very strong academic record and a faculty member has agreed to become their PhD advisor, the student can apply to the PhD program. See Communication Disorders MS for more information about the PhD program.

We do not recommend combining a master’s degree in speech-language pathology with a doctor of audiology (AuD) degree. The AuD requires four years of full-time study and because there is little overlap in coursework or clinical experiences between the two degrees, completing both would require six years of study as well as an additional clinical fellowship year in speech-language pathology. Master’s degree students particularly interested in children with hearing loss may apply to the UT Dallas Pediatric Aural Rehabilitation specialist program. In addition, master’s degree students may enroll in some AuD courses for elective credit.

What are the Outcomes for Master’s degree graduates?

Master’s degree graduates enjoy excellent outcomes including high program completion, Praxis examination scores, and rates of employment.

Where Should I Live?

The majority (if not all) of your classes will be located at Callier Dallas. Some practicum experiences and a few elective courses are offered at Callier Richardson, but you will be at Callier Dallas most of the time. Plan accordingly when deciding on a place to live. Public transportation often is limited, but commuting by car is relatively easy and many students live in other areas of the community. Some student housing is available on the main campus in Richardson, but on-campus housing caters primarily to undergraduates. Please contact the program office for a list of apartment complexes within reasonable proximity to Callier Dallas. You can use online search engines to find options that fit your price range and target location. If you are seeking a roommate, you may email [email protected] and your request will be forwarded to other students seeking roommates.

How Big Is the Master’s Degree Program?

The UT Dallas master’s degree program in speech-language pathology has more full-time students than any other similar program in the U.S. During some semesters there may be as many as 225 students enrolled in the program. This might sound overwhelming if you are coming from a smaller school, but there are many advantages to our size. First, we can offer many more elective courses than a typical master’s program. Usually you will have 10-12 elective courses from which to choose each semester, and you will have ample opportunities to make choices because half of the courses in your degree plan will be electives. This allows you to develop your own areas of focus, taking courses across a broad range or shifting directions as your interests and career goals change (as they almost always do.) Second, because we can tailor the program to students from a variety of universities and backgrounds, the program can enroll a very diverse group of students. We feel that this variety of backgrounds and experiences strengthens our classes and the education we offer. We also are very careful to ensure that all students have access to faculty and that we have very strong academic and clinical advising. We encourage you to talk with current students and graduates about their experiences.

How Do I Make The Most Out Of My Experience In The Program?

“Take advantage of the expansive practicum opportunities UTD has to offer. We have the unique advantage of being located the middle of a major metropolitan area that offers placements in so many different settings. Some of my most valued knowledge came from hands-on clinical experiences.”

Taylor Bank, Fall 2012 Graduate

“It’s no surprise that the best thing you can do in a communication sciences and disorders program is to communicate with EVERYONE. Become friends with your classmates; study groups will be imperative and will provide the extra support you need in stressful times. Become friends with your professors, advisors, and supervisors. They are truly some of the most amazing people you will meet in your budding career. Do as many different settings as you can — not every graduate program will be able to offer you such a wide array of choices. This is a no-brainer, but you will get the most out of your experience by putting in the most work you can. There are some students who “scrape by,” but they’re really only hurting themselves. Always put forth your best effort. It will be recognized by peers and supervisors alike.”

Casey Switzer, Summer 2013 Graduate