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Question: Are There Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs That Do Not Require the GRE or That Offer a GRE Waiver?

Answer: Yes, there are online master’s in speech-language pathology programs that do not require applicants to submit GRE test scores. There are also online master’s programs in speech-language pathology that require the GRE but that will waive the requirement for applicants who meet certain conditions, such as a high cumulative undergraduate GPA (3.0 or above), several years of professional work experience in a relevant field, or an advanced degree in another discipline. Finally, there are programs that require the GRE regardless of an applicant’s qualifications. GRE tests scores are just one of the many tools that online master’s in speech-language pathology programs may use to assess applicants.

Admissions to Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs

Admissions policies and requirements for online master’s in speech-language pathology programs vary by school and by program. The baseline eligibility requirement for admission to these programs is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university. In addition to undergraduate transcripts, applicants to online programs are typically asked to furnish several of the following: a written personal goals statement; answers to two or more essay questions; and/or two or three letters of recommendation. Some programs also request that applicants supply scores from the Graduate Record Examinations General Test, commonly referred to as the GRE.

The GRE is a standardized test designed to measure math, verbal, and writing skills. Test takers receive scaled scores in three areas: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Admissions committees may choose to use those scores as one metric by which to assess an applicant’s academic preparedness along with other elements of a candidates application. Some programs may maintain minimum required or preferred scores for the Verbal and/or Quantitative Reasoning sections. There are also programs that will accept the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or the MAT (Miller Analogies Test) in lieu or the GRE, and programs that opt not to use the GRE or any other standardized test for admissions decisions.

In addition to other application materials, some online master’s in speech-language pathology programs may request an in-person or videoconference interview with applicants. Potential applicants to these programs should also be aware that some online programs require candidates to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and/or two or more years of relevant professional experience, regardless of whether or not they require standardized test scores. And some programs may require that applicants complete several undergraduate course prerequisites as a condition for admission. College-level courses in statistics, physics, chemistry, biology, and a communication or behavioral science are common prerequisites, and some online program may require prior coursework in human anatomy, language development, and/or audiology.

Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs That Grant a GRE Waiver

For applicants who have not taken the GRE but who have several years of experience working in speech-language pathology or another related field, a high undergraduate GPA, and/or an advanced degree in another field, some programs that require the GRE may offer a GRE waiver. Online master’s in speech-language pathology programs that grant GRE waivers generally require those requesting a waiver to have an undergraduate GPA above 3.0 on a four-point scale, at least two years of experience in a relevant field, or a prior master’s or doctoral degree. However, GRE waiver policies vary by program and are typically granted on a case-by-case basis. Applicants who believe they qualify for a GRE waiver are typically asked to submit a formal waiver request to the school’s admissions department. If the request is denied, the applicant must then submit GRE scores in order to be considered for admission.

Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Program GRE Policies

The examples below offer an overview of different policies regarding the submission of standardized test scores for online master’s in speech-language pathology programs. Potential applicants are advised to examine the specific admissions requirements for individual programs carefully in order to determine their eligibility for admissions and to ensure they comply with application deadlines and procedures. It is also important to note that schools and programs may change their admissions requirements over time.

No GRE Requirement: Nova Southeastern University in Florida offers offers a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) program at its Fort Lauderdale campus and at six regional campuses located in Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Miami. Students who do not live within 50 miles of those campus locations are eligible to complete all the program’s coursework online in a synchronous format. Applicants to the Nova Southeastern MS-SLP program are not required to submit GRE scores or scores from any other standardized tests. The program does require applicants to have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and to have completed six communication science and disorders prerequisites with a grade of B- or better. In addition to undergraduate transcripts, applicants are asked to submit three letters of recommendation and written answers to two essay questions.

GRE Waiver: The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at James Madison University (JMU) offers an online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program that requires the GRE, but that will waive that requirement for applicants who hold a master’s degree. In addition to GRE scores or transcripts from a completed master’s program, applicants are asked to furnish the admissions staff with a written personal goals statement, undergraduate transcripts, and contact information for two academic/professional references. Applicants may also submit a video statement limited to three minutes, which is optional but recommended.

GRE or GMAT Accepted: The online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program offered by Western Kentucky University requires the submission of standardized test scores, but will accept either the GRE or the GMAT. Eligibility for the program is restricted to applicants who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate and/or post-baccalaureate coursework, and there are 12 prerequisite courses that applicants must complete as a condition for acceptance into the program. Other application materials for the Western Kentucky University program include three letters of recommendation, a one-page written essay, and a list of three references.


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