Program FAQs

General Admissions Information

▼   I am interested in the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders (PhD). What is the application process?

The admissions process for the PhD program with specialization in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology is a rolling admissions process. Applications to the PhD program are accepted at any time during the year, with admission during any semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer semester). Interested applicants should see the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology PhD program web page for application information. Applicants for the PhD program will apply through the CSDCAS portal.

▼   I am concerned that I won’t meet the application deadline. What if my application fee, GRE scores, or official transcripts don’t arrive by the deadline?

If you have completed your application with CSDCAS before the deadline, you have met the application deadline. You will receive an e-mail from the Department if your CSDCAS application is complete but the $75 fee, official transcripts, or official GRE scores were not received by the deadline. The Department will work with you to ensure your entire application is complete before the Admissions Committee review date.

▼   Where do I send my GRE scores?

Official GRE scores are to be sent directly to the University of South Alabama, school code 2691. However, be sure to enter your unofficial scores on the CSDCAS application.

▼   Where do I send my transcripts?

Please send official transcripts to CSDCAS only, at this time. Later, if you are accepted into our program, you will be asked to send your transcripts to the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. This includes official transcripts from each institution attended since high school, regardless of whether credit was earned. Transcripts must be sent directly from the school that the student attended. Transcripts indicating that they were issued to the student will not be accepted.
The mailing address is:
USA Speech Pathology and Audiology
Attn: Admissions Committee
5721 USA Dr. North, HAHN 1119
Mobile, AL 36688-0002

▼   What method can I use to pay the $75.00 administration fee? Where do I send it?

The $75 administration fee can be paid online by following the link on our department program page (MSSLP) or (AuD). You may also pay this fee by check or money order; we cannot accept credit cards. Please make checks out to the University of South Alabama. Be sure to indicate on the check whether you are applying to the MSSLP or AuD program. If someone other than you writes the check, please make sure your name is also written on the check. Please send the administration fee directly to the Department at:
USA Speech Pathology and Audiology
Attn: Admissions Committee
5721 USA Dr. North, HAHN 1119
Mobile, AL 36688-0002

▼   What is the Matriculation fee?

Both the AuD and MSSLP programs require payment of a $250.00 matriculation fee when you accept an offer of admission to the program. Payment of the fee is required to seat for you in the class.

This $250.00 is applied to your first semester's tuition when you begin the program at the University of South Alabama. Note: this fee is non-refundable in the event that you change your mind later and decline our offer of admission.

The fee may be paid online following a link on our department's program page as indicated above for the application fee.

▼   What information should be included in the Personal Essay portion of the CSDCAS application?

The Personal Essay should include statements about your personal characteristics that make you suitable for the profession of Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, your motivation for pursuing a career in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, your professional goals, and how your background and experience have prepared you to interact with individuals who are differ from you in their socially, culturally, or economically. The personal essay is an important component of the application review, and it contributes to your ranking in our applicant pool.

The acceptable file formats are MSWord (.doc, .docx), JPEG (.jpeg, .jpg), portable document format (.pdf), PNG (.png), and Rich Text Format (.rtf). Please do not password protect your files.


General Graduate School Information

▼   Can you tell me about the Graduate School at USA?

For general information, please refer to the Graduate Program web page.

▼   How can I get in-state tuition?

To get in-state tuition, you must satisfy all of the residency requirements stipulated by the University of South Alabama. If you are a resident of the state of Alabama, the counties of Santa Rosa or Escambia in Florida, or George, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Perry, or Stone counties in Mississippi, you qualify for in-state tuition.

▼   What are the residency requirements?

Residency requirements are detailed on the Registrar's Office web page.

▼   What TOEFL score is required for admission to a Graduate Degree program at USA?
For applicants whose native language is not English, the TOEFL or IELTS must have been taken within 12 months of the date of the application. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted to the University of South Alabama (Institution code - 1880).


Doctor of Audiology (AuD) Information

▼   How long is the AuD program and what does it include?
  • Duration: Our program has transitioned 3-year structure, consisting of 6 full-time semesters of academic study followed by 3 semesters of a full-time externship. The AuD program starts in the Summer semester.
  • Clinical Experience: Begin with on-campus clinicals in your first year and advance to off-campus placements, culminating in a full-time externship during your final year.
▼   What are the benefits of a 3-year AuD program?
  • Streamlined Coursework: Our 3-year program offers an efficient curriculum, focusing on essential knowledge and skills for audiology practice.
  • Reduced Expenses: By completing the program in three years, you save on tuition fees, rent, bills, and other living expenses.
  • Earlier Start of Professional Career: Graduate sooner and begin your career earlier, gaining valuable professional experience and income.
  • Alignment with Allied Health Degrees: Our program is consistent with other doctoral degrees in allied health, ensuring comprehensive training in a shorter time frame.
  • No Research Capstone Requirement: Focus entirely on clinical practice without the need for a research capstone project.
▼   What are the admission requirements?
  • Application: Apply through the Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS) portal. This service is a separate entity from USA. To apply, go to CSDCAS.
  • GRE Scores: Our program does not require prospective students to submit GRE scores at this time.

To learn more about our admissions process and requirements, consider attending a Prospective Student Event, such as Open House or a Department Tour. Information about these events are posted on the USA Speech Pathology and Audiology Home Page

▼   What are you looking for on my admissions application? 

Admission to the AuD program at USA is a competitive process. The Admissions Committee evaluates several factors, including overall GPA, GPA for upper-division coursework, GPA for lower-division coursework, letters of recommendation, and personal essay. In your personal essay, be sure to fully answer the prompt questions outlined in CSDCAS.

▼   Am I eligible to apply if I have an undergraduate degree in a different field?

Yes! The AuD program is designed for students from all backgrounds. A background or undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences is not required. However, taking undergraduate courses in biological science, physical science (e.g., physics or chemistry), psychology or sociology, and statistics would be helpful.

▼   What is the credit hour requirement for the AuD program?

103 credit hours (including externship)

  • Academic & Clinical Coursework: 6 semesters
    • Academic Courses: 64 credit hours
    • On- and Off-campus clinical experiences: 21 credit hours
  • Externship: 3 semesters
    • Full-time clinical experience (40 hours/week)
▼   Do I qualify for in-state tuition?

Residents of Alabama and certain counties in Florida and Mississippi are eligible for in-state tuition rates.

▼   What is the AuD clinical experience like?

During the first year, your clinical experiences will take place on campus in the Speech and Hearing Center. In the second year, you will participate in both on and off-campus clinical placements while also completing academic coursework. Off-campus placement opportunities include hospitals, otolaryngology clinics, private practices, and other clinical sites. During the 3rd year of the program, students complete a full-time externship. The externship site is determined by the student with help and input from faculty and is likely to be outside of Mobile, Alabama.  

Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology (MSSLP) Information

▼   Can you tell me about the MSSLP program?

For general information, please refer to the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology web page. The application deadline is also listed here.

For information about course descriptions in current bulletin please refer to the course descriptions for the MSSLP program current bulletin.

Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree:

  1. A minimum of six semesters of full-time academic study demonstrating successful completion of all course-related competencies. The final semester is spent off campus completing the externship.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0.
  3. A passing grade on a comprehensive examination administered before the final semester before leaving for the externship, or satisfactory completion of a thesis.
  4. Demonstration of academic and clinical competencies as reflected in the 2014 Standards for Clinical Certification in Speech-Language Pathology Verification by Program Director document.
  5. 375 clinical clock hours in the required areas as stipulated by ASHA. Note: Students without an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders will have to complete 25 hours of clinical observation before starting their 375 clinical clock hour requirement.
▼   Can you tell me about the admissions process for the MSSLP program?

Our web-based application process uses the Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). This service is a separate entity from USA. To apply, go to CSDCAS.

For questions related to the CSDCAS system, please call a customer service representative at: (617) 612-2030.

For general information, please refer to the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology web page.

▼   What are you looking at during the admissions process? What are the average statistics for GRE and GPA?

Admission to the Graduate Speech Language Pathology program at USA is a competitive process. The Admissions Committee considers the student's overall GPA, GPA for upper division courses, GPA for lower division coursework, combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE score, and Analytical Writing GRE score, in addition to letters of recommendation and personal essay. Applicants are ranked based on these criteria, and the top ranking applicants are offered acceptance or are placed on a list of alternates. This Fall 2018, 25 students will begin the MSSLP program. The average scores for this cohort are: average combined GRE score 299, average GRE writing score 3.84, average overall GPA 3.72, and average upper division GPA 3.79. There were 282 applicants to the MSSLP program in the most recent application cycle.

▼   I am interested in earning the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology degree, but I have an undergraduate degree in a field other than Speech and Hearing Sciences. Am I eligible to apply for the MSSLP program anyway?

Yes, you are encouraged to apply to the MSSLP program at USA. We evaluate applicants from all backgrounds for admission. As part of the application, you will indicate the area of your undergraduate degree, and (if applicable) you will list any coursework in speech and hearing (e.g., bridging or leveling courses). If you are accepted to the MSSLP program, a faculty member will conduct a thorough transcript review and will advise you on any needed coursework or clinical training. For example, to apply for certification in speech-language pathology, ASHA requires applicants to take courses related to biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics and social/behavior sciences and to complete 25 clock hours in clinical observation. Students with a speech and hearing sciences background typically complete such coursework and observation during the undergraduate years. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in speech and hearing or who have not completed sufficient leveling coursework can take these courses and earn observation hours during the graduate years. These students can still expect to earn the MSSLP in 6 semesters, graduating in August of the second year.

▼   I am currently attending graduate school for Speech Pathology at a different University. I am moving and want to know if the MSSLP program at USA accepts transfer credits. If so, how many?

A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of approved transfer credit from another institution is allowed for a master's degree, when a student has at least 9 hours of USA graduate work and is in regular status. Transfer credit from regionally accredited universities may be accepted by certain programs. In the event that the university is non-accredited, the individual USA graduate program will determine if the quality and content of the course meets the standards of the program. Students may also transfer a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of appropriate courses taken while at USA while in a non-degree graduate status or taken while in another program. Only courses that have not been applied to another degree may be transferred. Transfer credits will only be processed after a student has at least nine hours of USA graduate credit in a program and has attained regular status. Approval of the program's graduate coordinator, the college director of graduate studies, and the Graduate Dean is required. Only courses with "A", "B", or "S" grades are acceptable for transfer. The University of South Alabama does not award graduate credit for prior portfolio-based experiential learning. (The Graduate School, Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin, 2017-2018)

▼   How many credit hours is the MSSLP Graduate Program?

The MSSLP program is 70 credit hours. Some students, particularly students without a related bachelor's degree, need additional coursework to meet ASHA specified competencies to earn the Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC-SLP) following graduation from the MSSLP program. Once accepted into the MSSLP program, the graduate coordinator will complete a thorough transcript review to determine if any additional coursework is needed.

▼   How long is the MSSLP program?

Students who enter the MSSLP program with a background in speech and hearing can earn the degree in 6 semesters by successfully completing course work and meeting expected competencies. Admission is fall only with continuous enrollment until graduation – August (6 semesters) of the 2nd year.

▼   What is the clinical experience like?

For the first 1-3 semesters your clinical experiences will take place on campus with the USA Speech and Hearing Center. In the 4th semester you will have an off-campus placement in local schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and other clinical sites while enrolled in graduate coursework. Starting in the 5th semester and finishing in the 6th semester, you will complete a full-time off-campus clinical externship. Students who begin the program without a background do not begin clinical work until the 2nd semester, however, will be able to complete an internship in the 5th semester and a full semester externship in the 6th semester, thus finishing at the same time as their in-background peers.