LSU’s MA program in Communication Sciences and Disorders offers advanced study in speech-language pathology. The Department accepts new graduate students only in the Fall semester; the deadline for receipt of applications is February 1 (or the following Monday if the first falls on a weekend). Spring admission is offered only by departmental invitation. Upon acceptance, your ASHA Prerequisite Courses Form should be returned to our department no later than May 31st. Refer to the ASHA Prerequisite Courses Form that states the requirements for certification in speech-language pathology. Students may also want to visit our FAQ web page. All remaining questions about the application process should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete application must be submitted to the Graduate School through an online system at applygrad.lsu.edu. This should include:
- Completed online graduate application form containing a brief summary regarding your career objectives (i.e., purpose statement).
- Official transcript(s). Unofficial transcript(s) will suffice during review, but official transcripts must be received and grades confirmed upon acceptance. In general, a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better. LSU students do not need to send transcripts to the department. Students who transferred to LSU before graduating do not need to send transcripts from previous schools.
- A purpose statement is required as part of the online application. Statements of purpose will be scored on three criteria: (1) knowledge of the field, (2) professional goals, and (3) overall writing abilities (review guidelines for writing a quality statement of purpose). An additional writing sample that demonstrates relevant research experiences, clinical experiences, critical thinking, and/or writing abilities is optional but encouraged. Both are loaded through the online application system. A 1-2 page statement with standard formatting (single-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font) is recommended.
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the student's potential for success in academic coursework and clinical practica, as well as the student's character and motivation. Letters from previous clinical supervisors, instructors of communication disorders courses, directors of labs in which the student volunteered, or supervisors from sites where the candidate conducted volunteer activities in a related area are rated higher than recommendations that cannot directly speak to the potential for success in the field. The online system has IT support that should be used if letter writers have difficulty with the online system.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. The GRE has been waived for 2023 Admissions Cycles. Previously, we recommended a cumulative quantitative and verbal score of 297 or better. If you decide to send your GRE score, when requesting GRE scores be sent to LSU, applicants are encouraged to select the LSU code 6373.
English Language Proficiency
The 2020 Certification Standards for Speech-Language Pathology issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association indicate: "For oral communication, the applicant must have demonstrated speech and language skills in English, which, at a minimum, are consistent with ASHA's current position statement on students and professionals who speak English with accents and nonstandard dialects. In addition, the applicant must have demonstrated the ability to write and comprehend technical reports, diagnostic and treatment reports, treatment plans, and professional correspondence in English."
Additional Considerations for Clinical Competence
If a student who is accepted into the COMD graduate program exhibits exceptional difficulty with one or more of the tasks required in clinical service delivery (e.g., speech perception, speech/language modeling, comprehending speech or language produced by individuals with disorders, writing clinic reports, counseling families: the student will be asked to address these through a remediation plan developed in collaboration with clinical faculty. It is possible that the remediation plan could extend the student's program by a semester or more.
LSU requires official results from an English language proficiency test for all international students. Exemptions may be made for students with a bachelor's degree earned from an accredited U.S. institution or a college-level degree showing the completion of post-secondary education in a country where English is the primary official language. International applicants from "official English language qualifying countries" are not required to submit an English language proficiency score. See the Graduate School's International Admissions webpage for list of official English language qualifying countries per LSU, acceptable tests, and minimum scores. Note that LSU may require an English Placement Exam even for students who are exempt from submitting test scores, and may also require additional coursework.
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Funding and Assistantships
Assistantships within the department are extremely limited and offered at the discretion of the faculty with research labs on a case-by-case basis. However, LSU offers a broad range of assistantships across campus. In 2018, more than 76% of our MA students received funding while enrolled at LSU via graduate assistantships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, external scholarships/fellowships, and/or diversity scholarships. LSU agencies that have previously offered funding to COMD students include, but are not limited to:
- Career Center for Academic Success
- Olinde Career Center
- Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Office of Academic Affairs
- Office of Disability Services
- LSU Online & Continuing Education
- Research and service assistantships at a variety of departments at LSU, including:
This list is not exhaustive, and additional funded positions may become available upon enrollment. We encourage you to visit the LSU Student Employment Webpage and to browse additional student employment opportunities via Handshake Login (available one week before courses begin via myLSU email and password). Some students may also be eligible for federal work-study stipends and are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Aid and Scholarships for more information. For general information about assistantships at LSU, visit LSU Graduate School. Availability, eligibility, and application deadlines will vary based on the nature of the position.
Graduate Student Tuition Awards (MA)
The Graduate School Tuition Awards (GSTAs) are used to promote diversity on the LSU A&M campus. The Board of Supervisors has provided these awards for several groups of newly admitted graduate students: 1) historically under-represented domestic minorities; 2) international students from under-represented countries (see below); 3) international students from Latin American; 4) graduates of Ronald E. McNair Undergraduate Research Programs. The graduate dean may award up to 200 tuition exemptions to entering graduate students from underrepresented groups. These tuition awards provide for an exemption from either or both the resident and nonresident fee. Recipients are responsible for paying required University Fees. Preference will be given to African Americans and citizens of Latin American countries. Students must be regularly admitted to a graduate program at LSU and be nominated by their department. Only newly admitted degree-seeking students may be nominated. Students may qualify and receive this award for their first master’s or first doctoral degree. Full time enrollment is required for fall and spring. Summer exemptions are available.
Huel D. Perkins Fellowship (PhD)
Huel D. Perkins Fellowships in the amount of $20,000 per student per fiscal year may be authorized at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School when funds are available. These fellowships are intended to support the LSU and national goals of increasing the numbers of historically under-represented groups in graduate schools, including, but not limited to: 1) first-generation college students from low-income families, 2) African American/Black, 3) Hispanic American, 4) American Indian, 5) Alaskan Native, 6) Native Hawaiians and 7) other U.S. Pacific Islanders. Undergraduate students who participated in McNair Scholars Programs, NSF AGEP Programs, NIH BUILD Programs and similar Federal programs to promote diversity should be considered for these fellowships, though such past participation is not a requirement. All recipients must be newly entering doctoral students at the time of the appointment. Students will be considered based on the academic and non-academic strengths and achievements of all eligible students. The extent to which the student contributes to the diversity of the graduate program and in the field of study may also be considered. A selection committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School will review nominations from departments or applications for graduate study on an ongoing basis when fellowships are available. Approximately ten (10) awards will be awarded in any fiscal year. The selection committee shall review each nominee’s file, giving consideration to all academic and non-academic strengths and achievements, and the ways a nominee might contribute to a diverse educational environment, including the applicant’s personal statement of their expectations of graduate study. Departments will be requested to provide input wherever possible.
Awards for financial assistance are made on the basis of scholastic achievement, financial need, degrees held (B.A., M.A.). letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and clinical/scholastic interests. Applications for financial assistance should be included with the application for admission.