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CDS Postbac FAQ

University of Oregon
Communication Disorders and Sciences
Post-baccalaureate Program Description and Frequently Asked Questions

Every year, a number of students with degrees in other fields are interested in becoming certified speech-language pathologists (SLPs).  The University of Oregon’s Communication Disorders and Sciences (CDS) post-baccalaureate (PB) program allows such students to complete prerequisite CDS coursework for entry into an SLP master’s program (required for entry level into the profession) and subsequent national certification/ licensure.  Completion of the CDS PB program prepares students for graduate school and generally makes them more appealing to graduate program admissions committees across the country. 

How long will it take me to complete the PB program?
Most students complete the recommended PB course work in one academic year (3 quarter terms).  However, if you’d like to go at a slower pace, it is also possible to complete the courses over two or more years. 

Do I receive a second degree or certification for completing the PB program?
The CDS PB program is not a degree-granting/ certification program.  In other words, there is no degree awarded for completion of PB courses.  Completion of the prerequisite courses is typically all that is required to apply for graduate school (in other words a degree in CDS is not required).  A very small number of students chose to pursue a second bachelor’s degree, which requires more courses and generally requires at least 4-5 academic terms (please visit the registrar’s website for more information at http://registrar.uoregon.edu/current_students/second_degree ).

How many and which courses do I need to take to complete the PB program?

  • There are 7 recommended CDS courses (See PB Program Schedule).  These courses are typically the ones required for admission to most graduate programs across the country.  However, graduate programs vary and students should check with individual programs to learn about specific requirements. 
  • The CDS program also suggests 5 optional CDS courses.  While not required for graduate school admission, these courses will help to prepare you for your graduate courses and future career.
  • There are 4 non-CDS courses that are required for national certification (e.g. statistics, biological science).  You may find that you have already taken these courses during your undergraduate studies.  If not, we recommend completing them before graduate school.  They may be completed pass/no pass.

Do I have to take all of my pre-requisite courses at UO?
PB courses can be completed solely at UO or in combination with courses completed at other universities.  Since our PB program is not a degree-granting program, there are no requirements for completion of certain courses at our university.

How do I apply for the PB program? 
Students should apply for undergraduate post-baccalaureate status through the UO admissions department (http://admissions.uoregon.edu/otherapplicants/postbacc).  No separate CDS program application is required.  All applications are managed by the UO admissions department and approved by the CDS program (in early June and early August).  Applicants are required to submit an application, a 1-page Statement of Purpose summarizing your background and interest in speech-language pathology, and all undergraduate transcripts. 

Will I be accepted into the PB program?
Since this is not a degree granting program, application review is not a competitive process and currently all students with a documented undergraduate degree are accepted.  At the current time we do not limit the number of students who are accepted.

When should I apply to the PB program?
PB courses are designed to be taken in a sequence (beginning Fall term) and are offered only once an academic school year.  Therefore, students should start their PB program Fall term.  Applications for Fall term admission are due no later than July 31st.  Applications for the upcoming fall are accepted any time before July 31st but are only reviewed by the department in early June and early August.

Do I need to get individual advising before applying or starting the PB program?
You do not need to meet with an advisor before applying to the program.  You will receive additional information about the program after you apply and before starting and if individual advising is necessary this can be done before the start of the Fall term.  Group advising is available at the start of the Fall term and at least once during Winter and Spring terms.  Individual advising is also available weekly during Fall, Winter, and Spring terms (times vary per term).

Am I guaranteed acceptance into graduate school when I complete the PB courses?
Completion of the PB courses does not guarantee acceptance into the UO CDS graduate program or any other graduate program.  All applications to the UO graduate program are evaluated equally, whether applicants were previously students at UO or not.

When do I apply for graduate school?
Students can choose to apply for graduate school during their PB program or after completion of PB courses.
• Applying during the PB program.  If you want to complete your PB program in one year and go to graduate school the next year, you will need to apply to graduate school after just one term of PB courses (most graduate school applications are due in January).  Most graduate schools will accept your application before you have completed all of your PB courses, as long as you describe your plan for completing all of the courses before the graduate program begins.  Students who would like to apply to graduate school early on in their PB program are more likely to be successful if they have:
o A strong undergraduate GPA.
o Taken the GRE before starting the PB program.
o Strong letters of recommendation from their undergraduate program or can get letters after the Fall term of their PB program.
o Completed the most or all of the required non-CDS courses before starting the PB program.
o Researched graduate programs and are familiar with individual application requirements.
• Applying after the completion of PB courses.  Many students choose to wait to apply for graduate school until after they have complete all (or most) of the PB courses because they:
o Want to establish a new undergraduate GPA by completing all CDS PB courses before applying to graduate school.  Most graduate programs will still consider your previous undergraduate GPA, but will also attend to your newly established PB GPA.
o Want to go at a slower pace because they are returning to school after many years or need to work during the PB program.
o Haven’t taken the GRE or want to take the GRE again to improve their score.
o Still need to research graduate schools and/or take the required non-CDS courses.

How do I get information about tuition costs, scholarships, and financial aid?
Information about the cost of tuition can be obtained through the registrar at http://registrar.uoregon.edu/costs/tuition_fee_structure

Information about financial aid and scholarships can be obtained through the financial aid office at http://financialaid.uoregon.edu

Where is the CDS program located?
HEDCO Education Building, 2nd floor, 1655 Alder Street, Eugene OR 97403

How do I get more information about the PB program?
A group informational session is typically held in January for all interested applicants. 
In addition, our PB advisor Professor Nippold would be happy to answer your emails (nippold@uoregon.edu), talk with you by phone (541-346-2587), or meet with you in person (HEDCO 275; advising hours are posted and differ by term).   Please do not seek advising for our PB program anywhere else on campus.
Note:  Professor Nippold has limited work hours during the summer months (mid-June to mid-September) and may be slower to respond during this time.

For general questions, you may also contact our CDS Student Services Coordinator, Elizabeth O’Harra, by phone (541-346-2480) or email (cds@uoregon.edu )