Club, Rutgers, and Grad School: Upcoming Events


New Certificate in Speech and Hearing Sciences in Linguistics Program From Rutgers

Hello and happy summer everyone! I promised I’d stop writing for the website once I graduated, but here I am a week later! I’m just popping in to post a quick announcement that I received from the Rutgers Linguistics Department. If you are just starting out on your academic path at Rutgers, this will be especially useful and important for you! I am copy and pasting the announcement below. Best of luck to everybody! – Michelle

Certificate in “Speech and Hearing Sciences in Linguistics”, open to Linguistics Majors.
(For more information, please contact Dr. Crystal Akers in September 2018)

The Certificate in Speech and Hearing Sciences in Linguistics provides guidance and coursework for undergraduate majors in Linguistics preparing to pursue graduate study in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. Students who complete the certificate will supplement a strong foundation in modern linguistic theory with coursework required for graduate study in the speech and hearing sciences. Core courses for the certificate introduce students to the study of communication disorders and the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, while building across courses a knowledge of how the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms and the physical characteristics of speech sounds affect communication. Elective coursework enables students to gain further expertise in language, science, and mathematics relevant for graduate study and certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

In addition to coursework, the certificate includes a portfolio of professional experiences related to linguistics and the speech and hearing sciences. The portfolio content will reflect the student’s understanding of how knowledge about the human language capacity and linguistics can inform and enrich the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology, while the experiences gained in assembling the portfolio will help students become familiar with career opportunities in these fields and make them aware of how their training has prepared them to enter these fields as a professional.

: In addition to the 36 credits for the Linguistics Major, students will do 18 credits of coursework for the certificate (no more than one course of 3 credits can be counted for both the Major and the Certificate), plus a professional portfolio.

Coursework for the Certificate

  1. 12 credits of core courses for the certificate (those courses in Linguistics that are prerequisites for most Graduate Programs in Speech and Hearing)
    1. 01:615:391 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
    2. 01:615:392 Introduction to Communication Disorders
    3. 01:615:393 Audiology
    4. 01:615:451 Phonetics
  1. 3 credits of electives from Cognitive Science, Education, Linguistics, or Psychology (corresponding to ASHA’s 2014 Standard IV-A knowledge outcomes in social and behavioral sciences).  List of courses on pp. 2-3.
  2.  3 credits of electives from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Statistics (corresponding to ASHA’s 2014 Standard IV-A knowledge outcomes in biological sciences, physical sciences, and statistics).  List of courses on pp. 3-5.

Professional Experience Portfolio:
I.  A 500-750-word personal statement appropriate for application to graduate studies.
II. Attendance at 4 pre-approved events related to language and/or speech and hearing sciences.
III. A 4-5-page (double-spaced) report making a connection between linguistic training and speech-language pathology or audiology experience outside of course-work. The latter could be fulfilled in a number of ways:
(i)  In-person observations (that students often arrange on their own).
(ii) Online observation programs (which may be bundled into their courses).
(iii) Attendance at pre-approved events related to language and/or Speech and Hearing Sciences.
Grade Requirement:
Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in courses counting towards the Major
Minimum grade of B in each of the core courses for the certificate
Minimum grade of C+ in each of the elective courses for the certificate.

Elective Set I:  Course Descriptions and Prerequisite Information (3 credits)

  • Cognitive Science
    • 185:410 Language and Cognition
      • Topics may include speech perception, language acquisition, priming, disorders, speech errors, sentence processing, memory, color, and numerosity.
  • Education:
    • 05:300:383 Introduction to Special Education
      • Overview of the diverse physical, psychological, and social disabilities of special education children.
  • Linguistics:
    • 01:615:435 Experimental Methodologies in Language Acquisition
      • A review of a range of experimental methodologies used by linguists to investigate language acquisition, including an in-depth focus on the linguistic phenomena being acquired by the language learner and coverage of the pioneers responsible for advancing these techniques. Students will gain hands-on experience designing experiments and analyzing data.
      • Prerequisite: 01:615.305. Cross-listed with 01:185:412 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science II
  • Linguistics/Psychology:
    • 01:615:433/01:830:484 Language Acquisition
      • Empirical and theoretical studies of the acquisition of syntax, morphology, and phonology; word learning, the neural bases of language acquisition, language disorders, and learnability theory
      • note: Prerequisite: 01:830:101. General Psychology for Psychology number
  • Psychology:
    • 01:830:200 Quantitative Methods in Psychology
      • Quantitative methods used in psychological research. Regular exercises required.
      • One semester of college-level mathematics recommended.
    • 01:830:271 Principles of Developmental Psychology
      • Survey of life-span human development covering prenatal, infant, child, adolescent, and adult periods.
      • Formerly 01:830:330. Prerequisite: 01:830:101.
    • 01:830:310 Neuropsychology
      • Survey of brain damage and plasticity, brain trauma and disease, neuropsychological assessment and testing, cognitive rehabilitation, and current controversies.  Provides a basic understanding of brain structure and function along with an appreciation of clinical perspectives.
      • Prerequisite: 01:830:101.
    • 01:830:331 Infant and Child Development
      • Review of psychological theory and research on perceptual, cognitive, social, and personal growth during infancy and childhood.
      • Prerequisite: 01:830:101.

Electives Set II: Course Description and Prerequisite Information (3 credits)

  • Biological Sciences:
    • 01:119:103 Principles of Biology
      • Selected topics in general biology, including cell structure, genetics, plant and animal diversity, basic plant and animal biology, ecology, and evolution.
      • Lec. 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Designed for students who must take a one-semester laboratory course in introductory biology to meet major requirements. Credit not given for this course if student has already completed 01:119:115. Not for life sciences major credit.
    • 01:119:115 General Biology I
      • Broad principles of cell biology, genetics, and evolution; the diversity of life and its physiology, ecology, and population dynamics.
      • Lec. 3 hrs., Wkshp. 80 min. Pre- or corequisites: 01:350:101; 01:640:111-112, or 115. Credit not given for both this course and 01:119:101.
    • *01:119:199. Concepts in Biology
      • Selected concepts in biology, augmented with instruction in learning strategy and the scientific method, to prepare students for the General Biology sequence (01:119:115,116, and 117).
      • Lec./rec. 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. For first-year and sophomore science majors lacking the prerequisites or appropriate background to register for General Biology 01:119:115. Not for life sciences major credit.
      • While Concepts in Biology may satisfy non-major science requirements, it is designed for biology majors.  Non-sciences majors should register only after discussing their goals with the instructor.  Non-majors are encouraged to take one the “non-major” Life Sciences courses (119:140, 148, 150, 152, 154, 160, 170, or 182) instead of Bio 100.
    • 01:119:150 Biology, Society, and Biomedical Issues
      • Discussion of current topics and issues in human health and medicine, from a biological perspective.
      • Not for life sciences major credit.
    • 01:119:154 Genetics, Law, and Social Policy
      • Principles of human and behavioral genetics and their legal, ethical, and social implications. Topics include genetic screening, counseling, and engineering; reproductive regulation; and human behavior genetics.
      • Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Not for life sciences major credit.
  • Chemistry:
    • 01:160:128 Chemistry of Life
      • Topics chosen from fields of organic chemistry and biochemistry including proteins, DNA, RNA, and chemical origins of life. Emphasis given to the nature of chemical and biochemical discoveries and the social responsibility of scientists.
      • Does not make a sequence with 01:160:161.
    • 01:160:134 Introduction to Chemistry
      • For students who are advised that they are not ready to undertake General Chemistry. Students who have taken higher-level chemistry courses for science majors are not eligible. Fall semester only.Corequisite: 01:640:111 or 115, or appropriate performance on the placement test in mathematics.
    • 01:160:161 General Chemistry
      • Introduction to chemical principles and their application. Topics include stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, solutions, thermodynamics, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction, kinetics, nonmetals, metals and coordination compounds, and nuclear chemistry.
      • Lec. 3 hrs., rec. 1 hr. Prerequisite for 161:  01:640:111 or 115, or appropriate performance on the placement test for mathematics. Pre- or corequisite for 162:  01:160:171. Prerequisite for 162:  01:640:111 or 115 or equivalent. For science majors. Credit not given for both these courses and 01:160:159-160 or 163-164.
    • 01:160:163 Honors General Chemistry
      • Covers topics of 01:160:161-162 in more depth. Material related to current research topics and other fields of scientific interest.
      • Prerequisite: One year of high school chemistry. Corequisite for 163: 01:640:151 or permission of instructor. Pre- or corequisites for 164: 01:640:152 and 01:160:171, or permission of instructor. For students with a strong interest in chemistry and/or those   considering majoring in a science or engineering discipline requiring a strong background in chemistry. Credit not given for both these courses and 01:160:159-160 or 161-162.
  • Physics
    • 01:750:161. Elements of Physics
      • Lec. 3 hrs., workshop/lab 3 hrs. Prerequisite: 01:640:112 or 115. Primarily for pharmacy students, but suitable for well-prepared liberal arts majors.
      • Survey of major topics in physics, such as motion, fluids, waves, electricity, electrical circuits, radioactivity, relativity, and atomic structure, with emphasis on developing laboratory and problem-solving skills.
    • 01:750:193 Physics for the Sciences
      • Introduction to physics with biological, ecological, and chemical applications. Selected topics in mechanics, thermodynamics, fluids, waves, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Integrated laboratory experiments.
      • Lec. 2 hrs., workshop 1.5 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: 01:640:112 or 115 or equivalent.
    • 01:750:203-204 General Physics
      • Elementary but detailed analysis of fundamental topics: motion, gravitation, momentum, energy, electromagnetism, waves, heat, kinetic theory, quantum effects, and atomic and nuclear structures.
      • Lec. 2 hrs., rec. 1 hr. Corequisites: 01:750:205-206 and any calculus course. Primarily for students in scientific curricula other than physics.
    • 01:750:301 Physics of Sound
      • Scientific basis of sound: waves, vibrating systems, normal modes, Fourier analysis and synthesis, perception and measurement of sound, noise, musical instruments, room acoustics, sound recording and reproduction, electronic synthesizers, and digital sound.
      • Prerequisites: Two semesters of introductory physics and two semesters of calculus. Primarily for science majors.
  • Statistics
    • 01:960:211 Statistics I
      • Prerequisite: 01:640:115 or permission of department. See Level II Statistics restrictions. Credit not given for more than one of 01:960:201, 211, 285, and 401; nor for more than one of 01:960:212, 380, 384, 401, and 484.
      • Principles and methods of statistics, including probability distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression and correlation analysis, curve-fitting, nonparametric methods, and analysis of variance (ANOVA)
    • 01:960:379 Basic Probability and Statistics
      • Methods of presenting data; basic statistical measures of location; frequency distributions; elementary probability theory; probability distributions; the binomial, Poisson, and normal distributions; basic sampling theory.
      • Prerequisite: One semester of calculus.
    • 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research
      • As applied in fields other than statistics; treats research projects dependent on the use of observed data from planned experiments. Includes inference methods in estimation and hypothesis testing and general linear models.
      • Prerequisite: 01:640:115 or equivalent. Credit not given for more than one of 01:960:212, 384, and 401.

And The Results Are In!

It’s finally May! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the pollen is making me incredibly congested, and the results are in from our senior survey! If you’ve been following the blog all year, you know that I’ve been posting an awful lot about graduate school admissions – after all, I am a senior and I did spend most of the year freaking out about (err…I mean, calmly contemplating) the graduate admissions process, and trying to help my fellow seniors and the posterity of our club by writing about the process, so that when admissions season rolls around again next year, you can all worry slightly less!

Anyway, when I was applying, one of the things I was worried about was whether I, as a Rutgers student, stood a chance in the admissions process. Rutgers has no communication disorders program; and while the linguistics and psychology departments are gradually adding classes useful to future SLPs and AuDs, we’re still a long way from having as much of a background as people who majored in ComDis as undergrads. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about! Rutgers students are faring quite well in terms of getting into grad school.

Recently, I’ve been incessantly asking seniors in our club to fill out the senior survey which asks about grad school and their plans for the future. Since our club is still quite small, I only got six replies – however, six replies is good enough to paint a general picture that will hopefully ease future applicant’s fear. Without further ado, the results:

This academic year, 100% of the people who took the survey applied to graduate school.

  • Of those people, each applied to an average of four schools – with the most number of people applying to seven schools
  • Five out of the six people who filled out the survey were accepted to at least one graduate program, with most people being accepted to at least two
  • Most people were waitlisted or rejected from at least one of the schools that they applied to
  • Out of six participants, five are beginning graduate school in the fall
  • All of the participants in the survey feel that the speech and hearing club has been helpful to them throughout the graduate applications process
    • The most helpful things that the club did were having guest speakers and informative blog posts (yay – someone reads them!)
    • The thing that people feel the club most needs to improve on is attendance at meetings

And that just about wraps it up! Hopefully, these stats have calmed some of your worries about applying to grad school! As you can see, Rutgers students are faring well in the admissions process – a graduate education is within reach if you work hard!

This will be my last blog post as your media manager/secretary/historian/whatever other title I might have. It has been an honor serving all of you. I hope that throughout the year, this blog and website (as well as our FB pages) have been useful in helping you reach your goals. I am now passing on this website and blog to next year’s media manager/historian, Faith. I hope that you will be a captive audience to her content next academic year!

With love,

Speech and Hearing Classes: Fall 2017

Hello everyone! Fall class registration is just around the corner (it begins on Sunday, March 26th, see official registration schedule here). Here is a list of speech and hearing-related classes that will be available next semester:

In the Linguistics Department:

Audiology –  An introduction to the profession and practice of audiology through an overview of anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, physical properties of sound relevant to hearing assessment, techniques for hearing assessment, and auditory disorders. Furthermore, it covers the prerequisite content to pursue a higher-level degree in the speech and hearing sciences. This course is only being offered in the fall semester, and is online. Online course support fees have been decreased from $100 to $60, so take advantage of this discount and register!

Phonetics – This course looks at the articulatory mechanisms of speech, the physical characteristics of speech sounds, and allows students to practice description and transcription of the sounds of the world’s languages. The course will be available only during the fall semester. If you are graduating in May 2018 and would like to take this course, please register for it ASAP.  

Linguistics of Signed Languages – An elective course covering the structure of natural signed languages spoken around the world and the essentials of signed language phonology, syntax, and semantics. As far as I know, it is only being offered this upcoming fall.


In the Psychology Department:

Psychology of Language – This course looks at the production, perception, and acquisition of language at the level of sound (phonology), words (morphology and the lexicon), and grammar (syntax). It is only offered in the fall semester. 


*All course descriptions are taken from the respective department’s website. For sample course syllabi, check out our course syllabi page.*

Do you know of any other courses in the speech and hearing sciences at RU? Please let us know in the comments below!



CSDCAS: The Communication Sciences and Disorders Common App

As most of you know, those applying for graduate programs in the speech and hearing sciences have to fill out many applications. To streamline the applications process, some graduate schools utilize CSDCAS (pronounced sid-cas) – and that is the topic of this month’s post!

CSDCAS stands for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service, and is the common application for graduate programs in the speech and hearing sciences that many schools use. In New Jersey, William Paterson University and Stockton University both use this system. Much like other common apps, CSDCAS requires you to enter your information and submit your documents only once, although some schools want you to also fill out application forms and submit supplemental materials via their websites (check with each graduate program for details). The application itself is relatively straightforward and comes with instructions. Still, not everything is 100% clear. Below, I have made a list of a few things to keep in mind when filling out the CSDCAS:

1.You should always review each of your school’s admissions requirements carefully, but you should review them especially carefully if the school uses CSDCAS. Each school has slightly different requirements (ie: some want you to send a transcript to CSDCAS and the school; some want you to submit an application through CSDCAS and their school’s website; some schools have different, specific codes to send your GRE scores to; and so on).

2. Make sure that you have everything filled out, done, sent in, submitted and paid for BY JANUARY 1ST. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough! Most graduate programs in the speech and hearing sciences have a deadline of February 1st. This means that they want all materials submitted and verified by that date. Since it can take up to a month for CSDCAS to go through your documents and verify all of them, you need to have things submitted about a month early to ensure that your graduate programs receive them all on time.

3. CSDCAS requires you to send in a transcript to this address:

CSDCAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9113
Watertown, MA 02471

And it also requires that you enter the information on your transcript into the system. There is a video on the CSDCAS website explaining the details of how to do this, so make sure you watch it before you begin! Grab yourself a copy of your official transcript and enter all of the info about your coursework. You can also pay CSDCAS $60 to do the data entry for you, but it only takes about an hour of your time to do it yourself. 

4. Some graduate programs require you to have prerequisite courses completed prior to admission. Once you have entered all of the info on your transcripts, CSDCAS will allow you to select which prerequisites you have already completed directly from the transcript info you entered. If you do not have a prereq that the form asks for, you should click on the prereq and select the option to not designate a course for it. This part of your application is not considered complete until you have filled out all of the prereq information, so make sure you identify both the courses you have taken, and those that you have not. 

5. CSDCAS refers to letters of recommendation as “evaluations,” so enter your recommenders’ info under the Evaluations section.

And that sums up this fairly short list. The CSDCAS can be accessed here.

Do you have any additional tips for completing the CSDCAS? Let us know in the comments below!

Chapter Seven: Always Remember to Hit Submit!

When we last left our hero, Sir Stu Dent had requested letters of recommendation and sent his official transcripts, via carrier pigeon, to his schools of choice.

His next step was to make sure that he “hit submit” on all of his graduate forms – a very important step if he wanted any of his hard work in the last few months to count. He would also have to pay his application fees, or escape them through a fee waiver.

When all was said and done, Sir Stu was relieved! He had finished his graduate applications!

One last thing that Sir Stu had been doing, which was not mentioned nearly enough in earlier accounts of his tale, was visiting schools by attending their Graduate Open Houses. He found out the dates of these Open Houses by checking the calendar on our website right here, or by checking his prospective schools’ websites. These Open Houses were wonderful, providing him with much information about each school’s program, and sometimes even giving him an application fee waiver.

Now that the applications process was officially over for Sir Stu, and all of the heads on the many-headed graduate school monsters had been fed with their requisite “foods,” Stu would have to wait until late March to April (and perhaps even May?) to receive notice of which beasts he had befriended. Stu had a few that he particularly liked, and hoped to be able to chose among those. But in the meantime, Stu could focus all of his energies on ending his undergraduate education on a high note!

And so, Sir Stu’s journey ends here.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little series and found it useful!

Click here to see a color-coded, chronologically-ordered checklist about graduate school applications.

Chapter Six: Letters of Recommendation and Sending Transcripts

When we last left our hero, Sir Stu had finished drafting and submitting his resume.

Today, Stu wanted to do something very important: ask people for letters of recommendation! But who would Stu ask? And when would he ask them?

“Most graduate programs require two to three letters of recommendation from people who can attest to the student’s potential for success in a graduate program” said Sir Internet, a great friend of Sir Stu. Who could best attest to Stu’s academic potential? Why his professors of course! So he sought out his favorite professors, with whom he had done any of the following things:

  1. Gotten to know well by taking their class, doing well, and going to office hours
  2. Done research for
  3. Been advised by
  4. Took their class, participated, and earned an A

He contacted two of these professors (for schools that required three recommendation letters, he would seek out, if possible, someone whom he had worked under in a professional environment) to ask for a letter of recommendation. He did this as early as possible, at least two months in advance, to ensure that his recommenders had enough time to write him a good letter. He also made sure to tell them by when the letter would be due, and reminded them of this due date a few weeks in advance, if the letter had not been received yet.

Some of these professors and/or employers would ask to read his personal statement or resume (or both!) in order to write him a good letter. They might also have asked to see his transcript, of which Stu had an unofficial copy handy from back when he was filling out his application forms. Stu quickly provided his recommenders with these items.

Next, Stu decided that he would send his official transcripts to his schools. Recall that Rutgers would send two transcripts for free, and each additional transcript would cost him $7 a piece. Although Rutgers mailed out transcripts quite efficiently, Sir Stu decided that he would send them out relatively early, before the end of the fall semester of his senior year, so that they would arrive on time, and so if any issues came up, Sir Stu would have adequate time to address them. He gathered the addresses of his graduate programs’ admissions offices, and sent off his transcripts. He received email alerts when they were sent, and when they were received.

Stu had now fed two more heads on the graduate school many-headed monster.

What would Sir Stu do next?

Read on tomorrow, as the journey continues…

Chapter Five: Creating a Resume, a.k.a “Why I’m Great: A List”

When we last left our hero, Sir Stu had finished his personal statements (statements of purpose, SoPs, essays, or whatever you prefer to call them).

Sir Stu noticed that some of his applications required or recommended a resume, so he set to work creating one. Stu learned from Sir Internet that unlike regular resumes, which mostly list skills and work experience and must be one page in length, graduate school resumes could be more detailed and up to two pages in length. Sir Stu had had many experiences throughout his undergraduate career, but what things should he include on the resume?

“The first thing to include would be any relevant work and/or volunteer experience,” said Sir Internet, and Sir Common Sense. Luckily, Stu had spent his summer and fall (and perhaps year(s) prior) gathering such experience! Stu made sure to emphasize anything that he had done related to working with people, whether it be teaching, tutoring, volunteering in a hospital, being a receptionist in a clinic – even retail work! Basically, anything that showed that Stu had effective people skills was a plus. He also emphasized any work he had done that required a great deal of planning, organization, and critical thinking, such as conducting research, and any leadership positions he had held in clubs or student organizations. For each of these experiences, Stu included a small summary of his work.

On the topic of clubs and organizations, Sir Stu made sure to list any extracurricular activities he participated in, and for how long. He didn’t list that one week he was in jousting club – but everything else that he had done, like the two semesters he spent on the debate team, or the year he was a conversation partner for ESL students, or his membership in NSSLHA (National Student Speech Language Hearing Association) were fair game for his resume.

Sir Stu also made sure to list any awards he had won and any major achievements he had achieved, like the grant he received to conduct his own research, his academic excellence award, and that time he presented at a conference.

Like he would on a typical resume, Sir Stu also included a list of skills that he had acquired throughout the years, such as fluency in a foreign language, ability to use various computer software, knowledge of statistics, and so on.

Even if he didn’t have much to write about in the way of experience or extracurriculars or awards or skills, Sir Stu took what he did have and made the best of it, emphasizing the positives of his experiences and his potential for success in a graduate program.

When Sir Stu had finished writing his resume, he proofread it for any errors. Once it was error-free, he took his resume in hand and went straight to Rutgers Career Services, which had drop-in times for resume critiques and appointments with career counselors who could help him out. He took the advice he received and edited his resume accordingly, until it was the best that it could be.

Stu had finished his resume, saved it in an easily accessible format (like PDF), and submitted it to his schools at last. 

What would Sir Stu do next?
Read on tomorrow, as the journey continues.