Keys to Shadowing

The air is crisp, the chlorophyll in the leaves is breaking down, and the semester is in full swing.

I hope we are off to a successful and enjoyable semester! Today, I am going to talk about something very scary: SHADOWING. Hopefully, by the end of my post, you will see that shadowing is not scary at all, and it can help you gain a lot of useful professional experience 🙂

In the last blog post, I detailed the myriad of places that speech and hearing sciences can take you. If you’re interested in learning more, you are in the right place. Shadowing, i.e. working alongside a seasoned member of the field, is a great way to get your feet wet in any field.

Here is a fool-proof guide to getting shadowing experience:

Step 0: Start early! This is the absolute first step!
Several facilities may require background checks, interviews, drug tests, and appropriate vaccinations. It is never too early to start contacting offices to work in. Every location will require something different, and this paperwork will take some time to process through the varying departments.

Every health facility will require you to uphold a confidentiality agreement. This is, in my opinion, the most crucial thing to remember when you are shadowing. You are not a licensed speech-pathologist, yet. However, you still must conduct yourself as such.

Step 1: Do a little research.
Decide where you would like to shadow, and with whom. In this area, there are plenty of practices, rehab facilities, and hospitals. This area is brimming with learning experiences.

However, it is also important to decide why you want to shadow. You may choose to shadow at a facility that is more centered on children, since you prefer working with children. You may prefer a hospital setting, where patients come in for a variety of reasons. Decide what you want, and it will make your life easier. Often times, a location may ask why you’re interested in shadowing. You want to make sure the facility can meet the goals you have set for yourself.

Step 2: Contact the places you are interested in.
Without a doubt, this is the hardest step.

There are also a few steps involved here.

a. Have a résumé ready.
This is not completely necessary, however, it definitely does not hurt
your chances of getting a callback. This will show the facility that you are a professional, and you have had previous experience in professional settings prior. It is also just a good tip to have a résumé prepared, in case.

There are several ways to write a résumé. For help with this, I recommend attending our résumé building meeting on November 1 :).

You can also attend drop-in résumé critiquing hours, offered by career services. Someone will sit with you, one-on-one, and discuss your résumé. They offer critiques on every campus, at varying days and times. Check out the link below for more information.
http://careers.rutgers.edu/page.cfm?page_ID=271

b. Be professional in your emails.
You do not need to write a novel persuading them to take you on. However, you should tell them a little about yourself (such as major, year at Rutgers, and why you are interested in the facility). You should probably do this in a paragraph or less. As you can imagine, these people lead very busy lives.

In the email body, include your contact information, so they can reach out to you.

Attach your résumé, and, if they want confirmation that you are a student, your transcript.

Note: In some cases, you may have to call facilities and ask if they allow undergraduates to shadow. When you call the facility, tell them you are an undergraduate at Rutgers. Explain why you are interested in shadowing, and see what they say! Calling is usually a faster option, instead of emailing back and forth.

c. Wait.
Be patient, and wait for replies from facilities. This is also not easy.

If you absolutely must, follow up with them after about a week or so. In my experience, calling guarantees a follow-up, either from the clinician or the facility’s secretaries. Sometimes emails are overlooked, but typically calls to the main desk are somewhat more persuasive.

A facility may ask you to come in for a sort of interview, to discuss shadowing. Again, be immensely professional. Treat this like you would a job.

Step 3: Complete the paperwork.
Follow the paperwork provided by the facility, dotting every i and crossing every t. If you have any questions, you should absolutely reach out to the facility for clarification. Paperwork can be the longest step, so make sure you do it correctly.

Step 4: Begin shadowing!
You are excited! You are nervous! What will you learn?

With regards to beginning your shadowing experience, the utmost important thing is to remain professional. This means several things: dressing appropriately, carrying yourself correctly, and allowing the speech pathologist/audiologist to still conduct his/her work. You can ask your mentor about how he/she handles students shadowing. Your mentor may prefer that you just observe, and ask questions later. Your mentor may involve you in the clinical work, in some capacities. Every experience will be different.

If you are at a private practice, it is possible that the speech path/audiologist may ask you to help them with some clerical aspects of the work (paperwork, answering the phone, etc).

This is a wonderful learning experience, and a fantastic opportunity, so be sure to express gratitude to your mentor at the end with a thank-you note.

If you and your mentor really work well together, they are always a good person to turn to for advice about courses and graduate school, a letter of recommendation, and maybe even job recommendations down the line. Maintain this professional relationship; you will not regret it.

As a final note, be sure to have your mentor sign off on your shadowing hours. Graduate schools typically require a minimum of 20 hours. To keep track of this, you can use our observation log. Our observation log can be found under “Resources” on the club blog.

When we have speaker meetings, typically our speakers are very well-connected in the field. It is possible that a speaker may know offices that are seeking undergraduates. These meetings help build your professional network.

Questions? Comments? Want to add your own testimonials or tips from your shadowing experience(s)? We would love to hear from you! Email ruspeechandhearingsite[at]gmail.com!

I hope to see you at our next meeting 🙂

Faith

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Where can speech and hearing sciences take you?

Where can Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology take you?
A new school year is the perfect time to explore new things. This year, our club will be helping others in the community, learning about the field from seasoned Speech-Pathologists and Audiologists, and developing our professional skillset.

Why Linguistics? What is Linguistics?
I first started taking Linguistics classes because I was immensely interested in studying languages.

Have you ever wondered how speakers make decisions about what words to use? Have you ever wondered how we produce speech sounds? Linguistics courses are interesting and rigorous, covering a broad depth of topics. By studying linguistics, I was able to discover more about the speech and hearing sciences.

I remember being somewhat afraid that I would not be able to turn my passion into a viable career. When I started to learn more about speech and hearing sciences, I began to see that I could use Linguistics to help people.

Why Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology?
A speech-language pathologist is someone who really loves working with people. Think about how crucial communicating is in our daily lives.

Careers in the speech and hearing sciences are escalating, and are very much in-demand. The field has immense versatility. A career in speech and hearing scientists

Where will I work?

Schools: Speech-Pathologists employed in schools often work with smaller classes of students. These Speech-Pathologists are crucial pillars to student’s academic success.

Hospitals/Rehabilitation Centers: Speech-Pathologists and Audiologists in hospitals are able to provide therapies for those recovering from surgeries, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and more.

Private Practices: It is common for audiologists and speech-pathologists to open their own practices. This gives them immense flexibility, as they can be more discerning about their hours.

Who will I work with?
Speech and hearing sciences can help people of all ages. Speech-pathologists are even employed in the NICU, where they help pre-term babies who are passive participants in the feeding process (https://www.speechpathologygraduateprograms.org/nicu/).


How can I pursue Speech and Hearing Sciences at Rutgers?

The Linguistics Department has recently added a Speech/Hearing Certificate to their Linguistics major. This certificate outlines all the recommended courses for admittance to graduate schools.

Read more about the requirements here: http://ling.rutgers.edu/undergraduate-mainmenu-139/certificate-in-speech-and-hearing

https://ruspeechandhearingclub.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/new-certificate-in-speech-and-hearing-sciences-in-linguistics-program-from-rutgers/

What next?
If this post has piqued your interest, come to our meetings! We love to discuss our passion for the speech and hearing sciences. We have a lot of things planned for this year, and we would love to have you all be apart of them.

You also may want to consider shadowing a Speech pathologist or an audiologist. For more tips about gaining shadowing experience and building your résumé, stay tuned for October’s next blog post!

Feel free to write to us at ruspeechandhearingsite [at] gmail.com with questions.

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.

Credits
: 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,
Michelle

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.