Suggestions for Applicants

Prospective students frequently inquire about minimum GRE and GPAs. NU’s applicant review process is holistic and integrative in nature. While GPA (overall, major, and CSD/Post Bac GPA) and GRE scores are certainly very important, they do not tell the whole story of "who" a student is and what his/her strengths and interests may be. As such, GRE and GPA statistics do not speak to the actual application evaluation process for an individual applicant.

We are looking for exceptional students who have demonstrated strengths both in and out of the classroom. We look for a strong, well-written responses to the essay prompts and demonstration of a variety of volunteer or paid experiences. These experiences may include working in faculty labs, assisting on faculty projects, volunteering for student or community groups, or working to put oneself through school. Additionally, we expect strong letters of recommendation from faculty who know the applicant well. Three recommendations are required, and it is strongly suggested that at least two of these be faculty recommendations.

Essay Responses

We strongly recommend you allow ample time to complete your essay responses.  Thoughtful, well-constructed responses take time to craft and edit.  Consider asking a trusted advisor (not a friend or family member) to provide honest feedback regarding your essay responses.  In addition to reading for clarity and checking for errors, ask your reader for feedback regarding the tenor of your responses.  There is a fine line between appropriate sharing and over-sharing.

If you have experienced challenges that have impacted your grades during your school career, we advise you to address this in one of your responses. 

Letters of Recommendation

When soliciting your recommenders, be sure to verify they can write you STRONG letters of recommendation.  Allow your recommenders adequate time to compose their letters; remember that many students will be requesting letters at the same time.  Consider providing each of your recommenders with a portfolio containing information regarding your coursework and grades, your cv/resume, and your essay responses/statement of intent. 

If your recommenders are not in a CSD field, consider asking them to speak to strengths THEY see rather than postulating about how these strengths apply to SLP.
The recommender may want to address concepts that do apply, such as interpersonal skills.

MS in Speech, Language, and Learning
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
ms-sll@northwestern.edu
847-491-5073