Admission Requirements

Four-Year Undergraduate Degree

Applicants interested in Speech-Language Pathology must first apply to a 4-year undergraduate program; for example: Education, Arts, or Science. Keep in mind that applicants must also complete the prerequisite courses. It is recommended that applicants contact the Faculty of choice to make sure that they have the required high-school courses for admission.

Since degrees vary greatly from institutions and countries, the U of A will examine course content to establish equivalences to a U of A baccalaureate degree. Although you may present the minimum academic and prerequisite course requirements to be considered for admission, all applicants must well exceed the minimum requirements to be considered for admission. Also note that a competitive application does not guarantee admission into the program.

For more information please see the minimum academic requirements from other countries.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (formerly known as the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology) does not recommend one undergraduate degree over another.

Minimum 3.3 GPA

A minimum GPA of 3.3 (4.0 scale) is required for admission into a graduate program at the University of Alberta. However, a GPA of 3.7 (4.0 scale) is recommended for a competitive application to the MSc SLP program in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Alberta. A GPA at or above 7.5, based on the 9-point scale prior to 2003 at the University of Alberta, is recommended for a competitive application. This equates approximately to a percentage score of 90% and a letter grade of A-. Scales differ somewhat among programs and universities. The GPA used in the admissions process is calculated using the most recent 60 credits (equivalent to twenty 3-weight courses) for which grades are available at the time of application. However, GPA is not the only criterion for acceptance to the program. For more information see "Admission Process".

Pre-requisite Courses

*The number of prerequisite courses required and the details for each prerequisite have been updated February 2018*

Application to the MSc SLP program requires the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree and the completion of seven prerequisite courses. These courses are selected to provide speech-language pathology applicants with the background needed to succeed in the MSc SLP program. The following courses and associated knowledge/skills are prerequisites to the MSc SLP program. To see a detailed list of prerequisite courses that can be used for credit at various universities, please go here.

Statistics: Introduction to statistical methods. Content should include basic descriptive and inferential statistics, up to and including analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Child Development or Developmental Psychology: Introductory courses in Psychology do not fulfil this requirement, even if the topic was covered as a part of the course. Courses named Child Psychology may or may not fulfil the requirement.

Cognitive psychology: A course in cognition, learning, or human information processing.

Neuroanatomy or Neuropsychology: Structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous systems including mechanisms of neural activity and signalling, principles of neocortical organization, functional aspects of sensory and motor systems, and higher cognitive functions.

Introductory Linguistics: A general survey course that covers the core areas of linguistics. Other courses may be substituted for an introductory course only if they cover all core areas.

Articulatory Phonetics: Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet and practice in phonetic transcription.

Child Language Development, Child Language Acquisition or First Language Acquisition: Note: A course describing typical language development in children, from birth to school entry.

Course Required Upon Admission to the Program: Indigenous Canadian History: Starting in Fall 2019, all students admitted to the MSc SLP program will be required to complete a course focused on Indigenous history in Canada. The recommended course is the Indigenous Canada MOOC for certificate, however an academic equivalent will be accepted.

If your institution is not listed on this page, or does not include a course that you would like to use for credit, please use the Alberta Transfer Guide to see if the course is transferable:
Alberta Transfer Guide Course Search
(go to "Transfer from Institution" and input the necessary information)

If a course has not already been pre-approved (list of universities with specific courses that can be used for credit can be found here), it is strongly recommended to obtain approval from the CSD Grad Advisor prior to applying to the program.

CASPer Test - Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics

CASPer Info Webinar for Applicants
The CASPer Team will be running through an overview of the CASPer test, why programs have adopted CASPer, what to expect on test day and tips on how to prepare for CASPer. Please register here to participate.

All applicants to the Masters in Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Alberta are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.

CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

More detailed information about the test can be found here.

Please go to to sign up and reserve a test using your first and last name, your date of birth, and a piece of government-issued photo ID. Test dates and times are listed here. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule.

CASPer test results are valid for one admissions cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will therefore be expected to re-take it.

Graduate Records Exam

Students considering applying to the MSc SLP program are required to take the General Test (GRE). Writing of the GRE should be done before the end of December otherwise the results are not guaranteed to reach the Department before the February deadline. If this is not possible, there is computer-based testing which is offered year round in many locations.

When taking the GRE test, please use School Code 0963. This will ensure that our department receives your score directly.

 Selecting GRE recipients:

When selecting score recipients on the day of the test, or sending additional score reports through the GRE website, test takers should type "speech%", and the computer will list all department codes that match alphabetically. Please select "Health & Medical Sciences - Speech-Language Pathology (code 0620)." Test takers should NOT enter a department code number because the computer does not conduct a numeric match.

For general inquiries call 609-771-7670 or visit their website.


English Language Proficiency Tests

Since English is the primary language of instruction, clinical training and overall communication at the University of Alberta, proficiency in English is a prerequisite for graduate admission.

 All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission. If an applicant's primary language is not English, an English proficiency test will be required as part of the application to the MScSLP program. English is considered the primary language of the applicant if:

  • the student possesses a baccalaureate or graduate degree or its academic equivalent from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta, in which the language of instruction was English, and
  • it is the language primarily used by the applicant for reading, writing, listening and speaking, and
  • it is the language in which the applicant is most comfortable and proficient.

  The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores required for admission are as follows:

Test Option CSD Minimum Requirement
Internet Test (iBT) (Maximum 120)

Overall score: 115
Speaking: 28
Writing: 26
Listening: 24
Reading: 22

Computer Test (CBT) (Maximum 300) Overall score: 250
Essay Writing: 5
Test of Spoken English: 50
Paper Test (PBT) (Maximum 677) Overall score: 600
Test of Written English score: 5
Test of Spoken English score: 50


In addition, applicants may be required to have an interview with a member of the admissions committee via SKYPE or other interactive video conferencing technology, prior to final acceptance into the program.

 All applicants who are required to write the English language examination are advised to do so early in the application process. A satisfactory score is required before the department admissions committee will review the application. If the application meets the department criteria, it will be considered with all other applications during the departmental admissions process.

Interested in learning more about the application process? Each September our students host the OASIS conference that includes a session with information about the application process. This year's conference will be held on September 26, 2020.