Admission Requirements

Child and Man making silly faces

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. 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. Bachelor degrees in speech-language pathology are not recommended and courses from these degrees are not accepted for the prerequisites.

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 exceed the minimum requirements to be considered for admission. A competitive application does not guarantee admission into the program.

Prerequisite Courses

Minimum Academic Requirements by Country

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.  An undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology or Speech and Hearing Sciences does not exempt you from the prerequisites.

Minimum 3.3 GPA

A minimum GPA of 3.3 (4.0 scale) is required for admission into the MScSLP graduate program at the U of A. 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.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with the recommendations of the University of Alberta, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will not be including the grades from Winter 2020 semester toward the calculation of GPA. The credits obtained can still count toward the 60 credits, and prerequisites.

Pre-requisite Courses

Application to the MSc-SLP program requires the completion of a four-year undergraduate degree and the completion of 7 prerequisite courses, each worth 3 credits. These courses are selected to provide speech-language pathology applicants with the background needed to succeed in the MSc-SLP program. A maximum of 2 courses can be in progress during Winter term or courses noted to be taken in Spring or Summer sessions. As soon as a student has registered in a spring or summer course the student should send in proof to the department at All courses must be complete prior to the start of Fall term. The following courses and associated knowledge/skills are prerequisites to the MSc-SLP program.

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants wishing to determine whether their coursework satisfies the prerequisite requirements at the U of A should:

  1. Consult the list of approved courses at the universities linked on our website. If a course is not listed, applicants should follow the steps below:
  2. Consult the current academic calendar from the university at which the course was taken. Compare the course content to the description provided below. 
    • If the course description is an antirequisite to a course listed on our website, it will satisfy the prerequisite requirement. 
    • If the course does not closely match this description, it is not likely to satisfy the requirement. 
  3. Applicants in Alberta whose institutions are not listed on our website can use the Alberta Transfer Guide to see if the course is transferable:
  4. If the above steps have been followed and an applicant is still unsure whether their coursework meets the prerequisite requirements, email a course syllabus/outline to, having highlighted the relevant sections addressing the content listed in the Table of Prerequisite Course Descriptions. In your email, be specific about which prerequisite requirement you are submitting the syllabus for. 
  5. Pre-requisite courses should have been taken in the past 10 years.
  1. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all prerequisite course requirements have been satisfied. Failure to do so may result in challenges with program progression.
  2. Internationally trained students should contact for approval of courses.

An undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology or Speech and Hearing Sciences does not exempt you from the prerequisites.


Statistics: Introduction to statistical methods. Content should include the following areas:

  • Statistical inference
  • Experimental design
  • Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for means and proportions
  • Correlation and regression
  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA)

Research project courses are not acceptable.

Child Development or Developmental Psychology: A course describing biological, social and cognitive development from infancy through childhood.  Note: 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. The following types of courses are typically acceptable:

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Science
  • Learning and Memory
  • Perception
  • Psycholinguistics

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.

Courses investigating animal anatomy and physiology, cellular biology courses, or neuroanatomy courses that do not cover areas relevant to speech-language pathology(i.e., hearing, speaking, breathing, swallowing) are not acceptable.

Introductory Linguistics: A general survey course that covers the core areas of linguistics (i.e., phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, pragmatics). Courses teaching another language or writing courses are not acceptable.

Articulatory Phonetics: A course covering fundamentals of articulatory phonetics, including an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and practice in phonetic transcription.

Child Language Development, Child Language Acquisition or First Language Acquisition: A course focused on typical language development in children, from birth to school entry. Courses primarily focused on general child psychology, child development, second language development, or language disorders are not acceptable.

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.

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. 

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.

Casper Test Information

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

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 retake it.

Graduate Records Exam

No longer a requirement for the admissions cycle. The Fall 2021 admission cycle was the final year for this requirement.

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:

Internet Test (iBT) (Maximum 120)

CSD Minimum requirements:

  • Overall score: 102
  • Reading: 22
  • Listening: 26
  • Speaking: 26
  • Writing: 24

The International English language testing system (IELTS)

(Academic AC or General Training GT)

  • Total: 7.5
  • Reading: 7.5
  • Listening: 7.5
  • Speaking: 7.5
  • Writing: 7.5

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.