I Don't Know What I Want to do as an SLP

In speaking with many undergraduate students, SLPAs, and related health professionals about the grad school application process, I have often heard:

"I know I want to be an SLP but I have no idea what exactly I want to do as an SLP. How will that impact my application?"

If this sounds like you, it's okay!

You don't need to know exactly what setting you want to work in or what population(s) you want to work with before applying to grad school.

Most applicants don’t.

Here is some perspective. Which do you think sounds better to reviewers?:


I only want to work with one specific population in one specific setting regardless of the additional opportunities that may be offered at your university.


I am eager to gain a variety of experiences within your course and clinic offerings with the hopes of broadening my knowledge and expanding my skill set to become a well-trained and confident yet humble clinician.

I hope I made that one obvious... :)

As a graduate student, you will learn about a wide variety of disorders related to communication, cognition, and swallowing, and even more ways to evaluate and treat difficulties arising from those disorders.

You will have to be open to all of the opportunities a graduate program will provide to you. You will likely be assigned to a variety of clinical experiences, and you will learn a lot from them (Yes, even the ones that don't excite you!).

You may even fall in love with a setting or population that you never would have dreamed of enjoying before grad school.

The bottom line is:

Grad school programs don’t expect you to have it all figured out by the time you submit an application.

What they do like to see is a student who displays a passion for the field and pre-professional skills that make them a great candidate for their program.

You don't need to know precisely what you want to do, but you do need to demonstrate the persona of a future SLP.

How will you stand out?

If you need help in making your application stand out, book a coaching call with me!

With coaching calls, you not only get personalized support for any and all questions you have during our video call, but you also get a detailed document after our meeting with:

  • Notes on all topics we discussed
  • Recommendations tailored to your needs
  • A list of helpful resources

Learn more & sign up for grad school application coaching calls HERE!

If you'd prefer to first read about the SLP grad school application process and gain access to multiple templates, checklists, and detailed guides before signing up for a call, check out the DIY Grad School Application Success Bundle.

See my products & services page for resume, personal statement, and full application reviews + more!

As always, feel free to reach out any time with questions! Have an amazing day!