If you’re applying to SLP grad school, you may have heard of 'externships' and be wondering what they are and what to expect. Broadly, an SLP externship is completed during your graduate program and is a great way to gain valuable experience and build your professional network before entering the field.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what to expect in SLP externships, whether they are paid, and how you can expect to find externship opportunities during your graduate program.
What to Expect in SLP Externships
Externships provide an opportunity for hands-on experience during your graduate program - similar to clinical placements, but with full-time hours and multi-week placements that may not be on or near your campus.
The exact experience you gain from an externship will vary depending on the setting and the population you are working with. Most programs typically require/offer one school-based externship and one medical externship.
Externships are typically completed at the end of your master's program, after you have already gained all of your coursework knowledge and an abundance of clinical practicum experience.
Are SLP Externships Paid?
No. You complete your externships while you are in your graduate program, before graduation. SLP externships are meant to gain you the bulk of the hands-on experience under full supervision of a licensed SLP that is required by ASHA in order to graduate.
How to Find SLP Externship Opportunities
There are a variety of SLP externship opportunities available, as many hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and even some private practices offer externships for SLP students. But you shouldn't have to worry about finding your own externships because a vast majority of SLP graduate programs assist students in securing externships based on their specific interests and desired locations.
Externships are not required to be completed on campus nor even in-state, so your program may have contacts all over the U.S. and can provide you with opportunities to connect with their contacts to request and/or apply for their externship opportunities.
And, yes, sometimes the opportunities do require applications - especially at large medical organizations, as they are connected with a wide range of programs but have limited numbers of students they can take on, and taking applications helps them streamline their process for filling their available opportunities.
If you have your eyes on specific settings/locations for externships and/or want to identify a program's exact process for externships, reach out to the program secretary/graduate program admissions contact (typically found on the program website) to learn more.
Have more questions about SLP externships? Send me a DM on instagram at @speechlyss_slp or send me an email at email@example.com and we'll chat 😊 Have a wonderful day!