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Advice for Prospective Aud Student!

Discussion in 'Audiology [ Au.D ]' started by WishfulAuD, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. WishfulAuD

    WishfulAuD

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    A little about me, I have been volunteering at the audiology department at a hospital for the past 1 1/2 years and have accumulated 200 hours. It would be truly appreciated if you could give me feedback. It would be very helpful.

    I recently got rejected from Western University in London (masters program in audiology) for the second time, which was very disappointing of course. I also applied to UBC and Dalhousie for the first time last year and also got rejected from those two. I am now contemplating on applying to Western and the other Canadian universities as well, but most importantly on applying to US audiology schools for the first time for the upcoming year. I have realized that I truly do believe that I belong to the profession of audiology. In other words, I was born to do this.

    I graduated from biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster with a cumulative average of 3.0 and my last 20 courses were an average of 3.6. I noticed that my cumulative average seems very low as to what American audiology schools are asking for. I am going to start studying for the GRE, and I am hoping to score high so that it may offset the low average.

    Could you tell me about your own experience? Did you take the GRE? How were you able to afford tuition? How many american audiology schools did you apply to? What would you recommend I do?

    I have many different paths I could take but it is extremely difficult to make a decision. I could do a one year diploma program to become a Communicative Disorders Assistant (Audiology Assistant) while continuing to apply, or do a second bachelor's degree in the US (human communication disorders), or do the GRE and simply volunteer, but honestly it all seems a little daunting and scary. Money is of concern to me, but in the end, I will do whatever it takes to get into audiology.

    I'd like to hear everyone's own opinion as to what you think would be best. By the way, I have bilateral severe hearing loss that requires the use of two hearing aids. I thought it would have helped but it appears it may actually detract from my application. I am unsure if I should disclose it while applying to US schools.

    Thank you so much.
  2. sunshiineAUD

    sunshiineAUD

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    Hi WishfulAud!

    First thing I want to tell you is this: DO NOT GIVE UP :) I am also a Canadian student, currently wrapping up my fourth year at the University of Ottawa doing a BSc Honours in Biology. My stats are about the same as yours, although my final grades for my prereqs in Aud were all either A-, A, or A+ (molecular biology isn't the easiest course in the world haha), and this year I only applied to Western and UofO. I was rejected from Western, and got into the program at UofO (which I was more than happy to hear because I absolutely love Ottawa! And I was kinda secretly hoping I could stay here for my Masters while waiting to hear back from the schools I applied to lol) The advice I would give to you would simply be to perhaps take more courses (psych/ling) and try to bring up your GPA! Canadian schools are all about grades, unfortunately. I only had 63 hours of volunteering but somehow managed to wow the admission committee during my interview back in March. I think you just have to find what it is that makes you "stand out" from the typical applicant. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage in your personal statement/interview. I am doing my Honours project at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and not many people have a research background before going into grad school, so I used that to my advantage. I also got in contact with some of the profs from the department of audiology here in Ottawa, and shadowed them or helped them in their research (Some are profs but still manage their own private practice). So yeah, my best advice to you is just to try to get in contact with some of the profs, or try shadowing audiologists who have studied where you want to go, and get more tips from them. Also, if you are bilingual, I would encourage you to apply to the program at UofO (The program here is amazing!) The odds of getting in are about the same as Western (82 applicants for 20 seats at Western this year, and 50-ish applicants for 10 seats at UofO) I dont know the stats for UBC or Dal, but I'm assuming it should be around the same percentage. I personally don't believe you need more volunteer hours. I know a guy who also went to UofO and got into UBC's audiology last year and graduated from the same program I'm in. He didn't have that many volunteer hours. I can't give you much info about the States, because applying there was not even an option for me! Wayyy too expensive. But good luck on the GRE! I hear it's apparently easy (then again all my friends who took it all wrote either the DAT, PCAT or MCAT prior to writing the GRE, so their opinions might be biased lol)

    Wow. I wrote quite a lot, sorry haha so yeah to summarize what I believe made me a competitive applicant to the audiology program at UofO is the fact that I knew exactly what audiology was before applying due to my shadowing in various settings (I went to hospitals, private practive, and university clinics). I also took part in some research done by audiologists who have PhDs. I did research all year at the heart institute this year, wrote my thesis, and told the admissions committe during my interview that I was interested in pursuing further studies in audiology after my masters.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask/PM me!

    Cheers and best of luck:)
  3. AuDMunchkin

    AuDMunchkin

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    Hello Fellow Canadians,
    I am embarking on my second year at Wayne State, may I suggest applying here next year? They have a good neighbour tuition rate, so you pay in state tuition. You can choose to either stay in Canada and commute or live in the states. The program has come a long way! You have practical experience starting your first week! I love it and wouldn't trade my learning experiences for the world. If you have any questions, inbox me. I want to mention also, Western is very very very research based. Wayne is not like this - its clinical... so if you are looking for TONS research... this is not a good idea. There are research opportunities at Wayne for those who seek them out. Also, in the US its automatically an AuD program ! :)
  4. jlambarty

    jlambarty

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    GOOD! Can the original poster lady reconsider her decision to pursue audiology? Lady, you are better off doing something else..... this field is for bunch of loosers including myself.. stay away:smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin::smuggrin: stay away wall flower
  5. WishfulAuD

    WishfulAuD

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    Hey! Sorry I took a while to respond, I thought the student-doctor forums would notify me when I got a response to my thread.

    Firstly, congratulations on getting into the UofO audiology program. That must be super exciting and it's in your own city too ;)

    Thank you for the tips. I think my best option at this point is to contact an audiologist in London (a professor at Western University) and to ask if I could shadow him/her. My only concern is that the city is about an hour drive away from where I am but I am willing to commute. I am a little unsure how to go about contacting them though to show that I really would like the opportunity ( a short or long email, phone call, in person) so if you could provide me feedback as to how you went about successfully asking them I would really appreciate it.

    The GRE apparently has a math component, which would be the only one I'm a bit worried about but I am definitely going to write it to have a back up plan to american audiology schools just in case.

    Thanks to you and the other posters' responses, I am not going to lose hope! Wayne State University is definitely one of the options I will be looking into (AuDMunchkin). The only thing that worries me is the tuition and the fact that it is a 4 year program versus being 2 years in Canada, but I think it'll be totally worth it. I will work hard to contact the professors and to try a variety of settings. So far I have worked in a hospital, so I will try university clinics and private practices.

    It definitely makes me feel better knowing that I have areas to improve on whereas not having to work so hard on things like volunteer hours, so it's a sigh of relief.

    I will be working hard on all those things in the summer. I will be applying to be a CDA in September but the program is currently waitlisted. I need to start working and it will at least be in the field of audiology so that I don't forget site of where I want to go. You have some new competition jlambarty! ;)
  6. cidanu

    cidanu

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    i can tell you that at Gallaudet University, a fair number of our students seem to have hearing loss themselves. some even with profound hearing loss. i would definitely recommend mentioning it somehow in your personal statement if you think it's related to your career goals.

    professional standards and laws may be different from country to country, but having normal hearing is NOT a requirement to become an audiologist in the US. furthermore, it's illegal for an educational program to discriminate based on hearing status.

    i would recommend gallaudet to you but i think it's very expensive for international students. it's a quasi-private federally funded university. it's unique in that it has US citizen/resident tuition rates, and international tuition rates. and the international tuition is twice the domestic tuition. many students receive tuition waivers for the first year, but beyond that funding is limited for non-US citizens.
  7. sunshiineAUD

    sunshiineAUD

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    Thank you! Actually, it's not exactly in my city :p I'm from New Brunswick, but did my undergrad at UofO! But I guess you could call Ottawa my "second home"! It kind of sucks that you would have to commute so far...but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes! And as for the way that I contacted the profs, an email was sufficient :) Nothing too long, mine was a few lines. Just describing them that I was a Bio student, interested in pursuing my graduate studies in audiology, and wondering if I could shadow them! Simple and to the point. Nothing fancy. They replied within a few days, and were more than pleased! I met up with them, we talked (felt like a mini interview but veryyy casual haha) and from then I started shadowing them! They were really laid-back and chill about it. They must be used to having students observing them during clinical placements, and I did it over the summer, because that's when they were less busy and it was much more convenient for them than to meet me during the school year (I emailed them in March of last year, and they asked me not to come in until May.)

    As for the GRE, I highly doubt the math component is difficult. I mean there are no integrals or derivatives on it I'm pretty certain about that lol So just get some of those study guides and you should be good :) But yeah, try to get into as many different settings as you can. And one of the audiologists I shadowed (one of the profs) told me to also shadow one of the SLPs at the University Clinic (I didn't simply because I was kind of busy last summer with summer courses, and I left Ottawa to go back home in June) She told me that because they work together sometimes (audiologists and SLPs), it'd be a good idea to be aware of what they do exactly. So I'm sure it wouldn't hurt if you found an SLP to shadow in your hometown (no need to commute to London) even if it's only for a day. Because those are all things you add to your resume to show that you've been epxosed to the field of communication disorders. Hope that help!
  8. AuDMunchkin

    AuDMunchkin

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    Keep in mind the 4 year program is really 3 - your last year is your externship - and you finish at a doctorate level ... I'm assuming Western is 2 years because its a master's level program? Am I right about this?
  9. WishfulAuD

    WishfulAuD

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    I will definitely find out more about the tuition rates and possible scholarships. I am more interested in the NY and Michigan audiology schools as it is closer to where I live, but it doesn't hurt to apply to as many as possible. Thank you for the information I really appreciate it!

    sunshiineAUD - You have no idea how much your advice helps. I will be emailing them by the end of this week, and I really would like to start shadowing them as soon as possible or over the summer like you did. There are a few research audiologists as well, so I will try to see if I could help out with some research. If that is not possible (very likely), then I will be doing research in biochemistry to get a better second academic recommendation. I am rethinking going to get a diploma to become a CDA simply because it will cost so much in terms of tuition and moving out and buying textbooks. I think I have to keep the faith that I'll get in audiology school with a great GRE score and good recommendations and lots of volunteer hours and research. Just gotta keep working hard.

    AuDMunchkin - Yes you are totally right. In Canada, one requires a clinical masters (2 years at Western and UBC, 3 years at Dalhousie) whereas in the states, you require the AuD which usually takes 4 years. I think I could handle 4 years now that I think about it. And especially the fact that the 4th year is an externship really makes me feel better. But right now I am just focusing on trying to get in. That's my main goal right now! :)

    Haha by the way, I realized I could subscribe to the thread so I get notifications when I get a response. About time :p
  10. WishfulAuD

    WishfulAuD

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    I have a few more questions for anyone out there to answer.

    What is the difference between the private and public american audiology schools? There is no such distinction in Canada so I am a little confused. For example, Syracuse University is private versus Wayne State University is described as public. Is the application process more expensive for Syracuse? The tuition rates higher? Or it has nothing to do with that?

    Also, do american audiology schools generally look at all the GRE scores-- like the essay component? The math component? Thank you in advance.
  11. sunshiineAUD

    sunshiineAUD

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    No worries! It is my pleasure to help in any way I can :)
  12. cmc271

    cmc271

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    Private vs Public generally deals with how universities are funded. Public universities receive the majority of their funding from the state and federal goverments wheras Private universities primary funding comes through donors, tuition, endowment funds. As the public universities receive tax dollars, tuition is generally subsidized and for the most part you will find tuition cheaper at public universities. In addition, you will see in state/out of state tuition on public university websites. Tuition is cheaper if you are from within the state because you (or your parents) have theoretically been paying taxes to support the university. An example of public vs private in Tennessee where I attend would be to compare the University of Memphis (Public) vs Vanderbilt U (private). In state tuition for a full time grad student is roughly $14000-15000 (~4500 per semester, 3 semesters) per year, while Vanderbilt lists their tuition as $31000 per year during the first 3 years of the program. Graduate tuition can vary. I also applied to the University of Pittsburgh (public) but tuition was much closer to the cost of Vanderbilt.

    Talk to the programs your are interested in about the financial aid you would be eligible for such as graduate assistantships. I have one that waives out of state tuition and covers half of the in state tuition. Not all universities have assistantships available to AuD students. I was very interested in the University of Pittsburgh but they had no assistantships available to AuD students, just PhD students.

    You also mentioned being concerned about lower GPA in your first post. My GPA overall ended up around 3.4 I think, with my in major GPA being much higher 3.8-9. I made a 1320 and was accepted at 3/4 (UAMS, U Memphis, Pitt & waitlisted at North Carolina) schools I applied to. So definitely study hard for the GRE! It can help offset GPA I think.

    If you look near the top of where the first post in the thread is, you will see "Thread Tools." Click on this and then on "Subscribe to this thread" and you can set how wish to be notified about new posts. There is also an option to do this when you first create the thread at the bottom of the page.
  13. WishfulAuD

    WishfulAuD

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    Hey cmc271, thank you so much for clarifying the difference between public and private universities. In my application for next year, I will definitely enquire about graduate assistantships and it will be a big factor as to whether I apply to that university or not.

    I am definitely going to study hard for the new GRE. There is a prep course that is offered at a university nearby here. Did you take this preparation course? It is quite expensive but I'm wondering if it's worth it. Thank you!
  14. cmc271

    cmc271

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    I didn't take the prep course but I've always done well on standardized tests. I took a couple of the free practice tests I found online and used a workbook a little to brush up on my math skills.
  15. Dustbug10

    Dustbug10 Year IV Moderator Emeritus

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    Likewise. I didn't spend any money preparing for the GRE. I'd recommend using any free material you can find online. The money spent on prep courses would be better served taking the test again if you don't like your first score. In particular, I don't see much benefit in studying for the vocabulary portion. You're better off trying going on instinct rather than trying to recall big words. The only process I used was to try and break the words down to derive meaning. I scored much higher on the math portion than I expected considering I hadn't taken a course since high school. Take what you know and apply reasoning the best you can. Given your educational background, I would think you would be more apt to do that compared to some of us.

    As far as paying for school, the obvious answer is an assistantship. That didn't do a whole lot to ease the financial strain for me as I still have a boat load of student loans. It depends on your priorities for the future. Growing up the way I did, $60k seems rich to me even with the insane monthly payments I'll be making on loans. Considering that I will be living with a combined income, I'd have to really question my mindset and maturity if I couldn't live comfortably within means even at the minimum salary. Please don't take that to mean I'm encouraging debt. Above all else, stay the hell away from private loans. I have witnessed horror stories where friends were living on scrapes just to pay the interest. In choosing a program, I'd take the less expensive option without any hesitation whatsoever. There are superior programs, but you have every opportunity to become a skilled clinician depending on your work ethic and ability to branch out. I am in a program that is supposedly bottom tier and I have yet to hear from any past graduates who struggled to get a job at least close to their preferred location. I can't speak for transitioning from Canada, however..

    As for your application, there are several ways you can make yourself stand out. rEliseMe had a post somewhere on this forum detailing ideas. Volunteering is a good start, but think of ideas that other incoming students would likely never consider. I'm sure that you could piggy back a research study and add published work to your application. Work tirelessly on your letter of intent. Talk about your hearing loss, but not in a sympathetic light. Maybe discuss how you're going to use it to better the profession and advocate for professionals with hearing impairment. Have you talked to the professors at Wayne St? They should know you by first name. Google them and see what common ground you have with their interests to gain an edge. Many Phd's do online seminars/lectures. Attend them and make your presence known. There are countless other ideas that can bridge the gap if you feel you're lacking in marks or the GRE. The important thing is to make the decision to commit to audiology (or not) and move forward. Do that and you have nothing to worry about. :thumbup:
  16. AuDitty

    AuDitty

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    I bought Kaplan books, flashcards, and a couple other books. Ultimately I stumbled across Magoosh.com site and it was my saving grace. It was well worth the $100 for me. I am a non-traditional student and it had been far too many years since taking any of the math courses and I ended up doing very well on it.
  17. WishfulAuD

    WishfulAuD

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    Thank you so much for giving me additional advice. It is so helpful, I really appreciate it. I think the biggest thing I've learned from the two past application cycles that failed is that I need to broaden my network and to meet more professors and to ask around and to ultimately see where I can get more insight into the profession of audiology. Just recently I've discovered that I am very interested in the research aspect of the field, so I will be talking to more research audiologists. But overall, my main goal is to get accepted to a program in the US that would cover at least a little part of my finances because I'm definitely not even close to being well off. So just gotta work a tiny bit harder, but it will be worth it.

    Thank you guys so much for the advice regarding the GRE as well. Thank you! I will continue to post and check out the audiology forums :D
  18. TheEarDoc

    TheEarDoc Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA

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    YOU are a fellow lab rat like myself. I graduated undergrad with a couple undergrad degrees that were not communication sciences degrees. I was set to be a otolaryngologist and was preparing for the MCAT and not the GRE. I liked audiology more than ENT so I switched. I like you had a low GPA (3.2 overall, but my Psychology GPA and communication sciences minor GPA's were both around 3.95). It was hard to compete with folks who had 4.0 GPA's from communication science courses, but I made sure to explain what I had done, the types of courses I had taken, and why my GPA of 3.2 in biology was better than a 4.0 in communication sciences. I was actually wait listed for a program at a public university, but eventually got in and I graduated at almost the top of my class in graduate school.

    My advice is don't give up! You might need to reword your personal statement and explain why your GPA is lower, but more so explain why not having the communication science background and instead having a hard sciences background will make you a better audiologist.

    Also have you thought of coming to the US for school? I have seen several programs take Canadian students at public universities. I know of two Canadian students who went to schools in Ohio (Ohio University and NOAC (Akron Kent program)). If audiology is what you want to do then keep trying!

    Also for the GRE, after taking all the hard exams I took as an undergrad and all the upper level science, physics, and math, the GRE was a cakewalk. I borrowed a KAPLAN study book from a friend and took a couple practice exams out of it and took the exam. I walked out with over a 1000 on the GRE without breaking a sweat. If you survived a pre-med program you should find the GRE to be a breeze. It's the same style of testing we are used to.

    Good luck!

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