Speech and Language Pathology Bachelors Degree Information
Speech and language pathology professionals are responsible for diagnosing and treating individuals who suffer from a speech, language or cognitive-communication disorder. Students interested in this field of study may earn a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.
Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
Most speech-language pathologists are required to earn a master's degree before they can gain licensure and a paid position in the field. However, some universities offer 4- or 5-year bachelor's degree programs in speech-language pathology, and an institution may offer a pre-professional bachelor's degree program as a segue into a master's degree program. Schools also offer combination bachelor's-master's degree programs requiring the completion of clinical, supervised experience.
While enrolled in this program, students learn to diagnose communication and oral function disorders while providing various rehabilitative services related to speech therapy. A typical bachelor's degree program in this field includes two years of general and liberal education courses and two years of professional speech-language pathology-related courses, along with one year of a clinical internship experience.
The most common prerequisite for gaining admittance into a speech-pathology bachelor's degree program is a high school diploma, although students may transfer from an associate's or bachelor's degree program in another field. A school may require undergraduates to take particular prerequisites, in addition to general education courses, before declaring a speech-language pathology major. Examples of these prerequisites include language disorders, audiology and language development.
The courses in a bachelor's degree program in speech and language pathology focus on communication disorders as well as practical clinical experience. Common examples of courses are listed below:
- American sign language
- Communication processes and disorders
- Human communication
- Descriptive phonetics
- Normal human language development
- Clinical assisting
- Research methodology
- Language disorders
Popular Career Options
Speech-language pathologists generally need a master's degree in the field in order to gain employment. Graduates of a bachelor's degree program are eligible for the following positions:
- Speech technician
- Speech pathologist technician
- Speech language assistant
- Rehab technician
- Human language technology technician
Continuing Education Options
To work as a speech language pathologist, one must obtain licensure from the state in which one will be working. Requirements vary by the particular state. Most common educational requirement is a master's degree in speech-language pathology. Graduates of a bachelor's program may complete a master's degree before seeking licensure.
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