Speech and Language Pathology Bachelors Degree Information
Learn about the prerequisites and coursework for a bachelor's degree program in speech and language pathology. Check out some career choices for baccalaureate-holders, as well as continuing education at the master's level to meet state licensing requirements.
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, although most speech-language pathologists are required to earn a master's degree before they can gain licensure and a paid position in the field.
There are some 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 a bachelor's degree 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 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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