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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Speech and Language Pathology

Majors Overview March 28, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in speech and language pathology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Speech and Language Pathology

Individuals suffering from a language, speech, or cognitive-communication disorder rely on speech and language pathology professionals for their diagnosis and treatment. Those keen on a career in the field can complete a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Speech-Language Pathology. Licensure and employment are gained by most speech-language pathologists only after they have earned a master’s degree.

Schools offer four- and five-year bachelor’s degree programs in speech-language pathology, including a pre-professional bachelor’s degree program continuing to a master’s degree program. Combination bachelor’s/master’s degree programs are also offered requiring enrolled students to complete clinical, supervised experience.

The bachelor’s degree program is devised to teach students about diagnosing oral function and communication disorders even as they provide a variety of rehabilitative services related to speech therapy.

The bachelor’s degree program typically comprises of two years each of professional speech-language pathology-related coursework as well as liberal education and general courses, in addition to a year’s clinical internship experience.

Education Requirements

While admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, students holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in another field can also seek enrollment into the program. Undergraduates may have to complete particular prerequisites along with general education coursework before they are allowed to begin core coursework. Such prerequisites may include language development, audiology, and language disorders.

Coursework

Coursework focuses on practical clinical experience, in addition to communication disorders. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as the following:

•Normal human language development
•Descriptive phonetics
•Language disorders
•Human communication
•Communication processes and disorders
•American Sign Language
•Research methodology
•Clinical assisting
•Audiology

Career Choices

Speech-language pathologists who are seeking employment need a master’s degree in the field. Those who earn a bachelor’s degree may seek positions such as:

•Speech-language assistant
•Human language technology technician
•Speech pathologist technician
•Speech technician
•Rehab technician

Continuing Education Choices

Licensure is compulsory in every state for speech-language pathologists, although licensing requirements can vary from state to state. Those pursuing continuing education as well as those seeking licensure commonly seek a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

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