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Major Overview: Communicative Disorders Programs

Majors Overview March 23, 2015

Get information about communicative disorders majors and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Communicative Disorders Majors

Language and speech disorders affecting oral motor function are called communicative disorders. Admission criteria to Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor Science (B.S.) programs in Communicative Disorders require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Coursework in these programs covers the effects and treatments related to brain injuries, aphasia, developmental delays, hearing impairment, autism, and stuttering, among other speech and language disorders. Through classroom instruction and laboratory experiences, students will learn the basics of clinical treatment methods and diagnostic assessments.

In an experiential learning component, which is often a component of these programs, students are supervised by professionals in university clinics as they work with sufferers of communicative disorders. The training and educational background needed in order to seek entry-level positions as speech-language pathology assistants may be gained by students that may alternatively enroll in related graduate degree programs.

Coursework

Coursework in communicative disorders majors covers the science behind such disorders as well as the counseling skills needed for their treatment. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Articulation disorders
•Hearing anatomy and physiology
•Speech and language development
•Speech and language assessment
•Phonetics
•American Sign Language
•Introduction to communicative disorders
•Basic audiology
•Speech science

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree may seek occupation as a speech-language pathology assistant. Employers often prefer master’s degree holders that can find speech-language pathologist jobs in nursing centers, schools, and hospitals, among other work settings.

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, there were around 134,100 people employed as speech-language pathologists in the country (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage ranging between $44,380 and $107,650 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Aspiring speech-language pathologists often require a master’s degree, such as a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Speech-Language Pathology, and licensure. These professionals can obtain licensure by taking an exam administered by the Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service.

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