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Speech Pathology Degree Online

Only a few are lucky enough to find jobs that are meaningful and intrinsically rewarding. Since speech pathologists have direct interaction with people with language and speech disorders, they know how their job can make a difference in people’s lives. Speech pathologists spend their time evaluating and treating people who have problems related to language and speech. They treat disorders like stuttering and also help those who are unable to communicate properly as a result of some injury or illness. Speech pathologists do not always work alone. They often need help from assistants with everyday tasks. If you are interested in the field of speech pathology, you can get your feet wet by acquiring a certificate and working as an assistant. If your experience tells you that you are suitable for a speech pathology career, you can enroll in a graduate degree program and earn a certification to become a certified speech pathologist.

What degrees are available in speech pathology?

If you plan on enrolling in a speech pathology degree program, you are likely to come across topics such as speech disorders, impairments in communications, and fluency problems. A number of institutes offer speech pathology degrees and they range from bachelor’s degree to PhD programs. Speech pathology programs are not only based on classroom instruction. So, it is likely that you will be required to complete fieldwork in order to graduate from a speech pathology degree. Admission requirements for a speech pathology program vary according to degree level. For example, there are different admission requirements for a master’s and a bachelor’s degree. If you wish to become a licensed speech pathologist, you would need to have a master’s degree and you could acquire the license by passing an exam and meeting other requirements of the state.

Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Pathology

A bachelor’s degree in speech pathology will introduce you to topics such as communication and language disorders. You will learn about the normal and abnormal processes of hearing and language development. The focus of the degree is on topics such as speech, communication, and language. As a student, you will not just learn about the disabilities, but also effective ways to treat different speech disorders. Students also complete internships in speech pathology, as a part of bachelor’s degree program and acquire skills necessary for the workplace. It will normally take you four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology. Although, admission requirements vary for a bachelor’s degree in pathology according to the institutes, some major requirements include a high school diploma or GED certificate. As an undergraduate student you will first complete general education courses and then you will move on to core courses in speech pathology. Some of the key courses offered in a bachelor’s degree program are as follows:

  • Brain and language
  • Audiology
  • Phonetics
  • Vocal Mechanisms
  • Literacy and literacy development

Master’s degree in Speech Pathology

Master’s degree in speech pathology is based on advanced level courses in subjects such as language development, psychology, and acoustics. As a master’s student, you will also be working with patients to gain practical experience in the field. You may also be given a choice to study electives of your interest and you may increase your skill in certain areas through internships. There are certain admission requirements for a master’s degree. Some major requirements for a master’s degree include a bachelor’s degree preferably in speech pathology, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation. A master’s degree in the field will give you a theoretical foundation and develop practical skills to successfully begin your career. You will have an insight into areas such as ethics, human development, therapeutic management, and research. Some of the major courses offered in a master’s program include:

  • Language disorders
  • Neuropathology
  • Articulation disorders
  • Dysphasia
  • Stuttering

Which certification is required to work as a speech pathologist?

Speech pathologists need to have a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech and Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). You also need to take a written speech pathology exam to work as a speech pathologist. If you want to get a CCC-SLP certification, you will need to spend a portion of your master’s degree in acquiring practical experience. For the certification, 300 to 400 working hours will be required from you to work with students with speech impairment. You will also need a certified speech therapist to supervise you while you complete your working hours with speech impaired students.

Can I get a speech pathology degree online?

A number of online schools are offering degrees in speech pathology. However, speech pathology programs cannot be 100% online, as there is a portion of the degree that requires students to gain practical experience under a certified speech therapist. Online degree can be a good option for those who cannot take out time for an on-campus program due to their job or other responsibilities. Besides, online programs may be less costly, as students may be able to save on travelling and boarding costs. Many online programs do not even require textbooks, as most of the study material is available online.
There are a number of benefits associated with online degrees, but you need to keep in mind certain things before committing yourself to an online degree program. You need to make sure your degree program is accredited from a recognized accrediting agency. It is also good to assess yourself whether you learn better through face-to-face interaction or with online tutorials. Plus, you cannot assume that accredited online programs will be easier, because they are quite challenging and follow a similar curriculum as that of an on-campus degree. A bit of homework before selecting an online program can help you make the right decision.

What are the career prospects and salary of a speech pathologist?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career prospects for speech pathologists are quite positive. The employment of speech pathologists is likely to grow at 19 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is much faster than the average growth of all occupations. BLS also reports that the median annual wage for speech pathologists was $69,870 in May 2012. The lowest earners in this field earned less than $44,380, while the top professionals earned more than $107,650.


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What courses are taught in an associate degree in speech pathology?

A:There is a wide set of courses offered by different universities but on the whole, the subject matter revolves around human development, audiology, linguistics, American sign language, office management, linguistics and voice and diction. The curriculum is divided into three parts with a general education coursework component, professional coursework and a clinical practicum.

Q:What are the curriculum components of a PhD in speech pathology?

A:A PhD in speech pathology is the highest level of degree you get in this field. The program can take around 4-8 years to complete. The curriculum may vary a little from college to college. Generally, students will be required to complete the coursework, conduct an independent research study, and prepare a dissertation.

Q:Please tell me what areas are covered in speech pathology graduate programs?

A:In a masters degree in speech pathology, you will be learning about different language disorders and developmental issues. The curriculum may vary from place to place, but will generally cover important areas such as the following: phonology and articulation, language development, neurology based speech disorders, dysphagia, voice disorders in children, and more.

Q:What do I need to enroll in speech pathology masters programs?

A:You will need to have a bachelor degree transcript, a high school diploma, and letters of recommendation. The minimum CGPA requirement will vary from college to college. Some schools may also require applicants to pass an entry test. Please remember that the admission requirements will vary from college to college.

Q:What can you do with a bachelors in speech pathology?

A:There are various career paths you could take with a bachelor's in speech pathology. You could work in a variety of different settings including general, pediatric and geriatric hospitals, community health center and agencies, rehabilitation units, preschools, kindergartens and childcare centers, private practice, industrial and government institutions and centers for the hearing impaired and the intellectually disabled.

Q:What courses are taught in a speech pathology degree online?

A:There are several universities that offer speech pathology programs online with different course structures. But most universities offer courses that cover subject areas such as phonetics, morphology and syntax, audiology, speech science, anatomy and physiology, communication disorders, neurology in human communication and so on. A lot of colleges offer hybrid programs as well, that include a mix of courses online and a few on campus practical experiences as well.

Q:What are the different speech pathology programs?

A:With speech pathology, you can go for a 2-year associate degree or a 4-year long bachelors program if you are looking for an undergraduate qualification. If you want to go for a higher qualification, you will need to put in an additional 2 years for a master's program. And for a doctoral degree, you might need to invest 5-7 years of your time. The educational qualification you choose to go for will depend on your career goals and the requirements relevant to them.

Q:What are the benefits of pursuing online speech pathology courses?

A:Online courses have a number of benefits that have boosted its popularity. You don't have to attend classes at a campus or travel anywhere. The online coursework gives you the flexibility to study according to your own ease. Online learning is also cost-friendly, with no costs incurred by textbooks of travelling.

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