Online Speech Pathology Undergraduate Degree Program Information

Speech pathology, usually called speech language pathology, is the field of diagnosing, treating and preventing disorders in speaking and communication. Online undergraduate programs in speech language pathology are rare, but online master's degree programs are available. This article looks at the requirements for those programs.

Essential Information

Several schools offer online master's degree programs in speech-language pathology. Most courses can be completed online, with students accessing video lectures and course materials as their schedules allow, within set guidelines. These programs usually have a clinical experience component and an internship requirement. Students may be required to visit campus for brief residency periods as well.

Students generally must hold a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology or a related field. Courses cover the anatomy and physiology of speech, diagnostic procedures, swallowing disorders and alternate methods of communication. Much of the program is spent in clinical practice, working with children and adults with speech-language disorders. Students also learn about research methodology and may be required to complete a capstone project.

Most states mandate that speech-language pathologists be licensed. A master's degree and clinical experience are required for licensing. Speech-language pathologists can also earn a professional certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Overview of an Online Master's Degree in Speech Pathology

Online Master of Science (M.S.) programs cover topics in the natural sciences, technology and communication. Students learn to identify and treat disorders related to speech, cognition, swallowing and voice control. Incoming students usually need to hold a bachelor's degree in communication science, speech and hearing science or a related field.

Program Information and Requirements

Most online M.S. programs in speech pathology take three years of full-time study to complete. Students download videos of instructional lectures and communicate with professors through online chat programs and e-mail. The majority of instruction is completed over the Internet, but students are often required to complete clinical training exercises in person. Technological requirements generally require high-speed Internet access and word processing software.

List of Common Speech Pathology Courses

The majority of courses offered are required in the areas of speech, communication and hearing; students have limited options for electives. Coursework emphasizes the physical sciences, speech pathology prevention, rehabilitation techniques and research methodology.

Language Disorder Course

This class teaches students about pathologies related to acquiring and utilizing linguistic abilities. Students learn about developmental issues in children and disorders affecting adults.

Audiology Course

Students learn the scientific aspects of hearing. This course covers the technology and methods used to assess patients' hearing ability and improve hearing issues.

Stuttering Treatment Course

This course covers the causes, development and treatment of stuttering. Students learn the theoretical bases of stuttering intervention methods.

Voice Disorders Course

Pathologies affecting patients' ability to speak are explored. Topics include the causes of vocal trauma, the physiology and neurology of human speech and therapeutic techniques.

Career Information for Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( predicts job growth of 19% between 2008 and 2018 for speech language pathologists. During that decade, the BLS states that there should be especially good job prospects for bilingual speech language pathologists. Median yearly earnings in the profession were $62,930 in May 2008.

Continuing Education Information

Online M.S. program graduates usually need to earn a state license before they can work as speech language pathologists. Most states require people to pass a written exam and complete a supervised clinical internship. Speech pathologists often need to take continuing education courses to renew their license.

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