Because of the importance of interaction and hands-on experience in this field, programs in speech therapy and speech-language pathology are offered in on-campus or hybrid formats. Some speech therapy courses require students to visit campus to access laboratories with special equipment for transcription or audiology courses. Working with actual clients is part of the curriculum required for a graduate degree.
However, students can take several online theoretical and instructional courses in speech therapy science at the undergraduate or graduate level. Usually, online master's degree programs prefer that students have a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology or something closely related. If students have a bachelor's degree in another area, some schools allow students to complete individual leveling courses, or prerequisites, in order to enter the master's program. Graduates with a master's degree can go on to take the national licensing exam and complete the clinical experience hours required in order to earn state licensure.
Online Speech Therapy Courses
Below are some of the online courses available to aspiring speech therapists.
- Phonetics Course: In this course, students study the phonetic alphabet and learn about the speech sounds of American English. Students practice transcription by listening to recorded speech online and typing what they hear in the appropriate transcription format.
- Language Development Course: This course introduces students to the process of language development in children from birth to about six years old. Lectures and course texts cover language-learning theories. Students learn about the ages at which children need to acquire certain components of language in order to develop at a normal pace.
- Introductory Audiology Course: In this course, students learn the science of sound transmission and reception as it relates to human hearing. Classes explore the normal range of hearing in children and adults and the common causes of hearing loss. Some courses provide examples of hearing tests in online laboratories for students to experiment with.
- Language Disorders Course: This course exposes students to the different types of hearing and speech disorders that speech therapists encounter. Course topics cover recognition, assessment, diagnosis and therapy for language disorders.
- Stuttering Course: In this course, students take an in-depth look at the causes and treatments of stuttering, a common language disorder. Students consider the psychological and emotional aspects of stuttering and what this means in application of speech therapy.
- Neurological Foundations of Speech, Language and Hearing Course: This course explores the principles of neuroanatomy and neuropsychology and applies them to the study of normal human communication.