Communicative disorders refer to speech and language disorders that affect oral motor function. Students majoring in communicative disorders will explore effects and treatments related to various speech and language challenges, such as stuttering, autism, hearing impairment, developmental delays, aphasia, and brain injuries. A high school degree is required to pursue this program. Students can choose to specialize as a speech-language pathologist or speech-language pathology assistant.
Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Disorders
Courses in communicative disorders cover both the science behind them and the counseling skills needed to treat them. Classroom lectures and lab sessions teach the basics of diagnostic assessment and clinical treatment methods. An experiential learning component often has students work under supervision in university clinics with individuals suffering from communicative disorders. Typical classes may include:
- Introduction to communicative disorders
- American sign language
- Speech and language development
- Hearing anatomy and physiology
- Articulation disorders
- Speech science
- Basic audiology
- Speech and language assessment
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
A master's degree is frequently necessary to work as a speech-language pathologist. Pathologists work in settings such as hospitals, schools and nursing centers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), there were around 153,700 speech-language pathologists employed in the United States in 2018. As of May 2018, speech-language pathologists earned a median annual wage of $77,510. The growth outlook for this job from 2018-2028 is much faster than average, at 27%. Bachelor's degree holders may find work as speech-language pathology assistants.
Continuing Education Options
Becoming a speech-language pathologist commonly requires a master's degree and a license. One type of graduate degree offered is a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. The Praxis Series of the Educational Testing Service (www.ets.org) offers the examination necessary to earn national licensure.
A bachelor's degree in communicative disorders teaches students the science behind, and the counselling of, speech disorders. It prepares graduates to pursue master's or doctorate degrees, or to work as speech-language pathology assistants.