Online Courses in Speech Pathology
The following descriptions are for typical speech pathology courses that are commonly available online.
- Fundamentals of Language Course: This course examines the normal progression of language acquisition, from early childhood through adulthood. Students explore the basic physical, social and intellectual elements of language, as well as theories of language evolution. Various common communication disorders, such as phonology and stuttering, are covered.
- Anatomy of Speech and Hearing Course: The normal physical structures of speech production are central to this course. Students explore the ways breathing affects vocal abilities and how the functions of the inner, middle and outer ear affect hearing. This information is then used to examine the manner in which vocal mechanisms and hearing systems are interrelated and how this can impede normal speech.
- Phonetics Course: Students in this course explore the phonetic physiology of American speech. The course examines the acoustic components of speech sounds, the specific symbols that represent those sounds and the cultural and linguistic variations that affect children and adolescents with speech disorders.
- Audiology Course: This introductory class looks into the relationship between the nature of sound and the normal physical responses of human hearing. It also examines different types and degrees of hearing difficulties, as well as the means used to evaluate hearing loss.
- Neurology Course: This online course presents students with an overview of the human nervous system as it relates to hearing and general communication disorders. Students examine characteristic speech symptoms of neurological damage from traumatic brain injuries and diseases that can affect human communication.
- Childhood Disorders Course: The normal and abnormal developments of speech, voice, language and hearing in young children are carefully examined in this online course. Students explore a broad range of speech disorders including the atypical articulation, fluency, phonology and early language disorders of children suffering from cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
- Speech Science Course: Speech science courses look into the theory and practice of screening, measuring, diagnosing and treating common speech disorders. Students examine actual cases encountered by faculty and staff members and review the resultant diagnoses and treatment strategies.
- Introduction to Communication Disorders Course: This course provides an overview of the various speech, language, hearing and swallowing disorders. Students explore the different factors that can contribute to these disorders and the role of speech-language pathologists and audiologists in treating these disorders.
- Voice Disorders Course: This course prepares speech pathologists to diagnose and treat individuals with voice disorders. Students discuss possible treatment options, including voice substitutes like electrolarynx and esophageal speech.
- Motor Speech Disorders Course: In this course, students learn about the scientific underpinnings and clinical manifestations of motor speech disorders. They also prepare to recognize symptoms in children and adults and develop effective treatment strategies.
Speech pathologists, also referred to as speech therapists, are professionals who diagnose and treat speech and language disorders. Online speech pathology courses can be found in both undergraduate- and graduate-level programs, and students can complete training that leads to awards such as a bachelor's or master's degree in communication sciences/disorders or a speech-language pathology assistant graduate certificate. To find employment and obtain licensing as a speech pathologist, applicants generally need a master's degree in the field; however, requirements vary by state.
Online programs in speech pathology are taught in a hybrid format because students are required to do in-person clinical training on campus and/or in a healthcare facility in their local area. Some schools may also require one or more residencies.
Aspiring speech pathologists can find relevant online course offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some courses provide an overview of topics in the field, while others focus on diagnosing and treating individuals with specific speech pathologies.