Fully online degree programs in speech pathology are rare to non-existent due to the nature of the field, although hybrid programs are available. Bachelor's and master's degree hybrid programs can both be found online. The bachelor's degree may qualify the graduate for a speech pathology assistant position, but a master's degree is required for working as a speech pathologist. At both program levels, certain courses are available in an online format, but clinical duties and laboratory work must take place on-campus, as well as some classes; master's-level students may need to complete a residency.
A bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders is available fully online. This program covers some of the same core topics as a speech pathology program and prepares graduates for positions as speech-language pathology assistants and audiology assistants.
Bachelor's Degree in Speech Pathology
A Bachelor of Science program in speech pathology focuses on all facets of auditory communication, such as ear anatomy and physiology, hearing science, phonetics, speech science and acoustics. Other topics of interest include the development of speech, hearing and language systems and the detection and management of associated disorders.
Program Information and Requirements
While working toward a concentration in speech pathology, students in a bachelor's degree program also take courses in a variety of disciplines such as English, history, the social sciences and mathematics. Students majoring in speech pathology take in-depth, courses in basic audiology, development of language and speech, communicative disorders, disorder assessment and rehabilitative methods.
Instructors combine audio and video presentations, webinars, traditional texts, online chat rooms and other learning tools to engage students in online academic courses and clinical seminars. All course material is delivered and monitored via a course management system. Students need access to a computer and high-speed Internet as well as word processing and printing capabilities.
List of Bachelor's Level Courses in Speech Pathology
Courses at the bachelor's level give students a solid foundation in the fundamentals needed to begin a career as a speech pathologist. The detection of communicative and auditory disorders, as well as methods of treatment, are emphasized. Students also get a thorough grounding in alternate communication systems, such as Braille and sign language.
Multiple Communicative Disabilities
Students examine sensory loss, disorders and disabilities associated with these conditions. Other topics include neurological issues and effective strategies for successful communication with individuals who have multiple disabilities and sensory loss.
The Basics of Braille
This course offers an in-depth study of the Braille system. Braille codes, Braille literacy and associated technologies are covered. Students learn to read and write Braille using contemporary or simulated technologies.
Ear Anatomy and Function
Students study how acoustics and hearing are affected by disorders and disabilities. Study of the physiology, metabolism and anatomy of the human auditory system is the main focus.
Master's Degree in Speech Pathology
Speech pathologists work with individuals who are unable to communicate verbally as well as those who have speech and rhythm problems, cognitive communication impairments and problems understanding and producing language. The curriculum is specific and tailor-made to train students to work in a specific field. A bachelor's degree in a related field, such as audiology, speech-language science or communication disorders, in addition to satisfactory scores on the GRE are prerequisites.
Program Information and Requirements
Courses in speech pathology at the master's level continue to build upon principles and fundamentals learned at the undergraduate level. Typically, a master's program consists of both academic coursework and clinical practice, in the form of a supervised residency. Because most master's programs require practice in a supervised, clinical environment, a master's degree is not generally available completely online. Most master's degree programs in speech pathology take 2-3 years to complete.
List of Courses in Speech Pathology
The study of speech-language and associated disorders is at the heart of the curriculum. Students take advanced courses in the assessment, cause and treatment of communicative disorders. It is a specialized curriculum designed to train students for a specific career field.
Children and Language Disorders
This course offers a thorough grounding in the detection, assessment and treatment of language disorders in children. Students may need to have completed prerequisites or obtain instructor consent.
Basic Human Communication and Disorders
This course gives students a comprehensive overview of basic characteristics, causes, clinical diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders. Special attention is paid to disorders having to do with the voice, stuttering, articulation, adult aphasia, head injury and child language.
Basics of Phonetics
Students explore the principles of phonetics, including the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols and characteristics of American English speech patterns. The process of normal phonological development is also a topic of interest.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree qualify for a number of positions, such as speech pathology assistants, dialect coaches or research assistants. Graduates can work in a number of places, such as hospitals, schools, health clinics, nursing homes and government agencies.
Entry-level positions in speech pathology generally require a master's degree in speech pathology or a related field. The majority of speech pathologists work in schools, nursing homes, home health care services, outpatient care centers, child day care centers or as independent consultants. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 44% of speech pathologists worked in educational services and that job growth was expected to be 21%, faster than the average for all occupations, between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $73,410 for speech-language pathologists.
Although some graduates enter the workforce upon completion of a bachelor's degree program, many earn a Master of Science in Speech Pathology, Audiology or a similar degree. Typically, a master's degree is required for employment as a clinical speech pathologist. Additionally, 47 states require speech pathologists to be licensed, which requires further education.
There are no programs fully available online for speech pathologist due to the amount of clinical work and labs required to complete a bachelor's or a master's degree; however, there are hybrid programs available. You will need a master's degree in order to be considered for entry-level positions in speech pathology.