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Speech Major: Information and Requirements

The study of speech at the baccalaureate level involves subjects like sociology and literature and is often included within a comprehensive communications major. Learn more about program requirements, coursework and possibilities after graduation.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in speech teach students about famous speeches throughout history, storytelling and the psychological dynamics of groups. Courses might also focus on verbal communication between individuals of different ages, genders and cultures. Before admission to a bachelor's degree program, students must complete a college application and admissions essay and submit their ACT or SAT scores. Graduate studies at the master's and doctoral levels are also available for those interested in advancing in the field.


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Bachelor's Degree in Speech

In order to receive a bachelor's degree in speech from an accredited institution of higher education, all students must complete a number of courses in elective subjects, such as English, anthropology and history. However, the vast majority of courses in the program concentrate on subject-specific coursework in linguistics and language. The degree program might include courses in the following:

  • Small group communication
  • Advanced public speaking
  • Theories of speech communication
  • Principles of non-verbal communication
  • Gender in communication

Popular Career Options

Individuals with bachelor's degrees in speech are prepared for careers in corporate communications and public relations. Undergraduate education in speech might lead to employment in non-profit organizations, businesses or government agencies. The following are possible job titles for graduates:

  • Public speaking consultant
  • Public relations specialist
  • Media representative
  • Public information consultant

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

With a degree in speech, you may want to work as an announcer. Announcers work in radio and television or they do public address work at live events. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, projects employment within the field to decline by 11% between 2014 and 2024. According to the BLS, radio and television announcers earned a median salary of $30,960 in May 2015; meanwhile, public address and other live announcers were paid a median salary of $26,930 that year (www.bls.gov).

Working in public relations might also be an option. According to the BLS, demand for public relations specialists is expected to increase at a fast-as-average rate of 6% over the 2014-2024 decade. Figures from the BLS showed a median salary of $56,770 for public relations specialists in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

After earning a bachelor's degree in speech, students might want to think about a graduate degree. Master's and doctoral degrees are available in speech and communications and are offered by colleges and universities across the country. Individuals with undergraduate speech degrees and the appropriate additional coursework can also apply to professional programs, such as law or business school.

A bachelor's degree program in speech educates students about different dynamics in the field of communication through coursework in linguistics and language. The program also prepares students for such jobs as announcers or public relation specialists as well as graduate degree programs in speech, communications or a related professional field.


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