Speech and language pathology professionals are responsible for diagnosing and treating individuals who suffer from speech, language or cognitive-communication disorders. There are 4- and 5-year bachelor's degree programs in speech-language pathology, and an institution may offer a pre-professional bachelor's degree program as a segue into a master's degree program. Schools also offer combination bachelor's/master's degree programs requiring the completion of clinical, supervised experiences.
Before enrolling a student must have a high school diploma or GED, and may be required to take prerequisite courses such as language disorders, audiology and language development.
During a bachelor's degree program, students learn to diagnose communication and oral function disorders while providing various rehabilitative services related to speech therapy. A typical bachelor's degree program includes two years of general and liberal education courses and two years of professional speech-language pathology-related courses, along with one year of a clinical internship experience.
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Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Language Pathology
The courses in a bachelor's degree program in speech and language pathology focus on communication disorders as well as practical clinical experience. Common examples of courses are listed below:
- American sign language
- Human communication
- Descriptive phonetics
- Normal human language development
- Language disorders
Popular Career Options
Speech-language pathologists generally need a master's degree in the field in order to gain employment. Graduates of a bachelor's degree program are eligible for the following positions:
- Speech technician
- Speech pathologist technician
- Speech language assistant
- Rehab technician
- Human language technology technician
To work as a speech language pathologist, one must obtain licensure from the state of employment. Requirements vary by the particular state. The most common educational requirement is a master's degree in speech-language pathology.
A career in speech and language pathology occupations begins with earning a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.