Bachelor's Degree Programs in Speech Therapy

Undergraduate speech therapy programs explore speech development and language disorders. Learn about courses of study, advanced degree options and professional licensing requirements for speech pathologists. Schools offering Bilingual and Multicultural Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Topics Do I Study in a Bachelor Degree in Speech Therapy Program?

You may take a class about phonology, which is the study of speech sounds. Another class could cover speech acoustics, which is how we produce, control and hear sound. Other classes could examine specific speech disorders like language development problems and stuttering. You will discover how hearing and balance impact the development of speech as well. There will also be classes in anatomy and physiology through which you can learn about the physical development of speech and speech disorders.

During the last two years of the program you'll complete a required internship. You may be required to undergo a background check in order to participate in the internship. While some programs offer some of the classes at night, most of the courses are offered during the day only. There are currently no programs offering online classes.

Common Courses Anatomy, speech disorders, physical development of speech, physiology
Possible Careers Counselor, school administrator, speech pathologist, health insurance advisor, hospital administrator
Licensure Information Required to practice in all states; requirements include clinical experience and holding a master's degree

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Speech therapists, commonly referred to as speech pathologists, generally work with individuals who are born with or develop physical or psychological issues that cause communication disorders. They try to keep the conditions from worsening and attempt to improve the individual's communication abilities. They may work with other professionals to coordinate care. For example, a speech therapist may work with an audiologist to create a treatment plan for a patient whose hearing impairment makes speaking difficult.

While many go on to master's degree programs in speech therapy, some go on to professional programs in a related field like dentistry. With just a bachelor's degree, you may only find employment as an assistant speech therapist. However, some individuals without an advanced degree have found employment as counselors, health insurance advisors and administrators in schools and hospitals.

How do I Become a Speech Therapist?

Most programs are in speech pathology and audiology or in speech language pathology. Generally, bachelor's degree programs are considered pre-professional programs, meaning they prepare you to enter a professional master's degree program. In order to become a speech therapist, you will have to complete at least a master's degree and possibly a Ph.D., as well as meeting individual state licensure requirements.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2015, all states required individuals who want to work as a speech pathologist have a state license (www.bls.gov). The licensing requirements typically include having a master's degree or a Ph.D. from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). You'll need to obtain a passing score on a national exam and log 300-375 hours of supervised practicum experience. Once licensed, you can pursue professional certification available through the American Speech-Language Association (ASHA).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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