Masters Degree Programs in Speech-Language Pathology

A master's degree in speech-language pathology can lead to a career in which you help people understand and overcome speech disorders such as stuttering, swallowing and fluency problems. Learn about typical prerequisites and coursework, online learning opportunities and career options. Schools offering Bilingual and Multicultural Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Courses Will I Take To Earn a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology?

Your coursework will be divided into several key areas. First, you will learn about various speech and language conditions; these include disorders specific to young children, school-age children and adults. You will also study assessment and treatment methods that vary by age and condition. Finally, in preparation for your career, you will complete extensive clinical experiences; these include both observation sessions and supervised sessions with clients.

Key Topics Discussed Assessment, treatment, speech and language conditions, clinical observations
Online Options Fully online lectures are available, but clinical experience will have to be completed in-person
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree is required, in addition to needing standardized test scores and adequate experience under a certified pathologist
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 21%* (for all speech-language pathologists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are These Degrees Available Online?

You will find programs offering online coursework leading to a master's degree in speech-language pathology. Typically, you can complete seminar-based courses, which may include online videos, research assignments and exams, in an entirely online format. Most programs have additional requirements that must be completed in person, such as clinical experiences. In many cases, this work can be completed locally, without you needing to be present at the college or university's physical location.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

You must possess a bachelor's degree prior to admission to a speech-language pathology master's degree program, with many programs requiring prior coursework in mathematics and the biological, behavioral and physical sciences. Some programs require you to have earned a bachelor's degree or postbaccalaureate certificate in speech-language pathology or a related field. In addition, many programs require a certain number of clinical observation hours, often with a speech-language pathologist who's been certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). You are also typically required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

What is My Career Potential in Speech-Language Pathology?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 135,400 speech-language pathologists were employed in 2014 (www.bls.gov). This figure is expected to grow by 21% from 2014-2024 due to a variety of factors, including the aging baby boomer population needing increased care and the improved survival rate of premature babies, who often need treatment. You may work as a speech-language pathologist in an educational setting, such as a school, or in child care centers, nursing homes or health care offices. You may also join the ranks of self-employed speech-language pathologists, who provide contract services or work as consultants.

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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