Requirements for Graduate Programs in Speech Pathology

Students who want to specialize in speech pathology should understand the admissions requirements and program details that differ between master's and doctoral programs. This article will outline the admissions requirements and what courses need to be completed in each degree type. Schools offering Bilingual and Multicultural Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Earn a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology

A master's degree in speech pathology can generally be completed in 2 years and is designed to prepare students to meet the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence. Aside from completing courses related to language cognition, audiology, and diagnosis in speech pathology, students will also gain hands-on clinical experience.

Speech Sound Disorders

Students who take this course will look at different models of diagnosis, helping them understand how speech disorders are developed and what treatments can be applied. These courses often focus on speech development at an early age. This study of speech sounds will prepare students to work with young children who struggle with various disorders, such as speech delays and issues with articulation.

Language and Learning Disorders in Children

This course will provide students with a greater understanding of how language disorders develop in children and how this can affect youth throughout their childhood and into adolescence. Students will be able to identify a range of disorders and prepare plans for treatment. Influences on childhood language learning will also be identified, comparing how cultural environments and social communication influence the development of language disorders.

Clinical Audiology

Throughout this course, students dive into audiology disorders and how these can be recognized and treated across a wide variety of patients. Students will also learn how to use amplification systems and how hearing aids can be used to treat issues.

Childhood Development

This course will focus on the typical and atypical stages of early childhood development and how this can impact the development of language comprehension and speech. Students will investigate classic research and will also learn how different cultural backgrounds, family environments and socio-economic statuses can affect proper child development. By the end of this course, students should be prepared for a career in elementary schools, family services, government agencies, or counseling clinics, where they can aid children and families navigate the stages of childhood development.

Research Methods

Students will learn research methods related to speech pathology and how they can aid in proper diagnosis and clinical treatments. Literature related to research designs and evidence-based practices in speech pathology will be analyzed, as well as works related to ethical research on human development and disorders. Upon the completion of this course, students will have examined a large body of articles and will typically be expected to complete a graduate paper related to their findings.

Admissions Requirements for a Master's in Speech Pathology

For those who wish to complete a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology, most institutions will require a copy of an unofficial transcript from the student's undergraduate institutions, as well as GRE scores, a letter of intent, an updated resume and aa few letters of recommendation. Generally, students must have first completed courses related to biology, physics, chemistry and psychology, within their undergraduate programs.

For those who wish to complete a master of science in speech pathology, admissions require the completion of an undergraduate program, a copy of the most recent GRE scores, a personal essay, at least three letters of recommendation and several undergraduate courses related to phonetics, speech and hearing anatomy, language acquisition and diagnostics.

How to Earn a Ph.D. in Speech Pathology

Ph.D. programs are designed to provide students with training in research, technology and teaching related to speech and hearing disorders, ensuring they are prepared for both clinical and basic research methods. To complete this degree, students are typically required to complete anywhere from 48 to 72 semester hours related to a major area of study, two minor areas of study and research tools. By graduation, students will have gained experience from coursework related to their main research focus and will have completed a cumulative research project, which may be submitted for publication in prestigious academic journals.

Clinical Decision Making

This course is designed to teach students how to properly assess those with possible hearing and speech disorders and how to come to conclusions based on these assessments for individualized treatments. Students will gain greater skills in critical thinking related to research designs, research evidence and assessment tools.

Grant Writing

Grant writing will teach students how to plan out and create grant proposals for research related to speech and hearing disorders. This course is essential if students plan to continue research beyond their Ph.D., within an educational or government setting. Students will gain a greater understanding of what agencies provide research grants and how to present their research within these proposals.

Policy in Health and Education

These courses focus on policies related to the treatment and research of auditory and speech disorders. This will give students further understanding of how their work will be controlled and regulated in both clinical and educational settings. Furthermore, students will learn how policies differ on a domestic and international scale and how speech pathologists can play a role in the formation of these policies.

Assessment of Auditory Dysfunction

Here, students can understand how to properly evaluate potential auditory disorders and apply a correct diagnosis. They'll learn how to use diagnostic tools and devices, as well as how to critically evaluate test results. These courses often take place in a lab.

Language and Memory

Language and memory courses promote understanding of the science behind hearing and memory, and how these basic human functions are related. Empirical research will be analyzed to show students how brain structures interpret language and code them into memories. Finally, students will consider treatment methods for prevalent memory disorders, such as Alzheimers and aphasia, and how to properly rehabilitate those with memory and language impairments.

Admissions Requirements for a Ph.D. in Speech Pathology

Students must submit a personal statement of interest, at least three letters of recommendation, an unofficial transcript from their previous master's and undergraduate programs and their GRE scores. A minimum GPA is typically required also. Finally, for students who have completed a master's or bachelor's degree in an area of study other than speech and hearing sciences, most institutions will recommend that students complete courses in speech sciences, phonetics, audiology, language development and anatomy, before applying.

These programs focus heavily on speech pathology research and let students tailor their degrees to a research area of interest. Admissions requirements include GRE scores, letters of recommendation and minimum GPAs.

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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