Online Speech Language Pathology Graduate Programs
Speech language pathologists, who are often known as speech therapists, work to help people with speaking disorders. They diagnose and treat speech impediments and often provide some degree of emotional counseling to patients. If this sounds like an ideal career for you, an online master's degree program in speech language pathology may fit your career aspirations. Read on to find out more about these programs. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Can I Learn in an Online Graduate Degree Program for Speech Language Pathology?
An online graduate degree program in speech language pathology provides in-depth coverage of the evaluation and treatment of speech disorders. You'll learn about the different types of communication disorders and what causes them, as well as various therapeutic techniques to cure and prevent those afflictions. Required courses teach the effects of speech disorders upon neurological systems and human behavior. You'll also gain a strong applied education in speech language pathology, since the vast majority of online master's degree programs require the completion of clinical hours.
What Classes Are Available?
The curriculum for an online master's degree program in speech language pathology draws from both health and social sciences. Courses related to neurology, anatomy and child development help you understand the physical foundations of speech disorders. Studies in sociology, psychology and linguistics shed light on the social and cultural experiences of individuals with speech or language disorders. Sample courses commonly entail:
- Audiology screening
- Linguistic and behavioral speech disorder counseling
- Neuroanatomy and physiology
- Developmental speech disorders
- Assistive listening devices
- Psycholinguistic research
- Speech disorder rehabilitation
- Aphasia and apraxia
- Swallowing disorders
Is There A Clinical Requirement?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that all but three states mandate licensure in order to work as a speech language pathologist as of 2009. While exact licensing regulations vary from state to state, most require a master's degree, clinical experience and nine months of speech pathology work experience after graduation (www.bls.gov). Perhaps for this reason, virtually all master's degree programs in speech language pathology dictate clinical requirements.
Clinical work generally requires that you observe a licensed speech therapist and then gradually beginning supervised treatment of speech disorders yourself. In most cases, online programs permit you to fulfill your clinical obligation at an approved relevant location near you. Examples of clinical sites that have been accepted by online institutions include nursing homes, schools and medical health centers.
Are There Any Admissions Prerequisites?
As with virtually all graduate-level degree programs, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in order to apply. Many distance-learning programs require a Bachelor of Science in Audiology, Speech Language Pathology, Communications Sciences or a related area. Some schools accept bachelor's degrees in subjects outside the speech pathology, but would require you to complete extensive coursework before officially beginning your online master's degree studies. Examples of these prerequisite courses, which can often also be completed online, are speech and hearing science, phonetics, phonology and speech disorder diagnosis.
How Do Online Programs Work?
In an online speech language pathology master's degree program, you'll get the same education and receive the same degree as you would in its campus-based counterpart. The clinical credit hours you complete will count towards your eligibility to earn state licensure when you graduate, just as they would in an on-campus program. Other than the clinical requirement, you'll complete all your courses online, needing nothing more than an Internet-connected computer and some basic software and hardware. Course content and all accompanying materials are generally transmitted through interactive learning platforms; popular examples include Blackboard and WebCT. These allow you to access all required course materials, including audio and video lectures, assignments, exams and readings. You can also submit your work, take exams and communicate with professors or fellow students entirely online.
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: