Prerequisites for Speech Therapy Degree

There are many benefits to earning a Speech Therapy degree. It will prepare you to work with patients of all ages and in all types of settings. You will learn how to provide a variety of treatments, including those which require physical therapy, occupational therapy and assistive listening devices.

The program is designed for individuals with or without prior experience or training in speech pathology, as well as for those who have some lab experience but don’t envision a career in that field.

Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of both physiological and behavioral aspects of language, utilizing a variety of clinical techniques and assessment tools to manage language disorders including stuttering, vocal cord nodules and adenoids, genetic lisps, dysphagia and swallowing disorders, articulation disorders, apraxia (muscle weakness), and cerebral palsy.

Speech Pathology is an exciting career choice for individuals interested in working with people of all ages. Speech-language pathologists have the opportunity to directly impact the lives of patients and clients who struggle with speech and language development.

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the necessary prerequisites to enroll in a speech therapy program. Those prerequisites will vary from school to school, but they typically include a bachelor’s degree in any field, excepting speech-language pathology, as well as proof that you’ve taken courses in human anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, biology, chemistry, physics, statistics and data analysis, psychology or sociology, and linguistics.

You’ll also need to do some research on the various colleges or universities that offer accredited degrees in speech therapy. The program you choose should be accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. This is an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

There are various plans of study available to those with an interest in speech pathology. Undergraduate majors that are particularly useful include speech-language pathology, communication sciences and disorders, and pre-speech pathology. In addition, some undergraduate majors such as psychology, sociology, and linguistics also provide a good foundation for graduate study in speech-language pathology.

The academic curriculum requirements for admission to graduate school in speech-language pathology vary among universities. Speech-language programs generally require the following courses: English Composition, Introduction to Life Science or General Biology, General Chemistry, Physics or Physical Science, Introduction to Psychology, Statistics (not Business Statistics), Introductory Linguistics and Anatomy & Physiology. In addition, some programs require courses in Language Development or Child Language Development.

Some universities require other courses in order to fulfill general education requirements. For example: Introduction to Sociology/Anthropology (Introduction to Anthropology); Social Science (e.g., Sociology of Language); Computer Science; and Mathematics (e.g., College Algebra). Some schools may allow these electives to be taken after admission (please check with individual programs). Students pursuing a master’s degree in speech pathology must complete a bachelor’s program first. Acceptance into a graduate program requires the completion of prerequisite courses in human anatomy, biology, statistics, physics, and chemistry. Speech pathology programs may also require applicants to have completed coursework in topics such as audiology, language development, phonetics and neurology.

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