Speech Therapist Degree – How Many Years of School?

Speech therapist degree will be needed if you intend to be a speech pathologist or speech therapist. Their hob is to diagnose and give treatments to the patients who have disorder to communicate, speech, and swallowing. The condition is commonly caused by problems during the developmental stage, injury, and also certain illness.

The responsibility of a speech therapist includes helping people with stroke and individuals with injuries of brain trauma. They will help the patients to speak more clearly. Even though the law in each state is varied but besides the speech therapist degree, they need to be licensed before practicing as a speech therapist. It takes about seven years to complete the undergraduate and graduate program for speech pathologist along with the clinical practice of post-graduate.

Speech therapy courses distance learning

Undergraduate degree of speech therapist

Speech therapist-to-be should be completing a bachelor’s degree. The major you take depends on which graduate program you want to attend later. Generally, the ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) recommends several classes like human development, psychology, semantic, phonetic, and linguistic.

Other classes recommended by ASHA are such as physical science, physiology, biology, math, and social science. Solid foundation of being a speech therapist can be gained by taking communication science major.

Master’s degree basics of speech therapist

If you take a master’s degree for speech and language pathology, it commonly takes two years of study after getting you bachelor’s degree. Certain states also require you to take programs that have been accredited by Academic Accreditation from ASHA’s Council. Typically, the classes in master’s level will include developmental psychology, physiology, anatomy, acoustics, and phonetics. You can also take other classes like models of language, speech science, voice disorder, and aphasia if you go to Boston University’s College of Health Rehabilitation Sciences.

Graduate clinical requirements

You will need to have supervised clinical practice as the part of your master’s degree program before graduating as a speech-language pathologist. According to the fact, you need at least 300 hours of this clinical practice during your master’s program in order to get the license. Boston University lets the students to have clinical practicum introduction as well as clinical practicum in three sections and hearing practicum for two sections in one semester. So the students would not need to worry about the 300 hours of supervised clinic work.

State licensing

The boards will ask for nine months of clinical practice after the postgrad in order to get license of speech-language pathology. Other than that, for the professional competence final test, most states will require the graduates to complete the Praxis test held by the Educational Testing Service. The continuity of education is essential if you want to keep the license and this law is applied in most states.

If you want to take seminars and classes, you can contact the ASHA because the organization is also providing the Certificate of Clinical Competence. This certificate will help you a lot in order to get the license as a pathologist in many states. And this is the end of the speech therapist degree.