What Are the Different Types of Speech Pathologist Prerequisites?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2019
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Speech pathologist prerequisites vary by region, but usually include a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree before obtaining a license to practice. A clinical fellowship is commonly needed as part of the master’s degree program. If students plan to conduct research or teach at the university level, speech pathologist prerequisites might include completing coursework leading to a PhD.

University courses in communication, speech pathology, or a related field begin the process to earn a bachelor’s degree. These classes prepare the student for advanced education in disorders that affect speech, which typically include phonetics, audiology, theories of communication, and anatomy. The master’s degree program might also include classes in biology and emotional problems that affect speech.

Some universities request transcripts and test scores as speech pathologist prerequisites for graduate school acceptance. While earning a master’s degree, students typically complete fellowships under the supervision of licensed speech pathologists to gain experience necessary for licensure. The number of hours students work might vary by region. Students who plan to work for school systems might also need regional credentials as speech pathologist prerequisites.

Speech pathologists might open a private practice or become employed at a hospital. They commonly work with public health agencies or schools, especially at the preschool level when language develops rapidly. Some professionals assist stroke victims who suffer language loss by helping them regain communication abilities. Jobs might also be available at assisted living facilities or nursing homes.


When diagnosing speech disorders, a pathologist might conduct hearing examinations to determine if the patient suffers loss of auditory function. He or she might also evaluate any brain damage from trauma or disease that affects the ability to communicate. Physical deformities, such as a cleft palate, might also contribute to difficulty with oral communication. Depending on the cause, a speech pathologist usually works with medical doctors, social workers, and educators as part of a treatment plan.

Common speech disorders include stuttering and lisps. Sometimes a foreigner seeks a speech pathologist to lose an accent to improve communication. Technological advances led to the development of computer software that might assist a patient in correcting speech defects. Some programs help the patient articulate words and identify speech patterns that need correction. They might also use repetition as exercises to improve listening skills.



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