In order to obtain jobs with more responsibility and higher pay in this field, a master’s degree is definitely recommended. A master’s degree provides advanced training and research experience through subject-specific courses. You’ll learn how to work with patients suffering from a variety of communication disorders and impairments.
So if you’re thinking about earning a master’s degree, you’ve come to the right place. The information below outlines what to expect from a graduate program in speech pathology and how to choose a school that’s right for you!
Types of Graduate Programs in Speech Pathology
Graduate programs in this field are pretty diverse. You can focus on one particular area of speech pathology, such as the following:
- Applied Linguistics
- Behavioral Sciences
- Child Development
- Speech-Language Pathology
Graduate programs in psychology and the behavioral sciences often allow students to specialize in speech pathology, providing a well-rounded education that equips graduates with the conceptual knowledge and hard skills to succeed in this field. What program you choose all depends on what you’re interested in studying, as some programs are more research or teaching intensive than others.
What You Need to Apply
Applying to a master’s degree program can be a lengthy and arduous task. Schools often request an admissions package that includes:
- Transcripts from all previous attended post-secondary schools
A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 is often required
- List of prerequisite coursework
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Graduate school essay or personal statement
Each school is different and has its own set of admissions criteria. Just make sure you submit a complete application package! It’s also important to find out if field work is a requirement. Field work, or a practicum, requires your participation in either a research project or on-site clinical training sessions that help prepare you for your future career. The number of hours required varies by school and program, but if you’re working full-time or have other commitments that might interfere, it’s important to know this in advance before enrolling.
Additional Resources for Future Speech Pathologists
If you’re in the preliminary stage of your search, it can be a little overwhelming. With so many schools out there, how do you choose the right one? Online? Traditional? Hybrid? Full-time? Part-time? Of course the answers to these questions are entirely up to you. However, we’ve compiled a list of useful resource to help you decide what type of program you should apply for:
- Not sure what college or career school might be right for you?
- How to Pick the Right College
- Graduate School Guide
You might also want to check out your state’s board of audiology and speech-language pathology website. A quick Google search will help you locate the site, which often provides a great deal of information about licensing, career opportunities, and education and training resources.