Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, prevent, and treat speech and language disorders. They are also equipped to handle conditions relating to cognitive communication disorders and social communication disorders.
Naturally, to start a successful career in the field, comprehensive education is a must – which is why we have provided the in-depth article below. Here, we examine some of the thoughts and considerations of choosing a speech-language pathology training program and how to choose the best among the sea of alternatives.
We also provide a comprehensive list containing several prominent and well-rounded Speech-Language pathology training programs for interested individuals to consider.
Education and Training Paths
Like all professions, it is possible to start the preparation for a career in speech-language pathology right from high school. Candidates may focus on topics in biology, sociology, and other related fields.
At the undergraduate level, individuals are expected to enroll in a Communication Science and Disorders program to have an easy time securing admission into a master’s program in speech-language pathology.
Those who receive their bachelor’s degree in a different field may also qualify for a master’s program, with some programs providing accessible transition pathways through preparatory courses.
After earning a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, candidates may obtain certification and even choose to pursue a doctorate if they please.
Choosing the Right Program
Several factors contribute to making a speech-language pathology program a high-quality one. Of these factors, one of the most important is accreditation.
Aspiring speech-language pathologists are advised to enroll in programs accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Such programs operate at a very high standard with quality education in both academic areas and clinical real-world applications.
The top Speech-Language pathology programs in the country also tend to have a high student achievement rate, a high praxis exam pass rate, and a high on-time program completion rate. It is also advisable for students to go for programs with a high employment rate for graduates.
Top Speech-Language Pathology Schools
The following are some of the best and most notable Speech-Language pathology schools in the country to consider.
Purdue University offers a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program that is often regarded as being one of the best in the entire country. To apply, candidates must provide multiple letters of recommendation and official transcripts from their previous institutions. As one would expect, competition is incredibly high.
Topics of focus include language disorders, motor disorders, and school clinical methods, among others. To graduate, students must go through multiple practicums and externships.
The University of Washington - Seattle
University of Washington in Seattle has a world-class Speech-Language Pathology program with a graduation rate of 84% and an acceptance rate of 56%. Students of the program enjoy high-quality classes and a comprehensive curriculum.
The program also involves 500 hours of internships and practicums. Graduates tend to have an easier time securing employment and keeping up with the pace and demand of the job, thanks to their rigorous training.
Vanderbilt University - Tennessee
Vanderbilt University is a private research university where students can receive hands-on training in several fields, including speech-language pathology.
Students who apply for admission into the school will be glad to know that the program has a completion rate of 100% and an employment rate of 100%.
University of Central Arkansas - Arkansas
One of the highlights of the Speech-Language pathology program at the University of Central Arkansas is the 99% employment rate and the 90.6% on-time completion rate. The program also has a relatively affordable tuition, along with many experienced faculty members willing to provide student mentorship.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Indiana, Pennsylvania
The Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services offers the Speech-Language Pathology program at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
It includes hands-on training and boasts a 100% praxis exam pass rate. Graduates also receive assistance from the program, including partial or complete tuition remission.
Loyola University - Maryland
Loyola University in Maryland is another institution on the list that is regularly among the best Speech-Language Pathology programs in the country. 97.3% of students in this program complete their education on time, with 99 percent securing employment afterward.
The school is a private Jesuit School with a great deal of emphasis on providing rigorous, hands-on experience for students at all times.
Northeastern University - Massachusetts
Northeastern University in Massachusetts is another high-quality training destination to receive a master’s degree in Speech-Language pathology. The program boasts a completion rate of 98.3% and a 100% employment rate for graduates.
Candidates learn in an environment that prioritizes a hands-on approach with modern technology and software.
University of Utah - Utah
The University of Utah’s Speech-Language Pathology program has a 66% graduation rate and a 79% acceptance rate. Graduates earn a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology and start their career with rigorous, comprehensive coursework.
University of Iowa - Iowa
Candidates looking to earn a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology may consider the program offered by the University of Iowa. To enter, candidates must maintain a GPA of no less than 3.4 and be in the 40th percentile in their verbal and quantitative GRE scores.
Of course, to give themselves the best chances, candidates are advised to obtain as high a score as possible, both in their GPA and GRE.
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Lastly, the University of Illinois offers a Master of Arts in Speech and Hearing Science program, teaching candidates how to help patients confront, cope, and recover from communication disorders. As expected, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree to apply for the program.
They must also maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 and provide multiple letters of recommendation. The University of Illinois’s speech-language pathology program is considered to be one of the more lenient when it comes to admission requirements.