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Is obtaining your undergraduate degree in speech and language pathology required to get your masters and become a speech pathologist?

I am approaching my senior year of college majoring in family studies and human development and I recently discovered my interest in speech and language pathology and I'm interested in getting my masters in order to become a speech and language pathologist but I was wondering if I need to have an undergraduate degree in this field.

#speech-language-pathology #speech-pathology #speech-therapy #speech-language

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Lindsey, this is a great question. It depends on where you are planning on attending and what the program requirements are. I am a licensed SLPA in Florida and California. I attended school in Florida where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Many who earned their masters degree had the same or similar undergraduate degree, but others did not and were still able to enter the masters program. The post-baccalaureate degree program allow applicants with a bachelor's degree in another field to take missing or required courses in addition to the masters program course work. Sometimes their length of study was extended by a year or so, just depending on how long it took them to complete those required courses.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Talk to counselors in the programs that you are interested in applying to and ask them to complete a degree audit and review the different pathways to complete their masters program.
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Theresa’s Answer

Depends on the specific masters program, but not universally required. My bachelor's was in music - my master's took me a couple of semesters longer than those who came in with a bachelors in speech/communication sciences, but I was still able to complete the masters in 2.5 years. I was also able to take all the prerequisite classes (i.e. classes that most people with a bachelor's in speech will already have taken) as a matriculated masters student. Some, not all, programs will allow that, but you can also often take those classes elsewhere prior to starting your masters.
Good luck!
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Archived’s Answer

No, attaining a bachelors degree in Speech Pathology is NOT a requirement. My bachelors degree is in Pre-Speech Pathology but I know many others who went different routes. I am an SLP in Nebraska. Anyway, many programs have what’s called “lateral entry” which allows you direct entry to a grad program (pending acceptance, of course). They put a pending requirement on your letter of acceptance that states you have to get a B or higher in certain classes such as Phonetics, Pre-School Language Disorders, Phonological Processes, and a few others.
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