Speech pathologists diagnose, evaluate, and treat communication and swallowing disorders. For example, this would include working with patients who have speech difficulties following a stroke or brain injury, or working with children with delayed language development. Speech pathologists might be employed by public or private schools, hospitals, short and long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, government agencies, and community clinics.
It is possible to earn either a MS or PhD in speech pathology, or a doctorate in audiology (Au.D.). The MS degree is required for national certification, and enables one to practice as a speech pathologist. The PhD generally leads to an academic career, which may involve research in the field.
Many programs have specific prerequisite courses that are not available at Wake Forest. There are also programs however, that will admit students with no previous coursework. There are a number of three-year programs that allow you to complete prerequisite courses while completing your graduate degree, and it is possible to take prerequisite courses online through Florida State and other schools. But before pursuing this option, be sure that the program you are applying to accepts online courses. Most programs will accept at least some online courses.
Required courses. Requirements vary by program. But many programs require the following:
Biology (2 semesters, excluding Bio 101)
Chemistry (2 semesters)
Physics (2 semesters)
Human Anatomy and Physiology (two separate HES courses at WF)
Statistics (can be taken in any department)
Wake Forest offers a minor in linguistics. Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, how words are formed and organized, and their meanings. Any student wishing to study speech pathology should consider the linguistics minor.
Also recommended: Courses in Math, Counseling and Education.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE): The general test is required.
Years of post-graduate education required: The MS program in speech pathology is generally 2-3 years. The PhD program is another 2-3 years.