Course Planning

Follow the links below to learn about prerequisite courses and other requirements for postgraduate study in each of the health professions.


Choosing a major:

At the end of your second year, you will choose a major. There is no particular major that will make you more competitive for most health professions programs. You will learn what you need to know to be a physician or PA or dentist once you get to medical, PA, or dental school. Each of the health professions graduate programs clearly delineate their prerequisite courses. After that, you’re on your own.

A double major in chemistry and biology has no more value than a double major in Art and Philosophy. And a double major does not have any greater value than a major and a single minor. What is most important is that you are good at what you do.

Major in what you feel most passionate about. If you love the subject, you will do better academically, and you will enjoy your time in college more.

Most of the health professions schools are looking for broadly educated students. At Wake Forest it is hard NOT to be broadly educated! Consider the Divisional Courses as a shopping expedition to find out what it is that you want to know more about. What is most important is that once you have chosen your major, whatever it is, excel in it.


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 an MS or Ph.D. 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.
Required courses. Requirements vary by program. But many programs require the following:

  • Communications
  • Linguistics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Statistics

Minor in Linguistics

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. The minor requires 15 hours. Courses include:

  • LIN 150 Introduction to Linguistics
  • LIN 301 Semantics and Language in Communication
  • LIN 301 Introduction to Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition
  • LIN 350 Topics in Linguistics (sometimes includes phonetics)

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.