Speech language pathology is a health field career. In this profession, a master’s degree in speech language pathology is the minimum requirement in almost every state. Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, swallowing, fluency, and other related disorders.
The 45 states that have state licensure or regulatory requirements for speech language pathologists require a master’s degree, 375 hours of supervised clinical experience, a passing score on a national examination, and a supervised clinical fellowship — a post graduate professional experience. Also the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is required along with a valid and state license in speech Language Pathology at the clinical level. The CCC is the only professional credential for speech language pathologists that is recognized by every state.
Several colleges and universities offer graduate programs in speech-language pathology. Courses cover anatomy and physiology of the areas of the body involved in speech, language, swallowing, and hearing; the development of normal speech, the nature of disorders; acoustics; and psychological aspects of communication. Graduate students also learn to evaluate and treat speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders and receive supervised clinical training in communication disorders.