dcsimg
Table of Contents
Health & Medical Sciences

People of all ages can be born with, or become afflicted with, a variety of communication disorders that impair their ability to communicate or comprehend verbal on nonverbal cues. That's where the study of communication disorders and communicative disorders come in.

Students who pursue this field -- also known as speech-language pathology -- learn how to assess, diagnose and treat common communication disorders such as stuttering, voice disorders, and cognitive communication impairments.

What do online communication disorders degree programs entail?

Health and medical science programs in communication disorders are typically offered at the bachelor's or master's degree level. Many schools in this field, however, also offer a two-year associate degree program for speech-language pathology assistants.

Health Healthcare Nursing

At the associate degree level, students will learn the fundamentals of communicative disorder recognition and treatment, as well as basic principles of behavioral management and patient care. Although specific courses may vary depending on the school, colleges and universities tend to cover the following topics at the bachelor's and master's degree level:

  • Phonetics
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Speech and Hearing Science
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Child Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Methods and Procedures
  • Motor Speech Disorders

Many speech-language pathology students choose a specialty or focus depending on their area of interest and future career goals. The following specialties are relatively common among students working toward careers in this field:

  • Adult Neurogenics
  • Auditory Perception and Intervention
  • Bilingualism and Language Variation
  • Language and Literacy
  • Language Processing and Intervention
  • Neurophysiology of Hearing, Speech and Language
  • Speech and Voice Production
  • Speech Perception
  • Translational Neuroscience

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, speech-language pathologists must be licensed to work in almost all states. Some states even require that speech-language pathologists become certified. They can do so by earning a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, notes the BLS.

Career outlook for students in communication disorders degree programs

A population of aging baby boomers could lead to an increase in the need for treatments of speech or language impairments. Because of this, the BLS predicts that employment for speech-language pathologists will increase 19 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations combined. The median annual income for speech pathologists was $70,810 in 2013 according to the BLS.

Here are a few other fields of practice communication disorders graduates can potentially segue into:

  • Audiologists: Audiologists treat patient's hearing and balance problems. Audiologists typically need a doctorate degree in audiology to work in their field according to the BLS. Median annual income for audiologists, according to the BLS, was at $71,170 in 2013. The BLS predicts that employment for audiologists will increase 34 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022.
  • Recreational Therapist: According to the BLS, recreational therapists plan and direct recreation-based activities for people experiencing injuries or illness. Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor's degree and certification from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation.

    BLS numbers place median annual income for recreational therapists at $43,180 in 2013. Due to steady growth in the need for recreational therapists to treat age-related injuries or illnesses, the BLS predicts that employment for these professionals will increase 13 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022.

Sources:
Boston University, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, http://www.bu.edu/sargent/academics/programs/speech-language-hearing-sciences/master-of-science-in-speech-language-pathology/
"Audiologists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm#tab-1
"29-1181 Audiologists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 14, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291181.htm
"Recreational Therapists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/recreational-therapists.htm#tab-1
"29-1125 Recreational Therapists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 14, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291125.htm
"Speech Language Pathologists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/speech-language-pathologists.htm#tab-1
"29-1127 Speech-Language Pathologists," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 14, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291127.htm
College of Communications, B.A. in Communicative Disorders, http://communications.fullerton.edu/commbackup/undergraduate/bacomdisorders.html
Pasadena City College, Speech Language Pathology Assistant, Two-Year Associate Degree and Certificate Program, http://www.pasadena.edu/divisions/performing-comm/slpa/
University of South Florida, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Area of Specialization, http://csd.cbcs.usf.edu/researchInitiatives/specializations.cfm

Pursue your Health, Healthcare & Nursing major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
ITT Technical Institute , Online (campus option available)
  • Students who qualify may apply for the Opportunity Scholarship, which can help lower education costs.
  • Offers career-focused, degree programs to over 70,000 students at over 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 35 states.
  • Classes are offered year-round, with day and evening course options.
  • Online courses can be accessed from anywhere, 24 hours a day.
  • Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
2 Program(s) Found
  • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
  • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
  • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899.
  • Provides a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services.
  • Offers counseling services and a 24/7 crisis hotline to students at no extra charge.
  • Gives students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits