5 Key Courses in a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology Program

Speech language pathology is a popular clinical field for many new and returning students. The field is growing leaps and bounds and also offers financial security, workplace flexibility, and the rewarding opportunity to help others. In fact, recent data suggests that job growth in speech language pathology is expected to grow approximately 21 percent over the next decade.

Resource: Top 50 Master's in Speech Language Pathology Degrees

This higher than average growth is driving students to pursue a masters in this fantastic field. Here is a glimpse of a few key courses you'll unravel if you decide to pursue a degree in speech language pathology:

Models of Language

This course serves as the foundation for the entire field of speech pathology. Students will gain an in depth understanding of the origins of language as well as the structure and history of language components. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn about the traditional stages of language learning and acquisition and will be able to pinpoint common causes for any delays. This course is very comprehensive and will help students get a true feel for the overall curriculum and what to expect throughout the program.

Research Methods

A large part of speech language pathology is the ability to diagnose and treat any language disorders or delays. Therefore, research methods is an extremely important course for most students. Research methods will uncover the field's most proven tactics for experimentation, identifying trends, and drawing evidence-based conclusions. Students will learn through reading, case studies, and mini experiments of their own. Overall, this course is critical to the success of any speech language pathologist.


This course will help students explore the anatomy of the brain and its connection to speech and language. After completion of this course students should be able to identify all areas of the brain and understand each part's significance and function. Students should also be able to connect the dots between a speech disorder and the associated brain anatomy. Lastly, students will learn about current technology for reviewing areas of the brain for possible diagnosis and the proper protocol for following this system.

Counseling in Speech

Speech therapists are often tasked with counseling families. This delicate task requires lots of training and practice and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. A course in counseling will help students discover the various phases of counseling and how to approach each individual situation with compassion and care, while still maintaining a clinical and professional presence. Emphasis is placed on self-awareness as well as emotional intelligence. Students will learn how to craft appropriate and effective responses and will leave feeling confident and able to mater any counseling challenge.

Professional Preparation

This class serves as a preparatory class for job placement. Students will typically learn about the testing and license requirements for speech pathology, the various venues for speech pathology work, as well as ethical issues in the field. Students will be able to more closely examine their workplace needs and will have a better understanding of their options after school. Generally, this course will also offer interview and job placement assistance as well. This class typically lands in the last semester of the program and is a great way for students to review their progress and look forward to the fruits of their hard work.

These are just a few of the many courses outlined in traditional speech pathology curriculum. Overall, speech language pathology is a well-respected field that is growing exponentially. The high demand for professionals in this field means students who put in the time and effort can expect to land a rewarding job in a trending field.

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