speech language pathologist

Do you know a family member or friend who is speech impaired? These people have something to say and want to express themselves but are unable to. By becoming a speech pathologist with expertise in this speech disorder, you can help patients overcome their struggles.

Clinical practice is an essential component of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology, which explains why direct training contact is necessary. Well-established universities may offer only the face-to-face didactic format of learning but most CScD programs today are conducted on hybrid learning platforms.

These hybrid arrangements allow you to obtain a Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology (CScD) through a combination of online and classroom format.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

What does a speech pathologist do?

Speech pathologists are medical practitioners who specialize in providing healthcare to differently abled individuals particularly those having difficulties in communicating. They study, diagnose, and treat people facing challenges in social skills, namely talking, listening, reading, and writing. They conduct therapy sessions with patients who stutter or stammer. They also treat persons with difficulties swallowing foods and drinks.

Aside from dealing with the patient, a speech pathologist also guides and counsels families on how to care for their loved one and create a comfortable and supportive environment for them. They also offer guidance on the social dynamics of having a relative with a speech disorder.

The job of speech pathologists is not only limited to people who are born with language difficulties. In most cases, speech pathologists attend to patients that have acquired speech problems from medical conditions like stroke, dementia, developmental delays, mental health issues, and physical injury.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology school?

The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) supervises the accreditation of Speech-Language educational programs of institutions in the US. The doctorate programs under this accreditation body include Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology (CScD), Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD), and Doctor of Philosophy in Speech-Language Pathology (Ph.D.).

Some medical schools offering Speech-Language courses advertise their institutions having regional accreditations, but ASHA is currently the sole authority in the national level.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

How do I earn my CScD degree?

You can enroll in a CScD program if you have a bachelor’s in Biology, Chemistry, or Assistive Medicine or a master’s degree related to Speech-Language Pathology. You also need to submit necessary documentation like the GRE scores and letters of recommendation.

The length of the CScD program varies according to your current credentials as an applicant. Bachelor’s degree holders typically finish the program for five years. Those with a Masters diploma, on the other hand, complete it in about two and a half years if they have a Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathologists (CCC-SLP) from ASHA. Students without a CCC-SLP earn the CScD degree in three years.

The same steps also apply to applicants having a Ph.D. degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Ph.D. degree holders without a CCC-SLP can finish the CSCD program within 2.5 to 3 years. PhD-level applicants with a CCC-SLP complete it in about two years.

Some institutions offer a special-joint program wherein aspirants finish a Masters degree, a CScD degree, and a Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology all at once in the span of 6 to 6.5 years.

The CScD coursework focuses on the clinical aspect of Speech Pathology, unlike the research-oriented Ph.D. program. In a CScD program, students are expected to complete 87 to 90 credit units of on-campus attendance and clinical practice.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

Can I pursue research or teaching as a Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology graduate?

If you are interested in teaching Speech-Language Pathology, graduate schools require either a CScD, SPLD, or a Ph.D. on your resume. If you are more interested in the research part of the field, we recommend you earn a Ph.D. instead.

Although research is not heavily required in the CScD program, students attend research-intensive academic conferences and publish scholarly papers. Usually, a Ph.D. degree holder takes the leadership role in collaborative research endeavors.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my CScD degree?

CScD graduates mostly work in hospital settings. They work with medical doctors and professionals specializing in the People with Disability (PWD) cohort. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), speech pathologists working in the clinical environment earn an average of $76,610 per year.

A speech pathologist with CScD degree can also teach and pursue their career and practice at the same time. Doctorate-level school faculty members earn a starting wage of $52,853, which increases to up to $75,870 based on tenure. Those who are participating in clinical research earn more.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

Do I need a license to be a speech pathologist?

Yes. The American Speech and Hearing Association awards the Certificate of Clinical Competence for Speech-Language Pathologists (CCC-SLP). Master’s degree holders with at least 400 hours of clinical practice can take the ASHA exam. In due time, you might need a CScD degree to get this certification.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

Which schools offer Doctor of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology degrees?

The University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides a “state-of-the-science” training for CScD in a brick-and-mortar format. It is a program designed for professionals who wish to advance their education. The university also connects to employers and presents them with employment opportunities in Pittsburgh.

The Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah awards a CScD and Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology (SLPD) degree through a limited residency program. This means that graduate students have access to online materials for their coursework. However, students are required to attend on-campus classes for up to 6 days.

Most ASHA-accredited schools now offer the SLPD degree as a similar alternative to CScD. They include Nova Southeastern University – SLP Program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

dr clinical speech language pathologist doctorate

Communication is a two-way process. If you are passionate about bridging the language gap and help people with speech disorders, become a certified expert by enrolling in a CScD program.

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UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

pittsburgh

DOCTOR OF CLINICAL SCIENCE IN MEDICAL SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

School Highlights: The University of Pittsburgh maintains an outstanding Department of Communication Science and Disorders that includes numerous degree options for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students. The Doctor of Clinical Science in Medical Speech-Language Pathology is an advanced, practice-based program designed for SLPs currently working with medically fragile patients and their families. Coursework enhances skills necessary for working with patients of all ages and in a wide range of health care settings, such as specialized pediatric clinics, adult institutes, acute hospitals, and community-based practices. Graduates from Pittsburgh are well-seasoned experts prepared to enter positions of leadership and management.

Coursework Sample:

  • Complex Decisions and Ethics
  • Head and Neck Anatomy
  • Medical Speech-Language Pathology

Campus Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    3624 Market Street, Suit 2 West
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    www.msche.org, (297) 284-5000
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Acceptance Rate: 59% Retention Rate: 93% Graduation Rate: 81%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH’S DOCTOR OF CLINICAL SCIENCE IN MEDICAL SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

ROCKY MOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS

rocky mountain

DOCTOR OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

School Highlights: The Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions provides a two-year, limited-residency, online Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology. It is one of the few institutions of higher education to maintain accreditation from the CAA. This program allows working SLPs to earn a respected doctoral degree while continuing their personal and professional lives uninterrupted. The coursework is completed entirely online, except for three required residency experiences, each lasting 3-6 days on campus. The curriculum includes a strong focus on evidence-based research and enhancing clinical skills, knowledge, and marketability. Graduates from Rocky Mountain University describe only the most life-changing educational experiences attending this school and go on to create positive change as leaders in the speech-pathology industry.

Coursework Sample:

  • Evidence-Based Practice in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Biostatistics Interpretation
  • Healthcare Leadership

Campus Location: Provo, UT

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 200
    Redmond, Washington 98052
    www.nwccu.org, (425) 558-4224
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Acceptance Rate: –% Retention Rate: 97% Graduation Rate: 87%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS’ DOCTOR OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

nova

DOCTOR OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY (SLPD)

School Highlights: This fifty-three-credit doctoral curriculum from Nova Southeastern University enhances the skills and education of post-graduate speech-language pathologists. The coursework includes both a research and practice-based approach and incorporates pivotal theories in clinical decision-making and problem-solving. Students are highly encouraged to apply the knowledge gained in the program to their current positions of employment in the development of applied dissertations. Nova Southeastern supplies an incredibly flexible schedule that can be aligned with all individual and professional engagements without disrupting students’ lives.

Coursework Sample:

  • Technology and Instrumentation in Communication Sciences
  • Business Management and Leadership
  • Neuroscience/Neuropsychology and Communication Disorders

Campus Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Acceptance Rate: 79% Retention Rate: 79% Graduation Rate: 62%

LEARN MORE ABOUT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S DOCTORAL DEGREE IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

northwestern

DOCTORAL SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY PROGRAM

School Highlights: Northwestern University is one of the most highly respected higher education institutions in America, where doctoral students complete an impressive Speech-Language Pathology Program for practicing clinicians. The curriculum includes topics that are often excluded from other degrees of this nature, such as policy, operations, leadership, organizational behavior, and education. Everything learned in the virtual classroom at Northwestern is put to use in exciting clinical experiences that are both research and practice-focused. The program is fully customizable and allows students to pursue individual interests alongside the required coursework. Graduates have exceedingly well-developed skills as practicing doctors and business leaders.

Coursework Sample:

  • Operations and Process Improvement for SLPs
  • Professional Integration and Reflective Practice
  • Business Principles

Campus Location: Evanston, IL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Acceptance Rate: 8% Retention Rate: 98% Graduation Rate: 94%

LEARN MORE ABOUT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY’S DOCTORAL SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY PROGRAM

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

kansas

SLPD PROGRAM

School Highlights: The University of Kansas Medical Center provides an excellent Speech-Language Pathology Doctorate Program that includes a huge amount of resources. The KU Medical Center is replete with tools, SLP machinery, and research equipment that is available to all students. The doctorate is a 33-credit, on-campus degree that can be personalized to reflect any individual goals. Many electives are available online, making it a perfect program for students living in and around the city of Lawrence. Most of the coursework, however, is completed on the University of Kansas campus. The curriculum is intended for practicing speech-language pathologists who hold certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. It drastically enhances both skills and knowledge in this area and positions students to take on leadership and management.

Coursework Sample:

  • Adult Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Mental Health/Psychology of Aging
  • Clinical Supervision & Leadership

Campus Location: Lawrence, KS

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Acceptance Rate: 92% Retention Rate: 80% Graduation Rate: 63%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS’ SLPD PROGRAM