If you want to learn how to help others with their speech, language, and hearing skills, then you might be interested in earning a speech and hearing science degree.
Earning a speech pathology bachelor’s degree online may be a strategic starting point for people who are interested in learning how speech, hearing, and language development and function.
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A bachelor degree in speech pathology and hearing science may help you enter entry-level positions in the healthcare or human services fields. You may also choose to pursue graduate studies to work toward a career as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist.
Online Speech and Hearing Science Degrees
A bachelors in communicative disorders can help you learn the foundations of speech, language, and hearing sciences.
A communication disorders degree online program is focused on current research in the field, highlighting how communicative disorders manifest themselves and how to treat them. The speech, language, and hearing field is broad and diverse. It takes multiple approaches from various disciplines and puts them toward solving hearing and speech issues.
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So, a communication sciences and disorders bachelors degree online program will include coursework from a variety of fields and topics as well. You will likely take classes that cover subjects such as:
- Speech pathology
- Language development
- Hearing science
Taking diverse courses can help you understand communication science as well as the intersections it has with other subjects. The skills you can gain through this major may be invaluable in a number of positions. Not only will you learn about communication science, but you’ll also learn critical thinking skills, how to effectively communicate, and how to apply your skills in research and clinical environments.
Many students pursue a bachelors in speech and hearing science in order to build a solid foundation for graduate studies in the field. Furthering your education could help you qualify for a career as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist, depending on your chosen path. A bachelors in the field can also help you pursue entry-level roles in the healthcare and human services fields.
For instance, some graduates go on to become community health workers, speech-language pathology assistants, audiology assistants, hearing aid specialists, or rehabilitation aides. These types of positions are usually found in settings such as hospitals and specialized clinics, nursing homes, community health systems, or private practices. They may also pursue support roles in education or research.
Speech and Hearing Science Careers & Salaries
Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, and earning a speech and hearing degree can help you enter the field.
A speech and hearing science bachelors degree program can help you prepare for entry-level roles in the field as well as for graduate-level studies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some potential career paths related to speech and hearing science.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||$61,730|
|Health Education Specialists||$60,600|
|Hearing Aid Specialists||$59,500|
|Community Health Workers||$46,590|
|Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (In Healthcare Support Workers, All Other)||$37,740|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$37,610|
|Occupational Therapy Aides||$33,560|
|Home Health and Personal Care Aides||$29,430|
Some of these positions may require specialized training or education. Many speech and hearing science majors use their bachelors as a foundation for graduate school.
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The minimum education for a speech-language pathologist is a masters, and audiologists are required to hold a doctorate in the field.
Speech and Hearing Science Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
The coursework for speech and hearing science bachelor’s degrees will vary depending on the program that you attend.
The main focus of the curriculum for this type of degree is speech and hearing classes, though the field of speech and hearing derives many of its methods from other disciplines. Some classes you may take as a speech and hearing science major include:
- Communication Disorders: This course introduces you to the various types of communicative disorders that people suffer from.
- Psychology: This is an introductory course for students to learn about the basic fundamentals of psychology and the development of the field.
- Anatomy and Physiology: This course teaches basic concepts in human anatomy and physiology with a focus on the human auditory system.
- Physics: This is an introductory course to basic physics concepts and theorems, with a concentration on acoustics, sounds, and sound waves.
- Phonetics: This course introduces you to the field of phonetics, the study of how humans produce and understand the sounds that makeup speech.
- Research in Speech, Language, and Hearing: This course describes the various methodologies and strategies for research in the field.
- Childhood Language Development: This course teaches you how language develops in early childhood and the theories that explain this development.
- Hearing Science: This course introduces you to the auditory system and how hearing in the human body works.
- Audiology: This course is meant to introduce you to the field of audiology, including the basic tests and procedures audiologists undertake.
- Linguistics: This course covers the field of linguistics, including basic phonology and morphology as well as language evolution.
In addition to the courses listed above, your program may require you to complete an internship or some practical work experience in the field to graduate.
How to Know If a Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences Is Right for Me
Whether a degree in speech and hearing sciences is right for you is dependent on a number of factors, such as your personal interests and career goals.
You might consider pursuing a speech and hearing sciences major if:
- You have the desire to help others
- You are interested in how human hearing works
- You are interested in how language is developed and used by humans
These are just some of the common characteristics of professionals in this field. It’s also beneficial for speech and hearing science majors to have critical thinking and analytical skills.
Though each program and university has its own criteria for admission, there are common admission requirements found between programs.
Colleges and universities will often require you to submit the following to be admitted to a bachelors program:
- Online application
- SAT or ACT test scores (only some schools require them
- High school diploma or GED equivalent
- Official transcripts
To ensure that you have the best chances for admission, it’s helpful to confirm that you meet all the requirements of your specific school and submit all the needed materials by your school’s deadline.
In order to ensure that the degree you earn is academically rigorous and up to industry standards, it’s beneficial to check whether your prospective school is regionally accredited.
Accreditation is a process by which a third-party agency verifies that a college or university is providing high-quality education by following the best educational practices. To see if the school you are attending or applying to is accredited, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.
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Earning a degree from an accredited university may be a requirement for certain employers as well as a stipulation for graduate programs.
Speech Pathology Majors Financial Aid and Scholarships
Though college tuition and other associated costs can add up, there are a number of financial aid options that you can explore. One of the most common forms of financial aid is student loans from the federal government. Grants and work-study programs are other aid options through federal aid.
To check your eligibility for federal aid, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may be able to use this form to determine your eligibility for need-based aid from your state as well.
Scholarships are another form of aid that can be given out by a variety of different organizations. Some employers also offer college support for their employees in the form of professional development and other programs.
What Is a Speech and Hearing Science Degree?
A speech and hearing science degree is designed to teach you about language, hearing, and speech in humans. It will also cover problems that may develop with those faculties as well as potential solutions.
This discipline is centered on human communication, and it involves investigating the processes of communication, the various communicative disorders, and how to treat them. A speech and hearing science degree feature diverse coursework in fields like biology, anatomy, linguistics, physics, biology, speech pathology, and audiology.
Is Speech and Hearing Sciences a Good Major?
Yes, speech and hearing sciences is a good major for many undergraduate students. Healthcare is a growing field, and the specialties of speech pathology and audiology are growing as well. This major can help you prepare for graduate studies in speech and hearing sciences, but it can also help you qualify for entry-level positions in the field.
Some graduates choose to work as assistants to audiologists or speech-language pathologists. Others choose to help people as rehabilitation aides, advocates, or community health workers. The salary and availability of these jobs depend on a variety of factors, such as previous work experience and geographic location.
What Can You Do with a Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Science Degree?
A bachelors degree in this field can serve as a foundation for graduate school. Those who want to become a speech-language pathologist often pursue a masters in SLP, and those who want to become an audiologist pursue a doctorate in audiology.
A bachelors in speech and hearing science can also help you prepare for entry-level positions in the healthcare and human services fields. Graduates may go on to become community health workers, speech-language pathology assistants, audiology assistants, hearing aid specialists, or rehabilitation aides. Others pursue research and educational support roles.
How Long Does It Take to Get a BS in Speech and Hearing Science Degree Online?
The time it takes to complete a BS in Speech and Hearing Science online depends on a variety of factors. You could estimate how much time it would take based on your circumstances. If you are studying full-time and your college follows a traditional 16-week semester, it generally takes 4 years to complete a bachelors degree.
On the other hand, if your school follows an 8-week semester and you can be enrolled continuously throughout the year, it may take less time to complete your degree. Part-time enrollment will typically extend your time to completion.
Is a Bachelors in Speech and Hearing Science Degree Worth It?
Yes, a bachelors in speech and hearing science degree is worth it for many students. This degree is beneficial for those who are interested in helping others and learning about how human hearing, speech, and language develop and function.
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A bachelors in speech and hearing science can act as a strong foundation for graduate studies in speech pathology or audiology. With this degree, you may also qualify for entry-level positions in the healthcare field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry as a whole is growing faster than the average for all professions. Healthcare occupations are projected to grow by 13% over the next ten years.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Speech and Hearing Sciences Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lehman College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
NAU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
The University of West Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Utah State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Speech and Hearing Science Degree Online
Earning a speech and hearing science degree online may be a strategic way to start your career in this fast-growing field.
If you are someone who enjoys helping others—especially with hearing, speech, language, and communication problems—then this degree may be for you. After earning your bachelors, you may choose to work immediately in entry-level or assistant roles, or you can choose to pursue further graduate training in the field of hearing and speech sciences.
You can start exploring accredited schools today to discover which speech and hearing science degree programs best align with your interests and goals.