How to become a speech pathologist

Speech-language pathology is a great career choice if you are interested in assisting patients in overcoming speech and language disorders.


How to become a speech pathologist

Speech pathologists help patients improve their speech and language disorders. A speech disorder is a condition that prevents a patient from producing sounds needed for speech. A language disorder prevents a patient from understanding and sharing feelings and thoughts. Becoming a speech pathologist is a wonderful way to aid your community, and above all to help those in need. But how do you become a speech pathologist?

There are so many degrees and pathways available for college students. As a result, finding one way to become certified for a career can be overwhelming. Before applying for certification through ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), a linear pathway can be hard to find. To start, here is a step-by-step process to becoming a certified speech pathologist:

Getting started with your college education

To begin, you’ll need to get an undergraduate degree. Any bachelor’s degree in a similar field will be useful for preparing yourself to get your master’s. Classes in degrees like a bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders, English, education, or psychology will give you a great  springboard for the more challenging content of a master’s degree. After you have your bachelor’s you will be ready to go for your master’s.

Graduating with a master’s in speech-language pathology

Next, you will need to take all of the knowledge you have gained and apply it to your master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Here at CUW, our master’s in speech-language pathology is a two-year graduate full-time program. Our program is CAA (Council on Academic Accreditation) certified, therefore upon graduation you will be fully prepared for the next steps. These steps include applying for licensure and certification. Also, our own state-of-the-art on campus Speech, Language, and Hearing clinic will help prepare you with real world experience for your future vocation.

After graduation

After you have graduated with your master’s in speech-language pathology, you will be ready to apply for certification through ASHA. Post-graduation and pre-application you also need a passing Praxis Exam score. The Praxis Exam is a content exam that will assess your knowledge in your field developed by ASHA. 

When you pass the Praxis Exam, your final task is to complete your clinical fellowship with an ASHA certified mentor. After all documents of your fellowship are received and approved, you will officially be ASHA certified. As a result, you will be able to apply to hospitals or clinics as a licensed speech-language pathologist.

Looking for more on how to become a speech pathologist?

Learn more about the good speech-language pathologists do in the world and paths that brought students success. Take a look at these blog posts for more information:

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.