Speech Pathology

Overview of Field

Speech-language pathology is a healthcare field of expertise practiced globally. Speech-language pathology specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of communication disorders, cognitive-communication disorders, voice disorders, and swallowing disorder across the lifespan.

Speech-language pathologists specialize in treating various speech impediments and addressing language comprehension difficulties. They teach social skills to people with developmental disabilities, provide guidance to individuals with cognitive disorders and intervene when a person struggles to swallow food or beverages.

These clinicians routinely advise people who cannot hear well on how to understand others and express themselves, and they also show people who cannot speak how to communicate using picture boards and technological devices. (US News)

Here's an overview of the requirements to become a speech pathologist:

  • A relevant bachelor's degree
  • A master's degree in speech-language pathology
  • Completion of a post-graduate fellowship
  • A passing score on the Educational Testing Service Praxis II: Subject Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology exam
  • A license to practice in your state
  • Get certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association

U of L:
University of Louisville does not currently offer an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology. However, current University of Louisville undergraduate students with Junior or Senior standing may enroll in Preparatory Program courses without applying to the program. Such courses may be taken as electives for these UofL students only. Completion of the courses does not guarantee admission into the Core Program. Students must formally submit an application to the Graduate School and qualify for admission. Post baccalaureate students must be formally accepted to the Preparatory Program.

Preparatory Program Undergraduate Option (louisville.edu)

Career Exploration

Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) work in many different research, education, and health care settings with varying roles, levels of responsibility, and client populations.

In many settings, SLPs often work as part of a collaborative, interdisciplinary team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and rehabilitation counselors.

Career Options:

  • Pediatric Speech Language Pathologists
  • Adult Speech Language Pathologists
  • School Based Speech Language Pathologists
  • School Based Speech Language Pathologists
  • Medical Speech Language Pathologists
  • Private Practice Speech Language Pathologists
  • Early Intervention and K-12 Schools
  • Health Care Settings
  • Colleges and Universities: teaching, research, clinical supervisory roles

Applying to Speech Language Pathology Programs

Schools with Speech Language Pathology degrees:

Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, University of Louisville, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas, University of Kentucky, Murray State University, Western Kentucky University


CSDCAS-Communication Scineces and Disorders Centralized Application Service (some schools use this service and others do not). For the schools that do not use CSDCAS please follow individual school websites for information. Typically, GRE, Graduate Record Exam, is usually required, but not always, student should check with specific schools regarding requirements.

Pre-Requisite Completion

The University of Louisville wants to support you with your career goals! Many of your required pre-requisites for your pre-health path can be completed right here at UofL in conjunction with your current academic plan. Meet with your academic advisor for more information. In addition, consult the specific program you are applying to for pre-requisite requirements.

Entrance Exam

Suggested test preparation resources:

Some schools require GRE scores, others do not-depending on the school. Please see specific schools' website for details on prerequisites and application process.

Getting Involved

UofL Student Involvement Recognized Student Organizations (RSO’s):

These student organizations are active as of Fall 2023. You can find all active student organizations by visiting engage.

National Organizations & Resources

American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)

Information for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) (asha.org)

Applicants for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) must earn a graduate degree, successfully complete the required clinical experiences, and pass a national examination. In some areas, such as college teaching, research, and private practice, a PhD is desirable.

To earn the CCC-SLP, individuals must complete graduate course work and a clinical practicum at a college or university whose program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). This assures graduates that their academic and clinical experience meets nationally established standards. Visit EdFind for more information.