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Speech-Language Pathology, BS

Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

Are you interested in a career helping children and adults with speech and language differences? A bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Central Missouri might be for you.

Sometimes referred to as a degree in Communication Disorders or a Speech Therapy degree, Speech-Language Pathology is part of the larger communications disorder field. Speech-language pathologists provide life-changing treatment to people with speech, language, swallowing, hearing, fluency, voice and memory problems.

Unlike individual speech pathology classes, UCM’s bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology is both comprehensive and integrated. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills needed for the first step to begin your career as a speech-language pathologist. You’ll also have opportunities to take in-depth courses, gain hands-on experience in our on-campus Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders and learn from knowledgeable, caring faculty and staff who will guide you every step of the way.

State licensure through Speech-Language Pathology programs near you

With a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, you’ll be eligible to apply for a speech-language pathology assistant (SLP-A) license in the state of Missouri and gain employment in Missouri Public Schools as an SLP-A.

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17:1 program student-to-faculty ratio

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Multiple practicum experiences

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High-tech Voice and Swallowing Lab

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Hands-on clinical therapy sessions


What you will study

Courses in the University of Central Missouri’s undergraduate Speech-Language Pathology program will provide you with the in-depth knowledge you’ll need to either join the workforce immediately or continue your education in our Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree program. If you’re looking for Speech-Language Pathology programs near you, UCM develops homegrown professionals who are licensed in Missouri.

Examples of UCM’s speech pathology classes include:

  • Introduction to Audiology: Learn about the function, anatomy and physiology of the ear, hearing impairment and theories of hearing. This undergraduate course also includes learning how to conduct hearing evaluations.
  • Aural Rehabilitation: This course teaches about the effect of hearing impairment on verbal communication and provides instruction on how to maximize a person’s participation in activities that have been impacted because of their hearing loss.
  • American Phonetics: Phonetic transcription is like learning a new language. The sound system of American English will be taught, with emphasis on the international phonetic alphabet and dialects.
  • Multicultural Issues in Communication Disorders: Learn first-hand how cultural and linguistic differences have a direct impact on communication disorders by interviewing those from different cultures and countries. Transgender communication through voice, verbal and nonverbal communication and poverty’s impact on communication and language are also explored.  

Speech pathology classes taught by experienced SLP professionals

Our program faculty are passionate and caring instructors, as well as expert scholar-practitioners. They are nationally certified and state licensed, with experience working in hospital, educational and private practice settings.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has created a document that provides you with more information about the value of the undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology


Excellence in speech-language pathology

  • The University of Central Missouri Speech-Language Pathology Department is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Academic courses and clinical practica may be applied toward clinical certification by ASHA and toward state licensure.


Unique learning opportunities in speech-language pathology

UCM’s undergraduate Speech-Language Pathology program offers numerous opportunities to gain hands-on, real-world experience that will prepare you for grad school and a successful career as a speech-language pathologist. By having the opportunity to learn outside of speech pathology classes and practice on real patients, you will be well-prepared for your speech therapy career after graduation.

  • Peer-mentoring practicum: During the first semester of your senior year in the Speech-Language Pathology bachelor’s program, you will observe clinical therapy sessions led by a graduate student and then provide therapy to the patients yourself. These graduate student-mentored experiences are supervised by a faculty clinical instructor. 
  • Independent practicum: In your second clinical experience, you will work independently to deliver speech-language services to a client scheduled for therapy in the Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders. These experiences are under the supervision of nationally certified and state-licensed UCM faculty members.
  • Audiology practicum: Are you interested in the specialty field of audiology? As a Speech-Language Pathology major at UCM, you’ll have an opportunity to complete a clinical practicum experience on the Audiology Diagnostic Team. You’ll provide audiological testing and hearing aid testing and consultation under the supervision of a certified and licensed audiologist.
  • State-of-the-art labs: We have an alternative communication (AAC) lab with devices you will use on the job as a speech-language pathologist. We also have a high-tech Voice and Swallowing Lab that provides you with practice in diagnosing and treating voice and swallowing disorders you will encounter in the medical and educational fields.


What can you do with a Speech-Language Pathology degree from UCM?

Speech-language pathologists are in high demand. Graduates of the University of Central Missouri’s bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology program typically find it easy to get a job or continue on to a graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology.

With our Speech-Language Pathology BS, you can find a job right away working as a speech-language pathology assistant (SLP-A) in local schools. However, most people with a degree in Communication Disorders or Speech-Language Pathology degree typically enroll in Speech-Language Pathology master’s degree programs, like the one at UCM. Either way, you’ll likely find that Speech-Language Pathology programs near you can be an added benefit as you consider your college and career options.

As a speech-language pathologist, you could work in hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, universities, long-term care facilities and private practice. You could even build your career as a traveling speech-language pathologist and work across the country.

With a BS in Speech-Language Pathology, you may also choose to apply directly to a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program. Audiologists help patients with hearing problems primarily by diagnosing hearing loss and fitting hearing assistive devices.

More on careers with a Speech Therapy degree

Use the interactive tool below to learn more about careers in speech-language pathology. You can search for Speech-Language Pathology programs near you or across the country to gain insights on salaries, projected job growth, career paths and more.




Financial assistance options for your degree in Communication Disorders

A BS in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Central Missouri is a valuable investment in your future. 

UCM also offers a variety of resources to help you finance your college education. In addition to scholarships available through the university to all eligible students, numerous scholarships are offered specifically to those enrolled in speech pathology classes, including:

  • Lawrence E. and Eva L. Flanders Scholarship in Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Marilynn Schmidt Communications Disorders Scholarship
  • Scottish Rite Annual Scholarship funded by the Scottish Rite Masons of Columbia, Missouri


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Take your degree further.


While you can find early-career jobs with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders or Speech-Language Pathology, most graduates continue their education in grad school programs, such as:

In fact, more than 90% of UCM graduates from the bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology stay at UCM for the Speech-Language Pathology MS program.

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Explore programs related to speech therapy.


Not sure an SLP degree is right for you? You may also be interested in the following undergraduate programs at UCM:


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