What are the career prospects in audiology and speech-language pathology?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Outlook Handbook describes opportunities for speech-language pathologists as excellent. They note, “As the members of the baby boom generation continue to age, the possibility of neurological disorders and associated speech, language, and swallowing impairments increases.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks speech-language pathologist as #28 on its list of the 100 best jobs.

What can I do with an SLHS degree other than go to graduate school in speech-language pathology (MS-SLP) or audiology (AuD)?

Students can pursue careers as speech-language pathology assistants (SLPA) or work in related areas. They can attend other graduate programs such as: special education, social work, rehabilitation or mental health counseling, public health (MPH), health education, health law, or general education. They can also enjoy careers in research and development, marketing and promotion, sales for health products companies, academic advising, technology support, community outreach programs, employment search firms, and assisting families.

If I want to go to graduate school in speech-language pathology at BU, will my SLHS degree help me?

Students who complete the SLHS undergraduate degree with strong grades are well prepared for the Boston University MS-SLP program. The graduate program is excellent and Boston is an outstanding area for clinical practice in speech-language pathology.

If I want to go to graduate school in speech-language pathology or audiology outside of BU, will my SLHS degree help me?

The undergraduate curriculum in SLHS was designed to meet the requirements for entrance into graduate programs in speech-language pathology and audiology. Our students have successfully competed for admission to and have completed excellent MS-SLP and AuD programs across the country.

Can I get involved in clinical practice as an undergraduate?

Yes, your required courses include clinical experiences. For example, students in SH 531 Introduction to Communication Disorders observe clinic and SLHS majors are required to take SH 547 Introduction to Clinical Process, which will provide directed observations, fundamentals in clinical work, and a client session. In SH 547, you will earn 25 observation hours, required by ASHA prior to beginning clinical practice.

What volunteer opportunities are available?

Students are encouraged to participate in volunteer activities. Many have assisted in the Aphasia Resource Center, which is housed at Sargent College. And the Sargent College International Service Learning Program offers our students a unique opportunity to leverage their classroom knowledge to assist health care providers and community health workers in delivering basic healthcare needs to an under-served community.

These experiences can enhance your well-being, validate your commitment to a service profession, and contribute to your graduate school application. Students can contact local hospitals and clinics to locate volunteer opportunities, and SLHS faculty pass along requests they receive for volunteers. The BU Community Service Center is another excellent resource. The Boston Medical Center also welcomes volunteers and is accessible by the BU Shuttle. For more information, please visit Boston Medical Center Volunteer Services.

How do I get into the combined BS-MS program?

The combined program offers highly motivated students with excellent grades an opportunity to complete an undergraduate degree in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the end of the Fall semester following their sixth year of study at Boston University. The program includes 167 credits overall with 128 for the baccalaureate (BS) degree and 39 for the MS degree. To be admitted to this program, the student must:

  • achieve a GPA of 3.6 (or better) at the end of the first semester of junior year and a GPA of 3.75 (or better) in the six speech, language and hearing sciences courses.
  • have completed all natural science requirements, at least six SLHS courses, and both of the required psychology courses
  • have earned a minimum of 54 credits earned at Boston University

Students will be invited to apply to this program in the fall of their junior year.

What minors are available for me as a major in SLHS?

Students in Sargent College are eligible to enroll in all of the minors offered by CAS and CFA. There is also a business administration minor in SMG and three minors in SED: Deaf Studies; General Education; and Physical Education, Health Education & Coaching.

How many students will be in my classes?

The undergraduate courses in SLHS are generally small, about 25–30 students.

What if I decide to transfer to another major?

The Academic Services Center (Room 207 in Sargent) can help you with the paperwork and any questions you might have about other majors at BU. Their phone number is 617-353-2713. Because the SLHS major provides a strong liberal arts background, transferring to another major is often straightforward.

Can I complete the pre-med requirements as an SLHS major?

Yes, the chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus requirements can fit into the SLHS course plan. We’ve had a number of students go on to medical school or other medical-related profession. Sargent College works closely with our colleagues in CAS at the Pre-Professional Advising office to provide and coordinate information needed by pre-med students.

Is it difficult to transfer into the SLHS major?

A GPA of 2.0 is required to transfer into SLHS but we advise students who wish to pursue graduate studies that a 3.0 is necessary.

Is financial aid available?

Financial information and assistance for undergraduate students is provided through BU Financial Assistance at 881 Commonwealth Avenue, 617-353-2965. Please visit their website for information on costs, scholarships, and financial aid.

Can I get BU course credits for my AP test credits?

Generally, if you have received a score of 4 or 5 on an AP test, Sargent College will award you credits for equivalent coursework at Boston University. Specific information about AP credits and the International Baccalaureate process is available on the Admissions website’s Advanced Credit Guide.