Skip navigation

Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Start your journey to a rewarding, engaging career helping a range of people living with speech, language and hearing disabilities. The University of Central Oklahoma’s Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology is a pre-professional program preparing you for rigorous graduate-level studies that open the door to certification and licensure.

Setting you up to excel, this bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology takes an interdisciplinary approach. Coursework introduces you to concepts in neuroscience, physiology, speech and language disorders, the natural sciences and teaching techniques. As you progress through the program, field and practicum experiences highlight key aspects of assessing and treating a number of conditions across multiple populations.

Those interested must first submit a permission form and transcripts during the fall semester of their freshman year to begin the course sequence in the spring and are advised to select university core courses based on prerequisite requirements. Then, should you be accepted into the Master of Science in speech-language pathology at UCO, your undergraduate credits help you complete the graduate program in six semesters, compared to the typical eight-semester structure. 

About the Bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose and treat disorders related to speech and language, including cognitive communication, vocal, swallowing and fluency conditions. Your undergraduate studies anticipate this pathway. Courses across general education, speech-language pathology, teaching and electives expose you to the academic rigor, theories and clinical experiences you should expect in a corresponding graduate program. 

Getting you here, UCO structures the bachelor’s in speech-language pathology as a successive sequence, with each course functioning as a prerequisite of the next. In the process, subjects cover related special education, early childhood, family relations, child development and psychology topics, as well as technical competencies you’ll need in your graduate studies and eventually as a practicing speech-language pathologist in various settings.

In addition to preparing to you to apply to a master’s–level speech-language pathology, communication sciences and disorders or audiology program, your undergraduate studies:

  • Deliver in-depth exposure to the biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics and social and behavioral sciences;
  • Help you understand basic human communication processes, including biological, acoustic, psychological, developmental and linguistic, and cultural contexts;
  • Require you to synthesize, analyze and evaluate a variety of scientific and educational concepts;
  • Introduce you to communication disorders and differences speech-language pathologists regularly diagnose and treat; and,
  • Cover current professional, ethical and clinical practice issues in the speech-language pathology field.

Experience and Practicum Assignments

Each student must complete 30 hours of directed observation of clinical evaluation and treatment procedures prior to enrolling in a practicum assignment. While there is no required minimum for a given disorder or age group, students must observe a variety and range of clinical procedures related to each disorder area and age group, as well as including evaluation and treatment procedures.

A select group of undergraduate students who have met rigorous academic standards and who have completed the 30 clock hours of directed observation will participate in a supervised clinical practicum during their senior year. This practicum is on campus at the UCO Scott F. McLaughlin Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Oklahoma School for the Deaf Regional Preschool.

Permission to Enroll in Beginning Course Sequence

Students who plan to begin the speech-language pathology program are invited to enroll in the beginning sequence of courses in the Fall of their Junior year.  Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in the Fall Junior/Prerequisite courses to request permission to enroll in the Spring Junior/Prerequisite courses.  These Fall Junior level courses are prerequisites and lead into the spring prerequisite courses. For information regarding the prerequisites and course sequences, please visit page nine of the Speech-Language Pathology Student Handbook. Students must fill out the permission form below to be considered for the Spring Junior courses.



Across 124 credit hours, the bachelor’s in speech-language pathology encompasses four areas of coursework.

  • University Core: Preparation for certification begins with the general education courses you select as an undergraduate. Both to enter the bachelor’s track and eventually apply to a master’s program, you’re advised to take courses in English, behavioral and social sciences, biology, physics, chemistry and statistics.
  • Professional Teacher Education: Many speech-language pathologists find themselves interacting with student populations. In thinking about this possible career and required certification, your undergraduate course sequence goes over principles of the U.S. education system, concepts in developmental psychology and assisting students with disabilities. This series starts to involve field experiences and clinical observations. 
  • Speech-Language Pathology Major: You’ll learn in-depth about speech and language disorders, from assessing and diagnosing to treating a spectrum of individuals living with these conditions. Along with coursework, this sequence involves two practicum assignments.
  • Electives: Broaden your knowledge of acoustics, linguistics, early childhood education and other speech-language pathology concepts to better understand lifespan development, support culturally diverse populations and assist individuals living with mental health conditions. 

As a stepping stone to a graduate program, courses in speech-language pathology go over:

  • The fundamental principles of speech-language pathology, audiology and treatment for communication disorders;
  • The behavioral, cognitive and linguistic concepts of language development;
  • Fluency and language disorders, including identifying, evaluating and treating these conditions;
  • Acoustic phonetics, or the science of sound, and how they influence speech patterns;
  • Assessing and treating articulation and phonology disorders;
  • The anatomy and neurophysiology of vocal mechanism and voice disorders;
  • Methods and devices for treating sensory and auditory disorders;
  • The anatomy, neurology and physiology involved in hearing, speech, voice and language acquisition;
  • Cultural diversity in accessing speech-language services and treatment; and,
  • Populations assessed by speech-language pathologists, including children with autism spectrum disorders and individuals living with a traumatic brain injury, developmental disability or genetic condition. 

Review the full degree program and list of courses

Careers in Speech-Language Pathology

Students who continue onto the Master of Science in speech-language pathology at UCO are eligible to pursue the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology licensure and Oklahoma State Department of Education teacher certification. UCO’s Master of Science in speech-language pathology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology.

In striving toward this outcome, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identified 29% more positions for speech-language pathologists between 2020 and 2030. Opportunities are available in:

  • Public schools;
  • Hospitals;
  • Rehabilitation agencies;
  • State guidance centers; and, 
  • Early intervention agencies.

The knowledge gained with your undergraduate degree further helps you start a career as a speech-language pathology assistant or in a related area like research, community outreach or health care administration. 

To establish yourself professionally and grow your network, take advantage of these opportunities in the Oklahoma City metro, which may spark your interest and even boost your resume:

Get a Head Start with a Bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology from UCO

If you envision a future uplifting others through a combination of behavioral science and teaching skills, jumpstart your career with a Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology from UCO. For any questions about the program, request additional information today