Bachelor of Science in SPA (B.S.) | Kent State University

Bachelor of Science in SPA (B.S.)

Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology & Audiology

About the Major: The Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology is a pre-professional program focusing on the basic sciences of human communication, as well as the evaluation and treatment of communication disorders. This program provides a firm foundation for continuing to the master's degree in speech-language pathology or the doctorate in audiology. The curriculum integrates a sequence of coursework designed to provide a strong liberal arts background and an understanding of normal and disordered aspects of the human communication process. Specific coursework includes anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms, speech science, hearing science, neurology, phonetics, normal speech and language development, speech and language disorders, audiometry, and aural rehabilitation. Speech-language pathologists are required to hold a master’s degree, while audiologists hold a doctorate in audiology. Both are employed in a variety of settings, including rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, community clinics, private practice, research laboratories and colleges and universities. Upon complete of the major in SPA, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of speech, language, and hearing processes and disorders in children and adults
  • Demonstrate the skills and dispositions necessary to be successful speech-language pathologists, audiologists, or other health and human services professionals
  • Utilize the knowledge and skills acquired during their undergraduate SPA program of study to gain entry into graduate programs in Speech Pathology, Audiology, and or related fields, or accept positions in Health and Cognitive sciences related professions

Why are speech pathology & audiology outstanding fields to consider?

  • Faster than average growth rates: 18% - 21% growth rate for employment, as compared to 7% average for all other occupations (1.5% unemployment rate)
  • Median salaries are around $75,000 per year
  • SLPs and Audiologists have a high degree of job satisfaction

For more information see Bureau of Labor Statistics for Speech Pathology & Audiology and  American Speech-Language Hearing Association Student Information

Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

Admission to this major is selective. A minimum 3.000 GPA is required to be admitted to the major. The College of Education, Health and Human Services considers a student to have established a Kent State University GPA after the student has successfully completed a minimum of 12 Kent State University credit hours. Undergraduate students who have not completed a minimum of 12 Kent State University credit hours will be evaluated for admission into programs, advanced study, and the professional phase based on their high school GPA for new freshmen, or transfer GPA for transfer students. Once a student has successfully completed a minimum of 12 Kent State University credit hours, only the student’s Kent State overall GPA will be considered for admission into a program, advanced study and professional phase.

All students in the speech pathology and audiology undergraduate program must be admitted to the professional phase prior to being able to register for most upper division SPA courses. To apply for the professional phase students must have a cummulative GPA of 3.0 and 60+ earned/in progress hours. The application cycle for the professional phase is open three times per year:

  • December 1 - 2nd week of Spring semester
  • May 1 - June 1
  • August 1 - 2nd week of Fall semester

Applications for the professional phase are submitted through the EHHS Student Portal

Coursework Requirements

The total number of required credit hours is 120, which includes the following coursework (see Roadmap):

  • one hour for University Orientation
  • 36 hours for Liberal Education Requirements (some of which are prescribed)
  • 40 hours for courses in the major
  • nine hours of other prescribed courses
  • 34 hours of electives * 
  • Undergraduate students accrue a minimum of 25 clinical observation hours in preparation for practicum at the graduate level

* Under the electives, students can count up to 12 hours of graduate coursework toward the required elective hours if they are in the combined baccalaureate-master's program. This reduces the number of required elective courses by 12. Procedures for obtaining these hours are posted in the department.