Bridging Program in Speech Language Pathology

Are you:

  • Interested in becoming a speech language pathologist, but not a speech language pathology major?
  • Changing careers and need to meet the requirements for graduate school?
  • Interested in becoming a licensed SLPA?

This post-baccalaureate program increases access to graduate training programs in speech-language pathology by creating a “bridge” for students with undergraduate degrees in other fields or for students who lack one or more required courses for entry to a graduate program.

Advantages of the Bridge Program:

  • Prepares you for CSD/SLP graduate programs through a comprehensive prerequisite program
  • Clinical opportunities on campus before you start your master’s program
  • Begin developing meaningful professional connections
  • Can lead to licensure as an SLPA in the state of Indiana
  • Saint Mary’s graduates may earn a second bachelor’s degree

Career Prospects

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that careers in speech-language pathology will grow much faster than the average job growth rate—increasing by 25% from 2019 to 2029. Speech language pathologists work in various settings;

  • Elementary, middle and high schools
  • Home health agencies and rehabilitation centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Hospitals and outpatient clinics
  • Offices of ear, nose and throat doctors

Speech Language Pathology is a rewarding career where you will be able to help your clients improve the quality of their lives through communication. Our curriculum is designed to provide you with the foundation to either start working as a speech language pathology assistant in Indiana or continue on to graduate school to become a speech language pathologist who can practice just about anywhere.

Completing my prerequisites at Saint Mary’s, I learned how friendly and supportive the professors are in making sure we understand the material and what it means to be an SLP in the field. Taking these prerequisites at SMC, I have an even better foundation and that will help me feel more prepared for graduate school next fall.
Vivian N., student

Curriculum

This program is designed to allow students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline to complete most* of the prerequisite courses in speech language pathology for graduate school in one year (fall, spring, summer). Saint Mary’s College has both the course work and clinical practicum that allows you get ahead in the field. Our curriculum combines academic theory, practical applications, and clinical experience all while you develop meaningful connections with your professors and other speech language pathologists.

These bridge courses, often called leveling courses, ensure that all students beginning a master’s program in speech language pathology have equal levels of preparation.

Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterCredits
SLP 220 Introduction to Communicative Disorders 3
SLP 240 Phonetics 3
SLP 334 Evaluation Procedures in Speech and Language Pathology 3
SLP 340 Audiology for the Speech-Language Pathologist 3
SLP 450 Multi-Cultural Populations: Communication Disorders Across Cultures 3
 Credits15
Second Semester
SLP 230 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism 3
SLP 310 Child Language Development 3
SLP 330 Speech and Hearing Sciences 3
SLP 350 Speech Sound Disorders 3
SLP 412 Clinical Methods and Supervised Observation 3
SLP 420 Aural Rehabilitation 3
 Credits18
Third Semester
Optional Summer Semester  
SLP 485 SLP Clinical Practicum 3
You'll also need physical, biological, and behavioral science courses and a statistics course (often completed with your first bachelor's degree).  
 Credits3
 Total Credits36

After the two-semester sequence, you will have completed the prerequisite coursework necessary to apply to most graduate programs in speech-language pathology. Completing the sequence does not guarantee admission into Saint Mary's graduate program in speech-language pathology.

Enrollment in the Bridge Program – No application Process!

To enroll in the Bridge Program, simply complete the registration form and arrange for your transcripts to be sent to Saint Mary’s. There is no application process, however, space is limited and enrollment is subject to availability.

Contact the Office of Graduate Studies with any questions about registering for the program.

Tuition and Fees

  • Tuition rates are currently $890 per credit hour.
  • Additional fees may apply for specific courses or course requirements, like a background check.
  • Only pay for the courses you need.

Financial Aid

Typically, federal financial aid is not available to non-degree seeking students. A limited number of partial scholarships will be awarded each year.

Admission to Master's Program from the Bridge Program:

  1. Completed the following prerequisite courses - department requirements: SLP 220, 230, 240, 310, 330, 334, 340, 350, 412, 420, 450.
  2. Completed the following prerequisite courses / equivalent requirements that meet CAA standards: biological science course, physical science course, intro to psychology course, psychology course that covers lifespan, and statistics.
  3. Earned at least a GPA of 3.25 in SLP foundation courses (SLP 220, 230, 240, 310, 330).
  4. A minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  5. Meet the essential functions required to practice as a speech language pathologist
  6. Successfully completed a criminal background check, fingerprint check, and drug screen before entering the MS SLP.