Some of Georgia's biggest universities in the state offer speech pathology degrees that are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
The Atlanta area not only has plenty of opportunities, but there is a Master's degree in speech-language pathology at Georgia State University. Other colleges on the list include the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University.
These Master's degrees will satisfy one of many requirements needed to become a licensed SLP professional in the state. There are no Doctorate programs available in the state that have been accredited.
Popular Cities in Georgia with SLP Degrees
Atlanta is the home of Georgia State University, which has the largest enrollment overall for any public university in the state.
In all, there are SLP programs accredited by the ASHA in five of the top nine universities in terms of enrollment, and these locations that host accredited institutions are at Athens, Carrolltown, Savannah, and Valdosta.
Organized in Buford, there is the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association that provides networking opportunities and hosts conventions that are specific to SLP and audiology professionals.
Georgia State University - Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Approximately 30 students each fall semester begin their speech pathology program through the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State. Depending on the background of the student, they will need either 63 credit hours if they have a Bachelor's degree in a related field, or 90 credit hours from any other discipline. In total, this is between two to three years of education, and admittance takes place only in the fall. Students looking to get into the program requires submission with a personal statement, updated resume, GRE scores, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.
Examples of required courses that are taken in the program are Neuroscience for Communication, Voice Science and Disorders, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, and Research Methods in Communication Disorders. There are 60 credit hours worth of courses required, and in the accelerated version, three credits are needed at courses in the 6000 level or higher as an elective. Three semesters will feature clinical experience on campus and an additional two semesters away from campus as an internship.
University of Georgia - Master of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders
The College of Education has a non-thesis program that provides certification by the ASHA and licensure for the state of Georgia. Prospective students that are looking for program opportunities can have a hands-on experience with the program in an open house during the fall, and the deadline to submit applications is in January. In order to get into the program, students need to have a Bachelor's degree in a related field, or at the very least, have completed enough coursework that will prepare them for the graduate program.
Students will be administered in July each year to allow for buffer room when completing prerequisite courses through the fall semester. The curriculum consists of various research methods when it comes to discovering and analyzing speech and swallowing disorders for differing age groups. The clinical practicum portion of the degree requires at least 403 total hours of experience - 378 hours of supervised activity.
SLP Licensure in Georgia
Licensures in the state are given by the Georgia Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. There are many requirements needed in order to gain a license when it comes to diagnosing and working with patients that have communication and motor disorders.
The application requires a fee and detailed information with documented proof on any necessary questions, along with any criminal convictions in their history that the board can oversee and rule on in terms of eligibility.
Included in the application must be a college transcript that shows completion of a Master's degree, clinical clock hours that meet the 400-hour requirement, Praxis scores, and ASHA verification.
SLP Licensure Reciprocity
Many professionals that have licensure from other states can be endorsed by the Georgia Board for speech-language pathology or audiology – 32 states including the District of Columbia.
The remaining states will be approved for SLP licenses only with the exception of South Carolina, which is not currently recognized. Those that need to reinstate their license will need to submit a bigger application form that explains why they let their license lapse and should provide continuing education with a description of courses that are being taken.
Georgia SLP Career Options
There are many opportunities in the Atlanta location for speech-language pathologists, but some of the more popular companies across the state looking for positions include ABLE Pediatrics Health Services, RightStart Therapy Services, Aegis Therapies, and various staffing agencies looking to fill in contract work for schools and universities.
The SLP position at ABLE Pediatrics in Savannah is a full-time opportunity that will work normal business hours and requires certification from ASHA and at least one year of professional experience. Benefits include paid holidays and 120 hours of paid time off each year.
Another opportunity for a speech-language pathologist is at RightStart Therapy in Athens. They should be prepared to work with clients of any nature, have tremendous communication skills, and have proficiency when using a laptop and documenting reports. This position offers competitive hourly rates or a salary based on experience with referral bonuses and a stipend toward further education. Requirements needed for the position are a Master’s degree from an accredited ASHA university and the Georgia state licensure.