For those intrigued by the intricacies of human communication and a desire to make a meaningful impact, becoming a speech-language pathologist (SLP) is both rewarding and fulfilling. Understand the steps, requirements, and opportunities involved in becoming a speech-language pathologist, from education to clinical experiences.

Navigating the Path: Understanding How to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

The pursuit of becoming a speech-language pathologist begins with a clear understanding of the profession. Speech-language pathologists are experts in diagnosing and treating communication and swallowing disorders across diverse age groups. Examples include, working with children with language and literacy issues, and helping adults with communication difficulties induced by strokes or other conditions

Foundational Education: Earning a Bachelor's Degree

The first step toward a career in speech-language pathology is obtaining a bachelor's degree. While there is no rigid requirement for a specific major, many aspiring SLPs choose fields such as communication sciences and disorders, linguistics, or psychology. The undergraduate phase provides a foundational understanding of language development, anatomy, and communication processes.

Graduate Education: Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

To practice as a licensed speech-language pathologist, a master's degree in speech-language pathology is required. Pursuing advanced education provides an in-depth exploration of speech and language disorders, diagnostic methods, and therapeutic interventions. This phase is where aspiring SLPs hone their clinical skills through hands-on experiences and supervised practicum.

The MGH Institute of Health Professions stands as a leader in speech-language pathology education and research. As the graduate school affiliate of Mass General Brigham, it offers a cutting-edge program and clinicals, ensuring students receive a comprehensive education in this field.

Clinical Practicum and Internship Experiences

Clinical experiences are the bedrock of an SLP's education. As part of the master's program, students at the MGH Institute engage in foundational clinical practicum experiences in state-of-the-art Speech, Language and Literacy Center mentored by faculty clinical experts, and multiple experiences in our affiliated clinical sites.  During your second year, students receive opportunities for clinical placements over three to four semesters at more than 200 prominent hospitals, clinics, centers and schools. As the only degree-granting affiliate of Mass General Brigham (MGB), the Institute gives you access to MGB's top hospitals and clinical sites. These hands-on training opportunities allow students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings and develop essential clinical skills.

Meeting Speech-Language Pathologist Requirements for Licensure

Licensure is a critical requirement to practice as an SLP. Graduates of the MGH Institute of Health Professions meet the national academic and clinical standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and are eligible for licensure in any state in the U.S.  


The Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the MGH Institute of Health Professions offers unique opportunities for students to concentrate in the areas of literacy, medical SLP, neurogenics, voice, early intervention, and autism.  

Building a Career: Job Opportunities and Professional Development

Armed with the necessary education and licensure, speech-language pathologists can explore diverse career opportunities. SLPs work in various settings, including schools, healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers, and private practices. Professional development is continuous, with SLPs attending conferences, joining professional organizations, and pursuing advanced certifications.


Becoming a speech-language pathologist intertwines passion, education, and dedication. From foundational education to specialized training and licensure, the path to becoming an SLP is challenging and fulfilling. Institutions like the MGH Institute of Health Professions play a pivotal role in shaping SLPs, offering cutting-edge education and research opportunities.

With a commitment to ongoing education, clinical practice, and staying attuned to advancements in the field, individuals aspiring to become SLPs can contribute significantly to improving the lives of those facing communication challenges.