The bachelor's degree is a pre-professional degree and is not sufficient for practice as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. At Eastern Illinois University, a bachelor's degree in communication disorders and sciences requires 120 semester hours of coursework and is typically completed in four years. Undergraduates begin treating clients in Eastern's Speech Clinic during their senior year. Transfer Students with an associates degree complete a bachelors degree in two years without an undergraduate clinical assignment or two and a half years if they opt to enroll in clinic as an undergraduate.
The master's degree is a professional entry degree. Eastern's master's degree in communication disorders prepares students to practice speech-language pathology and requires 46 to 47 semester hours of advanced study. Typically, graduate students require six consecutive full-time semesters to complete the program. The usual program includes four semesters (summer-fall-spring-summer) of advanced coursework and clinical practicum followed by two 14-week internships, one in the schools and one in a hospital or other medical setting. A new distance education master's degree program for speech assistants/aides is a three-year program in which students enroll in courses and clinical practicum at EIU during the 6-week summer term each of three summers and enroll in courses via distance technology as they remain employed in the school setting during the school year for two years. The final two semesters of the program involve full-time internships in medical and educational settings. For more information about the traditional two-year on-campus master's degree program or the distance education master's degree program for speech assistants, click on the Graduate CDS Programs link above.