How to Become a Speech Language Pathologist in Texas

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As the number of children needing special services to manage or correct a disability grows, so does the need for speech language pathologists. While the requirements to be a certified speech language pathologist vary from state to state, these steps provide the information you need on how to become a speech language pathologist in Texas.

  • Earn your bachelor’s degree. While it does take a master’s degree in order to get licensed as a speech language pathologist in Texas, the first step is to earn your bachelor’s degree. Since speech language pathology isn’t a degree offered to undergraduates, most students get their bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, since this focuses on problems with speech, language and hearing.

  • Find a speech language pathology program in the state of Texas to earn your master’s degree. Only 13 colleges and universities offer master degree programs in Speech Language Pathology. They include Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Lamar University, Our Lady of the Lake University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas A & M (Kingsville location), Texas State University (San Marcos location), Texas Tech University, Texas Woman’s University, University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas (Dallas, Austin, El Paso and Pan American locations) and West Texas A & M. You should request information from a number of these institutions before making a decision about which program is the best fit for your future career goals.

  • Gain acceptance into an approved master’s degree program. Due to the limited number of programs in the state of Texas, each college or university has an application process for admission. Most applications are due in early spring between January 1 and March 31. However, you should check with the schools you are interested in attending for exact dates.

  • Complete a master’s degree in speech language pathology. After you’ve been accepted as a student in a program, the hard work of earning your degree begins. Most programs take between two and three years to complete.

  • Get your internship license and successfully complete internship. Successful completion of an internship is needed in order to get your official certification and licensure as a speech language pathologist. Once you have graduated with your master’s degree, you can apply for an intern license through the state of Texas. There is an application process to get your intern license, and it can be found at the Department of State Health Services link below. You will need to submit proof of a degree as well as at least 375 hours of clinical experience, which should have been completed as part of the curriculum for your master’s degree.

  • Take and pass the Praxis exam. Passage of the national Praxis exam is an important step in getting your license. The test is coordinated by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and a score of 600 or better is needed to qualify for a license to practice speech and language pathology.

  • Apply for your license. After you have finished your internship and passed the Praxis exam, you can apply for your official license. The application form can be found through the website of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) at the link below.

Tips & Warnings

  • A few master’s degree programs do allow students to start the program in January as opposed to the traditional fall start date. The application deadline for these programs is generally October 1.
  • Continuing education is a requirement in order to maintain licensure in the state of Texas after you receive it.
  • One university in Texas (University of Texas at Austin) does provide the option to earn a doctoral degree in speech language pathology.
  • If you have obtained a degree from a college or university outside of Texas or have been practicing as a speech and language pathologist in another state, you will need to have a license from the state of Texas before you begin seeing patients.
  • The Praxis pass rate for students, program completion rate and job placement rate are all things to look at and consider when trying to select a college or university for your master’s degree in speech language pathology.
  • It is illegal in the state of Texas to practice as a speech language pathologist without a license.

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