16 Aug

Clinical Doctorate via ASHAleader

As someone who has seriously considered the idea of pursuing a doctorate in speech-language pathology these issues have crossed my mind more than once.

I find it rather frustrating that as an SLP I have to have a 4 year Bachelor’s degree and a two-year Master’s degree to be certified, and the doctorate is at least a four year commitment. Then when you look as associated professions such as audiology or physical therapy – they skip the Master’s part of training and receive a three-four year doctorate post-Bachelor. Their doctorate is shorter but mandated, ours is longer and elective. It’s like we’re punished for wanting to further our education. If the SLP doctorate became required would it be reduced from 6 to 3 years? Even a JD is three years and that is to learn the whole LAW. That sounds downright awful but after three years those people have a juris doctorate. Why does it take a longer amount of time, and as such a greater amount of money, to receive a comparable degree to the audiology and physical therapy doctorates? Is it some kind of prideful prestige thing?

“Bahaha my doctorate took three years longer to obtain than yours!”

All you hear about is the shortage of doctorates in CMDS professions but that shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the ten years of education needed.

Granted, in this article they point out that we likely won’t have to worry about a change in the requirements like AUD and PT had to deal with. But if you want more elective Ph.Ds, ScDs, and CScDs there needs to be more consideration for the life most people are ready to lead once they graduate. I want to get STARTED. I want to get out into the world. I don’t want to jump into a four year program after I graduated with my Master’s degree five seconds ago. And I’m not going to want to do it when I’m thirty five with kids and job and a dog and a white picket fence. I would absolutely love to teach one day and I enjoy doing research but I’m over it with schooling (for the time being). There needs to be more PR for recruiting and more benefits to really suck me in, because right now there are definitely more cons than pros. And I can teach, supervise, and do research without a doctorate of any kind – someone please tell me what the point is. Someone needs to explain WHY I should get any doctorate in speech-language pathology. Where is the benefit? What are the perks?

And not only that but what is actually available to me? Where can I get a doctoral degree that isn’t going to require me to move across the country? The state of Missouri has TWO programs that offer doctorates – one of which MAYBE lost their funding (from what I hear) (does anyone actually know?) and the other offers a PhD in speech and hearing sciences (NOT the same as a SLP-Ph.D/CScD). I think it is great that U of Pittsburgh has created a clinical PhD – but when can I expect to have one somewhere within 200 miles of my home? A CScD would likely be a positive thing, but the practicality of it is questionable – we definitely need more information and more debate. Get your feathers ruffled and start chatting SLPeeps.

Ok. I’m done ranting for now. I love you speech-path, sometimes your scope really baffles me though.

(Also, please read another view on this topic: slowdog)

One Response to “interesting”


  1. how much scope is too much scope? « so to Speak - September 6, 2011

    […] training is experience based rather than classroom or clinic based. Perhaps this is a case where an elective clinical doctorate might be more practical – it could provide more coursework, more clinical experience, and […]

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