In Canada, a master's degree is required in order to become a speech-language pathologist. Program length varies from one year to three years, depending on the university. As of 2013, there are only nine accredited programs at universities in four Canadian provinces. As such, competition for available positions can be stiff, and top marks are required. Job prospects, once in the field are good -- unemployment is virtually zero. Women account for approximately 95 percent of speech-language pathologists in Canada.
There are only two accredited programs in the western provinces, and only one in British Columbia. The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program at the University of British Columbia lasts 21 to 36 months, depending on the student's undergraduate preparation. Students complete at least 30 credits and five clinical community placements. After their first year of study, students may choose to enroll in the PhD program.
The University of Alberta offer the master of science in speech-language pathology as a two-year degree that follows either the course-based or thesis-based track. Both require the same courses, but students in the course-based track complete a capstone project in speech pathology and audiology. Thesis-track students take an additional research data analysis course and complete a thesis.
Three Ontario universities offer two-year speech-language pathology programs: Western University in London, University of Toronto, and University of Ottawa. Western University offers either a master of clinical sciences or a combination masters/PhD program in speech-language science. The University of Toronto also offers a PhD program in addition to its masters of science degree in speech-language pathology. Finally, the University of Ottawa offers a French-language master of health sciences in speech degree.
McGill University in Montreal is the only English-language program for speech pathology in Quebec. It offers a two-year masters of science (applied) degree, as well as research training, resulting in either a masters of science or PhD. Both l'Université de Montréal and l'Université de Laval offer the professional masters degree in speech degree through the faculty of medicine. At Montreal, it is a one-year program, and at Laval, the program lasts a year and a half.
Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, offers the only speech-pathology program in the maritime provinces. The two-year masters of science program includes both a coursework component and a clinical placement. Approximately three second-year students are admitted into a thesis track program each year. All other students must complete a research project.
- Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: Universities
- Council for Accreditation of Canadian University Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology: Accreditation Status of University Programs
- Canadian Institute for Health Information: Speech-Language Pathologists
- SpeechandHearing.ca: Universities and Educational Programs
Kate Hillsing has been a freelance writer and editor since 2005. Prior to that, she put her diploma in business administration to work in executive search and outplacement firms. She writes parenting articles for various print publications.