Course Content Areas Related to 2014 SLP Certification Standards

The Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) is the council that carefully writes the rules and regulations for certification in audiology and speech-language pathology. The CFCC has written the 2014 SLP Standards for Certification, which outlines exactly what is needed to receive the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), a voluntary certification showing that you have met rigorous academic and professional standards, and have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to provide high quality clinical services. These requirements must be met by all applicants, whether educated in the United States or internationally. The Certification Department at ASHA ensures that all standards are equally applied to, and met by, all applicants.

The following course content information is provided as a guide to suggested areas of content in addressing the Basic Sciences requirement in SLP Certification Standard IV-A.

Academic Coursework Requirements

All courses and classes listed in Standards IV-A through IV-C must be completed (passed) at the college level. They must appear on your undergraduate or graduate transcripts. Classes taken at the high school level are not eligible to meet this requirement, with the exception of advanced placement (AP) courses that appear for credit on your college/university transcript.

Coursework in the areas of biological sciences, physical sciences, and statistics cannot be related to speech-language pathology, audiology, communication sciences, hearing sciences, or logopedia. They are typically taken at the undergraduate level, and are available to students that are not in the speech-language pathology or audiology major. Any courses listed on your transcript or in your program descriptions that are related to speech-language pathology, audiology, communication sciences, hearing sciences, or logopedia in the title, required texts, or program description will not be accepted.

Coursework Deficiencies

If you are found to be deficient in any coursework, the coursework must be completed at an accredited college or university program prior to beginning your clinical fellowship (CF); time spent in your clinical fellowship before completing these courses will not count toward your total (1,260) clinical fellowship hours. Once the deficient coursework has been completed, you must obtain an official transcript showing completion of the courses and submit this with your application.

Options for Completing Deficient Coursework

  • accredited colleges or universities (in-person/ live classes)
  • local community colleges
  • accredited online colleges or universities
  • "Examination for Credit" options: Several accredited universities offer this option. These are acceptable if the examination is through an accredited university program that issues an official transcript showing college course credit.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • CLEP exams test mastery of college-level material.
    • CLEP exam scores are accepted by many US institutions in lieu of completing coursework.
    • CLEP exam scores must be submitted to and accepted by your college or university program.
    • You must submit an official letter or transcript showing that your college or university has accepted your CLEP exam score in lieu of coursework. Coursework or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores that do not appear on an academic transcript will not be accepted. 

Coursework Not Accepted for Completing Deficient Coursework

Coursework from massive open online courses (MOOCs) are not accepted. Examples of MOOCs include, but are not limited to: Educause, MOOC.org, edX, Coursera, and Khan Academy.

Biological Sciences

What is biology? The study and characterization of living organisms and the investigation of the science behind living things. Broad areas include: anatomy, biophysics, cell and molecular biology, computational biology, ecology and evolution, environmental biology, forensic biology, genetics, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biosciences, natural science, neurobiology, physiology and zoology.

Classes evaluated by your credential evaluation agency as the equivalent of U.S. high school will not be accepted.  All basic science classes must appear on your academic transcript and/or credential evaluation report. 

Possible Content Areas for General Biology

  • General biology
  • Cellular biology: the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms; they may exist as independent units of life (as in monads) or may form colonies or tissues as in higher plants and animals
  • Cybernetics biology: the field of science concerned with processes of communication and control (especially the comparison of these processes in biological and artificial systems)
  • Bioscience, life science: any of the branches of natural science dealing with the structure and behavior of living organisms
  • Ecology: the branch of biology concerned with the relations between organisms and their environment
  • Cytology: the branch of biology that studies the structure and function of cells
  • Embryology: the branch of biology that studies the formation and early development of living organisms
  • Evolutionism, theory of evolution, Theory of organic evolution: a scientific theory of the origin of species of plants and animals
  • Genetic science, genetics: the branch of biology that studies heredity and variation in organisms
  • Microbiology: the branch of biology that studies microorganisms and their effects on humans
  • Molecular biology: the branch of biology that studies the structure and activity of macromolecules essential to life (and especially with their genetic role)
  • Morphology: the branch of biology that deals with the structure of animals and plants
  • Neurobiology: the branch of biology that deals with the anatomy and physiology and pathology of the nervous system
  • Physiology: the branch of the biological sciences dealing with the functioning of organisms
  • Radiobiology: the branch of biology that studies the effects of radiation on living organisms
  • Sociobiology: the branch of biology that conducts comparative studies of the social organization of animals,  including human beings, with regard to its evolutionary history 

Basic Physical Sciences

What is basic physics? The science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force. A broad survey of physics principles to enable students to appreciate the role of physics in everyday experiences in today's society and technology.  

Classes evaluated by your credential evaluation agency as the equivalent of U.S. high school will not be accepted.  All basic science classes must appear on your academic transcript and/or credential evaluation report. 

Possible Content Areas for Basic Physical Sciences

  • Basic physical principles for non-majors
  • Basic principles of mechanics
  • Basic principles of sound
  • Basic principles of thermodynamics
  • Basic principles of optics
  • Basic principles of electricity and magnetism
  • Courses may include practical examples of the role of physics in other disciplines

Basic Chemistry

What is basic chemistry? Selected concepts and topics designed to give students an appreciation for how chemistry impacts everyday life, especially energy and the environment; the study of substances.

Classes evaluated by your credential evaluation agency as the equivalent of U.S. high school will not be accepted.  All basic science classes must appear on your academic transcript and/or credential evaluation report. 

Possible Course Content Areas for Basic Chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Chemical bonding
  • Radioactivity
  • Behavior of gases and solutions
  • Behavior of acid and bases
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Functional groups and important biological molecules
  • Chemical principles in human or animal physiology

Statistics

What is statistics? As defined by the American Statistical Association (ASA), statistics is "the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty; and it thereby provides the navigation essential for controlling the course of scientific and societal advances."

Courses not accepted:

  • any directly related to communication sciences and disorders
  • any research methods coursework taught in lieu of, or in the absence of, basic statistics (If statistics and research methods courses were taught in conjunction with each other, you must submit a course description showing a clear delineation between the two in order for them to be accepted.)

Classes evaluated by your credential evaluation agency as the equivalent of U.S. high school will not be accepted.  All basic science classes must appear on your academic transcript and/or credential evaluation report.

Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences

What are social sciences and behavioral sciences? The systematic analysis and investigation of human and animal behavior through controlled and naturalistic observation and disciplined scientific experimentation. These areas of study attempt to accomplish legitimate, objective conclusions through rigorous formulations and observation.

Possible Content Areas for Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Ethnic and cultural studies
  • Archaeology
  • Area studies
  • Economics
  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Geography organizational studies
  • Political science

Possible Content Areas for Behavioral Sciences

  • Psychology
  • Psychobiology
  • Criminology and cognitive science

Classes evaluated by your credential evaluation agency as the equivalent of U.S. high school will not be accepted.  All basic science classes must appear on your academic transcript and/or credential evaluation report.

ASHA Corporate Partners