Frequently Asked Questions

Online Bachelor of Health Science with a Major in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Online BHS-CMS Program

Admissions

Q: If I have an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a Florida public community/state college or university, am I automatically admissible?
A: No. You must also complete a set of prerequisite courses. There are many factors that determine whether you are admissible. Please see the http://slhs.phhp.ufl.edu/academics/undergrad/for-prospective-applicants-to-the-major/ for more information.

Q: Can I transfer without a Florida Associate of Arts (AA) degree?
A: Yes. However, the AA degree makes for a much smoother transition to the Online BHS-CMS Program. An AA degree from a Florida public community college ensures that you meet General Education and Math & Writing requirements for admission (see the http://slhs.phhp.ufl.edu/academics/undergrad/for-prospective-applicants-to-the-major/ for more information). If you are admitted to our program without an AA degree, you will have to meet those requirements with coursework outside of the Online BHS-CMS Program as you progress towards graduation.

Q: I will have an AA degree, but over 60 hours of credit. Will I be able to transfer more than 60 credits?
A: All of your academic credits will appear on your UF transcript. Students must complete 48 upper division credit hours in the Online BHS-CMS Program. All college and major requirements must be completed at UF to earn the Bachelor of Health Science degree with a Major in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Florida. Students can transfer up to 12 credit hours of approved, upper division coursework into the program.

Q: I repeated a course at my former college. Are you going to count the first grade I earned when calculating my prerequisite GPA for admission?
A: Yes. We count all attempts of the prerequisite courses required for admission. Unlike some Florida community colleges, we do not use “grade forgiveness” when calculating your prerequisite GPA. Similarly, every grade you earn at UF will count in your UF GPA.

Q: Is the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) required for admission?
A: No. The GRE is not required for admission to the Online BHS-CMS Program or to complete post baccalaureate coursework.

Q: If I already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, can I complete the Online BHS-CMS Program to earn a second bachelor’s degree?
A: There are no advantages to earning a second bachelor’s degree (60 hours) over completing the prerequisites for graduate admission (27 hours). If you are interested in becoming a Speech Language Pathologist or Audiologist, you must earn an advanced degree to practice. Completing a second bachelor’s degree (and the additional elective courses that go with it) prior to application to graduate school will take twice as long and double your cost without offering you a competitive advantage for admission to graduate school. The following items are weighted heavily by the UF admissions committee when making their admission decisions: GRE score; grades in prerequisite courses; volunteer activities in the field; and letters of recommendation from professors in the prerequisite courses.

Program Information

Q: Is the program completely online?
A: Yes, the program is 100% online.

Q: How quickly can I complete the Online BHS-CMS Program?
A: You can complete the Online BHS-CMS Program at your own pace. Generally, the minimum amount of time needed to take all 60 credit hours is two academic years, but you can take three or more years to finish if you so desire.

Q: How will I access academic advisement?
A: Online students can contact their assigned academic advisors by phone, email, and Skype. Many academic and career resources are also made available through the program’s Online Student Center, which all admitted students have access to.

Q: Will employers be able to tell that I earned my degree online? Does my diploma say “online?”
A: The degree that students earn through UF’s Online BHS-CMS Program is a Bachelor of Health Science with a Major in Communication Sciences and Disorders, the same degree that campus-based BHS-CMS majors at UF earn. There is no mention of the online nature of the program on the diploma or transcript.

Q: Are the programs accredited?
A: Yes, the programs are accredited by SACS – Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.

Q: Can I move on to a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology or the Doctor of Audiology degree after completing the Online BHS-CMS Program?
A: The Online BHS-CMS Program will provide the prerequisite degree to enter Speech Language Pathology programs. There is not a specific prerequisite degree required for the Doctor of Audiology program but the BHS-CMS degree will provide a solid background in speech and hearing sciences necessary to be successful in this field. The Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and the Doctor of Audiology degree programs at UF are very competitive. Completion of the BHS-CMS degree either online or on campus at UF does not guarantee admission into these graduate programs.

Q: Is there an internship or clinical requirement for the Online BHS-CMS Program?
A: Students are not required to complete a clinical component or internship as part of the BHS-CMS program of study.

Courses and Registration

Q: Do I have to log on to view course lectures at specific times?
A: You can watch the online lectures when it’s convenient for you during the week. However, it is expected that students keep up with the weekly material. We record the synchronous lectures and post links to these recordings on course web sites within 24 hours of the lecture. Once posted, lectures remain available to students for the rest of the semester, allowing students maximum lecture viewing flexibility.

Q. Approximately how many hours will I spend online each week.
A. Each 3-credit course will consist of recorded lectures (approx. 60 min), reading assignments (textbook chapters, journal articles, webpages), assignments (activities/assessments/discussion board), and a live chat (60 min). As stated in the previous answer, the student can attend the live chat in person but it will also be recorded so it can be viewed at a later time when it is more convenient for the student. The amount of time a student will spend completing these various activities will vary greatly depending on the individual student’s preferred learning style and study habits.

Q: How do I get required textbooks?
A: Textbook requirements for online courses are posted in the Online Student Center and our campus bookstore in advance of each upcoming term. Some of them may be available at your local bookstore, but ordering them online is also an option (and sometimes cheaper). Shipping from online book suppliers can take as little as two to three days. Check with individual companies for shipping guidelines. Visit the UF Bookstore website for more information.

Q: Do I need to take the courses in any specific order?
A: The online BHS-CMS program offers specific courses each term. Students are expected to take major courses as they are available. Because of prerequisites, a few courses need to be taken before others in the program. General and college electives can be taken as available and with more flexibility. Academic advisors provide assistance to students in tailoring course schedules to their individual needs.

Q: Can I take other distance education courses at UF?
A: Yes, but they may not substitute for any of the core or major course requirements in the Online BHS-CMS Program. They can, however, satisfy various general education requirements. Learn more about UF Distance Education opportunities outside of the Online BHS-CMS Program.

The Profession

Q: What is meant by, “The Bachelor’s degree is a pre-professional degree?”
A: The entry-level degree for the audiology profession is the AuD degree, and the entry level degree of speech-language pathology is the Master’s degree. However, an undergraduate major in communication sciences and disorders is also an excellent foundation for other majors as well. CMS majors have gone on to graduate and professional schools in medicine, nursing, law, psychology, education, rehab counseling, and engineering, as well as others.

Q: What are the requirements to be certified and licensed as a speech-language pathologist?
A: In order to be certified to practice as a speech-language pathologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, an individual must earn a Master’s degree with an emphasis in speech-language pathology, complete a 9-month Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) after graduation with the Master’s degree, and pass a national examination. The CFY is 9 months of full-time employment under the supervision of a certified speech-language pathologist.

State licensure varies from state to state, so you should check the requirements of the state in which you plan to practice. Most states accept ASHA certification as qualifications for licensure, but others may require an additional test and/or experience. You will need to get a provisional license in order to do your CFY. The Master’s degree is required in order to get the provisional license.

Q: What are the requirements to be certified and licensed as an audiologist?
A: In order to be board certified in audiology by the American Board of Audiology, you must have successfully completed a doctoral program in audiology from a regionally accredited institution, have passed a national examination, and completed at least 2000 hours of mentored professional practice with a two-year period.  Maintenance of board certification also requires completion of 60 hours of approved continuing education within a 3-year period.

In order to be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to practice as an audiologist, an individual must earn a doctoral degree with an emphasis in audiology that includes a 1-year full time equivalent clinical externship, and pass a national examination.

State licensure varies from state to state, so you should check the requirements of the state in which you plan to practice. Many states accept ASHA or ABA certification as qualifications for licensure, but others may require an additional test and/or experience

Q: What can I do with my Bachelor’s degree?
A: Some states will license assistants in SLP or audiology for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders or related field. Please check with the state licensure board in the state you wish to practice regarding their requirements. For more information on requirements for assistants, please see the information provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association .

Q: What courses are commonly required for admission to master’s programs in SLP?
A: Commonly required courses for admission to the master’s program in SLP are:

SPA3003 Phonetic Theory and Transcription
SPA3011 Speech Acoustics
SPA3032 Fundamentals of Hearing
SPA3101 Speech Anatomy & Physiology
SPA4004 Language Development
SPA4104 Neural Basis of Communication
SPA4250 Introduction to Speech Disorders or SPA4400    Introduction to Language Disorders
SPA4302 Audiometry & Hearing Disorders
SPA4321 Audiologic Rehabilitation  (This course is not specifically required for admission to UF’s Master’s program in SLP.)