Top 10 Online Masters in Speech Language Pathology

The following Top 10 Online Masters in Speech Language Pathology degrees can help you land a career helping children and adults with speech impediments and communication disorders.

As the population of the United States ages, its numbers of those with hearing and speech challenges are on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the need for a highly trained and well-educated workforce in speech pathology will increase 18% by the year 2026. This will account for the creation of nearly 27,000 new jobs in the field. Not only does entering this field ensure job security, but it also promises a comfortable paycheck. BLS also reports that speech language pathologists make an average of $77,000, and some earn upwards of $100,000.

The field of speech language pathology is not limited to addressing hearing loss among older populations. It encompasses infants to school age children, as well as young adults. Any community you feel passionate about working with will see a need for speech pathologists.

Communication disorders are a wide spectrum of challenges– from stuttering to swallowing, to problems with vocal pitch and volume. These challenges can be the result of developmental delay, stroke, or a cleft palate. Speech language pathologists also enjoy working in a wide variety of settings such as clinics, schools, hospitals, and private practice.

A practicum, internship, or fieldwork experience is at the core of the curriculum on our Top 10 Online Masters in Speech Language Pathology list. These hands-on experiences are set up between the student, department, and host organization in the area where the student resides.

The major advantage for a curriculum that incorporates practicums is the potential job it entails once the student has graduated. So while you may receive your degree from an institution many miles away from your place of residence, you'll be creating a network of peers and colleagues in the field. Another important component of the programs on this list is that their graduates qualify for American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification and licensure in their home state as well.


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Here are the Top 10 Online Master's in Speech Language Pathology for 2020!

#10. University of Akron

Akron, OH
Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology


The Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Akron is a fully online program combined with a minimum of 400 hours of clinical practicum work. The program starts every January and is a total of eight semesters at part-time enrollment. Students are expected to establish their practicums in their locales.

The MA in Speech-Language Pathology prepares its graduates for careers in speech pathology through a thorough understanding of diagnosing and treating speech disorders. Graduates of the program are eligible for state licensure and certification for clinical competence by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. 100% of graduates in the program pass the Praxis test, and 100% are employed after graduating from the program.

Admission to the online program is slightly less competitive than the traditional program. Admission qualifications for applicants who do not have a Bachelor's degree in Speech-language, or audiology include several prerequisites. At least one course each must have been in statistics, biological science, physical science, and social science. Courses in Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism, Language Science and Acquisition, and Introduction to Hearing and Speech Science must have been completed in the last seven years, or, students may take them as undergraduate transfer students upon admission to the program and before enrolling as a graduate student in the program. GRE test scores at or above the 40th percentile are required, and applicants typically have a GPA of at least 3.69.

Graduate Tuition: $16,863

Score: 94.6

#9. Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, KY
Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology


Western Kentucky University's Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology program curriculum follows the standards set by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association for its graduates to apply for state licensure and national certification successfully. The program is a total of 60 semester hours with eight of those credit hours in an internship and externship. The placement is a six-week residency at the WKU campus in the summer. Students will set up their externship credit hours in their areas of residence. Coursework in the program covers topics such as Early Intervention in Speech Language Pathology, Dysfluency, and Voice Disorders.

Admission into the program is competitive and limited. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA in the last sixty credit hours of academic work. GRE test scores and letters of recommendation are also required. For applicants who do not possess a Bachelor's degree in speech and hearing, applicants must complete the Pre-SLP prerequisite courses program. The program doesn't guarantee entrance into the MS in SLP. It is a total of eight classes or 24 credits that follows a year-long sequence. These classes give candidates to the MS in SLP a strong foundation in speech and language development, phonetics, and communication disorders.

Graduate Tuition: $11,817

Score: 94.8

#8. Idaho State University

Pocatello, ID
Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology
Idaho State University Best Online MPH Degrees


The 36-credit hour Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at Idaho State University can be completed at part-time enrollment. The program can be completed in three years and requires two on-campus clinical practicums at the Pocatello campus. Additionally, students will complete an eight-week full-time externship in their area of residence. Courses include subjects on Principles of Research in Communication Disorders, School Age Language Development and Disorders, and Educational Audiology. Up to four credit hours may be earned in an independent study. The MS in Speech Language Pathology is a Western Regional Graduate Program, which allows out-of-state students to pay Idaho's in-state tuition.

The program is highly competitive– it receives upwards of 400 applications each year and admits only 20 students to the online program. The program starts each fall, and applications are due February 1. Completed applications include GRE test scores, a resume, an essay, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all previous institutions with a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Prerequisite courses in speech and audiology are also required, although applicants can indicate that those credits are in-progress. A background in Sign Language is recommended.

Graduate Tuition: $12,637

Score: 95.0

#7. Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


The Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University is a 53 credit hour program that requires a minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical contact hours. Students will take classes such as Communication Disorders in Infancy through Preschool, Voice Disorders, and Dysphagia. Students also complete a zero credit capstone course that prepares them for the Praxis national exam. The 400-hour externship is completed as near to the student's place of residence as possible. All students must attend a weekend-long orientation at the start of the program. Between 2015 and 2018, 96% of the MS in Speech Pathology graduates became employed in their profession upon completing their degree.

Applicants to the program must have completed at least 25 hours of guided clinical observation of an ASHA-certified speech language pathologist. Additional application materials include three letters of recommendation and ten prerequisite courses in speech pathology knowledge and two written essays. The program admits new students in each of the four terms during the school year at Nova. Admitted students will also be asked for an interview. The application fee may be waived for low-income students or McNair Scholars.

Graduate Tuition: $26,740

Score: 95.3

#6. Texas Woman's University

Denton, TX
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


The Texas Woman's University Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology is geared towards students who intend to work in a Texas public school after finishing the program. The program is a total of 61-62 credits and engages students in clinical experiences in school districts and medical facilities throughout the state of Texas. Class times occur virtually via live webinars. The program prepares students for certification and licensure. Students will take classes on ethics and procedures in a clinical setting, language disorders in preschool children, and augmentative and alternative communication.

TWU's SLP program does require several prerequisite courses in speech pathology before full admission, and a Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders or Speech-Pathology, or seven courses in TWU's pre-Masters level program. These courses ensure that the student has a strong background in speech development, audiology, phonetics, and anatomy and physiology for speech and language. Additional requirements to apply are a one-page letter of intent, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and at least a 3.0 in the student's last 60 credits of academic work.

Graduate Tuition: $9,129

Score: 96.1

#5. East Carolina University

Greenville, NC
Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders


East Carolina University's Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders is a 54-60 credit program that can be completed in three years. The program requires a 400-hour clinical internship in the student's area of residence. Upon graduation, students are eligible for certification by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Course topics cover a broad spectrum of subjects such as articulation and phonology disorders, multicultural communication disorders, and stuttering.

The MS in CSD is a rigorous program, and the Department of Sciences and Disorders highly recommends that students are fully focused on their studies and do not attempt to work outside of the program. Residents of Alaska and Arizona should look into the partnership ECU has with speech pathology departments at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Arizona State University respectively.

Applications are accepted once per year in January for enrollment in the following fall term. Required application materials include GRE scores, transcripts from all previous institutions, three letters of recommendation, and a 3.2 GPA from their SLP prerequisites. For students without an undergraduate degree in speech language pathology, prerequisite SLP courses include phonetics, language development, introduction to audiology, and several life-biology and social sciences.

Graduate Tuition: $13,327

Score: 96.5

#4. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Eau Claire, WI
Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


At the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, students in the online Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders complete the part-time program in three years. The MS in CSD not only prepares its graduates for certification and licensure eligibility, but its graduates are also molded to become are experts in language development and behavior, the evaluation of speech and hearing disorders, and the methods for investigating communication disorders.

The program is a total of 54 credits and requires practicum experiences. Students attend a one-week residency at the Eau Claire campus in their first semester and second through third years. The residencies include team-building and social events, clinical and academic advising, coursework, and demonstrations of clinical competencies. The final residency will allow students time to work on their final portfolios and information on completing a comprehensive exam.

Acceptance to the MSCSD is contingent on completion of 30 college-level courses in five areas: anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing, speech and hearing science; healthy communication and language development; phonetics, and audiology. Applications to the program are due every November for summer entrance to the program. Required materials for the application include three letters of recommendation and a personal essay addressing how SLP interests the applicant and why the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a good fit.

Graduate Tuition: $14,398

Score: 96.5

#3. James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology

The Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at James Madison University was designed with the non-traditional student in mind. JMU designed its SLP program for individuals who are changing their career trajectories towards speech language pathology. Graduates of the program meet the requirements for certification by the Council for Clinical Certification of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Students in the program will complete practicum coursework in clinical settings. The program takes a total of three years to complete. Coursework includes topics on human communication and aural rehabilitation, aging and communication, and the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. A summer practicum at JMU of six-weeks long is required, but other internships may be completed for the student's area of residence.

Prospective students must have acquired core coursework in communication sciences and disorders before applying to the MS in Speech Language Pathology program at JMU. These prerequisites cover topics on language development, phonetics, phonological and language disorders, introduction to audiology, and acoustics of hearing and speech. Basic science classes are also required for admission. The program accepts new students every two years, and applications are due in November. GRE test scores are required, as is a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation.

Graduate Tuition: $16,154

Score: 96.6

#2. California State University

Northridge, CA
Master of Science in Communicative Disorders


The Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at California State University is a 56 credit program that is three years in length. Students are required to complete practica where they live. All other degree requirements are online. Core coursework includes topics in Interviewing and Counseling in Communicative Disorders, Research in Communicative Disorders, and Pediatric Audiology. Approximately 34 units of course work are dedicated to speech language pathology and will encompass subjects on neurogenic disorders of cognition and language, developmental language disorders, and adult/pediatric feeding swallowing disorders. All students will complete either a thesis to graduate or pass a comprehensive written examination.

Admission requirements to the MSCD program include a bachelor's degree, GRE or MAT scores, three letters of recommendation, and 30-semester units of qualifying coursework in communication disorders and sciences. In 2018, 56 students graduated from the MSCD program, and 100% of graduates are currently employed. Additionally, 54 students in the 2018 class took the PRAXIS examination, and 95% of students passed. CSUN is home to the Language Speech and Hearing Center, which has an average of 12,000 patient visits per year.

Graduate Tuition: $5,958

Score: 99.4

#1. New York University

New York, NY
Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology


New York University offers its Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology online and at part or full-time enrollment. Students take 14 credits worth of foundational courses in addition to coursework involving instrumentation, and speech and hearing disorders. The program requires a minimum of 375 clinical practicum hours in multiple settings. Students work with an assigned advisor at NYU for appropriate practicum field placement. The MS in Speech Language Pathology at NYU has developed many partnerships with local, regional, and national organizations, institutions, clinics, and hospitals to offer its students valuable, relevant practicum experiences.

The total length of the program depends on whether the student has completed foundational coursework in their undergraduate coursework. NYU's MS program admits a new cohort of students each Fall term. Admission application materials include GRE test scores, a 3.0 GPA, and three essays, a CV, and two letters of recommendation. The MS in Speech Pathology at NYU has a study abroad program agreement at Lund University in Sweden. In 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked NYU No. 10 in Best Colleges for Veterans.

Graduate Tuition: $36,256

Score: 100.0

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