If you enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults, and are driven to help others, speech pathology could be the perfect career for you. A speech pathology degree will equip you to diagnose and treat disorders with speech, communication, and swallowing, and jobs in the field are predicted to grow by an estimated 21% from 2021-2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What’s more, there are a range of excellent online speech pathology programs available that allow you to study remotely while balancing work and personal commitments.
The top online speech pathology programs include:
New York University
California State University
Nova Southeastern University
James Madison University
The University of Akron
Calvin University Online
Texas Woman’s University
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
University of Northern Colorado
Below, we’ll take a look at each of these programs in detail, as well as cover useful info for anyone considering a degree in speech pathology.
Featured Online Speech-Language Pathology Programs
New York University
Online Master’s Program in Speech-Language Pathology
California State University
Master of Science in Communicative Disorders
Online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
Nova Southeastern University
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
James Madison University
Speech Language Pathology (M.S.) Online
Best Online Speech Pathology Programs
New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
The Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) is known for its excellent faculty and receives large research grants from organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. This Speech Language Pathology (SLP) Masters online program is based on evidence-based practice and covers patient-centered care for people with communication and swallowing disorders in different population settings.
Courses include: Speech science instrumentation, motor speech disorders, and clinical field placement.
CSUN is a well-known institution located in the heart of Los Angeles and has been ranked #6 of the country’s most transformative colleges and #2 for diverse learning. This speech therapy online degree is offered in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Development and has a cohort format that allows students to develop close relations with faculty as well as network with other students.
Courses include: Voice and disorders of voice, pediatric audiology, and clinical practice in speech pathology.
Maryville University, named one of the best universities in St. Louis by US News & World Report, is a renowned private institution that offers semester-based education. As part of this SLP online masters program, you’ll have access to Simucase (Simulated case study), a program that allows you to work with virtual patients online.
Courses include: Speech sound disorders, language disorders in children, and acquired disorders of language and cognition.
NSU Florida’s innovative approach to study and research combines traditional as well as distance learning approaches, spread over six different campuses throughout Florida. This SLP online masters program covers clinical care for patients of all ages, and prepares students for jobs in any professional setting, such as teaching hospitals, schools, and outpatient facilities.
Courses include: Diagnosis of language and speech disorders, clinical processes, and motor speech disorders in adults.
JMU, a leading public university in Virginia, boasts a 96% satisfaction rate and other top rankings, including being the best college for getting a job and the most recommended public university. Its speech language pathologist online program involves some minimal on-campus requirements, mainly during summer.
Courses include: Communication sciences and disorders, pediatric speech sound disorders, and neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of speech and language.
The University of Akron is a public university in northeastern Ohio that offers around 300 programs in various fields, with an overall student-faculty ratio of just 17:1. The school’s speech therapist online degree is jointly offered with the University of Cincinnati.
Courses include: Language and Literacy Development, UC Speech Sound Disorders, Augmentative Communication, etc.
Calvin University is a private Christian university has been ranked #4 of regional universities in the Midwest. This master’s SLP online degree is an experiential program based on evidence-based techniques for treating people with communication and language challenges.
Courses include: Language disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and clinical reflections in speech pathology.
Texas Woman’s University is the largest women-centered university system in the country, and produces more healthcare professionals than any other university in Texas. This is one of the few SLP master’s programs online that offers a choice of multiple tracks: schools-focused and healthcare-focused speech-language pathology, both with minimal residency requirements at the school’s Denton campus.
Courses include: Aural habilitation, adult dysphagia, and voice and resonance disorders.
The Center for Communication Disorders of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire is well-equipped for the study of communication disorders, with 16 advanced therapy rooms, a speech and voice lab, an audiology suite, and an assistive technology lab. This speech language pathologist degree online provides students with clinical experience through the Center for Communication Disorders and 90 other affiliated centers, and students can work with clients of all ages and facing different kinds of communication disorders.
Courses include: Acquired cognitive-communicative disorders, Aphasia and related disorders, and counseling in communication disorders.
The University of Northern Colorado’s Extended Campus offers flexible distance education programs for adult learners. The school offers affordable education, with a low, flat rate for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as those around the world. This online degree speech therapy program offers a clinician-researcher model of study so that students can both build a strong academic basis and benefit from evidence-based practice.
Courses include: Fluency disorders, acquired disorders of language and cognition, and clinical practicum in audiology.
Financial aid: Grants, scholarships, student employment, and loans
Acceptance rate: 87.7%
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Admission Requirements for Online SLP Programs
The basic admission requirements for online SLP programs typically include:
Bachelor’s degree in a related field
GPA score (usually 3.0 or above)
GRE score (only required by certain schools)
Letters of recommendation
Application form and fee
Tuition and Fees for Speech Therapy Programs Online
Tuition and fees for speech therapy online programs can vary greatly depending on the institution. The tuition for the programs listed above ranges between $442.10 and $2,020.00 per credit. The total tuition for the program for some best colleges can vary between $23,000 and $97,000.
Aside from tuition, you also need to factor technology fees and other expenses associated with online programs. However, you won’t need to pay many of the expenses associated with on-campus programs, such as room, board, and transportation.
Different Kinds of Master’s in Speech Language Pathology Online Programs
Schools can offer online master’s programs in speech-language pathology (SLP) under different titles. You find master’s programs in speech language pathology, communication sciences & disorders, and speech therapy.
However, all of these programs essentially deal with the same core concepts and courses. In some programs, you’ll have the option to follow a specific stream like a hospital track or schools track. Similarly, you’ll find courses dedicated to specific demographics, such as pediatric disorders or adult disorders.
Why You Should Get a Speech Pathologist Online Master’s Degree
A speech pathology online master’s degree can be advantageous in a range of ways. Firstly, remote study allows you to balance your studies with your work and personal life. Another major advantage of online study is that you can get access to programs at some of the world’s leading universities no matter where you live.
Finally, an online master’s in speech pathology can open the door to a range of exciting job opportunities.
Speech pathologists work in four main areas: hospitals, clinics, schools, and residential care centers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median salaries for speech pathologists working in these settings are:
Speech pathologists in hospitals: $95,620
Speech pathologists in clinics: $93,510
Speech pathologists in schools: $75,270
Speech pathologists in residential care centers: $99,340
How to Choose the Best Online Master’s in SLP Program
When deciding on the best SLP online program for you, key points to consider include:
Location: Even when studying online, location can be important to consider, as you may need to attend some on-campus settings.
Flexibility: Some online programs are more flexible than others: they may require you to attend virtual classes at certain times, or you could be free to set your own schedule.
Tuition: Weigh up the tuition and other costs against your budget.
Specialization: If you want to specialize in a particular area, such as school speech pathology, look for a program that offers this specific track.
Although accreditation is not mandatory in all states, it is an indication that the education you’ll receive meets certain standards. Moreover, many employers look for candidates with accredited qualifications, so it’s important to look at the accreditations that programs have before making your final decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a graduate degree necessary to become a speech-language pathologist?
Yes — essentially, all states require you to have a master’s in speech-language pathology in order to work as a speech therapist or speech-language pathologist (SLP). Some states also require you to have a license.
How high is the demand for speech pathologists?
Speech and language pathologists are in high demand, with strong job growth predicted for the profession. According to the BLS, jobs in the field are estimated to grow by 21% from 2021 to 2031.
How much do speech pathologists earn?
BLS figures show that speech pathologists earn an annual median salary of $79,060. Typical salaries range from $75,270 to $99,340 based on the professional setting.
Speech pathology gives you the opportunity to interact with your patients at a deeper level and build close relationships, making it a very rewarding profession. However, in order to pursue a career in this field, you will need a master’s degree in SPL.
Luckily, there are a range of excellent online speech pathology programs available that allow you to gain this essential qualification without needing to commit to full-time on-campus study.
Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.