The Guide to Online Masters in Speech Pathology Programs (SLP)

Helping people communicate is just one of the many rewarding aspects of being a speech-language pathologist. Earning a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (sometimes referred to as SLP) allows you to work in the vast field of speech, communication and swallowing disorders, and to specialize in different components of speech and language development. Since these skills are developed during infancy and childhood, speech therapists are commonly hired in school settings.

Jumpstart Your Career in Speech Pathology, Explore Online SLP Programs

Online MSW: Pursue SLP Certification and Study FT/PT

Speech@Emerson enables you to earn an MS online and pursue SLP certification in as few as 20 mos. Learn the same curriculum as the on-campus program. Study FT or PT.

  • Prepares you to pursue certification as an SLP generalist 
  • In-person clinical placements at faculty-approved partner sites  
  • As few as 20 months to complete

info SPONSORED

Want to Become an SLP? Earn an MS Online at NYU

NYU Steinhardt’s online master of science program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders prepares aspiring speech-language pathologists with a comprehensive professional education.  

  •  Prepares students to pursue SLP licensure 
  • Accredited by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation 
  • As few as six terms to complete 
  • Full-time and part-time plans of study

info SPONSORED

Earn Your SLP Master’s Online From Baylor

Baylor’s SLP master’s program online can be completed full time in 20 months or part time in 25 months. Bachelor’s required. No GRE required.

  • Part-time and full-time options: 20 and 25 months  
  • Industry-leading curriculum in a faith-based environment 
  • Bachelor’s and GRE Required

info SPONSORED

Finding the Best Online Master’s in Speech Pathology For You

In searching for the best online speech pathology programs across the United States, it’s important to take into account the instruction method, the type of degree, and the credit requirements necessary to complete the program.

All Online Speech Pathology Programs

We’ve compiled a list of the online speech pathology programs across the United States along with instructional and curriculum information. The difference between asynchronous and synchronous is that synchronous coursework takes place in a live classroom as opposed to a video lecture recording.

What is Speech Pathology?

Speech Language Pathologists, also commonly called SLPs for short, are healthcare professionals who work with people from varying populations to improve communication techniques and treat swallowing disorders. What do Speech Pathologists do? SLPs can work in many different settings but one of their main job responsibilities across all environments is to conduct a speech language assessments aimed at coming up with a treatment plan for any speech disorders within a particular patient. Learn more about what SLPs do on a day-to-day basis and discover the path professionals typically take to a career in speech therapy.

Speech Therapist vs. Speech Pathologist: Is There a Difference?

The job titles speech therapist, speech pathologist, and even speech-language pathologist are all technically interchangeable, although those within the field sometimes have a preference for one over the other. It is common for patients to refer to professionals in speech pathology as their “speech therapists”, however many maintain that the title that best encapsulates the career field is speech-language pathologist, often abbreviated as SLPs.

Speech Pathologist vs. Audiologist

Perhaps a more interesting comparison is between the career fields of speech pathology and audiology. What’s the difference between a speech-language pathologist and an audiologist? Check out the career profiles below to learn more!

Speech Therapist

Job Description: Speech-Language Pathologists work with patients in assessing, diagnosing, and coming up with treatment plans for disorders of communication and swallowing in patients of all ages.

Typical Education Requirements: Master’s degree

Salary: The median annual salary for speech-language pathologists was $76,610 in 2017.

Work Environment: Around 40% of speech pathologists work in school settings, with other common environements including hospitals and private health facilities.

Audiologist

Job Description: Audiologists work with patients to manage and asses issues with hearing, balance, and problems occuring within the ear.

Typical Education Requirements: A doctoral degree or a professional degree

Salary: The median annual salary for audiologists was $75,920 in 2017.

Work Environment: Audiologist’s typically work in doctor’s offices, audiology clinics, and other healthcare facilities but some may work within school districts.

Online Speech Pathology Master’s Curriculum

The curriculum and number of credits required to complete an online SLP programs vary widely depending on your school and specialization. A typical program includes foundation coursework, practice dealing with language disorders, clinical practicums, and elective courses. Standard online SLP programs might include courses in:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the speech and swallow mechanism: An in-depth look at the mechanisms and physiological reasoning behind speech production and swallowing.
  • Language Development: An examination of the language learning processes and how it relates to other components of a child’s development
  • Dysphagia: Addresses the science behind feeding and swallowing mechanisms and dives into procedural and management options for problems in the field.
  • Principles of intervention with speech-language disorders: Discusses principles of problem solving and decision making that aid in future SPL’s ability formulate goals and treatment plans.

Another important component of SLP education and the path to starting your career is obtaining your certificate of clinical competence in speech language pathology’ (CCC-SLP). This certification, managed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) helps provide credibility to aspiring speech pathologists. Learn more about certification for SLPs

Bilingual Speech Therapy Programs Online

Some speech pathology graduate programs offer specializations for students who would like to concentrate on a particular topic within the field. One of the many specializations offered is a certificate in bilingual speech language pathology, where an emphasis is placed on wbaerbaerbaseb. Bilingual SLPs are equipped with the language skills to cross cultural barriers in performing their professional duties.

Online Speech Pathology Master’s Admissions Requirements

Each online speech pathology master’s program has its own prerequisites, so you should contact your accredited institution for detailed information regarding its policies. Depending on your school, you will be required to submit some or all of the following:

  1. Application: Fill out an initial application, which you can find on the website of the accredited institution of your choice. Paper and online forms are both generally accepted.
  2. Bachelor’s degree: You should have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution prior to applying to an online speech pathology master’s program
  3. Transcripts: Request transcripts in advance of the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript from any postsecondary schools you have attended.
  4. Personal statement: Write a personal statement, which is typically in the form of an essay. You may be required to submit multiple essays to fully express the intent and purpose of your application and explain what attracted you to this particular online slp program. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in a statement.
    • Your main academic and personal interests
    • Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
    • Why you wish to study for the degree you’ve chosen
    • Why you wish to study at the university
    • Your plans for the future after you earn your degree
  5. Resume/CV: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
  6. Letters of recommendation: Submit your letters of recommendation. The number of letters required varies with each school. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline.
  7. Test scores: Mail in copies of your test scores. Many online SLP programs require GRE General Test scores or TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students; however, some programs do not require test scores at all.

It’s also worth noting that many speech pathology masters degree programs require prerequisite courses. SLP prerequisite courses might include biology, statistics, and social/behavioral sciences, to name just a few.

Online Speech Pathology Programs Accreditation

In searching for the online speech pathology program that meets your needs and requirements, two factors that must be considered are the program’s accreditation status and their ability to prepare you for SLP licensure.

Often, online slp programs that have been accredited and properly examined by the authoritative accrediting body, the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA), will be the best suited to prepare you for certification and licensure.

The CAA operates under the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) as the accrediting branch that oversees many degree programs – online speech pathology programs included. ASHA is the overarching organization that oversees both program accreditation and clinical certification in the field of speech language pathology. ASHA issues Certificates of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), a standard licensing requirement and professional credential, to worthy SLP professionals.

Why Earn Your Master’s in Speech Language Pathology Online?

There are many benefits to gaining a speech pathology masters degree online as opposed to the more traditional on campus format. For one, online slp degrees allow for the flexibility to take classes on your own schedule, often integrating class times that allow for students to hold full or part-time jobs on the side. Other reasons include being to access top tier universities regardless of location and commuting time savings.

Clinical Field Placements Where You Live

One of the main concerns students might have about enrolling in an slp program online is their inability to gain clinical training due to not being “on-location”. However, with the recent advances in online education, many programs now offer clinical field placement support systems that will work to place you in clinical settings near where you live. This is vital to developing competencies as a speech therapist and towards getting certified.

Certified Speech Language Pathologist Jobs and Career Outlook

After completing an online master’s degree in speech pathology, the next step is to get certified. The speech pathology certification will enable you to work with individuals who experience difficulty with verbal communication, disorders with fluency or swallowing and addressing speech impediments. Speech pathologists can work in elementary and secondary schools, occupational therapist practices, hospitals, nursing facilities or in their own private practice. Every state has its own certification requirements to become a speech therapist.

In addition to these common speech therapist roles, there are also specializations and different roles that a graduate from an online slp program can pursue, including:

  • Child language disorders
  • Fluency disorders
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Audiology

Discover more about how to start your career in Speech-Language Pathology and learn about the career outlook and earning potential for SLPs.

Speech Pathology Salary

The median annual salary for a speech therapist was $77,510 in 2018, according to the BLS. A variety of factors might influence the salaries of speech pathologists including location of practice, years of experience, and education level.

East Carolina University

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Greenville, North Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 54-60

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Course prerequisites in phonetics, language development, audiology, etc
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • CV/resume
  • Casper assessment
  • Writing prompt
Learn more about the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Carolina University

James Madison University

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 45

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Video
  • Written statement
  • Two references
  • Course prerequisites in CSD
Learn more about the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from James Madison University

Texas Woman's University

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 61

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in CSD or related area
  • Course prerequisites in CSD and statistics, biological science, physics/chemistry, and social/behavioral science
  • Letter of intent (education specialization)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Texas Woman's University

The University of Akron

Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

Akron, Ohio

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 74

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate Degree Requirement
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • GRE Requirement & English Language Proficiency
  • UA & CSDCAS Applications
  • Personal Essay
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts
  • Interview Requirement
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of Akron

University of Northern Colorado

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

Greely, Colorado

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 63

Concentrations: N/A

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Master's in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Name of Degree: Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 3 years

Credits: 54

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Undergraduate Degree Requirement
  • Prerequisite Coursework
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Personal essay
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master's in Communication Sciences and Disorders from University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Western Kentucky University

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 60

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0
  • GRE scores: 143 on the new scoring system for the Verbal portion. 3.5 score on the Writing portion
  • Official Transcripts
  • Personal Essays
  • References
Learn more about the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Kentucky University