Contents

    The best online speech pathology programs – 2024

    Jeremy Coppock
    Jeremy Coppock

    Jeremy is an education researcher, journalist, and editor for Degreechoices. He majored in Slavic languages and has a master’s degree in Eastern European studies.

    He has previous experience as a fraud analyst, in-house translator, teacher, and truck driver.

    The best online speech pathology programs – 2024
    Contents

      You will need a master’s degree to become a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP).

      By value for money, the best online SLP master’s programs are Misericordia University, James Madison University, and California State University, Northridge.

      The average earnings of graduates of online vs on-campus SLP programs are almost identical.

      Many online SLP programs do not require you to take the GRE.

      www.degreechoices.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

      Find the perfect online SLP program

      Take a simple quiz to find the online SLP program that’s best for you

      Cat got your tongue? The ability to express oneself through language is something most people take for granted, but struggling to do so can have serious repercussions in all aspects of life. That’s where speech-language pathologists (SLPs) come in.

      SLPs diagnose and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders for people of all ages, particularly children and the elderly.

      A career as an SLP can be both personally rewarding and economically lucrative; even better, many top-notch master’s problems are available mostly online.

      To help you earn an SLP master’s without taking on more debt than you need, we have ranked the best online speech pathology programs in 2024 by value for money.

      These top online SLP master’s programs provide the optimal combination of affordability and high earning potential.

      Speech pathologist education

      Schooling for speech-language pathologists involves a master’s degree.

      Most speech pathologist master’s programs last 2 or 3 years, although you may need 4 years to complete your degree if you study part time.

      Note that you may have to take some prerequisite “leveling” courses before beginning your master’s program.

      You will also need to pass the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology and complete a 9-month post-graduate clinical fellowship, after which you can apply for state licensure and ASHA certification.

      The best online SLP programs – by value for money

      #1 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      Misericordia University

      Dallas, Pennsylvania

      Economic score 0.42

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $60,005

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.4

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $24,964

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Misericordia is a private Catholic University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, a small town in Eastern Pennsylvania. It offers the best online SLP program by value for money in the country. Its M.S. in Speech Language Pathology is the first accredited online SLP master’s program in Pennsylvania. It is open to people with all undergrad degrees, but those who did not major in communication disorders/SLP will need to take online prerequisite courses before applying to the mater’s program. 

      • Online or on-campus 
      • Synchronous learning 
      • On-campus summer clinical residency 
      • State-of-the-art technology 
      • Speech-language and hearing center 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 100% employment rate 
      • 100% Praxis SLP pass rate 
      See more
      #2 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      James Madison University

      Harrisonburg, Virginia

      Economic score 0.44

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $65,401

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.5

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $29,440

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      James Madison University, or JMU, is a public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It offers the second best-value online SLP program in the nation. Note that this M.S. in Speech Language Pathology program, which is specifically designed for adult learners with careers and families, only accepts students every 2 years. Applicants must complete prerequisite undergrad courses before applying. 

      • 3 years, 2-3 courses per semester 
      • On-campus clinical placements in summer 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 100% employment rate 
      • 100% Praxis pass rate 
      See more
      #3 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 0.58

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $79,688

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.6

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $46,447

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Cal State Northridge (CSUN) is a public university in Los Angeles. It is part of the California State University system, which is well-known for its affordable degrees. It offers a well-regarded Master of Science in Communicative Disorders that fulfills the education requirements for SLP licensure in all states. Admission is very competitive: the average undergrad GPA for the 2022-2023 cohort was 3.79. 

      • Three 12-month sessions 
      • Live class sessions  
      • Group-powered learning 
      • Practicum experiences at a site near you (400 hours) 
      • CAA accreditation 
      • 90.2% Praxis pass rate 
      See more
      #4 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 0.61

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $66,266

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.6

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $41,060

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Texas Woman’s University is a public co-educational university in Denton, Texas, a small town in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Its online MS in Speech-Language Pathology is the 4th best-value in the nation and the best online SLP program in the South.  

      This program’s distance option has 2 tracks: a schools-focused one and a healthcare-focused one. The schools-focused track accepts students on odd years, whereas the healthcare-focused track accepts students on even years. Note that students of the healthcare-focused track must attend classes on campus for 3 days each summer semester. 

      Note that online students must take courses 1 night per week at a local education service center. Practicum hours are not online. 

      • On-campus or distance option 
      • As little as 2 years to complete (6 or 7 semesters) 
      • Only for Texas students 
      • Clinical experiences held with school districts during the year and healthcare facilities in summer 
      • CAA accreditation 
      • 88.24% average Praxis pass rate over the last 3 years 
      See more
      #5 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 0.65

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $67,510

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $45,961

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Baylor is a private Baptist-affiliated Christian university in Waco, Texas. It is one of the oldest universities in the state. Its online M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders rounds out our top 5 best online SLP programs in the country.  

      Prospective applicants should have a minimum undergrad GPA of 3.2 (3.4 recommended) and undergrad courses in biology, physics or chemistry, social sciences, and statistics. 

      • 5 trimester program length full time (7-11 trimesters part time) 
      • Online or on-campus options 
      • Standard track (grad programs) and leveling track (prereqs + grad programs) available  
      • 400 clinical hours across 1 internship and 3 practica 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 86.60% average Praxis pass rate over the last 3 years 
      See more
      #6 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      Florida State University

      Tallahassee, Florida

      Economic score 0.67

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $60,650

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $40,607

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Florida State is a public research university in Tallahassee. It offers a part-time Master’s in Communication Science & Disorders that is taught using hybrid learning. While classes are held fully online, students participate in practicum experiences at schools, hospitals, and private practices in their community. FSU is home to the L.L. Schendel Speech and Hearing Clinic. 

      • Hybrid learning 
      • Takes 3 years to complete (part-time) 
      • Only for Florida residents 
      • Practicum work completed in conjunction with coursework 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 93.95% average Praxis pass rate over the last 3 years 
      See more
      #7 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 0.69

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $56,894

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $41,000

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      University of Akron is a public research university in Akron, Ohio. It is a STEM-focused institution. It offers a 100% online Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in partnership with the University of Cincinnati. Applicants should have a bachelor’s in SLP or complete a postbaccalaureate course sequence. 

      • Fully online learning 
      • Program length is 2 years and 8 months 
      • Clinical placements arranged near your hometown 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 100% pass rate on the Praxis exam 
      • 100% job placement rate for graduates 
      See more
      #8 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 0.74

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $49,879

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $36,099

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      University of Nebraska at Kearney, or UNK, is a public university. Its online Master of Science in Education in Speech-Language Pathology is one of the best in the region. UNK offers online SLP leveling coursework for applicants who didn’t study SLP as an undergraduate. 

      • Online learning 
      • Program length of 3 trimesters 
      • Practicum embedded throughout the course of study 
      • Online practicum assignments managed through Canvas 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 87% Praxis exam pass rate in 2022-2023 
      • 100% job placement rate within 1 year of graduation in last 4 years 
      See more
      #9 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      Eastern New Mexico University

      Portales, New Mexico

      Economic score 0.74

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $64,087

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.7

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $47,947

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) is a public university. It is an officially designated Hispanic-Serving Institution. It offers a well-regarded, CAA-accredited Master of Science in Communicative Disorders. This program is flexible, and can be taken through hybrid, online, or on-campus learning. 

      • Online learning available 
      • Practicum sites are often in your local area, but relocation may be necessary in some cases. 
      • CAA accreditation 
      • 86% Praxis exam pass rate in the last 3 years 
      See more
      #10 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      Emerson College

      Boston, Massachusetts

      Economic score 0.77

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $71,457

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.9

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $61,688

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Emerson College is a private institution based in Boston, Massachusetts. It specializes in studies of liberal arts and communications. It offers a popular online M.S. in Communication Disorders. Students can choose between 5-term and 9-term tracks for added flexibility. Foundational prerequisite courses can be taken online before you begin your master’s. 

      • Fully online lectures/seminars 
      • Can be completed in as few as 20 months 
      • In-person clinical placements within 75 miles of your home 
      • 4 practicums 
      • Discussion-based, seminar style learning 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 91% Praxis exam pass rate in 2022-2023 
      See more
      #11 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      East Carolina University

      Greenville, North Carolina

      Economic score 0.79

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $53,154

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.8

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $41,000

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      East Carolina University is a public research university based in Greenville, North Carolina. Its Distance Education MS in Communication Sciences & Disorders accepts between 10-12 students per academic year. The university is home to a Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic. 

      • 2-year program length 
      • Distance learners must live at least 75 miles outside of Greenville, NC 
      • Clinicals completed in the geographic region where you live 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 100% Praxis exam pass rate over the last 3 years 
      • 99% of grads secure a job within 6 months of graduation 
      See more
      #12 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      Idaho State University

      Pocatello, Idaho

      Economic score 0.81

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $60,582

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.8

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $48,950

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Idaho State University is a public research university in Pocatello. Its online Master of Science in SLP program is one of the most respected in the region; it is specifically designed for people living in rural areas or those who have personal/family obligations. All academic coursework is 100% online, combined with off-campus practical placements. Students complete an 8-week externship in their hometown area in their final summer semester. 

      • 2-3 year program length 
      • 100% online learning 
      • Clinical completed in your hometown 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 100% Praxis exam pass rate over the last 3 years 
      See more
      #13 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 0.87

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $51,078

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.8

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $41,000

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, also known as UW-Eau Clair or UWEC, is a public university. It offers an online Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders that is ideal for students who can’t commit to moving to campus for 3 years. This is a competitive program – the last cohort’s average undergraduate GPA was 3.8. 

      • 3-year program length 
      • Part-time, online course of study 
      • Flexible scheduling  
      • Short residency each summer on campus  
      • CAA accredited 
      • 90% Praxis exam pass rate for the last cohort 
      • 89% job placement rate for the last cohort 
      See more
      #14 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      Tennessee State University

      Nashville, Tennessee

      Economic score 0.91

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $53,270

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.8

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $43,942

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      Tennessee State University, also known as Tenn State or TSU, is a public historically Black university (HBCU) in Nashville. It has been serving the Black community since 1912. It offers a well-regarded MS in Speech and Hearing Science distance education program through the College of Health Sciences. About 30 students are accepted to the distance mode each year. This is a part-time program that begins in the spring semester of every odd year. 

      • 8-semester program length, part time 
      • Distance education, but exams may need to be taken on campus 
      • 2 summers of clinical practicum on campus 
      • Remaining practica at approved site near you 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 93% Praxis exam pass rate over last 3 years 
      • 94% employment rate in profession over last 3 years 
      See more
      #15 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 1.01

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $47,413

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 0.9

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $41,000

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      University of Cincinnati, often referred to as Cincy, is a public research university in Ohio. It is the second largest university in the state. Its fully online Master of Arts Degree in Speech-Language Pathology is offered in conjunction with the University of Akron. Applicants must live within a 4-hour drive of the University of Cincinnati. 

      • Fully online learning 
      • Program length is 2 years and 8 months 
      • Clinical placements arranged near your hometown 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 100% pass rate on the Praxis exam 
      • 100% job placement rate for graduates 
      See more
      #16 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology
      Economic score 1.18

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $60,643

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.2

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $70,958

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      University of South Carolina, Columbia is the flagship campus of the University of South Carolina system. It is the largest university in the state. Its Master of Science (distance education, part-time) in Speech-Language Pathology is perfect for SLPs who cannot commit to studying full time. Exams can be taken at home.

      • Program length of 3 years with an undergraduate SLP background, 4 years without 
      • Online, part-time program 
      • 1st summer practicum (“speech camp”) is on campus 
      • External clinical practicum experiences offered 
      • CAA accredited 
      • 99% pass rate on the Praxis exam 
      See more
      #17 in Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

      New York University

      New York, New York

      Economic score 1.19

      The Economic Score is the combination of debt-to-earnings ratio and earningsplus. We use the economic score to determine a graduate program’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

      Earnings $75,159

      Median earnings of all students 4 years after graduating.

      Debt to earnings 1.4

      The debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing student debt upon graduation by the annual salary. A debt to earnings ratio of 1 means that annual educational debt is the same as annual earnings.

      Debt $105,122

      The total debt accrued by the median student at the time of graduation.

      New York University (NYU) is a prestigious private university in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. It offers an online Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders through its Steinhardt School.  

      It may come as a surprise to see a school as prestigious as NYU in last place on our list of the best online SLP master’s programs. However, remember that we rank colleges by value for money. Unfortunately, NYU’s sky-high costs make it a “bad deal” compared to cheaper colleges with similar educational outcomes. Nevertheless, if you can afford it, this program will do a great job preparing you to become a licensed SLP. 

      • Online format 
      • Full-time or part-time options 
      • Study abroad opportunities 
      • Bilingual extension track available 
      • Placement specialists and student success specialists help you find field placements 
      • ACC accreditation 
      • 99% pass rate on the Praxis exam 
      See more

      How we rank colleges

      We rank colleges by value for money, as reflected in our Economic Score (ES) metric. The lower the ES, the better.

      To do this, we use data on degrees’ economic outcomes from IPEDS and College Scorecard, primary sources from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Department of Education.

      We want to keep things objective and transparent, so our ranking formula uses only 2 variables:

      • Average debt on graduation
      • Average earnings 4 years after graduation
      • A program with a low ES score provides the optimal combination of affordability and high earning potential.

      Read more on our methodology page.

      Note on CAA accreditation for SLP programs

      SLP programs should be accredited by the CAA, a subsidiary of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). All programs on our list of best online SLP master’s programs are CAA accredited.

      Graduating from a non-accredited program may make it impossible to achieve state licensure as a speech-language pathologist after graduation.

      www.degreechoices.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

      Find the perfect online SLP program

      Take a simple quiz to find the online SLP program that’s best for you 

      How “online” are online SLP programs?

      The online programs on this list allow you to complete coursework, listen to lectures, and participate in seminars from home.

      However, all SLP programs have a practical, hands-on component that you can’t do from your couch.

      As such, many ostensibly online programs may require you to come to campus for several weeks during the summer for a practicum. For others, you will be able to complete externships or practica in your local community.

      Some universities may even want you to come to campus to take exams.

      All “online” SLP masters involve some degree of hybrid learning.

      Are online SLP master’s degrees respected?

      Yes. Online SLP degrees command just as much respect on the job market as on-campus programs. 4 years after graduation, earnings outcomes for online vs on-campus degrees are almost identical.

      According to IPEDS data, graduates of online programs earn $62,234 per year on average 4 years out, whereas graduates of traditional programs earn $62,080.

      » Also read: 20 online degrees that pay well

      Are online SLP master’s degrees cheaper?

      There isn’t much of a price difference compared to traditional degrees. The average online SLP grad leaves their master’s program with a debt burden of $52,475, compared to $51,785 for on-campus programs according to IPEDS.

      Bonus: most affordable online SLP programs

      Students of these top 5 most affordable online SLP programs had the smallest average debt burdens at graduation. Note that these figures do not include any undergraduate student debt.

      College Average debt at graduation
      Misericordia University $24,964
      James Madison University $29,440
      University of Nebraska at Kearney $36,099
      Florida State University $40,607
      University of Akron $41,000

      Source: IPEDS

      Admission requirements for online SLP programs

      A typical application package for an online SLP mater’s program looks something like this:

      • Undergraduate transcripts
      • CV or resume
      • Letters of recommendation
      • Personal statement

      Many universities also have the following admissions requirements:

      • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (most programs look for a much higher GPA)
      • Observation hours completed before the program’s start
      • GRE scores
      • TOEFL scores for international students

      Completion of undergraduate coursework in statistics, biological science, physics or chemistry, and social or behavioral science

      Do I need a bachelor’s in SLP to apply for a master’s program?

      No, but if you majored in something else, you will probably have to complete pre-requisite “leveling” courses before you begin your program (but not necessarily before you apply).

      This may cost extra money or extend the program’s length.

      Leveling courses could include introductions to phonetics, audiology, and anatomy, among others.

      Online SLP programs – no GRE required

      More and more online SLP programs are dropping the GRE requirement. Below is a list of the top 20 online SLP programs that do not require you to submit your GRE scores.

      • Misericordia University
      • James Madison University
      • California State University, Northridge
      • Texas Woman’s University
      • Baylor University
      • Florida State University
      • University of Akron
      • University of Nebraska at Kearney
      • Eastern New Mexico University
      • Emerson College
      • East Carolina University
      • Idaho State University
      • University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
      • University of Cincinnati
      • New York University

      » Also read: The test optional movement goes to graduate school

      Should I submit my GRE school even if it’s not required?

      Carefully read the admissions page for the SLP program you’re considering. Many programs make it explicitly clear that they do not consider GRE scores at all. Others are silent on the issue.

      For programs where the GRE is optional, you may want to consider taking it anyway, in case there is a subconscious bias among admissions officers to favor candidates with GRE scores.

      Typical speech-language pathologist classes

      A typical speech-language pathology master’s program will include some of the following courses:

      • Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Swallowing Mechanisms
      • Phonetics
      • Aphasia
      • Speech and Language Development
      • Language Disorders in Children
      • Dysphagia (Swallowing Disorders)
      • Motor Speech Disorders
      • Voice and Resonance Disorders
      • Fluency Disorders
      • Research Methods
      • Professional Ethics

      How to become a speech-language pathologist

      To become a speech-language pathologist, you need complete the following steps:

      1. Get a bachelor’s degree (majoring in communication disorders or SLP will save you time and money later)
      2. Get a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from a CAA-accredited program.
      3. Pass the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology.
      4. Complete a 9-month post-graduation fellowship
      5. Apply for state licensure.

      We explore this process in more detail in our guide to becoming a speech-language pathologist.

      Graduates of online SLP programs earn $62,234 per year 4 years after graduation on average.

      However, the average salary for all speech-language pathologists, regardless of where they’re at in their career, is $84,140 per year, or $40.45 per hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      How much speech-language pathologists earn depends on their work setting, as shown in the following table sourced from the BLS:

      SLP workplace Average annual salary
      Nursing and residential care facilities $101,320
      Hospitals; state, local, and private $96,830
      Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists $93,600
      Educational services; state, local, and private $77,310

      According to the BLS, SLP jobs are expected to grow by 19% by 2032, which is much faster than average. That means you have a very good chance of finding employment soon after getting your degree.

      Final thoughts

      A career in speech-language pathology can be both rewarding and lucrative. Most speech-language pathologists earn enough money to pay back the loans they took out for grad school.

      But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think carefully about the economic value of the program you’re considering. Why take on more debt than you need?

      By ranking the best-value online master’s degrees in speech-language pathology, we help you find a program that won’t compromise your financial security.

      Did you enjoy this post?