Best Speech Pathology Programs

A bachelor's in speech pathology is necessary to start a speech pathologist career. Discover what this training includes and what opportunities it brings.

portrait of Doug Wintemute
by Doug Wintemute

Published July 8, 2022

Edited by Desiree Cunningham
Share this Article

Speech pathologists diagnose and treat communication disorders in people of all ages. In a bachelor's in speech pathology program, degree-seekers study the causes and effects of these disorders and treatment methods. These programs also develop the foundation for graduate-level studies, research, and practice.

Graduates with this degree may pursue various healthcare degrees and careers, including a master's in speech pathology and the profession in the field afterward. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 29% growth in this field, nearly four times the projected growth rate of 8% for all occupations. Speech pathologists also earned median annual wages more than $30,000 higher than the median annual wage of $45,760 for all occupations.

www.bestcolleges.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.

Ready to start your journey?

A bachelor's in speech pathology typically features about 120 credits and four years of training. Online schools may provide more flexible study options, including fast-paced training. By better accommodating working professionals, online learning can also impact the true program cost, which accounts for any lost income.

Learn about the best bachelor's in speech pathology programs and the postgraduate paths you can take by earning this degree.

Our Top Pick

Brigham Young University - Provo, Utah

Why It's #1: While many schools stand out for various reasons, Brigham Young University (BYU) holds high positions in many of our ranking categories. For example, the school boasts one of the higher graduation rates among all speech pathology schools (78%), plus one of the lowest undergraduate tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. The school also offers its students financial aid options. Not only do 71% of BYU students receive financial aid, only 14% of students receive loans, meaning scholarships and grants make up much of their financial support.

Read Our Rankings Methodology

Best Accredited Bachelor's in Speech Pathology Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

#1

Brigham Young University-Provo

School Information
Location Provo, Utah
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 78%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
Latter-day Saint | $331
Non-Latter-day Saint | $662

Credits to Graduate
112 total (58 in the major)

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

BYU's bachelor's in communication disorders explores the leading factors that impact communication in humans. The program looks at the various communication disorders and treatment management methods. Core courses include speech anatomy, clinical phonetics, and speech sound disorders. 

In the final semester, students complete a professional practices capstone course. Learners also have access to the school's speech and language clinic for practical training and observation. To declare this major, applicants must complete prerequisites in statistics, anatomy, acoustics, and introduction to speech-language pathology.

View School Profile
#2

Northeastern University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 18%
Graduation Rate 89%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,847
Out of State | $1,847

Credits to Graduate
128 total

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Northeastern's bachelor's in speech-language pathology and audiology equips students with the skills necessary for careers in communication sciences and language disorders. The training also prepares learners for graduate-level studies. In the later semesters, students encounter courses in aural rehabilitation, language disorders across the lifespan, and early intervention.

In addition to classwork, students engage in practical training exercises in Northeastern's Speech-Language and Hearing Center. For admission, prospective students need at least a high school or GED diploma.

View School Profile
#3

Boston University

School Information
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 19%
Graduation Rate 88%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $61,050
Out of State | $61,050

Credits to Graduate
128 total

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

BU's bachelor's in speech, language, and hearing sciences prepares students for advanced research and clinical settings in communication sciences. Core courses cover training in language acquisition, speech science, and phonological disorders. Students also complete integrative practical training, such as an internship and lab experiences.

A major component of the program emphasizes pre-professional studies, including disorder evaluation and treatment. For admission, prospective students need a high school or GED diploma.

View School Profile
#4

University of Florida-Online

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 32%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $129
Out of State | $552

Credits to Graduate
120 credits total

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

UF's bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders examines the various communication disorders and clinical treatment methods. Core courses include neural basis of communication, audiometry and hearing disorders, and audiologic rehabilitation. Learners also complete clinical observations. 

For admission, first-year applicants need a high school or GED diploma and a minimum 2.5 GPA. For access to the major, students must complete all general education prerequisites and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Visit Site
#5

University of Wisconsin-Madison

School Information
Location Madison, Wisconsin
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 88%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $10,722
Out of State | $39,354

Credits to Graduate
120 total

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association 

UW's bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders provides students with a foundation necessary for graduate-level training and professional licensure. The program features courses in speech acoustics and perception, physiology of speech production, and normal aspects of hearing. 

Students can take the program with either the education or letters and sciences departments, with small differences in the requirements for each program. For admission to the school, applicants need a high school or GED diploma. For entry into the major, they need to complete all general education prerequisites, including a foreign language component.

View School Profile
#6

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $212.28
Out of State | $748.89

Credits to Graduate
120 total (63-64 in the major)

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

UCF's bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders features courses in language development, physiological bases of speech, and multicultural aspects of communication disorders and differences. In this program, students learn to think critically about communication development and differences. Learners also study how to make ethical treatment and analysis decisions. 

UCF also offers an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's program in communication sciences and disorders. For admission, applicants need a high school or GED diploma, plus SAT or ACT scores.

View School Profile
#7

George Washington University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 82%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,995
Out of State | $1,995

Credits to Graduate
120 total (44 for the major and concentration)

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

GW's bachelor's in speech, language, and hearing science trains students in communication processes and development. The program features three concentrations, including communication sciences and disorders, and language across cultures and the lifespan. The final concentration is the neuroscience of language and communication.

The core curriculum for all specializations includes courses in foundations in human communication, research methods, and language structure and meaning. First-year applicants need a high school or GED diploma for admission to the school. Those applying to the major must have completed all general education prerequisites.

View School Profile
#8

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

School Information
Location Champaign, Illinois
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 85%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $17,138-$22,324
Out of State | $35,110-$42,796

Credits to Graduate
128 total

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

U of I's bachelor's in speech and hearing science offers concentrations in audiology, cultural-linguistic diversity, and the neuroscience of communication. Another concentration is speech-language pathology. The core curriculum includes courses in anatomical and physiological speech mechanism, development of spoken language, and interpreting clinical research. 

The training provides learners with the theoretical and clinical preparation necessary to enter a master's program after graduation. For admission, prospective students need a high school or GED diploma, plus strong grades.

View School Profile
#9

San Diego State University

School Information
Location San Diego, California
Admission Rate 34%
Graduation Rate 73%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $8,174
Out of State | $8,174

Credits to Graduate
120 total (up to 68 in the major)

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

SDSU's bachelor's in speech, language, and hearing sciences prepares students for professional training and practice in the communicative disorders field. Core training includes courses in principles of audiology, phonological acquisition and disorders, and communication processes and aging. 

Students can access the school's speech, language, and hearing clinic facilities. For school admissions, prospective students need a high school or GED diploma. To enter the major, applicants need prerequisites in communication sciences, psychology, and statistics, plus a minimum 2.75 GPA.

View School Profile

Popular Online Speech Pathology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Bachelor's in Speech Pathology ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 157 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Top Three Benefits of a Speech Pathology Degree


Foundation for further training and development

According to the BLS, speech pathologists need a master's degree and state licensure to practice in the field. While a bachelor's in speech pathology can lead to various healthcare careers after graduation, the training primarily lays the groundwork for the required advanced training and professional practice.


Access to various work environments

Speech pathologists work in many environments and healthcare settings. Examples include physician's offices, hospitals, residential care facilities, and schools.


Strong salary potential

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for speech pathologists was $79,060 in May 2021. This is higher than the median annual salaries for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations during that same period.

What Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Speech Pathology Program?

A bachelor's in speech pathology typically focuses on developing professional fundamentals in students. Learners study the science of speech acquisition, development, and disorders. They learn to identify communication issues and provide treatment.

In addition to the speech pathology major, undergraduate students must complete general education courses to satisfy the requirements of their bachelor's degree. Depending on the school and program, students may choose between a BA or a BS. These programs usually differ in their electives, though BS programs may feature more clinical training.

Some programs offer concentrations, which alter the focus of the training in the later courses. Possible specializations may include audiology, language or linguistics, and neuroscience of communication.

Check Out The Student's Guide to College Planning

Program Snapshot
Average Bachelor's Degree Tuition Cost

Public Institution: $9,349

Private Institution: $32,769

Length 4 years
Credits 120
Program Tracks Bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of science (BS)
Example Concentrations
  • Audiology
  • Communication disorders
  • Neuroscience of communication
  • Language across cultures
  • Language and communication development
Example Courses
  • Language structure
  • Phonological acquisition
  • Speech anatomy
  • Human communication
  • Phonetics

What Programs Are Similar to Speech Pathology?

What Are the Admission Requirements?

Each school and program has its own admission requirements, but prospective students need a high school or GED diploma at a minimum for entry. They may also need to post minimum GPAs or scores on their college entrance exams.

Other requirements include letters of recommendation and college application essays, which provide insightful information about the applicant and can sway an admission decision. To choose the right college, prospective students should consider what application requirements are needed and how their submissions measure up.

Explore Our Undergraduate Application Guide

How Do I Pay for a Bachelor's Degree in Speech Pathology?

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Graduates with a bachelor's in speech pathology can use their science and human development knowledge to access healthcare assistant and aide careers. In their job hunt, they might also pursue administrative positions in healthcare settings, a sector that offers a growing number of opportunities.

For example, the BLS projects 18% growth for medical assistant occupations between 2020 and 2030, more than twice the projected growth rate of 8% for all occupations. The median annual salary for these professionals was $37,190 in May 2021.

The primary aim for most graduates is to continue their training in a master's program, which may grant them access to speech-language pathologist roles. The BLS projects 29% growth in this field, and these workers made a median annual salary of over $79,000 in May 2021.

Learn More About Speech Pathology Careers

Popular Speech Pathology Careers
Career Median Annual Salary (May 2021)
Medical Assistant $37,190
Medical and Health Services Manager $101,340
Social and Community Services Manager $74,000
Health Education Specialist $48,860
Personal Care Aide $29,430

Speech Pathology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Speech Pathology Licensing and Certification

While professionals with a bachelor's in speech pathology do not have access to postgraduate credentials in their field, it can still help to understand the differences between certificates, certifications, and licenses. Generally, schools offer certificate training programs to students, and governing organizations offer industry certifications to qualified professionals. Governments offer licenses to professionals who qualify for practice.

In the speech pathology field, professionals need a master's degree and state licensure or registration to practice. Master's graduates can also pursue a certificate of clinical competence.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Speech Pathology Online?

Before choosing a college, prospective students should decide between online and on-campus studies. Earning a bachelor's degree in speech pathology online has many benefits, including opening the door to more programs nationwide. Another component to an online degree's value is the scheduling flexibility offered, allowing learners to study during the hours that work best for them.

Online vs. On-Campus Degrees

On-Campus Pros

  • Access to on-campus resources and support services
  • In-person social interaction and networking
  • Hands-on learning
  • Classroom learning environment with fewer distractions
  • Extracurricular clubs and activities

On-Campus Cons

  • May be more expensive than online programs
  • Set class times with less flexibility
  • Time/money commuting

Online Pros

  • Flexibility to learn on your schedule
  • Learn from anywhere
  • Network with people around the world
  • Save time/money on commuting
  • May be more affordable than on-campus programs
  • Access to online tutoring and career services

Online Cons

  • Requires more self-discipline
  • Not all programs are available online
  • More technical requirements
  • Potential social isolation and loneliness

How to Choose an Online Degree Program

Frequently Asked Questions About Speech Pathology Programs

Is a bachelor's in speech pathology worth it?

Yes. A bachelor's in speech pathology opens a path to a very rewarding career. For aspiring speech pathologists, a bachelor's degree is the first step to speech pathology licensure and professional practice, which requires a master's degree.

In this field, professionals benefit from better-than-average projected growth and salary potentials, as per the BLS. They also get to help people understand and manage communication disorders.

What can I do with a bachelor's in speech pathology?

Graduates with a bachelor's in speech pathology can enter the workforce in an entry-level healthcare or support role. These positions may be located in a speech pathology setting or a more general healthcare setting.

They can also continue their training and pursue a master's degree in speech pathology. This will qualify them for state licensure or registration, which permits them to work as a speech pathologist. Graduates might also pursue a master's degree in another healthcare field.

What continuing education is available for speech pathology graduates?

In the speech pathology field, continuing education is common. In fact, for those with only a bachelor's in speech pathology, continuing education is required for employment in the field. State licensure and registration requirements include a master's education and sufficient supervised clinical experience.

Speech pathology graduates may even pivot and pursue an audiology path. According to the BLS, audiologists need a doctorate or professional degree and state licensure. Other advanced healthcare-related degrees may also be available.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in speech pathology?

The salaries available to graduates with a bachelor's in speech pathology can vary significantly, depending on the field they pursue. According to the BLS, medical assistants made median annual wages of $37,190 in May 2021, whereas health education specialists made median annual wages of $48,860.

While they cannot qualify for speech pathologist licensure, bachelor's graduates may qualify for management positions in some healthcare settings. Management professionals made median annual wages of $102,450 in May 2021.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in speech pathology?

The highest-paying job available to a graduate with a bachelor's in speech pathology belongs to medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for these professionals was $101,340 in May 2021, more than $55,000 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.

The top 10% of managers in this field made more than $205,620 in May 2021. Managers in hospital settings made median annual wages of $119,450, whereas those in the government made $117,000.

Feature Image: FatCamera / E+ / Getty Images

BestColleges.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.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.