Top 10 Affordable Online Master’s in Speech Language Pathology

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by Staff Writers

Updated July 19, 2022

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The Top 10 Affordable Online Master’s in Speech Language Pathology programs will give you advanced knowledge to help treat and diagnose individuals struggling with a broad spectrum of language and speech disorders.  Professionals in the field of speech language pathology must have a strong educational background to successfully assess, prevent, or treat the diversity of challenges that this area of work encompasses. From addressing stuttering to navigating issues with receptive language to understanding non-verbal communication, speech language pathology is a career that will work with all types of health issues and diseases. Speech language pathologists must also be prepared to work with a diversity of ages and cultural backgrounds. Though demands of the vocation may be rigorous, the potential rewards, both in terms of earnings and career satisfaction, are excellent.  Speech language pathologists have an array of potential workplace settings from which to choose. SLPs can be found in schools, clinics, hospitals, and private practices. This is a career with a network of peers found nationwide, too, through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and its special interest groups, as well as through four academic journals such as the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools and the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Networking groups among speech language pathologists tend to be highly educated and cultivate a spirit of continuing education for the sake of best practice, so a career in speech-pathology will ensure lifelong learning.  All of the programs listed below prepare their graduates for the various examinations and certifications necessary to pursue a career in speech-language pathology. In addition to their affordability, most of the programs offer either a reduction in tuition for members of the military or aid through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education program. Many institutions also offer scholarships or tuition assistance. The majority of the programs can be completed in under three years at part-time enrollment, allowing for students who work and have other responsibilities to pursue their degree at their own pace. Lastly, some of the 10 Top Affordable Online Master's in Speech Language Pathology are geared towards those already possessing a Bachelor's in Communication Disorders, whereas others only require specific prerequisite coursework. If you're ready to start your journey as an SLP, we hope you'll find the perfect educational fit for your background! Methodology Each ranking published by Top Master’s in Healthcare requires a lot of research, fact-checking, and interest in the world of higher education and medical industries. The editors of TMHC utilize credible data resources from academic journals, government databases, job recruitment organizations, and, especially, degree alumni reviews. TMHC rankings are scored specifically on degree outcomes, alumni reviews, degree affordability, acceptance rates, MCAT and GRE scores, and degree completion rates. To be considered for ranking by TMHC, degrees must be accredited by the National Science Foundation and, thus, provide appropriate doctorate certifications within the healthcare field and have institutional affiliations with scholarly peer-reviewed publications. For more information about how TMHC scores individual medical degrees, please visit our About Us page.  Here are the 10 Top Affordable Online Master’s in Speech Language Pathology for 2020!  

#10. Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, KY

Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology

The Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology at Western Kentucky University is 60 semester hours in total. The program combines 40 credit hours of core coursework with eight credits of clinical coursework. Core coursework covers topics such as motor speech disorders, aphasia, voice disorders, and cognitive-linguistic disorders. Students in the program will also engage in a minimum of 400 hours of clinical experience via an internship before graduation. To conclude their studies, students may opt to pursue either a thesis or non-thesis track. Meeting the academic criteria of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, the program prepares its graduates for state licensure and national certification.  Applicants to the program must possess a bachelor's degree and have a minimum 3.5 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of their undergraduate work. For students who do not have an academic background, speech-language prerequisite courses are offered before starting the program. Additionally, GRE or GMAT test scores are required for the application. The program accepts up to 12 transfer credits of relevant graduate work from another institution. For applicants seeking financial aid, Western Kentucky University has several merit-based scholarships. Graduate Tuition: $11,780/ Out-of-State: $16,230 Score: 94.83  

#9. Tennessee State University

Nashville, TN

Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Science

The Tennessee State University Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Science program can be completed in eight semesters. The program is a total of 41 credit hours for completion, and students will engage in supervised clinical for 50 hours. All students must also participate in at least 400 hours of practicum work. The MS in Speech and Hearing Science program is home to a Speech-Language Clinic and Audiology Testing/Research Clinic where both adults and children receive services such as speech and language screening and assessment, stuttering therapy, voice therapy, and accent modification. Audiology services cover electrophysiological testing. Online students may fulfill their practicum at this clinic or a site in their geographical region.  No more than 30 new students are admitted each academic year. The application process requires that students have a bachelor's degree and GRE or GMAT scores. Other application materials include three letters of recommendation as well as a personal essay that explains the applicant's interest in the program and long-term career goals. Deadlines for entry in the fall term are due by July 1 each year. Applicants need not possess a Bachelor's in Speech and Hearing Sciences but may be granted conditional admission where they must take 15 hours of prerequisite courses in phonetics, clinical methods in articulation disorders, and language and speech development in children.  Graduate Tuition: $11,076/ Out-of-State: $22,716 Score: 92.64  

#8. University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, CO

Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology


The 763-credit Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Northern Colorado is a three-year program. Students progress through the program as part of a cohort and attend an annual two-week residency in the summer term. During the residency, students will engage in lab work and receive academic advising. Students will take 33 credits of core coursework in topics such as professional issues in SLP, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology of communication, and voice and resonance disorders. Nine to 18 credit hours of internship work in a public school or medical setting are required, as are seven credit hours of research courses. An additional 14-19 credits of clinical practicum work must be fulfilled to graduate.   To gain admission to the program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum of 3.0 GPA. The degree is intended for students who are currently working as speech language pathologists or have temporary teaching endorsements. For applicants without a background in speech and hearing, prerequisite courses in phonetics, physical and biological acoustics, and basic audiology must be completed before enrollment in the graduate program.  Graduate Tuition: $10,402/ Out-of-State: $19,566 Score: 93.83  

#7. James Madison University 

Harrisonburg, VA

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


James Madison University's Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology meets the academic standards set by the Council for Clinical Certification of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association for licensure and certification. Students in the program will take two to three classes per term for three years for degree completion; a total of 32 credit hours are required. The program admits a new cohort of students each year and combines coursework with at least 375 hours of clinical practicum work. In their first year, students will take classes such as Research in CSD, Physiological and Acoustical Phonetics, and Advanced Children's Language Disorders. New students must attend an orientation, as well as a six-week clinical practicum on campus, before their first term.  Applicants to the program are required to submit GRE test scores, a personal written statement, and two references. Additionally, JMU's graduate school recommends that applicants to the Speech-Language Pathology program create a video submission in which they discuss stress management and their readiness to engage in graduate work. Competitive candidates to the school will have a background in statistics, physics, biological science, and chemistry.  Graduate Tuition: $10,224/ Out-of-State: $28,416 Score: 96.63  

#6. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Eau Claire, WI

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


At the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders requires roughly three-years of study at part-time enrollment. The program prepares students for certification in Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology or licensure in speech and language pathology through the Department of Public Instruction. Students are also well prepared to pass the Praxis with flying colors before graduation. The program is a total of 54 credits and culminates in either a thesis or comprehensive examination, as per the student's choice. Additional required coursework includes two externships at the end of the program. Practicum work can be engaged in at the University's Center for Communication Disorders, or students may elect to participate in their practicum work elsewhere, depending upon department approval.  Applicants to the program should have a minimum 2.75 GPA, with a bachelor's degree, preferably in the communication sciences and disorders. At least 30 credits completed in communication science classes are required for admission. A personal essay, three letters of recommendation, and GRE test scores are also required. Applications are due November 1, and only 16-18 new students are admitted each year to the program.  Graduate Tuition: $7,831/ Out-of-State: $17,191 Score: 96.52  

#5. University of Akron

Akron, OH

Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology


The University of Akron's Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology is an eight-semester, part-time program. The degree combines a 400-hour practicum with courses in advanced phonetics, neuroscience for communication disorders, and dysphagia, to name a few of the areas of study. The required internship may be fulfilled at an approved location in each student's area of residence. The program currently has a 100% pass rate on the Praxis national exam as well as a 100% post-graduation employment rate. The School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is also home to the Audiology and Speech Center, which provides a broad spectrum of services to the larger Akron community. Before starting the program, MA applicants should have at least one class completed in each of the following subjects: statistics, social science, biological science, and physical science. Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work with a Bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the average GPA of students admitted to the program in 2019 was 3.69.  Graduate Tuition: $7,731/ Out-of-State: $13,237 Score: 94.57  

#4. Idaho State University 

Pocatello, ID

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Idaho State University's Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology is a 63-64 credit program. Students will engage in clinical practicums at the Meridian campus in their second year and at a location in their region in their third year. Individuals interested in learning more about technical assistance for adults and children with speaking disabilities as well as intervention services for hard of hearing and deaf children are in luck at Idaho State University, as faculty specialize in those very same interests. Idaho State University also houses the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders, which can serve an excellent resource for prospective SLPs.  Applicants to the program must possess a Bachelor's degree in Communications Sciences or fulfill prerequisite courses before enrollment. The program accepts 20 new students in the online program each year, and in 2019, it received 400 applications. The MS in Speech Language Pathology participates in the Western Regional Graduate Program, offering in-state tuition to students who reside in the ten western states specified on the school website.  Graduate Tuition: $7,187/ Out-of-State: $21,963 Score: 94.57  

#3. California State University-Northridge 

Northridge, CA

Master of Science in Communicative Disorders


The California State University-Northridge's Master of Science in Communicative Disorders prepares its students for licensure and employment in private and public schools and clinics. Over 41 months, MS students will take a total of 21 courses for a total of 36 credits. The program combines experiential learning through clinical experiences with online instruction, and courses include Interviewing and Counseling in Communicative Disorders, Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology, Pediatric Audiology, and Voice and Disorders of Voice. To complete the program, students must successfully pass a written exam on speech-language pathology and submit a thesis. The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at CSUN has a non-profit clinic that has been serving children and adults in the Northridge area since 1960. To apply for admission, applicants should have a bachelor's degree and have taken classes in communicative disorders. For applicants without a background in communicative disorders, prerequisite courses in basic communication sciences, including audiometry and auditory rehabilitation, must be fulfilled upon the start of the program. Students may also be able to substitute equivalent coursework for conditional admission.   Graduate Tuition: $7,176/ Out-of-State: $16,680 Score: 99.39  

#2. East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders consists of a total of three years of study and the completion of 60 credits. Throughout the program, students will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA. The program combines over 400 hours of internship experience with coursework and lectures, and internships can take place in the student's geographical region or at the on-campus clinic. In their first year in the program, students will take classes such as Language Disorders; Brain, Language, and Aphasia; and Research Design. The MS in CSD also collaborates with the University of Alaska-Anchorage for students to fulfill clinical work requirements.  The MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders program at ECU only accepts 10-12 new students per year. Three letters of recommendation, an essay describing the applicant’s intended career goals, and at least 21 credit hours in communication sciences are required for admission. Active members of the military are eligible for ECU’s in-state tuition rate, and ECU offers a variety of services and resources to veterans and current members of the military.  Graduate Tuition: $4,749/ Out-of-State: $17,898 Score: 96.51  

#1. Texas Woman’s University

Denton, TX

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Texas Woman's University's Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology is a 61-credit-hour program. Students can complete the degree in six to seven semesters, and the curriculum combines 41 credits of coursework with two elective credits and 18 hours of practicum experience. MS in Speech-Language Pathology students can fulfill their practicum requirement and train at the Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic or The Stroke Center in Dallas. The faculty of the online program are the same who teach on-campus, so distance learners at TWU can expect to receive the same excellent education. Faculty research areas include topics such as technology and deafness, the inclusion of deaf children in classrooms, and hearing-loss early detection and intervention. Over the last three years, 99% of online students in the program passed the Praxis exam, and 100% of graduates became employed in the SLP field.  For students who do not have a background in communication disorders, the program offers pre-degree leveling courses. Starting each spring, seven online courses totaling 21 credit hours help to enter students prepare for the graduate program. These leveling classes cover topics like language development, phonetics, school-age language, and audiology. Additionally, the Department of Communication Sciences and Oral Health offers four generous scholarships to applicants to the MS in Speech and Language Disorders program.  Graduate Tuition: $4,672/ Out-of-State: $12,142 Score: 96.10 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.

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