Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Have you ever considered getting a masters in audiology and speech pathology? Check out our guide for best programs, careers, and salary information.
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A master's program in audiology and speech pathology can prepare students to become certified speech-language pathologists or go on to doctoral programs. Students complete coursework, clinical practicums, and research projects to learn more about how to treat speech and language disorders.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), graduate school cost an average of $19,792 in yearly tuition during the 2019-2020 academic year. Those looking to cut down on these costs might be interested in an online audiology and speech pathology program. By choosing an accredited online college, it may be possible to save money and earn a degree on your own schedule.

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.

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A master's program in audiology and speech pathology typically takes 2-3 years to complete and consists of a 30-60 credit hour curriculum. The time commitment and the possibility of student debt may have prospective students wondering if they should go to graduate school.

However, a healthcare degree can be valuable, particularly a degree in speech pathology and audiology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), speech-language pathologists earned a median annual salary of $79,060 in May 2021. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 29% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average growth rate across all occupations.

Graduates in this field are likely to have access to jobs that offer higher-than-average salaries and opportunities for growth. Check out the programs we've identified as the best for a master's in audiology and speech pathology.

Our Top Pick

Northwestern University - Evanston, Illinois

Why It's #1: Northwestern University is the number one ranked school on our 2022 Best Master's in Audiology and Speech Pathology programs list. This institution has a high graduation rate of 94%, and a low student-to-professor ratio of 6-to-1, so students have the opportunity for a personalized experience. Although Northwestern charges higher-than-average tuition, 64% of students receive aid each year. With an admission rate of 9%, this institution is highly competitive.

Read Our Rankings Methodology

Best Accredited Master's in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Northwestern University

  • Evanston, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Quarter
In State | $17,964
Out of State | $17,964

Credits to Graduate
30 (minimum)

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Northwestern University has one of the best-known master's in speech, language, and learning in the world. Students in this renowned MS program learn from established professors, make use of a state-of-the-art clinic, and learn a progressive curriculum. 

Evidence-based courses focus on preparing students to make scientific decisions, develop leadership skills, and engage in speech pathology dialogue. 

Applicants do not need to have a bachelor's in the communication sciences and disorders field, although some core classes are recommended.

Average Tuition
In-state
$56,232
Out-of-state
$56,232
Retention Rate
98%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
22,448
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $44,586
Out of State | $44,586

Credits to Graduate
30 (minimum) 

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine houses the hearing and speech sciences graduate program. It is one of the largest programs at Vanderbilt, and the largest non-M.D. program in the school of medicine. The program offers two degree paths: a master of science in speech-language pathology (M.S.-SLP) and a master's in education of the Deaf (MDE).

Students have the opportunity to complete their clinical hours at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, one of the most well-respected healthcare facilities in the country. Applicants must submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE test scores.

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,800
Out-of-state
$50,800
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
13,131
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $587
Out of State | $1,602

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The master's in speech and hearing sciences program at UNC Chapel Hill focuses on interdisciplinary studies, a global mindset, and leadership skills. The program satisfies all the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 

During the program, students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on a research topic of their choice at impressive clinical and internship sites. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,198
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
23%
Students Enrolled
29,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $531
Out of State | $1,255

Credits to Graduate
63

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The master of arts program in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Florida qualifies students for a speech pathology certification in five full-time semesters. 

The coursework focuses on evidence-based, culturally sensitive clinical work, however, students have time to develop their research skills in classes of 25-30 students. There is an optional thesis track where students cultivate their own research with the guidance of a mentor. The average employment rate three years post-graduation is nearly 98%. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online and Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $2,020
Out of State | $2,020

Credits to Graduate
48

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

NYU's master's program in speech-language pathology is a mostly online program designed for flexibility and speech-language pathology certification. The coursework is all evidence-based and prioritizes person-centered care. 

Before beginning clinical work, participants are required to attend two on-campus immersions to prepare for the experience through workshops, clinics, and feedback from mentors. Once this is completed a mentor is assigned to help students find a local placement to complete their required 375 clinic hours.

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,684
Out-of-state
$50,684
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
52,885
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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.

#6 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Brigham Young University-Provo

  • Provo, UT
  • 4 years
  • Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Semester
In State | $3,966 (Latter-day Saint); $7,932 (Non-Latter-day Saint)
Out of State | $3,966 (Latter-day Saint); $7,932 (Non-Latter-day Saint)

Credits to Graduate
48

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

A master's degree in communication disorders from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, meets all requirements for students to earn the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. The program focuses equally on coursework, a clinical practicum, and a thesis. Of the 48 required credits, 37 are coursework, five are clinical practicum, and six are thesis.

Students with all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply, but they may be required to take extra core classes if they have not already been completed. GRE scores are required as part of the application.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,790
Out-of-state
$5,790
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
34,318
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#7 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

University of Virginia-Main Campus

  • Charlottesville, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $17,800
Out of State | $28,380

Credits to Graduate
69

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The master of education program in communication sciences and disorders at UVA is a full-time program split between academic classes and clinical training. Clinical training is completed at the Sheila Johnson Center, an on-site clinic open to Virginia residents seeking diagnosis and treatment of speech issues. 

The program features tracks for those who have a background in communication disorders and those who do not. Those who have already completed the core classes upon entering the program will be able to finish two semesters early. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,970
Out-of-state
$47,833
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
24%
Students Enrolled
25,012
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Northeastern University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $52,420
Out of State | $52,420

Credits to Graduate
60

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The MS program in speech-language pathology at Northeastern combines rigorous academics with clinical research to help students learn to solve complex service delivery issues. Participants work closely with faculty on evidence-based research in labs and learn innovative techniques to improve speech. 

Faculty are internationally recognized and all are active in the speech pathology field. Graduates of this program are eligible for state licensure and the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence after completing their clinical fellowship year. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$52,420
Out-of-state
$52,420
Retention Rate
99%
Admission Rate
18%
Students Enrolled
22,207
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#9 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Boston University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

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

Credits to Graduate
67

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The MS program in speech-language pathology at BU accepts students from all academic disciplines. Learners gain broad clinical experience on and off campus and earn their degrees in two years.

Students who participate in coursework and clinical hours will qualify for Massachusetts state licensure and American Speech–Language–Hearing Association certification. The program boasts a 100% passing rate on the National Certification Board Examination and a 100% employment rate within six months of graduation.

Average Tuition
In-state
$54,720
Out-of-state
$54,720
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
19%
Students Enrolled
33,720
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Master’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Yeshiva University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online, Hybrid, or On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,590
Out of State | $1,590

Credits to Graduate
55

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

A MS program in speech-language pathology at Yeshiva University specializes in the medical aspects of speech language pathology and offers students flexible options. Enrollees can choose to complete their studies online or on campus and part time or full time. 

The Jewish university focuses on diverse clinic experiences, and students have the opportunity to serve clients of all ages and backgrounds. In their coursework, students use cutting-edge technology and develop the skills to counsel patients experiencing challenging conditions.

Average Tuition
In-state
$42,200
Out-of-state
$42,200
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
5,357
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Popular Online Audiology and 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 Master's in Audiology and 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 99 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

  • Each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution.
  • Must offer a master's degree program in the given subject.
  • Must submit an annual report to the National Center for Education Statistics.

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 an Audiology and Speech Pathology Degree


Audiology and speech pathology can be a good fit for people who have a knack for working 1-on-1 with clients.

Graduates pursue many different types of careers at schools, nonprofits, and hospitals. All graduates have the opportunity to work with diverse client populations with different abilities.


Audiology and speech pathologists generally earn higher-than-average salaries.

According to the BLS, speech-language pathologists earned a median annual salary of $79,060 in May 2021. The top 10% of these professionals earned more than $125,560 during the same period.


The field of audiology and speech pathology is growing.

The BLS projects a 29% increase in positions for speech-language pathologists between 2020 and 2030, or the addition of about 45,400 new jobs.

What Can I Expect From a Master's in Audiology and Speech Pathology Program?

When preparing for graduate school, it is important to consider the requirements of the program and your own academic and professional goals. A master's in audiology and speech pathology program typically requires students to complete 30-60 credits of classes in linguistic and cognitive development and communication disorders. In addition, students must complete required fieldwork and practicums.

Speech-language pathologists must be comfortable working with clients of all abilities and ages, have an inclusive mindset, and care about health and research.

Check Out The Student's Guide to College Planning

Program Snapshot
Average Graduate Degree Tuition Cost

Public Institution: $12,410

Private Institution: $26,597

Length 2-3 years
Credits 30-60
Program Tracks Master of arts (MA), master of science (MS), master of education (M.Ed.)
Example Concentrations
  • Autism
  • Fluency
  • Neurogenic, voice, and swallowing
  • Hearing
Example Courses
  • Linguistic and Cognitive Development
  • Neurogenic Communication Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Disorders of Voice and Resonance
  • Dysphagia

What Programs Are Similar to Audiology and Speech Pathology?

What Are the Admission Requirements?

Admission requirements may make students question how to prepare for graduate school. Although requirements vary, many programs ask applicants for the same basic information. For example, prospective students almost always need to have a bachelor's degree.

Some programs may be selective about coursework and require applicants to have majored in certain subjects or completed certain courses in communicative disorders. Other programs accept applicants from any academic background.

Institutions almost always ask potential enrollees to submit admission essays and resumes. Some schools require students to submit GRE scores and possess a certain GPA or higher.

Explore Our Graduate Admissions Guide

How Do I Pay for a Master's Degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology?

What Can I Do With This Degree?

A person holding a degree in speech-language pathology can expect to make approximately $79,060 a year. According to the BLS, there were 158,100 jobs for these professionals in 2020, and by 2030, there are projected to be 45,400 more job openings. Speech-language pathology is one of the fastest-growing careers that require a master's. The BLS reports a 29% job growth rate for these professionals between 2020 and 2030, a much higher growth rate than the average 8% across occupations during the same period. Most speech pathologists work in schools or hospitals and hold titles such as speech-language pathologist, rehabilitation director, pathology assistant, and pediatric pathologist.

Popular Audiology and Speech Pathology Careers
Career Average Annual Salary (July 2022)
Speech-Language Pathologist $63,580
Rehabilitation Director $89,750
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant $42,160
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist $63,130
Speech-Language Pathology Supervisor $73,210

Source: Payscale

Learn More About Audiology and Speech Pathology Careers

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

Audiology and Speech Pathology Licensing and Certification

Many people who complete master's programs pursue degrees to obtain a certification or license in that area of expertise. The majority of master's in audiology and speech students seek speech-language pathology (SLP) certification after graduation. SLP certification is a requirement for the majority of professionals in this field.

After students complete their programs and fellowships, they can apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) through ASHA.

Should I Get a Master's in Audiology and Speech Pathology Online?

Many prospective students wonder if getting a master's online is worth it. Going to an online college can be a great way to cut costs, work around a busy schedule, or choose a program in a different city.

Online vs. On-Campus Degrees

On-Campus Pros

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

On-Campus Cons

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

Online Pros

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

Online Cons

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

How to Choose an Online Degree Program

Frequently Asked Questions About Audiology and Speech Pathology Programs

Is a master's in audiology and speech pathology worth it?

Prospective students who wonder about the worth of a master's degree should know that it requires an investment of 2-3 years and tens of thousands of dollars. However, for many students, a master's in audiology and speech pathology is worth it.

According to the BLS, speech-language pathologists earned an above-average median salary of $79,060 in May 2021. The organization also projects increased demand for these professionals between 2020 and 2030, indicating opportunities for professional growth and increased job security.

Students can also consider pursuing their degrees online to cut costs and keep working while attending school. Online degree programs can be worth it because of the flexibility, reduced costs, and accessibility.

What can I do with a master's in audiology and speech pathology?

Master's in audiology and speech pathology degree-holders usually go on to become certified speech pathologists. They often have titles like speech pathologist, language pathologist, and speech therapist. With years of experience, these professionals can assume directorial and managerial positions, overseeing teams of speech therapists.

Regardless of their titles, most speech pathologists' responsibilities include diagnosing, treating, and counseling patients who have speech and language disorders. Reporting progress and new findings to the speech therapy community can also be an important aspect of the job, depending on a person's position. They usually work in schools or health facilities, like hospitals, clinics, or assisted living facilities.

What continuing education is available for audiology and speech pathology graduates?

Although a master's degree can qualify a graduate for speech pathology jobs, some graduates choose to continue their education and pursue a doctorate in the field. Doctorates can qualify speech pathologists for career advancements and higher salaries.

Speech pathologists with doctoral degrees may become administrators, master clinicians, supervisors, or professors. A doctorate in this area of study is not required in order to have a successful career, so potential candidates should consider whether or not this higher degree will be worth the personal investment.

How much money can I make with a master's in audiology and speech pathology?

A person with a master's in audiology and speech pathology can expect to make $79,060 a year, according to the BLS. However, with additional years of experience and more education, these workers can earn over six figures per year.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in audiology and speech pathology?

The highest-paying jobs for professionals with master's degrees in audiology and speech pathology are generally managerial or directorial positions.

Speech pathologists can also earn more money in certain fields. Home health services and private enterprises typically pay high wages. In general, working in medical facilities, such as hospitals and clinics also yields higher salaries. Depending on a professional's level of experience and education, they can earn between $70,000 and $120,000 per year.

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.

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