Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

A master's in speech pathology prepares you to help people with communication disorders. Discover the top schools to study this in-demand field.
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Updated on January 19, 2024
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2024

Best Online Master's Degree Programs in Speech-Language Pathology

The demand for speech pathologists is high as the U.S. population ages and more children are evaluated for communication disorders. Graduates of master's in speech pathology programs (also known as communication sciences and disorders) can pursue careers in medical, rehabilitative, and school settings.

Find out what speech pathologists do, where they work, how much they make, and what to look for in a master's in speech pathology program.

Popular Online Programs

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

Master's in Speech-Language Pathology Rankings Summary

Rank School In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Acceptance Rate
#1 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
$3,239 $12,223 Not provided
#2 James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA
$11,184 $27,888 86%
#3 University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI
$10,728 $24,054 60%
#4 Purdue University-Main Campus
West Lafayette, IN
$9,718 $28,520 69%
#5 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
$10,552 $28,844 20%
#6 San Diego State University
San Diego, CA
$7,176 $16,680 38%
#7 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR
$7,934 $16,124 Not provided
#8 Towson University
Towson, MD
$8,280 $17,136 88%
#9 University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
$10,770 $27,335 30%
#10 Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI
$21,960 $21,960 86%

Best Master's in Speech-Language Pathology Programs

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

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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#1 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • San Antonio, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Semester:

In-State | $6,045-$7,083

Out-of-State | $11,349-$13,203

Credits to Graduate: 66

The master's in speech-language pathology at UT Health San Antonio integrates medical studies with community-based clinical training. The program lasts two years, or five semesters, and includes 400 supervised clinical hours. 

In the medical coursework, you will learn about speech neurological bases, research methods, fluency disorders, head and neck cancer, tracheostomy, and mechanical ventilation.

UT Health San Antonio demands the submission of GRE scores. Meeting the requirements includes having a bachelor's degree, completed prerequisites, and a GPA of at least 3.0.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,232
Out-of-state
$19,420
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$3,239
Out-of-state
$12,223
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,499
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

James Madison University

  • Harrisonburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $545

Out-of-State | $1,272

Credits to Graduate: 45

Complete JMU's master's in speech-language pathology degree in just over five semesters, including two off-campus externships. You'll complete 45 credits in two years. If you would like to complete a master's thesis, it could potentially take you an additional semester.

Local hospitals and rehabilitation centers, including the Scottish Rite Clinic and JMU Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Clinics, host clinical placements. Graduate assistantships are available through this program without any extra application required. 

You can apply with an undergraduate degree in any major, granted you complete the prerequisites and hold a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,460
Out-of-state
$23,800
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,184
Out-of-state
$27,888
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
22,166
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Madison, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $811

Out-of-State | $1,295-$1,644

Credits to Graduate: 40

When you enroll in UW's master's in speech-language pathology program, you'll complete clinical work on campus and offsite in preparation for a license in Wisconsin. The program lasts about five semesters, including a summer session. You can opt for a thesis or non-thesis track.

Graduate students can get experience at the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic, founded in 1914, and area hospitals and school districts. In total, you'll complete at least 125 clinical practicum hours. 

The Communication Sciences and Disorders department also offers a non-clinical master's in normal aspects of speech, language and hearing degree. Both tracks help you develop a digital portfolio used for a state license. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,273
Out-of-state
$37,161
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,728
Out-of-state
$24,054
Retention Rate
95%
Acceptance Rate
60%
Students Enrolled
47,016
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

Purdue University-Main Campus

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $347

Out-of-State | $347

Credits to Graduate: 62-67

A master's in speech-language pathology degree at Purdue offers the opportunity to contribute to faculty-led research. Graduate students can pursue research opportunities in voice disorders, aphasia, dysphagia, and neurogenic disorders. 

The program, which spans over two years and provides clinical work experience at the M.D. Steer Speech, Language and Swallowing Clinics. The foundational courses cover speech disorders in children and adults and evaluating research.

According to Purdue, roughly 96% of the 2022-2023 class graduated on time, and 100% passed the Praxis exam. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,718
Out-of-state
$28,520
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,718
Out-of-state
$28,520
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
50,344
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#5 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,022

Out-of-State | $2,038

Credits to Graduate: 60

If you want to pursue a clinical track with a focus on diverse and underserved populations, consider UC-Chapel Hill's master's in speech and hearing sciences degree

This 60-credit degree, which does not require a thesis, incorporates 20 classes, 400 hours of clinical experience, and laboratory time. There's also a non-clinical route that provides advanced research experience. 

Over the past three years, about 98.5% of students enrolled in this program graduated on time, according to UC-Chapel Hill.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,882
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,552
Out-of-state
$28,844
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
20%
Students Enrolled
31,641
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#6 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

San Diego State University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Year:

In-State | $9,724

Out-of-State | $9,724 plus $396 per unit

Credits to Graduate: 45

SDSU's master's of arts in speech-language pathology degree is a full-time program to help you to become a certified pathologist. There is an optional bilingualism concentration. 

This 45-credit program includes three semesters of clinical work at the SDSU Speech-Language Clinic and two externships in a public school and at an adult or adolescent-served setting, such as an acute care hospital.

The School of Speech, Language and Hearing Services admits students in the fall. On average, 99% of students enrolled in this program graduated on time, according to SDSU.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$16,680
Retention Rate
90%
Acceptance Rate
38%
Students Enrolled
36,484
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#7 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • Little Rock, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Semester:

In-State | $2,364-$5,122

Out-of-State | $5,1122-$11,076

Credits to Graduate: 54-55

Earning a master's in speech-language pathology degree at UAMS lets you learn and prepare for an Arkansas license in a cohort of about  24 students. This full-time program incorporates classroom and clinical experiences. 

The college's location offers ample placement opportunities at school districts, the Arkansas Easter Seal Society, and the United Cerebral Palsy Center. You'll complete 425 hours of clinical experience, including 25 observation hours.

Even without an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders, you can apply. However, you will need to take prerequisites and a competitive GPA.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,708
Out-of-state
$14,448
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,934
Out-of-state
$16,124
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,088
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#8 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

Towson University

  • Towson, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $506

Out-of-State | $1,047

Credits to Graduate: 53

TU's master in speech-language pathology degree blends clinical training and practical classroom work to prepare you for a license. Courses operate around your clinical work on-campus at TU's Speech Language Center and off-campus practicums at clinics, schools, and hospitals.

You'll study phonological disorders, language development, and professional issues. The rigorous lessons prepare you to take the Praxis examination in speech-language pathology. According to Towson, students in the last three years boasted a 95% exam pass rate. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,100
Out-of-state
$22,152
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,280
Out-of-state
$17,136
Retention Rate
85%
Acceptance Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
20,856
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#9 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $448

Out-of-State | $690

Credits to Graduate: 63

UF's master's in communication sciences and disorders degree readies you to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist in health and school settings. You'll study with 25-30 other students over five semesters. During that time, you'll gain classroom learning and complete practicum experiences each semester. 

Culturally sensitive coursework explores adult language disorders, multicultural issues in speech-language pathology, and public health concepts. You can complete a thesis or an externship to culminate the program. 

UF boasts a three-year 100% pass rate for the Praxis exam. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,770
Out-of-state
$27,335
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
30%
Students Enrolled
55,781
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#10 Best Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology Programs 2024

Marquette University

  • Milwaukee, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,295

Out-of-State | $1,295

Credits to Graduate: 46

You can get on track to earn your professional license in Wisconsin through Marquette's master's in speech-language pathology program. The two-year program requires completing 46 credits on a full-time basis. You'll learn about various disorders, intervention techniques, and clinical research methodology. 

To finish the program, you'll complete a thesis or research project. If you are proficient in Spanish, you can earn a bilingual speech pathology concentration.

Marquette's graduate programs require a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$44,970
Out-of-state
$44,970
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$21,960
Out-of-state
$21,960
Retention Rate
89%
Acceptance Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
11,320
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Speech Pathology Degree?

Master's in speech pathology graduates help people with communication disorders. They work with children and adults struggling with autism spectrum disorders, deafness or hard of hearing, language and literacy challenges, and swallowing problems.

Common workplaces include hospitals, private practice, residential facilities, and schools. Typical speech pathologist duties include evaluating clients, formulating treatment plans, and helping clients improve their voices, vocabulary, and sentence structure. They also work with clients to strengthen muscles for swallowing.

Graduates can qualify for state licensure and certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Where Can I Work With a Master's in Speech Pathology Degree?

  • Private Practice Offices: Self-employed speech pathologists run their own practices and hire speech pathologists in group practice environments. They may specialize in a particular communication disorder or population group, such as children or older adults.
  • Hospital Systems: Speech pathologists help hospital patients with communication conditions arising from medical issues, such as head injuries, respiratory issues, and strokes. They work as part of a larger healthcare team alongside physicians, audiologists, and respiratory therapists.
  • School Systems: School speech pathologists evaluate students for language and speech disorders, counsel students, and support classroom activities. They also work with school staff and parents to develop and implement individual and group programs.
  • Residential Facilities: Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers employ speech pathologists to help older patients recover from medical issues with communication disorders.

How Much Can I Make With a Master's in Speech Pathology Degree?

Speech-language pathologists earn a median annual salary of $84,140 (or $48.45 an hour), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10% of earners make less than $56,370, and the highest 10% make $126,680.

Salaries vary based on workplace, geographic location, and experience. For example, speech pathologists in nursing and residential care facilities earn median salaries of nearly $100,000 a year, while those working in schools make just over $75,000.

The BLS-projected job growth rate for speech-language pathologists is 19% for 2022-2032, much higher than the national average. High demand can lead to an increase in salary.

What to Look for in a Master's in Speech Pathology Program

Consider several factors when researching master's in speech pathology programs. Accreditation is one of the most important factors. Other considerations, such as the curriculum, program length, and learning formats, speak to individual academic and professional goals.

Program Curriculum

Ensure the coursework aligns with the speech pathology areas and populations you're interested in. While not required, some speech pathologists specialize in their careers. A program's concentration options can help you decide your path.

Accreditation

All programs listed below hold accreditation by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology — an organization within the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This credential signifies that the program meets educational and industry standards.

Program Length

Determine how many credits a speech pathology program requires and the estimated timeframe for graduation. Your graduation timeline depends on whether you enroll full or part-time and if you need to complete any prerequisites.

Field Experience

If you have a particular population or specialization in mind, look for programs offering field experiences in those areas. Find out whether the school assists with finding and securing clinical placements.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Online programs offer synchronous courses at scheduled times or asynchronous recorded lectures that you can access anytime. Some courses feature assignment deadlines, while others are self-paced. Make sure the format fits your learning style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Speech Pathology Programs

What can you do with a master's in speech pathology?

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A master's in speech pathology can lead to careers working with patients in hospitals, private practices, residential facilities, and schools to help with communication disorders. These include fluency, language, speech, and voice conditions and disorders.

Can you earn a master's in speech pathology online?

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Many master's in speech pathology programs offer online coursework. Clinical fieldwork must be completed on-site and some schools may require on-campus residencies or immersions. Distance learners can typically find fieldwork placements near their homes.

What are the admission requirements for a master's in speech pathology program?

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Typical admission requirements include a bachelor's degree (in communication sciences and disorders at some programs), a minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, and specified speech pathology prerequisites. Applicants submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and resumes.

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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