How to Choose an Online Speech Pathology Program

The right online speech pathology graduate degree is different for everyone—it depends on your schedule, where you live and how you learn best. To make it easier to decide which program is best for you, we have compiled a list of online speech pathology master’s programs as well as information on some of the factors you might take into consideration when earning a speech pathology master’s online.

Sponsored Online Speech Pathology Programs of 2021

Sponsored Online Speech Pathology Programs

Earn Your Online Master’s in Speech Pathology from Emerson College

  • Complete degree in as few as 20 months
  • No GRE Required for all 2021 Cohorts
  • 5-term and 9-term study options
  • Now accepting applications

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NYU Campus

Earn Your Master’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders Online at NYU Steinhardt

  • Live, online classes of no more than 15 students
  • Prepare for SLP licensure from anywhere in the country using a state-of-the-art online platform
  • Now accepting applications

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Earn Your Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders Online from Baylor University

  • Complete degree in as few as 20 months
  • Full-time and part-time options available
  • Same standards as the on-campus program, which has 50+ years educating SLPs
  • Now accepting applications

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Find the Best Online Speech Pathology Master’s Program for You

Online Master of Speech Language Pathology CAA Accreditation

A majority of states require an aspiring speech-language pathologist SLP to get their master’s in speech pathology from a program accredited by or equal to standards set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and its accrediting body, the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). It is important to know what your state requires in terms of accreditation so that you can choose a program that is valid for speech-language pathologist (SLP) licensure in your state.

Also, if you are interested in earning ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), you will need to attend a CAA-accredited graduate SLP program. The CCC-SLP is only required by a handful of states, but there are benefits to ASHA certification: The Association indicates it could make you eligible for salary supplements in some states and school districts even if it is not required.

Not all online speech language pathology master’s programs are created equal, so accreditation or pending accreditation is an indicator that the program you are applying to has met certain standards.

Online Speech Pathologist Degree Program Descriptions

Below is a table comparing all of the ASHA-accredited online graduate speech pathology programs:

School Live Classes1 Mobile App
(Offline Capable)
Field Placement Services Nationwide Availability2
Baylor University
Sponsored Program
Yes Yes Yes Yes
East Carolina University No No Yes Yes
Emerson College
Sponsored Program
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Idaho State University No No No Yes
James Madison University Some No Yes Yes
New York University
Sponsored Program
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tennessee State University Both No Yes Yes
University of Cincinnati No No Yes No
University of Montana Yes Yes Yes Yes
University of Northern Colorado No No Yes Yes
University of St. Augustine No No Yes No
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire No No No Yes
Western Kentucky University Yes No No Yes

Last Updated: 1/10/20

Live classes are defined as classes where there are specific class times each week when students are able to log on and communicate with each other and the professor as the professor delivers a live lecture.

Programs that are considered nationwide may be unable to operate in specific states. Always check to make sure that you can enroll in an online program from the state you are in. Local programs are designed for students who live in state or within a certain radius of the school, often to address an SLP shortage in that area.


Emerson College, Online Master of Science in Communication Disorders

Emerson College

Program Length: This is a part-time program that is completed over the course of 20–36 months. The total number of semester hours required is 54. There are five-term and nine-term track options.

GPA Requirement: Unspecified

Program Format: Classes for the online master’s are synchronous—students are able to speak with one another and the professor during live classes in a virtual “classroom.” The only on-campus requirement is attendance at two immersions.

Online Prerequisites Offered: Yes

About the Program: Emerson’s Online Master of Science in Communication Disorders brings the same curriculum and faculty as the school’s on-campus program, ranked #32 by U.S. News & World Report among speech-language pathology programs. Students are prepared to be generalists in the field and are able to work with children and adults who experience communication challenges.

Emerson College

Program Length:

  • 20-36 months
  • 5 term and a 9 term track option available
  • 54 semester hours required

GPA Requirement: Unspecified

Program Format:

  • Live classes 
  • Two on-campus immersions

Online Prerequisites Offered: Yes

About the Program: Emerson’s Online master of Science of Communication Disorders brings the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program online to prepare students to be generalists in the field who are able to work with both children and adults who experience communication challenges. With a 15 to 1 student to teacher ratio, this top ranked program has a 100% employment rate post graduation.

Sponsored Program



Baylor University, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, Online Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Baylor University

Program Length: This program can be completed in 5–10 semesters on a full- or part-time basis. A total of 45 semester hours are required.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 or higher preferred

Program Format: Classes for this program are fully synchronous—students log into live lectures where they can see and speak to the professor and their classmates.

Online Prerequisites Offered: Yes

About the Program: Speech@Baylor offers online students the same curriculum that they would find right on the Baylor campus, preparing students to assess, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults through innovative clinical work with an emphasis on evidence-based practice.

Baylor University

Program Length:

  • Can be completed in 5-10 semesters
  • Full or part time options available
  • 45 semester hours required

GPA Requirement: 3.0 or higher preferred

Program Format:

  • Live classes

Online Prerequisites Offered: Yes

About the Program: Speech@Baylor offers online students the same curriculum that they would find right on the Baylor campus, preparing students to assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults through innovative clinical work and an emphasis on evidence based practice.

Sponsored Program



New York University, Steinhardt, Online Master’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Speech@NYU Steinhardt Logo

Program Length: Full-time and part-time options are available that can be completed in 6–10 semesters. A total of 48 semester hours is required.

Important Dates: Start dates are offered in January, May and September.

GPA Requirement: A minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA or a minimum 3.2 GPA in communicative sciences disorders foundation courses is preferred.

Program Format: The online modality of the Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders consists of both synchronous and asynchronous content that includes live online classes. Prior to weekly, live class sessions, you will complete assigned coursework through interactive video content, independent reading and other assignments. For this program, you will attend two clinical immersions at NYU Steinhardt (three to four days each) followed by three semester-long field placements in or near your community.

Online Foundation Courses (Prerequisites) Offered: Yes

About the Program: Speech@NYU’s curriculum prepares you to become a well-rounded speech-language pathologist equipped to treat clients with a variety of communication disorders across the life span. With a diverse set of elective courses available, you have the opportunity to increase your knowledge in areas such as aphasia, autism spectrum disorder, neurogenic speech disorders and more.

Speech@NYU students have a 100% Praxis exam pass rate.

Speech@NYU Steinhardt Logo

Program Length: 

  • 6-10 semesters (not including “foundation” or prerequisite courses)
  • Full or part time options available
  • 48 semester hours required

GPA Requirement: 3.0, 3.2 in Communicative Sciences Disorders courses

Important Dates: Start dates are offered in January, May, and September

Program Format: 

  • Live classes
  • Two 3-4 day on-campus clinical immersions that will serve as your first 2 practicum requirements

Online Prerequisites Offered: Yes

About the Program: Speech@NYU’s curriculum prepares you to become a well-rounded speech-language pathologist and treat clients with a variety of communication disorders across the life span. With a diverse set of elective courses available, you have the opportunity to increase your knowledge in areas such as craniofacial anomalies, aphasia, and more.

Sponsored Program


California State University Northridge, Tseng College, Online Master of Science Communicative Disorders

CSU Northridge LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time program that takes 3 1/2 years to complete. A total of 63 semester hours is required.

Important Dates: Applications are due in June. Program begins in the spring.

GPA Requirement: 2.5, but above a 3.5 in CSD-related coursework is suggested.

Program Format: Classes for the online master’s in speech pathology are asynchronous.  There are no on campus requirements

About the Program: CSUN’s Online Master of Science in Communicative Disorders allows you to complete practicum and clinical requirements within your community while completing your degree online. During the program, you will work with both adult and child populations, learning to treat a wide variety of communication disorders


East Carolina University, College of Allied Health Sciences, Online MS Communication Sciences and Disorders

ECU LogoProgram Length: This program is only available full time and takes three years to complete; 54 total semester hours are required

Important Dates: Applications are due in January

GPA Requirement: 3.0, 3.2 in the area of study

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. The only on-campus requirement is July orientation. If a student is not matched to a clinical residency, some practicum may be completed on campus.

About the Program: The ECU Online MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders offers the same degree as the on-campus program in an online, asynchronous format. The program prepares students to treat a wide range of communication and swallowing disorders in both children and adults.


Florida State University, School of Communication Science and Disorders, Online Master’s Program

Florida State University LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time program that takes three years to complete; 61 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Applications are due in November. Program begins in the fall.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 for “upper division classes”

Program Format: Classes are synchronous, and there are no on-campus requirements. Student must be a resident of Florida to enroll in this program.

About the Program: The FSU online master’s in communication sciences and disorders was created specifically to address the speech-language pathologist shortage in Florida communities. The program prepares students to work as SLPs in a variety of settings and treat a range of populations for a wide range of speech, language and communication disorders.


Idaho State University, ISU Meridian Health Science Center, Online Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology

Idaho State LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time program that takes three years to complete; 60 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Applications are due in February. Program starts in August

GPA Requirement: 3.0 on most recent 60 credits

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. On-campus requirements include eight weeks during the first summer of the program and one week during the second summer.

About the Program: Idaho State’s Online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology teaches students the information and skills they need, with an emphasis on evidence-based practice, to treat across settings, populations and a variety of disorders.


James Madison University, College of Health and Behavioral Studies, Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

James Madison LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time, three-year, 45-semester-hour program.

Important Dates: A new cohort starts every other summer (odd years), with the application process opening the preceding fall.

GPA Requirement: 3.25 in the major

Program Format: There is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous classes. On-campus requirements include orientation and a practicum during the second summer.

About the Program: The JMU online master’s offers students an opportunity to earn the education needed to become certified as an SLP while having the ability to take classes at home. The program has been around since 2013. The school offers a variety of clinical practicum experiences.


Nova Southeastern University, College of Health Care Sciences, Online Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

Nova Southeastern logoProgram Length: This is a full- or part-time program that takes three to six years to complete; 53 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: There are summer, fall and winter cohorts. Application due dates have changed year to year, so it is best to check with the school.

GPA Requirement: 3.0, B- or better in prerequisite courses

Program Format: Synchronous chats in GoToMeeting with an on-campus three-day kickoff

About the Program: The Nova Southeastern University online master’s in speech-language pathology trains future SLPs to work in a range of settings with patients experiencing a wide variety of speech and communication disorders. Must live further than 50 miles from campus to complete the program online.


Tennessee State University, College of Health Sciences, Online Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Science with a Concentration in Speech-Language Pathology

Tennessee State LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time program that takes eight semesters to complete. The total of semester hours required is 53.

Important Dates: Applications are due in July. Program begins in January of every odd year.

GPA Requirement: 3.5

Program Format: Classes are either synchronous through Zoom or asynchronous through eLearn@Tnstate. Students may be required to go to campus for exams or activities best completed on campus. Two summer clinical practicum experiences are completed on campus as well.

About the Program: Tennessee State’s online speech pathology program is designed for students who wish to become speech-language pathologists to be able to complete their education in an online format. While students may need to come to campus in instances where the professor deems it necessary, the program largely grants students the flexibility to complete the program where it is convenient for them.


University of Akron, School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Online Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

The University of Akron LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time program that takes eight semesters to complete. A total of 74 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Applications are due in June. Program begins in January.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. There are no on-campus requirements. Students may be enrolled from anywhere in the country.

About the Program: The online SLP program at the University of Akron is delivered in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati. Program outcomes include understanding theories and applications of speech-language pathology; learning how to prevent, diagnose and treat speech and language disorders; and understanding research principles and evidence-based practice, ethics and awareness of professional issues in the field.


University of Cincinnati, College of Allied Health Sciences, Online MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders

University of Cincinnati LogoProgram Length: This is a full- or part-time program that takes two years to complete if done full time; 61 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Preliminary application due date is in March, and full application is due in June. Program begins in January.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. The only on-campus requirement is orientation at the start of the program. Must live within a few hours of the school.

About the Program: The online SLP program at the University of Cincinnati is delivered in collaboration with the University of Akron. The program prepares students to treat a variety of speech and language disorders across various settings and populations.


University of Montana, Phyllis J Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, Online Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders

University of Montana LogoProgram Length: This is a full- or part-time program that takes two or more years to complete; 68 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Applications are due in January. The program starts in the fall.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Program Format: Synchronous classes are completed at the same time as on-campus students. You are able to interact with the class during lectures. Students must be on campus for the first clinical practicum.

About the Program: The online Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders at University of Montana allows students to participate in the on-campus program without being on the campus itself, thanks to web-broadcasting technology. Students can choose one of two plans of study, either focusing on developmental or acquired disorders.


University of Northern Colorado, College of Natural and Health Sciences, Online Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

University of Northern Colorado LogoProgram Length: A three-year, 61-semester-hour, part-time program where you fulfill the requirement of working as an SLPA as you complete the program.

Important Dates: Applications are due in February. The program begins in the fall.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. Students must be on campus for two weeks in July during the first summer.

About the Program: University of Northern Colorado’s online speech pathology program gives students the skills they need to be speech-language pathologists, with emphasis on research design, evidence-based practice and data analysis. According to the university, this program is an especially good fit for speech-language pathology assistants working in public schools.


University of St. Augustine, College of Rehabilitative Sciences, Online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (Seeking Accreditation)

University of St. Augustine logoProgram Length: The program can be completed in 20 months; 53 credit hours are required.

Important Dates: There are start dates in the spring and fall. For spring, applications are due in October, and classes start in January. For fall, applications are due in February, and classes start in September.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 or higher is preferred

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. Students must attend a four- to five-day campus requirement each term. University of St. Augustine Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology Program students must live in the states listed here.

About the Program: While classes at the University of St. Augustine’s online SLP program are asynchronous, interactive activities, video discussion and on-campus requirements allow for many opportunities to collaborate with peers and speak with professors. The program also focuses on interprofessional learning and allows opportunities to learn alongside students of other professions.


University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, College of Education and Human Sciences, Online Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire LogoProgram Length: This is a part-time, three-year program; 54 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Program begins in summer (June). Applications are due in the fall.

GPA Requirement: 2.75, 3.25 in CSD coursework

Program Format: Classes are asynchronous. Students must attend three one-week residencies, one per summer, on campus.

About the Program: The EWEC SLP program offers students more flexibility but the same rigorous education that is offered through the university’s on-campus program. The program will prepare you to be a generalist in the field who can treat across populations, settings and conditions.


Western Kentucky University, College of Health and Human Services, Online Master of Science in Communication Disorders

Western Kentucky University LogoProgram Length: The program that can be completed in eight to nine semesters; 60 semester hours are required.

Important Dates: Applications are typically due in February. Classes start in the fall semester (August).

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Program Format: Classes are synchronous. Students are required on campus for 1 six-week clinical internship and for a clinical externship as well.

About the Program: Western Kentucky University’s Online Master of Science in Communication Disorders evolved from a collaborative distance master’s degree launched between five schools back in 1999. Today, the WKU program is delivered through Blackboard and Adobe Connect Pro so that coursework can be completed in a synchronous manner.


Online Speech Therapy Master’s Program Admissions Requirements

Before you start applying to online SLP programs, make sure you meet the program’s admissions requirements. Requirements vary by school but will often include:

  • Prerequisite coursework (many programs either have a separate program for completing prerequisites or offer them as part of the master’s program).
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • GPA: online SLP programs are competitive and many require a 3.0 GPA
  • GRE test scores
  • Transcripts
  • Recommendation letters
  • Resume
  • Personal statement

Learn more about how to become a speech-language pathologist.

Accredited Online SLP Programs Offer Flexibility 

Online speech pathology master’s programs offer you the flexibility to go to class wherever you are. During semesters when there are no clinical hours, online SLP curriculums often make it easier to balance work and class. Many programs have options to go to school full or part time, so you can choose a schedule that works best for you.

Full-Time vs Part-Time Online Speech Pathology Master’s Programs

Part-time online SLP master’s programs spread coursework out over more semesters as a way to allow you more time for work or other commitments. Remember that no matter what type of online program you choose, there is usually less flexibility during practicum components. You may need to either be away from work for several weeks at a time to get clinical hours in or be able to work at a practicum site multiple days per week over a semester. Each program is different.

Non-Live vs Live Online Master’s in Speech Pathology Classes

Are you looking for classes where you can watch lectures in real time and ask professors and classmates questions? Some online master’s in speech pathology programs will offer synchronous courses like this, while others will be taught in an asynchronous format where you watch prerecorded lectures or learn in a way that is not lecture-based at all. There are also a few hybrid options available where online learning and in-class lectures are part of the program. Think about how you learn best and choose an online SLP program accordingly.

Clinical Field Placement Services for Speech Pathology Degree Students

The practicum is an integral part of a master’s in speech pathology, often requiring 400-plus hours of work in clinical settings. Depending on the program, placement services typically offered to on-campus students may not always extend to online speech-language pathology students living further away from campus. Online SLP programs offer varying levels of field placement services to help secure clinical sites for online students. Some programs will require that these students find placements on their own. Other programs will use the connections they have to find placements for online SLP students who are geographically close to the school but may not have the ability to place students who are farther away. There are also programs that are able to place students in a practicum site no matter where the student is located.

Some online SLP graduate programs require that a certain amount of practicum hours are completed at on-site clinics, so students may need to travel to the school for up to several weeks to complete those portions of the practicum. Think about what level of assistance you will want when securing your placements and how much you are able to travel if you do indeed need to go to campus for portions of the online program. These speech pathology clinical experiences may affect your preferred speech pathology job setting for your speech pathology career.

8 FAQs About Getting a Master’s in Speech Pathology Online

Is a Graduate Degree Required to Become a Speech Language Pathologist?

ASHA’s 2020 Standards and Implementation Procedures for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology indicate that you need at least a master’s degree in the field to become an SLP in any state, so pursuing this degree is essential. While a master’s degree is required to become an SLP, most states also require licensure; however licensure requirements vary by state.

Do Online Speech Pathology Programs Require the GRE?

Depending on the speech pathology program you apply to, you may need to submit your GRE scores. While it is becoming more common for master’s in speech pathology programs to no longer require GRE scores, some programs that usually do require them are temporarily removing their standardized testing requirements because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before applying, it is recommended to contact the school for the most up-to-date information regarding GRE requirements.

Is there Demand for Speech Pathologists?

Demand for the speech pathologist profession is predicted to grow 25% between 2019 and 2029 (five times the national average), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).This growth is due to a number changes occurring including older baby boomers, increase in autism diagnoses, higher awareness of speech impairments in school-aged children and medical advancements are improving survival among premature babies and stroke victims. Because of the high demand, a speech pathology graduate degree may offer job security.

Is an Online Graduate Speech Pathology Program Offered in Your State?

Some online master’s in speech pathology programs are only offered to in-state students, usually designed to address a shortage of speech professionals in the area. Other times, a program may be offered nationwide but might not be able to operate in a few certain areas because of legal reasons. Make sure you are eligible to participate in the programs you apply to based on your location.

Are Online Master’s Programs in Speech Pathology Competitive?

Accredited online speech pathology graduate programs have to meet the same standards as on campus programs, meaning that they will offer curriculums with the same rigor required by ASHA and many state licensure boards. These programs often have on-campus counterparts, sourcing the same curriculums and even faculty. Aside from the fact that you can be in class and in your home at the same time, some programs are essentially the same ones that you would experience on campus.

What Are the Career Options for Someone with an Online Speech Therapy Degree?

Speech pathology careers offer a variety of experiences—you can work in different settings with different populations and choose to focus on a wide or narrow range of communicative science disorders. A master’s in SLP is certainly a degree where you can either see something new every day or choose to master a specialty that interests you.

How Much Do Speech Pathologists Earn on Average?

According to the BLS, in 2019 the median wage for a licensed speech pathologist was $79,120, which is nearly double the median salary for all occupations. The top 10% of speech pathologists earned more than $121,260 annually, with those working in nursing and residential care facilities earning the highest salary among the different industries at an average  median salary of $95,250 annually.

How Can an Online Speech Therapy Degree Make a Difference in Someone’s Life?

Communication is an essential part of life—how we express feelings, bond with others over conversation and create plans to work toward our goals and dreams. It can be very rewarding to help others who are not able to speak so easily to communicate in ways they previously weren’t able to or recover lost communication abilities. With every client in speech pathology, you are helping someone speak, swallow, organize their thoughts or improve communication in another way that greatly affects their life.

Sponsored Online Speech Pathology Programs

Earn Your Online Master’s in Speech Pathology from Emerson College

  • Complete degree in as few as 20 months
  • No GRE Required for all 2021 Cohorts
  • 5-term and 9-term study options
  • Now accepting applications

Sponsored Program


NYU Campus

Earn Your Master’s in Communicative Sciences and Disorders Online at NYU Steinhardt

  • Live, online classes of no more than 15 students
  • Prepare for SLP licensure from anywhere in the country using a state-of-the-art online platform
  • Now accepting applications

Sponsored Program


Earn Your Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders Online from Baylor University

  • Complete degree in as few as 20 months
  • Full-time and part-time options available
  • Same standards as the on-campus program, which has 50+ years educating SLPs
  • Now accepting applications

Sponsored


Last Updated January 2021