The top 30 accredited online colleges in speech therapy could make you eligible to join a workforce that is seeing some of the best job growth in the nation.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the demand for qualified, certified speech-language pathologists is on an upward trend. This is due to factors that include an improving premature infant survival rate and an aging population, both of whom often need speech-language services.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 21% increase in demand for speech-language pathologists over the next decade, making this one of the fastest-growing career fields in the nation. If you’re passionate about helping people with speech and language disorders, not only should there be plentiful job opportunities, but you can also make a very good living. It’s an ideal combination!
An online degree in speech therapy teaches you all the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this career. And with the flexibility of online learning, you can acquire the proper training in a format that’s far more flexible than traditional on-campus learning. Fortunately, online learning has come a long way, and you can get an education that’s equally valuable and challenging as on-campus students get.
What Do You Learn With a Speech Therapy Degree?
What you learn in your degree program depends on the type of degree you pursue. In speech-language pathology, you might enroll in a certificate program, a bachelor’s degree program, or a graduate program, like a master’s or doctoral degree.
Let’s assume you’re a first-year college student enrolled in an accredited online undergraduate program in speech therapy. You’ll need to complete general education requirements as part of your program, which includes studying topics like mathematics, science, and the humanities. Most colleges and universities require that you take world language courses, art classes, and physical education classes as part of the general requirements as well.
You’ll also take major-area courses that focus on speech therapy training. These courses introduce you to important topics in this field and also provide you with basic training and field experiences to put your learning to the test with real clients. For example, you might take courses like:
- Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing
- Introduction to Phonetics
- Communication Disorders
- Treatment of Communication Disorders
- Audiology and Aural Rehabilitation
You might also expect your education program to touch on topics like dysphagia, early intervention strategies, and alternative communication strategies as well.
The specific courses you take depend on your degree program and the school you attend, but it’s a good bet that courses like these will be part of your studies. Likewise, a field placement is required. This experience might be several weeks to a couple of months of working with a licensed speech-language pathologist.
Not only will you have the opportunity to observe how a speech-language pathologist works, but you’ll also get to work directly with clients to practice the skills you’ve gained in your degree program.
Beyond learning about speech, language, physiology, and so forth, you’ll also learn critical professional skills. You’ll need to be an effective communicator (both verbally and in writing), understand how to work as part of a team, and be empathic towards your clients. You’ll hone these and many other skills in your speech-language program.
See Also: 25 Online Master’s in Behavioral Psychology
What Are the Admission Requirements for a Speech Therapy Online Degree?
The specific admissions requirements for a speech therapy degree vary from one college to the next. They also vary depending on the degree level you’re pursuing.
For example, if you’re interested in a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy, you might need to fulfill requirements like the following before you’re admitted to the program:
- 2.5 GPA or higher
- Satisfactory ACT or SAT score
- Letters of recommendation from high school teachers and/or counselors
- An essay
Depending on your specific speech therapist degree online, you might need to meet additional requirements, like a higher GPA, higher standardized test scores, or perhaps even an in-person or video interview.
If you pursue an online master’s degree in speech therapy, you might encounter admissions requirements such as:
- 3.0 GPA or higher during your undergraduate coursework
- An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
- Letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors
- A personal statement or essay
- A resume or curriculum vitae
- Satisfactory GRE scores
Again, you might need to meet other requirements depending on your chosen program and school, such as prerequisite courses necessary to build a strong foundation of studies.
See Also: Top 30 Easiest PhD Online Programs
What Are the Best Speech-Language Pathology Online Degrees?
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics to rank the speech therapist online degree programs below.
Each program is scored individually. That score is then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking.
Accredited Online College considers several factors for these rankings. These include affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online. The result is a research-based ranking that generates much more robust and reliable results than if you simply Google “online SLP programs accredited” or “online degree speech therapy.”
See our methodology page for more information about how we arrive at our rankings.
Let’s have a look at the best speech therapist degrees online!
See Also: Top 30 Accredited Online Occupational Therapy Programs
1. The University of Akron
At the top of our list of the best speech therapy online programs is the University of Akron. Located in Akron, Ohio, the university welcomes approximately 15,000 students from locations nationwide and more than 70 countries worldwide. Students have access to distance learning through a state-of-the-art e-learning system.
Accepting 22 students each year, this Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology combines classes from the University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati. This program comprises 74 credit hours and provides a foundation in critical areas, including language and literacy development and advanced phonetics.
Once you’ve gained an understanding of the development process behind language and communication, you’ll cover courses including Language Disorders in Later Childhood, Speech Sound Disorders, and Adult Neuro-language Disorders. All classes are available online and include the following:
- Language and Literacy Development
- Neuroscience for Communicative Disorders
- UC Speech Sound Disorders
- UC Dysphagia
- Public School Issues in Speech-Language-Hearing Programs
You must also complete multiple field experiences, including an externship in speech-language pathology.
This program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), which establishes academic standards for speech-language and audiology graduate programs.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at University of Akron here.
See Also: 10 Tips for Maximizing Your Learning Experience in Online College
2. East Carolina University
Originally a teacher training school, East Carolina University has been standing since 1907. Since those early days, the size of its campus has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, it is the state’s fourth-largest institution of higher education, with programs available at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
This three-year distance-learning program at ECU explores communication sciences and disorders. As a master’s degree, the program’s curriculum covers the necessary academic subjects and clinical experience needed to make you eligible for the Speech-Language Pathology Certification from the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC), which is a branch of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
As an online student, you’ll follow the same curriculum as campus-based learners, and you’ll be taught by the same experienced faculty. Aside from the key academic and clinical experience gained, you’ll also improve soft skills, including leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
As a result, you’ll graduate from this program with all the knowledge and skills you need to practice as a competent speech-language pathologist.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at East Carolina University here.
3. Idaho State University
Idaho State University was founded in 1901 under the name of the Academy of Idaho. Today, you can choose from hundreds of academic programs at various campus locations, including online distance learning. Thanks to the natural surroundings, you also have access to plenty of outdoor pursuits outside the classroom.
ISU’s Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology program is the only one in the state with ASHA certification. As such, there is a strong focus on evidence-based clinical practice, with placements across educational and clinical settings during the program.
If you study on campus, you’ll complete a 24-month program. As an online learner, you’ll study part-time for a total of 36 months. In both cases, you might take courses like:
- Advanced Topics in Educational Audiology
- Principles of Research in Communication Disorders
- School Age Language Development and Disorders
- Early Language Development and Disorders
- Pediatric Audiology
Additionally, you must participate in two on-campus practicums during the summer. The first practicum is eight weeks long, while the second is one week. An eight-week externship in the city where you live is also required.
The application date for this program is in February each year, and you will need a bachelor’s degree to apply. However, you can apply to the program during your senior year of your bachelor’s studies.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Idaho State University here.
4. Texas Woman’s University
With a student body of around 16,000 students, Texas Woman’s University is a sizable school. TWU has physical campuses in Houston, Denton, and Dallas. There is also a robust online campus.
Areas of excellence include nursing, health sciences, and business. The school’s education and liberal arts programs are also well-regarded.
This speech pathology master’s degree can be completed in as little as two years. It comprises 61 credit hours, which you’ll take across six or seven semesters.
At TWU, you’ll explore topics including preventing, assessing, and diagnosing speech, language, and other communication disorders. Additionally, you’ll learn how to implement treatment plans. You’ll also complete specialized coursework with clinical placements and evidence-based learning.
Coursework is synchronous, so there are specific meeting times. Classes meet two or three times per week for the duration of the semester. You’ll meet online in the evenings to accommodate traditional work schedules.
What’s more, class sizes are small, so you can rely on strong academic support throughout the program.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Texas Woman’s University here.
5. Western Kentucky University
Founded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky after the turn of the century in 1906, Western Kentucky University has campuses as far afield as Glasgow, KY. At WKU’s main campus near Bowling Green, you can choose from dozens of academic majors and minors, graduate programs, and doctoral programs.
WKU’s Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology trains you to work with patients in a range of clinical locations, including hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. In total, the program comprises 60 credit hours to help you develop the necessary skills. Courses include:
- Research Methodology in Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Early Intervention in Speech-Language Pathology
- Voice Disorders
- Cognitive-Communication Disorders
- Rehabilitation Audiology
In addition to online coursework, you’ll complete a six-week summer internship to ensure you meet the clinical requirements outlined by ASHA. This includes completing a minimum of 400 clock hours of placement experience in internship and externship settings before graduation.
This program meets the necessary clinical and academic requirements set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for state licensure and national certification.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Western Kentucky University here.
6. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida was founded in 1956 and welcomes approximately 50,000 students each year. You can choose from a range of over 200 undergraduate concentrations, majors, and minors. These programs are organized into 13 different academic schools and colleges.
This institution is the fastest-rising university in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s findings. USF’s rapid growth speaks to its faculty and staff’s dedication to developing and delivering top-notch academic programs.
At USF, you can enroll in a speech-language pathology prerequisite track. This track includes seven online distance-learning courses to help you meet the admission requirements for USF’s Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. You’ll take these classes as a non-degree-seeking student.
Alternatively, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you can enroll in a second track that awards a second Bachelor of Arts degree. This two-year program features a number of undergraduate courses in addition to two semesters of world language studies. To find out more information about the second bachelor’s option, check out the degree’s webpage.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at University of South Florida here.
7. Mitchell Technical Institute
Mitchell Technical Institute has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online community colleges in South Dakota. Based in Mitchell, SD, and founded in 1968, the college offers dozens of associate’s degrees and certificate programs that help students like you get a head start on preparing for a good-paying job.
Depending on your past studies, this online speech-language pathology online program can be completed in two or three years. After graduation, you’ll have the skills and experience needed to work directly with a qualified speech-language pathologist. According to recent alumni data, the program has a 100% job-placement rate, which is encouraging news for you!
Some of the courses you might take include:
- Speech and Language Development
- Introduction to Phonetics
- Introduction to Communication Disorders and Treatment
- Fundamentals of Speech
- Neurogenic Communication Disorders
This program also requires you to complete multiple field experiences. These include clinical observations and a full-time, eight-week externship in an educational setting. The externship is supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist who guides you as you learn to put your classroom learning into practice with real-world clients.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Mitchell Technical Institute here.
8. University of Northern Colorado
Situated in an area of incredible natural beauty close to the Rocky Mountains, the University of Northern Colorado was founded in 1889. The school’s student body comprises around 11,000 students, with more than 100 undergraduate and 120 graduate programs offered. More than 90 percent of the student body studies full-time, averaging 14 credit hours per semester.
UNC’s graduate program in speech-language pathology requires you to complete 63-75 credits, which takes three years. This program produces skilled professionals in the field with a curriculum that uses a clinician-researcher model of teaching. This method combines academic excellence with evidence-based clinical practice. Classes include:
- Language Disorders in Early Childhood and Preschool
- Research in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
- Voice and Resonance Disorders
- Fluency Disorders
- Articulation and Phonological Disorders in Children
Tuition for the program costs around $630 per credit hour.
Following the cohort model of distance learning, you’ll start your program alongside a group of other students and benefit from collaborative learning. During your third summer semester, bear in mind that you will be expected to visit the Greeley, Colorado campus for two weeks to complete laboratory experiences and related coursework under the faculty’s supervision.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of Northern Colorado here.
9. Florida State University
Part of the State University System of Florida, Florida State University was founded in 1851 on the state’s longest-standing continuous higher education site. It’s no wonder, then, that the institution has been named number one for its four-year graduation rate among Florida’s public universities many times in the past. Additionally, FSU has a 99 percent retention rate, and the most recent cohort of students boasts an 85 percent graduation rate – the highest in school history.
FSU’s graduate degree in Communication Science and Disorders is a distance-learning program leading to a Master of Science. In addition to completing your coursework online, you will gain hands-on experience at a number of local clinical sites in Florida. You’ll complete practicum courses at schools, hospitals, and other clinical locations as well.
Some of the coursework you’ll complete includes:
- Developmental Communication Disorders: School Age Issues
- Seminar in Language: Aphasia
- Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology
- Augmentative Communication Systems
- Measurement and Management of Impaired Hearing
For consideration for admission, you’ll need to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college and have a minimum 3.0 average GPA. You will also need to meet certain prerequisite coursework requirements. These requirements are outlined on the school’s website.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Florida State University here.
10. Lake Region State College
The next program on our list of the best speech therapy degrees online comes from Lake Region State College.
Founded in 1941, Lake Region was originally intended to be an extension of the state’s public school system. Today, the college welcomes thousands of learners each year, with around three-quarters of students enrolled in a full-time program. The vast majority of students are state residents, though out-of-state and international students comprise around 15% of the student body.
The Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessional program at LRSC takes two years to complete and results in an associate’s degree. You’ll follow a curriculum created in collaboration with the state’s Department of Public Instruction, gaining experience working in school settings with children with communication disorders. Coursework includes the following:
- Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessionals
- Applied Phonetics for the SLPP
- Language Disorders and Intervention for SLPP
- Developmental Psychology
- Introduction to Exceptional Children
There is also a 100-hour practicum requirement.
The prerequisites for this program include having a foundation in areas such as communication disorders, basic concepts of biology, and human structure and function.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Lake Region State College here.
11. University of Georgia
One of the oldest schools in the U.S., the University of Georgia first opened its doors in 1785. Today, its activities are a testament to the quality of teachings that students are afforded, with more than 775 commercially available products derived from university research.
UGA offers a Graduate Certificate in Pre-Professional Speech-Language Pathology. If you already possess a bachelor’s degree in another field but are considering a career as a speech-language pathologist, this certificate will fill the knowledge gap required to gain eligibility for a related master’s degree program.
With seven courses, all of which are available entirely online, the program features 18 semester hours of graduate-level study. You should, however, check the requirements for the master’s degree that you wish to pursue; not all of the certificate’s seven courses are strictly necessary, which could save you time and money if you elect to bypass them.
Some of the courses you’ll take include:
- Anatomy & Physiology of Speech and Hearing
- Phonetics for Speech-Language Pathology
- Speech and Hearing Science
- Language Development
- Speech and Language Disorders
Additionally, you’ll explore audiology assessments and professional issues for speech-language pathologists.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of Georgia here.
12. California State University Northridge
Based in Los Angeles, California State University Northridge welcomes nearly 40,000 students annually who are supported by around 4,000 staff and faculty. CSUN’s campus includes 356 acres across the San Fernando Valley, a beautiful area with easy access to L.A.’s amenities.
As a fully online program, this Master of Science in Communicative Disorders includes clinical practicum work in your local community. This field experience includes around 12-16 hours of work per week throughout three different experiences. These hands-on experiences will benefit you after graduation by giving you plenty of time to practice your craft under the supervision of an experienced speech-language pathologist.
This program also includes a broad array of coursework, including:
- Advanced Diagnostics in Speech-Language Pathology
- Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Speech, Language and Hearing
- Background Leveling in Communication Disorders and Sciences
- Seminar in Developmental Language Disorders
- Adult and Pediatric Swallowing/Feeding Disorders
CSUN’s Master’s in Communicative Disorders meets the necessary academic requirements for you to gain licensure in every state, in addition to professional certification under the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Taking three-to-four years to complete, the program is taught in the cohort format to ensure you benefit from collaboration with your peers and faculty.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits Cal State Northridge.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at California State University Northridge here.
13. Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University is a private research university in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida. The university has 18 colleges and schools with around 24,000 students in attendance.
You can choose from a program prospectus of more than 150 options. Many of the degrees and programs heavily focus on research. In fact, NSU is one of just 50 universities in the nation to have Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.
This 54-credit-hour Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology allows you to tailor the program to your specific interests. Whether you have an interest in helping children with swallowing difficulties or kids and adults who have trouble communicating, you can specialize in your preferred area.
Some of the classes you might take include:
- Language and Learning Disorders in School-age Children and Adolescents
- Clinical Processes
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- Motor Speech Disorders in Adults
- Pediatric Feeding and Motor Speech Disorders
Even though this is an online program, the faculty at NSU go to great lengths to make you feel at home. Strong clinical partnerships outside the state of Florida mean that your clinical placements can still take place nearby. You can choose from three program start dates and will pay around $1,249 per credit hour in tuition.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Nova Southeastern University here.
14. Alexandria Technical Community College
Alexandria Technical & Community College is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The student body includes thousands of traditional and non-traditional learners and boasts a 98 percent graduate job-placement rate. According to the school’s website, the institution also holds one of the best graduation rates in Minnesota.
ATCC’s Speech-Language Pathology Assistant program leads to an associate’s degree that prepares you to work with a certified speech-language pathologist. This 60-credit program has a wide-ranging curriculum. General education courses provide a solid foundation in key higher education areas like math and science.
At the beginning of the program, you’ll also cover foundational knowledge that’s critical to anyone working as a speech-language pathologist or assistant. These topics include phonetics for language and language development, ensuring you understand the physiology and structure of language so that you can understand how disorders occur.
You’ll also take courses like:
- Speech-Language Communication in Diverse Populations
- Children with Differing Abilities
- Clinical Documentation and Materials Management
- Speech Sound Disorders
This program has a practicum component, too. The practicum experience is split between two clinical placements during the program’s third and fourth semesters.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Alexandria Technical & Community College here.
15. Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, is a public research institution offering a range of over 150 bachelor’s degrees and more than 100 graduate programs. NAU’s campus includes eight different schools and colleges. You can also attain your degree through a fully online education.
This Speech-Language Pathology program enables you to seek certification as a speech-language pathology assistant. However, it’s worth double-checking the clinical requirements for certification in your state, as this program only guarantees eligibility if you live in Arizona.
This is a short program that requires 21 credits to complete. Some of the classes you’ll take include:
- Communication Disorders in Society
- Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Swallowing
- Communication Development in Children
- SLPA Professional Issues
Coursework in clinical skills and clinical practice is also required.
After completing the seven courses outlined above, you will be eligible to graduate with a certificate in Speech-Language Pathology Assistance.
If you’re interested in pursuing further certification as a speech-language pathologist, you may be able to transfer credits from this program to earn a degree more quickly.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Northern Arizona University here.
16. University of Montana
The University of Montana offers campus-based and online degree programs at every level. It is the state’s flagship university, situated on 56 acres of natural beauty close to Mount Sentinel. The campus boasts a vast number of architecturally unique buildings, making it a stunning place to visit or study.
With an enrollment of around 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, you can learn on a campus that offers small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio. Yet, despite being a small school, the University of Montana offers more than 150 student organizations and clubs.
This distance-learning Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology prepares you to become fully certified to work with individuals from childhood to adulthood. Coursework teaches you how speech, language, and swallowing disorders can occur. The program adheres to academic and clinical quality standards required for CCC-SLP certification by ASHA.
You can choose between thesis and non-thesis options. Regardless of your choice, you’ll complete 30 practicum credits, bolstering your skills and experience with hands-on clinical experience. This includes placements at specialty clinics and other settings where you’ll work with children and adults.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of Montana here.
17. James Madison University
Originally named the State Normal and Industrial School for Women, James Madison University was renamed in 1938 after President James Madison. Today, it’s a higher education institution for all learners. Located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, this school welcomes around 20,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduates each year who pursue more than 130 programs of study.
JMU offers a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology focusing on human communication and swallowing disorders. The curriculum and clinical placement elements are aligned with certification requirements set by the Council for Clinical Certification and other licensing bodies in Virginia.
The program welcomes and is frequently chosen by non-traditional students, such as those looking for a career change. Coursework is completed online, with two or three courses completed each semester. The program should take an average of around three years to complete.
Some of the courses you’ll take include:
- School-Age Language & Literacy Disorders
- Physiological & Acoustical Phonetics
- Language Disorders in Adults
- Aging & Communication
- Pediatric Dysphagia
With practicum experiences that occur throughout the program, you’ll get plenty of hands-on experience applying the knowledge and skills you learn in your classes.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at James Madison University here.
18. Arizona State University
Arizona State University was founded in 1885 and remains one of the largest public institutions in the nation by enrollment figures. It has also been ranked top in the country for innovation and within the top ten for its students’ first year college experience.
Comprising 120 credit hours, ASU’s Bachelor’s in Speech and Hearing Science is available fully online. You’ll learn about speech, hearing, and language and how these skills develop over time. You’ll also explore the disorders that impede them. Some of the classes you’ll take to evaluate these topics include:
- Introduction to Phonetics
- Clinical Methods and Treatment of Communication Disorders
- Developmental Speech and Language Disorders
- Acquired Speech and Language Disorders
You can also look forward to taking courses like Principles of Audiology, anatomy, algebra, and physics. These classes prepare you for the academic rigor of the core curriculum.
Before graduation, you’ll take 40 classes, spending around seven-and-a-half weeks in each class.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Arizona State University here.
19. Georgia State University
Part of the University System of Georgia and one of the four research universities in the system, Georgia State University has been standing since 1913. The university has 12 colleges and schools across six campus locations. Georgia state is home to around 54,000 students representing more than 167 nations worldwide.
GSU’s Associate’s in Speech Communication pathway program includes around 60 semester hours. Forty-two hours are core learning, and 18 are in pathway courses. You’ll cover areas of study like how messages are created, diffused, and analyzed, and you’ll understand how people develop their communication skills. Other classes include:
- Human Communication
- Research Strategies and Technology
- Business and Professional Communication
Through the pathway courses, you can specialize more heavily in areas involving speech therapy. You’ll learn to work with those who need to improve their interpersonal and speaking skills. You’ll also learn how speech communication is used in various professional occupations and industries.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Georgia State University here.
20. University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire continually achieves a top-ten ranking among all Midwestern universities. The Princeton Review has named UW-Eau Claire a Best College in the Midwest, too.
UW-Eau Claire offers a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders. You’ll understand how to investigate and diagnose numerous communication disorders through a combination of practical placements and coursework. Thanks to a network of partnerships, you’ll be placed at one of over 90 off-campus sites for your clinical experience.
The program is available in two learning formats: an on-campus option lasting two years and an online option lasting three years, which includes a summer residency. You will study many different topics in this program, including:
- Counseling in communication disorders
- Acquired cognitive-communicative disorders
- Organic voice and speech disorders
- Rehabilitation methods in communication disorders
The Center for Communication Disorders, which hosts the master’s program, has been awarded the UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence accolade for the quality of the faculty and teaching it maintains. As such, you can expect to participate in a top-notch program that prepares you well for a career in this field.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire here.
21. Tennessee State University
Tennessee State University is a public university based in Nashville. It was founded in 1912 and remains the only state-funded, historically black higher education institution in the state. As early as 1909, the institution was known as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School.
Tennessee State has a graduate speech and hearing science program with a concentration in Speech-Language Pathology. Before being admitted, you must complete several prerequisite courses, including the following:
- Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
- Introduction to Speech, Hearing and Language Disorders
- Clinical Methods in Articulation Disorders
- Language and Speech Development in Children
These courses are offered on campus and online, just like the graduate degree.
In addition to taking classes, you must also complete a supervised clinical practicum experience. A total of 400 clock hours are required, of which 25 hours can be done online. The remaining hours must be direct contact hours with a client.
Tennessee State offers graduate assistantships and grant opportunities to help you defray the cost of your education. State and federal financial aid are also available.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Tennessee State University here.
22. University of North Florida
Located in Jacksonville, Florida, the University of North Florida is part of the State University System of Florida. Undergraduates, graduates, and students seeking doctoral degrees are welcomed, with a student body numbering around 17,000.
UNF’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Deaf Education is for working practitioners who are currently engaged with deaf and heard of hearing (DHH) learners or intend to work with them in the future. The program is not intended for you if you’ve already attained the Florida Department of Education K-12 Deaf or Hard of Hearing Professional Certificate.
Coursework in this program has been aligned with the state’s K-12 DHH Teacher Certification examination, meaning you’ll be prepared to gain certification after graduation. The certificate includes the following five courses:
- Psychology and Sociology of the Deaf
- Listening and Spoken Language Methods for DHH Students
- Deafness & Diversity
- Audiology & Speech Science
- Reading Instruction and Assessment for DHH Students
Your studies can be completed within one year. Moreover, with a rolling admission schedule, you can start the program any time.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of North Florida here.
23. University of South Carolina
Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina’s campus still features buildings from the original historic site on which it was built. The university has won numerous awards for academic quality, student experience, and campus life. It’s also ranked 53rd in the nation among public schools by US News & World Report.
The Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina offers a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. This distance education program leans heavily on remote learning, live virtual interactions, and a few in-person activities.
The curriculum covers essential speech-language pathology topics like:
- Motor speech difficulties
- Literacy problems
- Stuttering and other issues of fluency
- Difficulty feeding or swallowing
- Loss of language due to stroke
This part-time program is designed specifically for professionals and non-traditional students with work and life obligations preventing full-time studies on campus. Yet, you still have the opportunity to work with clients in face-to-face settings as part of various clinical field experiences throughout the program.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of South Carolina here.
24. New York University
Dating back to 1831, New York University excels in teaching and research. It is also a highly competitive institution. The university recently saw a record-breaking 100,000 applications for admission. This marks more than a dozen consecutive years of increasing applications from prospective students like you.
NYU Steinhardt offers an online master’s program in SLP known as [email protected]. Studying within the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, you’ll complete 48 graduate-level credits and gain 375 hours of direct clinical contact experience.
Your studies revolve around evidence-based practice. This includes coursework in:
- Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Swallow Mechanism
- Science of Language
- Language Development and Disorders in Children
- Motor Speech Disorders
Once admitted, you’ll be assigned a dedicated placement specialist to help you find a location to complete the required clinical hours that the [email protected] faculty approve.
If studying online, remember that you’ll need to attend two on-campus sessions designed to prepare you for clinical diagnostic work. These are the only on-campus requirements of the program.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association accredits this NYU speech-language pathology program.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at New York University here.
25. University of Colorado Boulder
Founded in 1876, the University of Colorado Boulder is part of the University of Colorado System. In fact, the university is five years older than the state of Colorado itself! It is one of just 63 institutions that make up the Association of American Universities.
CU Boulder offers a certificate program for budding speech-language pathology assistants. It is designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences or are currently enrolled in their final semester at this university. If you’re studying another discipline, you may be eligible to apply if you meet certain requirements.
This seven-credit program requires just two classes: Competencies & Strategies for the SLPA and an SLPA Internship.
Colorado residents completing this program meet the state requirements for SLPA authorization. Doing so permits you to work in state public schools. However, as a non-resident, you will need to refer to the school’s provided list of boards to check whether the program meets your state’s requirements.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the University of Colorado Boulder here.
26. Columbia University
Founded in 1754 on the site of the Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia University is among the oldest higher education institutions in the nation. Its 40,000-strong student body has unparalleled access to the benefits of a bustling city, with a broad variety of academic clubs, organizations, and other resources just a stone’s throw away.
Columbia offers an Advanced Certificate in Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology. Supported by a tight-knit faculty of eight professors and seven experienced clinicians, you’ll join hundreds of alumni of this unique program.
Available as an online program or on-campus at the Teachers College in New York City, you’ll extend your experience as a speech-language pathologist or recent graduate of a bachelor’s degree by learning how to support the needs of bilingual children.
This program is registered with New York’s State Department of Education. However, if you’re a non-resident student, double-check with your state’s licensing agency to determine if this program meets certification or licensure requirements.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Columbia University here.
27. California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos was founded in 1989 on a 306-acre campus that overlooks the city. The school is the only public four-year university that serves South Orange, North San Diego, and Southwest Riverside counties.
The school is known for its innovative programs that extend your learning and improve your social mobility. For example, CSU San Marcos uses undergraduate research opportunities, learning communities, and internships to give you hands-on experience in your chosen field. A variety of first-year programs for incoming students also help you adjust to college life and prepare you for success.
CSU San Marcos’ online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology requires you to complete 76 units of study. The program follows a cohort model, so you’ll progress through the curriculum with the same set of classmates. The curriculum includes courses like:
- Bilingual and Bicultural Practice Issues in Speech-Language Pathology
- Law and Ethics for the Speech-Language Practitioner
- Disorders of Articulation and Phonology
- Motor Speech Disorders
- Language Disorders in School-Aged Children and Adolescents
You’ll also participate in online telepractice and in-person clinics arranged at locations near where you live.
This program is only available to residents of California.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at California State University San Marcos here.
28. Maryville University
Maryville University offers around 100 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. The school’s approach to flexible and approachable programs has been refined over 150 years of experience as a higher education institution. It has been called the second-fastest-growing university and has a total enrollment of around 10,000 students, with approximately 6,000 online learners.
Maryville offers a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders that prepares you for advanced studies or entry-level work in this field. This program, which includes 128 credit hours, trains you in important healthcare and education skills to help you support patients with communication disorders at all stages of life.
As a student at Maryville, your curriculum will include courses like:
- Language and Speech Acquisition
- Speech Development and Disorders
- Aural Rehabilitation
- Neurological Basis of Communication Disorders
- Advanced Speech Pathology
Courses are three credits each, and you’ll complete project-based and experiential learning, gaining valuable hands-on experience.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Maryville University here.
29. College of Our Lady of the Elms
Also known as Elms College, this Catholic liberal arts institution is in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1928, and today, it offers more than 50 programs. The institution also offers online tuition that is more affordable than on-campus rates. Moreover, over 95% of Elms College undergraduates receive financial aid.
Elms’ online Speech-Language Pathology Assistant program is geared toward professionals working in or planning to work within school environments. You’ll learn how to assist speech-language pathologists in improving children’s reading, writing, and communication abilities within a classroom setting.
With the flexible 20- and 21-month fully online program options, you can choose how far to take your education, gaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or a certificate. Before graduation, you’ll also complete a clinical practicum in a school setting, providing you with the necessary hands-on experience as an assistant speech pathologist.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at the College of Our Lady of the Elms here.
30. Baylor University
After around 175 years of academic excellence, Baylor University now offers online programs via three on-campus schools and colleges. Online programs include:
- Weekly video conferencing sessions
- Online coursework
- Facilitated social networking that keeps you in touch with your peers
With that being said, online students still get to participate in practical placements, so you won’t miss out on experiences given to your on-campus counterparts.
Baylor’s Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders integrates the Christian faith directly into its curriculum. Comprising a total of 45 credits, it’s a fully online program that can be completed in as few as five semesters of full-time study. Your studies will include courses like:
- Survey of Speech Pathology and Audiology
- Structures and Functions in Communication and Swallowing
- Speech Sound Disorders
- Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation
- Voice Pathology
Before earning your degree, you’ll be expected to participate in a clinical internship and a practicum. In total, you’ll gain 400 field hours of practical experience, including experience in diagnostics, creating treatment plans, and conducting evaluations.
Learn more about Accredited Online Programs For Speech Therapy at Baylor University here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Level of Education Do You Need to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist?
You need a master’s degree to become a speech-language pathologist. While not every SLP master’s degree requires a bachelor’s degree in a related area, there are certain prerequisites for admission in terms of the college courses you have taken previously.
In the accredited online colleges that we’ve referenced in this article, you will notice that there are programs designed to fill any knowledge gaps that you may have. In some cases, you can complete a college program comprising just six or seven key courses that could see you progressing from a humanities bachelor’s degree to an SLP master’s program, for example.
However, if you have no previous clinical experience, you’ll need to find a program that ensures you meet the minimum clinical experience requirements specified by the ASHA. Without satisfying this criterion, you won’t be eligible to apply for certification, regardless of your prior studies.
What Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant Do?
We’ve established above that speech-language pathologists require a master’s degree, but that doesn’t mean they work in isolation. As a speech-language pathologist assistant, you’ll work under a certified speech-language pathologist’s supervision to help those with communication disorders. Therefore, you’ll work in the same settings, including hospitals, schools, and other clinical locations.
You’ll work under the direction of your supervisor, which could include completing tasks such as record-keeping, screening new patients, and helping speech-language pathologists perform speech exercises with their patients. You might also schedule appointments, operate specialist equipment, and maintain confidential patient data. All of this experience can count toward certification if you pursue a master’s degree later on.
Due to the nature of the work, any degree program that helps you to build applicable soft skills is a good choice. The kind of natural skills we’re talking about include analytical, communication, and critical-thinking skills. You should also be detail-oriented, in addition to being a compassionate person, since you’ll be working with children or adults who have communication disorders. You also need to be a good listener.
How Much Do Speech-Language Pathologists Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, speech-language pathologists earn a median salary of around $79,060 per year. This is nearly double the U.S. national average wage for all occupations combined. However, if you go into private practice, you could earn much more than that. The upper-level of the pay range for speech-language pathologists is more than $125,000 per year.
The role is also projected to grow in demand by 21% over the next decade, creating around 34,000 new positions.
Assistants, however, can expect to earn less than their senior supervisors. A speech-language pathology assistant is an entry-level job, so an entry-level salary should be expected. Depending on your education, training, and work location, you might earn around $58,000 per year.
To seek higher salaries, speech-language pathologist assistants can gain hands-on experience by completing clinical work under a qualified pathologist. Often called a fellowship, these internships involve applying and improving the skills learned in an academic degree program. You’ll also need to gain the CCC-SLP certification, which requires you to have successfully completed a 36-week fellowship.
What Other Fields Can You Enter With a Degree in Speech Therapy?
With the skills and knowledge gained in a degree program in speech therapy, you might choose to become an audiologist, though this typically requires a master’s degree too. With some broader degree programs, there may also be potential to work as an occupational therapist or recreational therapist. Each of these roles requires a different level of education.
Recreational therapists do not focus on speech disorders or communication disorders but help those with other disabilities or illnesses. According to data from the BLS, these professionals require only a bachelor’s degree to begin working, earning a median salary of around $47,940. This is just slightly above the U.S. national average for all occupations combined. On the other hand, occupational therapists earn almost double that salary, though a master’s degree is required.
Becoming an audiologist could be an attractive option if you’re considering further study. Popular among graduates of doctoral programs in this field, becoming an audiologist involves diagnosing and treating hearing loss and balance problems, among additional complications involving the ears. These professionals earn a median salary of $78,950 and enjoy a projected 10 percent growth in demand over the next decade. However, this career also requires a master’s degree.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, check out the 30 Top Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges and the 30 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges!