2020 Best Speech Pathology Online Master's Programs
This list highlights the 9 best value colleges offering online master's programs in speech pathology. At #1, Baylor University charges $41,055 per year for their Master of Science in Communication - Sciences and Disorders program. Western Kentucky University, ranked #2 on the list, costs $10,605 annually for an online Master of Science in Communication Disorders, with alumni reportedly earning median salaries of $98,000.
2020 Online Colleges Offering Speech Pathology Degrees - Ranking Details
Students in an online speech pathology master's program can expect to take classes like Models of Language, Language Disorders, Pediatric Audiology, Voice Disorders, Evaluation and Diagnosis in Speech Pathology, Aphasia, Neuromotor Speech Disorders, and Language Sampling Analysis. Most master's programs will also require clinical placements to provide students with experience working as a speech pathologist. The curriculums for many master's programs are also set up to prepare students to apply for licensure or certification after graduation.
Students can graduate with an online master's degree in speech pathology in as little as a year and a half, but it may take up to three years. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree and will need to submit transcripts from their undergraduate institutions. Some schools offering online master's degrees in speech pathology have a minimum GPA requirement and specific course prerequisites. Other application requirements include GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Speech Pathology Degrees
How much can I earn with a master's in speech pathology?
Even an entry-level position as a speech-language pathologist will require a master's degree in speech pathology as well as some type of licensure or certification. With such advanced credentials, it is not surprising that the median annual income for speech-language pathologists is $79,120, with the highest-paid practitioners earning more than $120,000 per year. The best opportunities for speech pathologists are in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and hospitals, and the demand in this field is expected to increase by 27% through 2028, a projected growth rate that is much higher than that of other professions.
Will I need to get a doctoral degree to practice as a speech pathologist?
No, but the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends certified graduates with master's degrees in speech pathology consider pursuing one of the two types of doctoral degrees in speech-language pathology, depending on their career goals. A clinical doctorate prepares speech pathologists for advanced leadership roles in a clinical setting, such as a master clinician or clinical administrator. By contrast, a PhD in speech pathology prepares students for research and teaching roles in academia.
How can I fulfill the clinical practice requirement for a master's in speech pathology program if I'm going to school online?
Various master's in speech pathology programs label this requirement by different names—clinical internships, clinical externships, practicums, and so on—but in most cases the school requires students to complete a minimum number of hours of real-world experience as part of the curriculum. When students are completing their degrees online, they may have to work with their advisor or another faculty member to make arrangements to complete this requirement at a recognized healthcare or educational facility that is convenient to the student. Students will need to work under the supervision of licensed speech pathologists at the chosen facilities. The purpose of a practicum is to give students valuable experience in diagnosing and treating communication disorders, and students may be asked to pass an exam or complete some kind of project to document they have gained the appropriate level of skill from the experience.