2020 Most Affordable Online Speech Pathology Master's Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/23/2021
2020 Most Affordable Speech Pathology Masters Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/23/2021

These eight schools offer the most affordable options for obtaining an online master’s degree in speech-language pathology (SLP). The demand for speech-language practitioners is on the rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting more than 40,500 new jobs to emerge in the next 10 years. Students can enter these careers by earning a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. We’ve provided brief descriptions of common courses in SLP programs, information about funding a degree, and answers to frequently asked questions.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's programs. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Tennessee State University $4,068
# 2 (tie) #2 (tie) University of Northern Colorado $12,600
# 2 (tie) #2 (tie) University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire $12,600
# 4 #4 University of Akron $14,538
# 5 #5 Texas Woman's University $15,362
# 6 #6 California State University-Northridge $17,472
# 7 #7 University of South Florida Online $18,538
# 8 #8 James Madison University $22,496
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $4,068
Annual Tuition: $4,068
Annual Tuition: $4,068
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 197
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 241
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (615) 963-5000

Example Classes: Adult Aphasia, Methods of S & H Services in Public Schools, Multicultural Literacy and Cultural Diversity, Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology, Seminar in Stuttering, Studies in Language Disorders

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $12,600
Annual Tuition: $12,600
Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 549
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,103
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (970) 351-1890

Example Classes: Acquired Disorders of Language & Cognition, Assistive Technology for Communication Disorders, Feeding and Swallowing Disorders: Lifespan, Motor Speech Disorders: Lifespan, Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Communication, Voice and Resonance Disorders

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $12,600
Annual Tuition: $12,600
Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 485
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 520
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (715) 836-4636

Example Classes: Aural Rehabilitation, Communication Changes and Disorders of the Older Adult, Fluency Disorders, Language Development and Disorders: Related Disciplines, Phonological Disorders, Voice and Resonance Disorders

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders
#4
#4

University of Akron

Akron (OH)
Annual Tuition: $14,538
Annual Tuition: $14,538
Annual Tuition: $14,538
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 563
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 239
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (330) 972-7111

Example Classes: Augmentative Communication, Clinical Processes in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Fluency Disorders: Assessment, Counseling & Treatment, Language and Literacy Development and Disorders: Infancy to Early Childhood, Neurogenic Speech Disorders, Speech Sound Disorders

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $15,362
Annual Tuition: $15,362
Annual Tuition: $15,362
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1160
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,619
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,406
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (940) 898-2000

Example Classes: Adult Dysphagia, Counseling in a Cross-Cultural Society, Language Disorders in School-Age Children, Neuronal Pathways of Communication, Research in Communication Sciences, Speech and Hearing Science

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $17,472
Annual Tuition: $17,472
Annual Tuition: $17,472
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 446
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 858
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Phone #: (818) 677-1200

Example Classes: Advanced Diagnostics in Speech and Language Pathology, Computer Applications in Communication Disorders, Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of Speech, Language and Hearing, Neurogenic Disorders of Cognition and Language, Pediatric Audiology, Voice and Disorders of Voice

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Communicative Disorders
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $18,538
Annual Tuition: $18,538
Annual Tuition: $18,538
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Average SATs: 1170 -1330
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,049
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,419
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (813) 974-2011

Example Classes: Advanced Vocal Disorders, Aphasia and Related Disorders, Augmentative & Alternative Communication, Diagnostic Principles and Practices, Ethical Practice Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Language-Learning in the School-Age Years

Online Master's Degrees

  • M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology (Post-Baccalaureate Track)
#8
#8

James Madison University

Harrisonburg (VA)
Annual Tuition: $22,496
Annual Tuition: $22,496
Annual Tuition: $22,496
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1290
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 235
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 310
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (540) 568-6211

Example Classes: Aging & Communication, Early Intervention, Language Disorders in Adults, Neuromotor Speech Disorders, Physiological & Acoustical Phonetics, Processes & Disorders of Speech Fluency

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Cost of a Master's in Speech Pathology

At a median annual cost of $23,389, an online master's degree in speech pathology tends to be more expensive than other online master's degrees. In fact, the most affordable option costs $14,147, which is about the same as the $14,278 median for all master's degrees. However, obtaining the degree is necessary for anyone who wants to become a speech pathologist.

In addition to tuition, students will need to pay fees and buy books and supplies. Alumni also require certification in order to practice, which can cost $250-$550 a year depending on the individual's current certification status. To help alleviate costs, online students should apply for as much financial aid as possible. One option to consider is a graduate scholarship from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the largest professional group for speech-language pathologists.


Common Speech Pathology Master's Courses

The following are common courses in online speech-language pathology programs. Many of these courses involve clinical practice, enabling students to build skills and meet requirements for state licensure or certification, such as the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

  • Adult Aphasia: Aphasia resulting from traumatic brain injury or illness, such as a stroke, affects a person’s ability to speak, write, or comprehend language. Speech-language pathologists assist aphasia patients in practicing language skills and developing alternate ways of communicating. Classes in adult aphasia help SLP students understand the causes of the condition and learn rehabilitation methods.
  • Language Disorders: This core course introduces graduate students to the causes, assessment, and appropriate therapies for common language disorders, such as lisping, aphasia, and speech delay. Language disorder courses often incorporate lab work, helping students gain clinical experience in the treatment of these disorders. Some online SLP programs offer elective courses focused on developmental language disorders in children, such as articulation disorder, apraxia, and stuttering.
  • Multicultural Literacy and Cultural Diversity: Some speech-language pathology programs include elective courses on language in culturally diverse populations. Coursework is designed to help students discover how cultures differ and understand the effects of culture and gender on communication. Greater sensitivity to families from various backgrounds enables students to more effectively assess and treat patients in a culturally diverse workplace.
  • Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology: This introductory course focuses on the structural and functional bases of communication. Students learn about the sensory and motor systems, and discover how speech and language are controlled by the central nervous system. Coursework covers common illnesses and degenerative diseases that can cause disorders and disrupt normal language function.
  • Pediatric Audiology: Pediatric audiologists assess, diagnose, and treat children of all ages for hearing loss and related communication disorders. An introductory course in pediatric audiology will teach students how to perform hearing tests and evaluations, diagnose the causes of hearing loss to prevent further deterioration, and implement a variety of therapies, such as hearing aids. To practice as a licensed pediatric audiologist, students will need a doctoral degree in pediatric audiology and licensure from the state where they practice.
  • Rehabilitation Audiology: Rehabilitation audiology, sometimes called aural rehabilitation, seeks to evaluate and rehabilitate individuals with various types of hearing impairment. Coursework in a rehabilitation audiology class will cover hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other forms of assistive technology. Students will learn to help patients cope with the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss and improve their communication skills.
  • Speech and Hearing Science: Speech and hearing science is a broad term that encompasses all aspects of speech, language, and hearing development. An introductory course in this topic provides an overview of normal development, the nature of language, and social and cultural aspects of communication. Students will discover clinical processes for identifying, preventing, and treating common hearing and speech disorders among children and adults. Graduates of master’s degree programs are prepared for careers in healthcare, education, counseling, and social work.
  • Voice Disorders: A class in voice disorders in adults and children is required for SLP master’s programs. Coursework covers pathologies affecting voice, various voice therapy programs, and the effects of pharmaceutical agents on voice. The course is typically a blend of lectures to discuss scientific concepts and clinical practicums in the use of appropriate assessment methods and therapies for voice disorders.

Funding a Master's in Speech Pathology Degree

Students enrolled in online speech-language pathology programs have the same access to financial assistance as their on-campus peers. Scholarships and grants are preferred because they do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are available from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, EBS Healthcare, Sertoma, and the American Association on Health & Disability, among others.

A school that provides internal financial aid may help with the affordability of earning a graduate degree. The colleges and universities on our ranking list feature lower tuition rates, and some offer additional types of financial assistance.

Prospective students who’ve served in the U.S. Armed Forces may qualify for financial aid through scholarships and tuition discounts, and may earn credit for prior military experience.

Online students enrolled in reputable speech-language pathology programs, especially those accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, may qualify for low-interest federal or private loans.


Is a Master's in Speech Pathology Worth it?

Enrolling in a master's degree could cost significant time and money, so it's natural to wonder about the return on that investment. An online master's degree in speech pathology is a gateway to a career with median annual pay of $80,480, but each individual must decide whether they think a program is likely to pay off based on their own personal circumstances.

Potential benefits

  • Every state requires this master's degree in order to gain a speech-language pathologist (SLP) license.
  • Job opportunities in the field are expanding very fast, with 25% growth expected from 2019-2029.

Potential drawbacks

  • Most SLPs work in healthcare settings, but those working in schools report higher levels of dissatisfaction with their jobs and the support they receive from employers.
  • This is a highly specialized degree, so SLPs who don't enjoy their work may find it difficult to switch careers.

Some SLP students enjoy the flexibility of asynchronous online courses that let them pace their workload as needed throughout the week. Other students prefer the structure of attending live lectures where they can ask questions of their professors and peers more easily. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association acknowledges the validity of studying speech pathology online — prospective students can consult ASHA's list of accredited programs and search the term "distance education."


Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Online Speech Pathology Degrees

In which locations do speech pathologists earn the most?

In terms of geographic location, the BLS reports that the top five states with the highest annual mean salary range of $84,510 to $101,920 for SLPs are the District of Columbia, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and California. The five lowest paying with an annual mean salary range of $51,430 to $69,250 are Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, and Maine.

What is the job outlook for speech pathologists?

The BLS projects 25% job growth for speech-language pathologists over the next decade. A couple of key factors are contributing to an increased demand for speech-language pathologists who specialize in working with adults. The U.S. has a rapidly aging population, as well as higher survival rates from traumatic injuries and illness. Additionally, an increased awareness of developmental speech and language disorders is creating more opportunities to work with children in schools and healthcare facilities.

How much does earning an online master’s in speech pathology cost?

The nine schools ranked at the top of this page represent the most affordable options for obtaining an online master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Most offer their online programs at in-state, on-campus tuition rates. Annual tuition for these programs ranges from $4,068 to $22,496, and additional fees will vary.

Can speech pathologists work remotely?

In recent years, some speech-language pathologists have begun to work remotely with both children and adults. They are typically employed by healthcare providers, private practices, and school systems. Remote SLPs use online conferencing tools equipped with high-fidelity audio and video to deliver the same assessment techniques and rehabilitation therapies used in traditional, face-to-face interactions.