2020 Most Affordable Online Speech Pathology Master's Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 3/13/2020
2020 Most Affordable Speech Pathology Masters Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 3/13/2020

These 9 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 (BLS) 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 core 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 $4,068
# 2 #2 $10,605
# 3 (tie) #3 (tie) $12,600
# 3 (tie) #3 (tie) $12,600
# 5 #5 $14,538
# 6 #6 $15,362
# 7 #7 $17,472
# 8 #8 $18,538
# 9 #9 $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

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green (KY)
Annual Tuition: $10,605
Annual Tuition: $10,605
Annual Tuition: $10,605
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Acceptance Rate: 95%
  • Average SATs: 980 -1190
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,383
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,192
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (270) 745-0111

Example Classes: Aphasia, Motor Speech Disorders, Neurology for Speech and Language, Rehab Audiology, Seminar in Child Language, Voice Disorders

Online Master's Degrees

  • Master of Science in Communication Disorders
#3
#3
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
#3
#3
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
#5
#5

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
#6
#6
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
#7
#7
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
#8
#8
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)
#9
#9

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

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, grants, and externships 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. For example, both the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire provide funding for some internal scholarships. Tennessee State University offers a deferred payment plan for students who meet certain criteria.

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. Our sister site has compiled a list of military-friendly schools that highlights additional options for active military and veteran students.

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

Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Online Speech Pathology Degrees

In which locations do speech pathologists earn the most?

According to the BLS, speech-language pathologists earn a median annual wage of $79,120, with salaries ranging from $49,840 to $121,260. Professionals working in nursing and residential care facilities tend to earn higher wages with a median annual salary of $95,250. Those who work in hospitals or private practice earn an average of approximately $84,000 per year.

In terms of geographic location, the BLS reports that SLPs on the west coast (California, Oregon, and Alaska) and east coast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia), as well as in Colorado and Louisiana, typically earn higher mean annual salaries in the range of $83,850 to $101,410. Speech-language pathologists in many of the midwestern and southern states earn mean annual salaries in the range of $74,060 to $83,690.


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.


Should I attend an accredited program?

Students pursuing graduate degrees in speech-language pathology should choose programs accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Accreditation ensures that a program meets standards of excellence in higher education. Graduates may need to matriculate from accredited programs to meet state licensure and certification requirements. Enrollment in accredited schools may also help students qualify for financial aid.