The world is getting so busy right now. Not everybody has the luxury or privilege to spend much time and money studying in traditional degree programs. Many of us have responsibilities that we can only afford to leave for a short time.
Speech pathology can be a great study area if you are passionate about language, linguistics, and comprehending how people communicate. To become one, you need a master’s degree. A master’s degree in traditional SLP programs takes two to three years of full-time study.
The good news is that numerous colleges and universities offer accelerated master’s in speech-language degree programs! An accelerated learning format will help you achieve your goals in half the time of a traditional degree program.
Speech-Language Pathology or “Speech Pathology” is a healthcare field focusing on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating communication and swallowing disorders. Professionals in the field work with people of all ages who have voice, fluency, speech, language, or swallowing issues.
Although the degree name differs, an online master of communication sciences and disorders is still a graduate program that allows graduates to pursue higher study and/or a career in speech-language pathology. Courses in a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders are intended for people with an undergraduate degree in communication science or a closely related discipline and desire to become certified speech-language pathologists (SLPs).
Some online master’s degree programs may not be any shorter than the typical two- to five-year master’s degree, but they offer flexible scheduling and can be finished while working a full-time job. There are few online master’s in communication sciences and disorders that allow students to graduate in as little as 12 months.
Before pursuing an online master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, you must know these degrees are not 100% online. While these programs are designed to offer flexibility and convenience, students must still complete the necessary clinical practicum hours. This may entail locating suitable clinical positions in their neighborhood, which can be assisted by connections created by the online program or private agreements.
An intensive graduate program for students with a bachelor’s degree in SLP, communication sciences and disorders, or a closely related discipline is the one-year Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Courses in one-year MS programs are designed to give students a faster route to a master’s degree and prepare them for careers as speech-language pathologists.
A one-year MS program has a focused and fast-paced curriculum. The design of these programs is intense and highly concentrated, allowing students to finish all prerequisite courses and clinical practicum experiences in a shorter amount of time.
Students must have a solid academic foundation, excellent time management skills, and the capacity to undertake a demanding academic workload due to the expedited pace of these programs.
Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology allows students to finish both their SLP undergraduate and graduate degrees more quickly. Students who want to become speech-language pathologists but have not completed a four-year bachelor’s degree should follow this pathway.
With the help of these SLP programs, students can start taking graduate-level classes while still in their undergraduate studies. Students can obtain credits that apply to both degrees by combining specific courses, which cuts down on the time needed to finish the program. While these programs take five years to complete, it’s still shorter than the time you’ll spend pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-3 years master’s degree.
Accelerated programs in speech-language pathology require students to complete supervised practicum assignments to gain clinical experience, just like standard master’s programs in the field. These internships give students practical experience in communication problem screening, diagnosis, and intervention. The master’s section of the program often takes place after the clinical practicum component is completed.
Each online college and university has its own admission standards for accelerated degree programs. However, students typically need to achieve specific academic requirements, such as having a competitive GPA, finishing the necessary prerequisites, outstanding letters of recommendation, and high standardized test scores.
|Degree Program||Length||Typical Admission Requirements|
|Online Master’s Communication Sciences and Disorders||12 to 36 months|
|Accelerated Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders||One Year|
|Accelerated Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology||Five years|
Bottom Line: Students that wish to pursue a master’s in speech pathology have a variety of options available depending on completion of prerequisites and desired pace.
Before deciding on an accelerated degree, you must review the program’s qualifying requirements. While admission requirements differ, you must typically be in your final year of an undergrad degree or have already earned a bachelor’s in any major. In the case of a five-year accelerated bachelor’s-and-master’s program, you typically need to have an outstanding GPA.
Certain prerequisite courses, such as those in communication disorders, phonetics, language development, anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing, and psychology, may be necessary for some programs.
After ensuring you meet the requirements, you must compile the required application materials. These frequently consist of the following:
International students applying for online master’s degrees are required to submit English Proficiency Test scores, such as the TOEFL iBT.
Every school will have its application deadlines. You should submit your college application and all required materials early for a higher chance of acceptance. Early application will also allow sufficient time to process your application.
An interview may be necessary as part of the application process for some programs. If you are chosen for an interview, prepare by learning how to respond to typical interview questions. Draw attention to your passion for speech pathology and show that you can succeed in the program.
After completing the application and interview process, you’ll often be required to complete the FAFSA application. The FAFSA allows you to investigate financial aid options and scholarships specifically available for graduate students in speech pathology.
Contact the admissions office again after submitting your application to ensure they have received all your paperwork. Stay in touch with the program coordinator or admissions representative for any updates or additional information that they may need.
Bottom Line: Before applying, review the program’s requirements to ensure that you can submit a competitive application by the deadline with all needed materials.
According to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, demand for speech-language pathologists will increase by 21% between 2021 and 2031. Jobs for speech-language pathologists are plentiful around the country, with openings in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
The BLS also suggests that the annual salary for speech-language pathologists consistently exceeds the median annual wage for all workers. Speech-language pathologists made an average yearly salary of $79,060 in May 2021, about twice as high as the average yearly wage for all workers.
SLPs can work with various client demographics across the lifespan and in various settings. Some of the most common career paths master’s in SLP graduates pursue include:
Around half of licensed SLPs work in educational settings. Speech-language pathologists in educational settings may do so in preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and programs for young children.
Median Annual Salary: $80,240
Hospitals, nonresidential healthcare facilities, and residential healthcare facilities together employ a large chunk of speech-language pathologists. While some hospitals, including children’s hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and VA or military hospitals, may handle specific groups, hospitals may also offer services to patients of all ages.
Median Annual Salary: $103,160
About one-third of SLPs work full- or part-time in private practice. They can work in private practice as owners, full-time employees, independent contractors, or provide administrative or direct clinical services.
Median Annual Salary: $117,440
Speech-language pathologists might find employment in teaching, research, and clinical supervision at colleges and universities. They might work with patients at the university’s clinical site or a nearby medical center.
Median Annual Salary: $79,640
The states with the highest percentage of speech-language pathologists in employment are:
|State||Employment||Annual mean wage|
|New York||13,760||$ 104,240|
Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bottom Line: There is an increasing demand for speech-language pathologists over a variety of sectors ranging from elementary schools to private practice settings.
Tuition + fees
University of Kansas’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
The University of Kansas’s flagship campus, situated in the classic college town of Lawrence, Kansas, is a place of tradition and opportunity that combines challenging academics with a supportive community. In addition to various online programs, KU provides more than 200 undergraduate and graduate majors in one of the state’s most prominent college cities.
A Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology is available from the University of Kansas through its Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders. With its proper accreditations, KU’s MA in Speech-Language Pathology students will be given a certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association upon completing their one-year clinical fellowship.
Students interested in becoming licensed speech pathologists but unable to complete a traditional two to three years of graduate study around their schedule can pursue KU’s MA in Speech-Language Pathology Accelerated Track. Undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech-language pathology can be completed in 5 years, thanks to this accelerated program.
KU’s accelerated master’s degree is among the most selective speech-language pathology programs. Students applying for the accelerated master’s degree will be evaluated along with traditional program applicants. A competitive applicant has a GPA of at least 3.0 and has obtained the necessary prerequisites.
Tuition + fees
Baylor University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Baylor University, a Waco, Texas-based private Christian university, is a top-ranked research school. It offers more than 15,000 students a dynamic campus community by fusing multidisciplinary research with a global reputation for superior education and a faculty dedicated to teaching and scholarship.
An MS in Communication Sciences & Disorders with a Speech-Language Pathology focus is offered by Baylor University. The program, which has a 100% Praxis pass rate, offers thorough training in diagnosing and treating communication disorders and prepares students for employment as speech-language pathologists.
The program has earned accredited from the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
The MS in Communication Science and Disorders can be completed online in a full- or part-time study. Full-time students complete the program in as quick as 20 months, while part-time students can do so in 24 months.
However, online students will be required to complete 400 field hours over three practical and one clinical internship. These practical experiences will help you develop more skills while applying what you’ve learned during online lectures. You will engage in client sessions during these encounters and offer diagnoses, treatment plans, lesson plans, and evaluations.
While the school does not have a GPA cut-off, students with high GPAs have more chances of gaining admission to the online master’s degree program. The average GPA of students currently admitted to the program is 3.4. You’ll also need a strong personal statement and high-quality letters of recommendation. No standardized test scores are required.
Tuition + fees
University of Central Florida’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
With 63,000 students and more than 200 study options, the University of Central Florida is the second-largest university in the country. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes the university for having high levels of research activity.
Students with no prior education in speech-language pathology can enroll in UCF’s Accelerated BS/BA to MA in Communication Sciences and Disorders. With a per credit hour cost of $369.65 in-state, this degree is one of the fastest and most affordable. The MA program is fully accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
The accelerated track for the master’s degree is a semester less than for students in the traditional program. Students may take up to 16 credits of graduate-level coursework while earning their bachelor’s degree. After completing their BA/BS, students must apply for and be accepted into a master’s program. Students must start the program in the semester they are accepted and take the academic and clinical courses in the order specified in the track’s catalog.
Coursework is mostly delivered on campus. However, internships can be done in the student’s local area in coordination with the school. Online courses are also subject to availability and will depend on the student’s aptitude.
Students can choose a thesis and a non-thesis track.
Students are prepared to become successful, and to achieve that, UCF offers various tools and resources for students to take advantage of. Students have access to various opportunities, including training in various skills from teachers with international reputations, networking with leading companies throughout Central Florida, and participating in local internships to obtain first-hand experience.
Prospective graduate students are no longer required to submit their GRE scores. However, they need outstanding letters of recommendation, stellar personal essays, and high GPA’s in their previous degrees.
Tuition + fees
University of Rhode Island’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Founded in 1892, URI is a public, four-year institution. The university provides students with a comprehensive liberal arts education and hands-on career preparation since it is a land-grant institution. Students at URI can participate in 200 foreign exchange programs in more than 60 countries for study periods ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year.
Students seeking a degree in Communicative Disorders and Speech-Language Pathology can pursue the Accelerated BS in Communicative Disorders and the MS in Speech-Language Pathology degree from the URI’s Department of Communicative Disorders. The accelerated degree program has received full accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology of ASHA or American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Instead of pursuing a bachelor’s and master’s degree individually, URI’s accelerated BS to MS in Speech Pathology program will help you graduate with two degrees in 5 years instead of 6-7.
For the bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders, speech-language pathology students must complete 24 specified 400 or 500 graduate-level courses of communicative disorders coursework in their senior year and 30 credits of coursework in their fifth year (post-baccalaureate) at the same course level.
URI’s accelerated pathology program is one of the most selective; admission is highly competitive. To qualify for admission, you need to possess a 3.5 major GPA or higher. Additionally, two letters of recommendation from URI’s communication disorders faculty are required.
This is an on-campus degree mixed with some distance learning courses. It’s best taken by students living in or near the area or willing to move on campus for a few semesters.
Tuition + fees
University of Akron’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
One of Ohio’s biggest universities is the University of Akron, founded by the Universalist Church’s members in 1872. The university was initially named after Akron businessman John R. Buchtel, its principal sponsor. Akron acquired its current name in 1967 after becoming a state university and non-denominational in 1907.
Akron is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), UAkron’s School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology offers a 5-year Accelerated Degree Pathway. The Accelerated BA/MA provides students with the same 17-credit hour coursework as the traditional program, only with courses that can be completed faster.
Students in the accelerated course format explore courses in advanced phonetics and neurology for issues with communication and dysphagia. Students will participate in clinical practicums and sign up for an internship in addition to their online and on-campus courses. Students benefit much from these two experiences because they link theory and practice together.
While most of the coursework is held on campus, students can complete internships wherever they want. Each student will have a personal academic advisor to help them modify their courses and locate worthy internship opportunities near their area. Students can also choose to intern in Akron’s Audiology and Speech Center.
UAkron’s Accelerated BA/MA in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology degree program is known to have stiff admission competition. The program only accepts 22 students each semester. Consequently, you need to have a competitive GPA; a 3.75 or higher is preferred. You must also submit three stellar letters of recommendation, a resume, official transcripts, a personal essay, and pass an interview.
Tuition + fees
Northern Arizona University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Northern Arizona University, a public research university in Flagstaff, Arizona, belongs to the Arizona Board of Regents and is one of the three public institutions in Arizona. When NAU was established in 1899 as the Northern Arizona Normal School, it initially prioritized teacher preparation. Its academic offerings have grown over time, and it now provides a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
NAU’s Accelerated BS to MS in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology is designed to encourage students studying at the undergraduate level to continue to graduate studies. Qualified students can start their clinical speech-language pathology master’s program while finishing their CSD bachelor’s degree. This accelerated program is fully accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Students in the accelerated program study communication sciences and disorders, anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing, speech and language assessment, intervention strategies, clinical practicum, and research methodologies. Additionally, students can focus on subjects including voice problems, adult neurogenic communication disorders, and pediatric communication disorders.
The Northern Arizona University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is a campus-based clinic where students can obtain practical clinical experience while supervised by qualified and certified speech-language pathologists. Students may also be able to perform clinical placements outside campus in different healthcare and educational contexts.
To qualify for the accelerated BS to MS degree program, you must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5, a CSD GPA of 3.8, complete 6 of 8 CSD prerequisite courses, a letter of intent, and two LORs from CSD faculty.
Tuition + fees
Emerson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Emerson College is a private university established in 1880 in honor of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a notable American essayist and philosopher. Emerson College is known for its highly committed professors who are acknowledged as subject matter authorities who bring real-world experience to the classroom. Additionally, the college strongly emphasizes experiential learning and encourages students to pursue internships, join student clubs, and perform volunteer work in the community in addition to their academic studies.
An Online Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Speech-Language Pathology concentration is offered by Emerson College. The program’s curriculum includes classes in the anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing, research methods, assessment and intervention strategies, foundational areas of communication disorders, and clinical practicum experiences. Additionally, students can select elective courses based on their interests and professional objectives.
This online fast-paced degree program compresses its coursework into shorter amounts of time to allow students to graduate in as little as 20 months. Due to intensive coursework condensed in a shorter time frame, online students should be self-motivated. Instead of having regular class meetings, you will dictate the pace. You might forget or neglect to log in and do your schoolwork if you’re not motivated enough, preventing you from benefiting from online, accelerated learning.
Online students can receive practical clinical experience in Emerson’s Robbins Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing clinic or off-campus clinical placements. Online students can also participate in research projects and discuss their findings at conferences, thanks to the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Emerson College’s actively engaged research efforts.
You must have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a regionally approved institution or college to apply to Speech@Emerson. The Speech@Emerson program offers online foundational courses to assist you in becoming ready for the applied graduate-level study if you did not study speech-language pathology during your undergraduate program.
Tuition + fees
Elmhurst University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Elmhurst University is one of the best private liberal arts universities in the country. Elmhurst University is known for its strong emphasis on liberal arts education, which aims to develop students’ critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. The faculty members at Elmhurst are dedicated educators who prioritize close interaction with students, fostering a supportive learning environment.
Elmhurst’s Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a 5-year program designed to help students become speech-language pathologists in less time. The accelerated program offers a thorough curriculum integrating theoretical knowledge and practical experience to equip students with the abilities required for assessment, diagnosis, and intervention in people with communication difficulties.
Graduates will be qualified to obtain an ASHA certification in speech-language pathology, a license for professional educators by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
Before applying to the program, you should note that this is a distance learning degree. This means that coursework will be primarily on-campus instead of online.
Students can choose their own location to complete practical experience, whether on- or off-campus; it’s still one of the most well-known flexible accelerated programs in speech-language pathology. Students can also gain research experience at the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and Annual Conference in Progress in Rehabilitation Research (ACRM). They can also focus on fluency or a multilingual and cultural emphasis.
To qualify for the SLP program, you need a high school GPA of 3.8 or higher, a 26 score on the ACT or 1240 on the SAT, at least two LORs, and a personal essay.
Tuition + fees
Maryville University, a top-ranked private university, is a comprehensive higher education institution with a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The university is renowned for its creative and individualized teaching methods. The degree programs at Maryville University are created to give their students the skills to succeed in the quickly evolving industries of today.
One of its renowned degree programs is its Fast-Paced Online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, offered by the Walker College of Health Professions. The online master’s in speech language pathology degree program takes 5 semesters or 1.8 years and is delivered through a 100% online learning format. Accredited by the AHSA, students receive individualized guidance and support from the beginning of the program till graduation.
The program accepts applicants in the fall or spring. Furthermore, students can perform clinical placements wherever it is most convenient for them. Students with SLP and related educational backgrounds can transfer up to 50 clinical hours. This online master’s program accepts students with bachelor’s degrees or speech-language pathology certificates.
Strong prospective students possess a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, stellar letters of recommendation, and strong personal statements. GME/GRE scores are not required.
Set early academic and professional objectives. It’s easier to stay motivated and focused throughout online SLP master’s programs if you know what you want to accomplish, whether that is becoming a hearing science specialist, licensed speech language pathologist, or a specialist in speech fluency and speech therapy.
Plan out your coursework, assignments, and clinical practicum for SLP graduate programs in great detail. Make a schedule that enables you to set aside time for coursework completion, class attendance, assignment completion, and clinical needs. Organize your tasks according to significance and deadlines.
A speech pathology online degree requires you to study independently. To finish assignments and meet deadlines, you must properly manage your time. Set modest, achievable goals for each study session and break big tasks into more manageable ones. Create an effective study routine, and refrain from procrastinating.
Develop a close bond with your instructors and clinical supervisors. Ask questions, seek their advice, and participate fully in class discussions. They can offer insightful guidance, mentoring, and career counseling.
Adopt study techniques for success in a speech disorders online program. Try out several strategies, such as active reading, taking notes, making study guides, and practicing typical questions. Find a study space that improves your concentration and output.
Take advantage of the tools and assistance offered by the college or university. Talk to the professors, the academic advisers, and your fellow students. Join professional associations, participate in study groups, and attend speech pathology-related conferences or workshops. Networking with classmates and professionals throughout your program can offer insightful advice and support.
Gaining practical experience in speech pathology requires the completion of the clinical practicum component. Participate fully in clinical sessions, consider supervisors’ input, and look for windows to use your knowledge and abilities. Reflect on your experiences and make the most of teaching moments.
To prevent burnout, you must balance your academic workload with self-care. Take breaks, move around, nap, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Look for activities that will relax and refresh you.
Aspiring speech language pathologists should always remember their goals to stay motivated. Celebrate your progress along the way and remain inspired by thinking about the lucrative job that is in store for you.
Bottom Line: While an accelerated master’s degree in speech language pathology can be challenging, with the right tools students will be able to complete this rigorous course of study and be on their way to a rewarding career in speech pathology.
Speech pathologists, commonly known as “speech therapists,” work with infants to adults with language disorders, speech disorders, hearing disorders, speech-sound disorders, fluency disorders, and swallowing disorders. Speech professionals can work in hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, rehabilitation centers, and private practices.
If they adhere to the requirements established by accreditation authorities, online master’s programs in speech pathology can be legitimate.
Even though they can be flexible and convenient, online SLP programs may still have clinical or practicum requirements that must be fulfilled in various clinical settings approved by the college or university.