Best Master’s in Speech Pathology Degrees 2021

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Speech pathology focuses on communication disorders in children and adults. A master’s in speech pathology prepares students for careers as speech-language pathologists, speech therapists, and language specialists. Graduates may work in schools, private clinics, hospitals, or research facilities.

Speech pathologists evaluate communication disorders and manage treatment plans for patients. They work with physicians, nurses, social workers, and physical therapists to provide optimal services to individuals with developmental delays, swallowing problems, and other communication issues.

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A career in speech pathology requires patience, compassion, and expertise. Speech pathologists may work with a variety of clients or specialize in a specific age group. They need a deep understanding of both the physical and psychological aspects of human communication. The best speech pathology master’s programs enable learners to develop these important career-focused skills.

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Top 10 Master’s in Speech Pathology Programs

FAQ


  • What is speech pathology?

    Speech pathology refers to the study of human communication disorders. Pathologists focus on both the physical and psychological aspects of communication.


  • How long does it take to earn a master's in speech pathology?

    Learners typically earn a master’s in speech pathology degree in two years. Some programs may offer accelerated options for working students.


  • What can I do with a master's in speech pathology?

    A master’s in speech pathology prepares learners for careers in speech-language pathology, occupational or physical therapy, and specialized nursing.


  • Can I study speech pathology online?

    Several master’s in speech pathology programs offer online options. These programs may feature accelerated curriculum.


Best Master’s in Speech Pathology Degrees 2021



The following list highlights the best master’s in speech pathology degrees. These programs offer learners various options for pursuing graduate coursework in this growing field. The featured schools host both online and in-person instruction. The rankings offer information about courses, specializations, and affordability.

Career and Salary Outlook for Speech Pathology Master’s Graduates



Jobs for speech pathology professionals continue to grow much faster than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 25% growth in speech pathology careers from 2019-2029. The demand for speech pathologists increases as advancements in medicine allow practitioners to better understand communication disorders. 

Speech pathologists who specialize in children or older adults may earn more than those without specializations. Students in speech pathology master’s programs may also specialize in speech therapy, fluency disorders, or audiology. The field features several industry certifications in child language, fluency, and swallowing disorders. Speech pathologists who pursue these certifications may include board certified specialist in their title.

Speech pathologists perform many duties, which may include diagnostic testing, medical evaluation, research, and therapeutic treatment. Pathologists work with patients, collaborate with other medical professionals, and provide guidance to family members and educators. After several years in the field, some speech pathologists seek career advancement. This enables pathologists to work as audiologists, physicians, and psychologists. These fields often require doctoral degrees.

Career Lowest 10% Median Annual Salary Highest 10%
Speech-Language Pathologists Less than $49,840 $79,120 More than $121,260

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Speech Pathology

Aspiring speech pathologists should look for programs at accredited schools. Accreditation ensures that a school meets instructional standards. Institutions hold either national or regional accreditation. A school gains regional accreditation by undergoing a regular, in-depth review process by external organizations.

Most master’s in speech pathology programs seek accreditation by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Council on Academic Accreditation (ASHA-CAA). Many states require speech pathologists to attend a school accredited by the ASHA-CAA for licensure and certification. The organization maintains professional standards for speech pathology and related fields.

Courses in a Speech Pathology Program



Speech pathology programs include both core and specialized coursework. Enrollees study speech anatomy, language development, and vocal pathology. Most programs combine traditional classes with clinical experiences.

A master’s in speech pathology degree typically takes two years to complete. Learners concentrate on developing expert-level understanding of communication disorders and treatment methods. Courses that focus on children or older adults allow enrollees to pursue desirable specializations. Other specialized courses may include fluency disorders, swallowing physiology, and craniofacial anomalies.

Like other health-related degrees, speech pathology master’s programs require clinical training. Students gain important hands-on skills through supervised practica and clinical methods courses. Many programs also feature externships that place students in local clinics and hospitals. The list below highlights three common speech pathology graduate courses.

This course covers speech-related auditory issues. Students explore the symptoms and treatment for hearing disorders. Courses may include a clinical component or practical assessment. Since speech pathologists often work with hearing-impaired individuals, this class serves as an essential component of their training.

A core requirement for many master’s in speech pathology programs, this course explains how language develops in humans from childhood to adulthood. The course trains students to identify the various stages of language development and introduces them to assessment methods.

This class teaches enrollees about the anatomy of human speech. Students learn to accurately identify the body parts that influence human speech, such as parts of the tongue and vocal chords. Courses often contain a clinical component that allows students to practice the skills they learn in the classroom.

Scholarships for Speech Pathology



Speech pathology students may qualify for scholarships to help pay for tuition, fees, and living expenses. Many graduate programs also maintain institutional scholarships for new and current speech pathology students. Learners in master’s in speech pathology programs may also benefit from state grants and federal financial aid. The following list features three scholarships for students pursuing speech pathology.

  • Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Voice Aerobics sponsors this annual scholarship for speech pathology graduate students. Applicants must attend an ASHA-accredited master’s in speech pathology program. Application requirements include completing an online form with short-answer questions.

    Amount: $500

    Explore Here

  • ASHFoundation Graduate Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Students who attend an ASHA-accredited graduate program in speech pathology may apply. Applicants must submit transcripts, an essay, an online form, and three recommendation letters.

    Amount: $5,000

    Explore Here

  • AMBUCS Therapist Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: AMBUCS sponsors several annual scholarships for students pursuing graduate degrees in speech pathology and related fields. Application requirements include a completed FAFSA, proof of enrollment, a personal statement, and U.S. citizenship.

    Amount: Up to $6,000

    Explore Here

How Much Does a Master's in Speech Pathology Cost?

The cost of pursuing a master’s in speech pathology degree varies by school and location. A degree at a private university often costs more than the same degree at a public institution. Additionally, many schools require enrollees to pay fees that cover campus activities or technologies.

Some schools offer more affordable online programs that enable students to cut costs by studying from home. Online learners may also continue full-time work while they complete their degrees. The cost of online degrees sometimes includes distance-learning fees.

Like other healthcare degrees, speech pathology master’s programs may require students to purchase insurance to cover clinical liabilities. Students may also need to factor in the cost of the exams needed for certification and licensure in their respective states. Some graduates may also want to acquire specialized certifications that require additional funds.

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