Speech Language Pathology Master's Programs (SLP)

Masters Programs in Speech Pathology: Overview

When considering a Masters in Speech Pathology, you should be prepared to work with all types of people with speech issues, language barriers and swallowing problems. Often classified as a division of communication studies, speech-language pathology involves evaluating, diagnosing and best treating communication issues and swallowing disorders in people of all ages.

Before you decide to earn you graduate degree in speech pathology the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends you ask yourself the following questions:

 Speech Language Pathology Masters Programs (SLP) infographic

What Is Your Motivation for Choosing a Masters in Speech Pathology Program?

There’s a lot of work that goes into getting a speech-language pathology graduate degree, so be sure you’re fully committed to it before you start.

What Are Your Professional Goals?

Do you want to work with children or the elderly? Maybe you want the flexibility to work from home in private practice. Whatever it is, have a set of defined top professional goals before you embark on your search for speech pathology grad schools.

Masters in Speech Pathology Programs Curriculum

A comprehensive graduate degree program for a masters degree in speech pathology will typically include the following types of courses:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology and the development of the parts of the body used for speech
  • Language and swallowing
  • The nature of disorders
  • Principles of acoustics
  • Psychological aspects of communication

Students in a speech pathology masters programs may also learn to evaluate and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders while in a supervised, hands-on clinical setting.

Speech Pathology Masters Programs Application Requirements

While an undergraduate degree in speech pathology or communication disorders is helpful, it is often not a requirement for entering a speech pathology masters program (including a speech pathology no GRE required program). Most programs seek students who are excited about their speech pathology graduate degree program and who are likely to finish the program and attain licensure.

However, certain science courses are often required to apply for a speech pathology masters program. If you don’t have them, you may need to add some prerequisites onto your program, lengthening the time you spend to get your master’s degree.

Certification at Speech Pathology Grad Schools

If you want to be certified as a speech language pathologist by the Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) of ASHA, the Council requires a master’s degree in speech language pathology from a school that has been accredited by the CFCC.

In addition, there are clinical requirements, much like an internship, and a national exam that must be passed. Many states also require licensure or certification of their own.

Speech Pathology Masters Programs Graduate Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Statistics, of the 134,100 speech pathologists employed in 2012, 48% worked in elementary and secondary schools.

Other industries that heavily employ speech pathologists include; the offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists and audiologists, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.

The chart below provides detailed employment statistics by industry:

Where are Speech language pathologists (SLP) employed?

Speech Pathology Programs Salary and Future Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median income for a speech-language pathologist in 2012 was approximately $69,870. Pay levels vary with the industry of employment and number of years a pathologist has practiced.

Potential career opportunities for speech language pathologists are expected to grow at a faster than average rate, with 19 percent growth expected between 2012 and 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 160,100 people will be employed as speech-language pathologists by 2022.

Top States for Employment: Speech-Language Pathologists
StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
New York6,240$84,730
New Jersey3,800$75,920

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Speech-Language Pathologists
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
Fairbanks, AK$111,98030
Salinas, CA$106,880110
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA$106,38050
Fresno, CA$102,850390
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO$102,480400

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top 35 Graduate Schools with Speech Language Pathology Master's Programs

  • Prepares students to pursue SLP licensure
  • Accredited by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation
  • As few as six terms to complete
  • Full-time and part-time plans of study
  • All foundation courses offered online
  • Prepares you to pursue certification as an SLP generalist
  • Same curriculum as the on-campus program, ranked #20 by U.S. News & World Report (2018)
  • 5-term and 9-term study options
  • Multiple start dates per year
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