Online SLP Master's Degree Programs

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists work at medical science crossroads. An audiologist will focus on hearing and balance problems, usually from the ear. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) focuses on treating speech and language disorders. Because of overlapping work, SLP specialists and audiologists will often work together.

There are further specializations within these two fields. For example, an audiologist may focus on things like cochlear implants, the treatment of tinnitus, or pediatrics. Another difference between the two jobs is their educational background. Aspiring speech-language pathologists need a minimum of a master’s degree, while becoming an audiologist requires a doctoral degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022), audiologists’ median pay was $78,950 per year or $37.96 per hour. Additionally, the BLS predicts a 10 percent increase in positions for audiologists nationally from 2021 to 2031. Meanwhile, the BLS (2022) pins the median pay for SLP workers at $79,060 per year or $38.01 per hour and predicts an even more significant increase in positions around the country, with a 21 percent increase from 2021 to 2031.

As SLP and audiology are slated for growth in the coming decade, so is the prevalence of related online programs. Many institutions have developed online speech-language pathology degree programs at the master’s level and both SLP and audiology programs at the doctoral level. Students enrolled in these programs receive the same rigorous coursework offered by a traditional campus education but with more flexibility due to the online and hybrid formats.

Online, hybrid, and on-campus SLP and audiology degree programs emphasize skills and knowledge such as the anatomy of the human auditory system, audiological assessment procedures, diagnosis of audiological disorders, and intervention techniques.

Read on to learn more about online graduate degree programs in speech-language pathology and audiology, as well as some campus-online hybrid programs.

What’s the Difference Between an Audiologist and a Speech-Language Pathologist?

Often, hearing loss doesn’t just mean patients can’t listen to their favorite music anymore. A litany of other issues come alongside hearing loss, including a loss of balance, vertigo, mental anguish, and other disabilities. It’s an audiologist’s job to help patients dealing with these problems.

On a busy day, an audiologist might help one patient with a loss of balance by correcting their inner ear balance, fit another patient with cochlear implants and support another who is dealing with language and communication loss. The field is varied and challenging but can be exceptionally rewarding.

As mentioned before, audiologists need a doctorate in audiology or an AuD. The AuD must be accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) for professional licensure. An audiologist must also earn certification, which we’ll get into later.

On the other hand, speech-language pathologists hold at least master’s degrees and assist patients with language disorders, problems swallowing, and speech fluency.

Featured Online Master’s Degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Communication Disorders

Emerson College – Online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders

Emerson College will help students find placements and local sites that will allow prospective communication experts to work and train. To complete the program, students will need 400 clinical practice hours. In addition, there will be a background check, including medical needs like vaccination history.

The online program offers weekly, live classes that are purposefully kept small to make sure students still form a cohort and connections. It also will help students have one-on-one meetings with professors, advisers, and other students.

Courses at Emerson are split into three sections: foundational courses, applied courses, and seminars. Foundational classes include language development, speech sounds, and audiology. These classes will help anyone in the field of medical communication become a better professional and lay the groundwork for future courses and general knowledge of the field.

Applied classes primarily focus on clinical work, methodology, and best practices, ensuring students are precise and professional while on the job. There’s also a focus on specific disorders that SLP workers may encounter. These courses make up the bulk of the program.

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Expected Time to Completion: 20 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,349 per credit

University of Cincinnati – Online Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

The University of Cincinnati offers an entirely online program with courses through Cincinnati and the University of Akron.

Entering the program requires students to be within four hours of the university. Additionally, prospective students will need an undergraduate degree with a preferred GPA over 3.0, GRE scores, and previous coursework relating to communication. Prerequisite classes for the main program are biological science, physical science, social/behavioral science, statistics, lifespan development or human growth & development, anatomy & physiology of voice and speech production, audiology, and language science and acquisition.

Courses are split into different semesters of study, with each block focusing on another aspect of speech pathology. For example, an introductory spring semester will focus on phonetics and syntax alongside a seminar. The last few semesters focus on clinical work and practicum.

  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $662 per credit

University of Northern Colorado – Online Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology

This program focuses on non-traditional students with a schedule that helps those working full- or part-time. The program assumes that students have studied similar courses in undergrad. There is a requirement to be on campus during the first year for a few weeks. Toward the end of the program, students will enter a 12-week internship. Students will often work as SLP assistants through the program, helped by placement from the university.

The program is split into four parts, including the previous internship. There are fundamental courses, research courses, and a clinical practicum. Research courses focus on general medical knowledge, research best practices, and behavioral sciences. Introductory classes will go through the disorders students need to be familiar with and how they change and evolve over patients’ lifespans and childhood care.

A GRE score is not required.

  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Accreditation: Council of Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $630 per credit

University of Montana – Online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

The University of Montana offers two programs, one thesis track and one without a thesis. The thesis track will take longer and may require an additional semester. The academic coursework will be split between foundational classes, electives related to the field, and, if the student needs to prepare a thesis, a portfolio project. The practical portion of this degree is focused on clinical work and supervised work hours.

The online program is synchronous with face-to-face classes. This program is divided into two study areas: the first focuses on developmental disorders and the other on acquired disorders.

This program requires an undergraduate degree in a similar field of study and a few prerequisite classes or equivalents.

  • Location: Missoula, MT
  • Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by ASHA
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $7,004 per year

Featured Online Master’s Degrees in Audiology

It is rare to find an on-campus or online master’s degree program in audiology. Salus University, for example, has one of the few master’s-level hybrid programs in clinical audiology, comprising 24 credits of courses and two 15-credit fellowships.

However, most state boards of audiology require that individuals entering this profession possess a four-year doctoral AuD degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This makes audiology one of few disciplines where only postgraduate studies are necessary for entry into the field. Most audiologists complete a bachelor’s degree program and enroll directly in an AuD program.

Read on for a list of AuD programs in the sections below.

Featured Online Doctoral Degrees in Speech-Language Pathology

Rocky Mountain University – Online Doctor of SLP

Rocky Mountain University’s online doctor of speech-language pathology degree program provides SLPs with convenient and flexible learning opportunities to earn a clinical doctorate. With two start dates available each year in May and August, working SLPs can complete this 40-credit program while working.

Uniquely designed for working SLPs seeking to pursue higher levels of education while maintaining their current job, these programs offer an online model with no onsite visits or a limited residency model with three onsite visits ranging from 3-6 days, and many students say that the onsite visits are the highlight of the program. In addition, students receive an extensive education covering clinical supervision, evidence-based practice, and a capstone that all contribute to a comprehensive understanding of SLP.

Before beginning their clinical rotations, SLP students must ensure that all the necessary preventative health measures are up to date. That includes vaccination certificates for MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B, TB, Tdap, Annual Influenza, and COVID-19. In addition, SLP students should also ensure they have certification in HIPAA, OSHA, and CPR before commencing the clinical rotation. This array of credentials is required to provide SLP students safely complete their clinical courses and are exposed to minimal health risks.

All applicants must provide proof of having earned at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited institution and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2, including a resume or CV, two letters of recommendation, and proof of vaccination certification before admission.

  • Location: Provo, UT
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 28 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $39,440 total

Northwestern University – Hybrid Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology

Northwestern University’s School of Communication offers a hybrid doctor of speech-language pathology program designed specifically for working clinicians who need to continue practicing while they pursue their doctorates. The hybrid format allows students to learn without having to relocate and delay their career growth. Each course in the 12-unit program features mentorship, and students can customize their degrees according to their individual goals through professional integration and reflective practice sequences.

Students in this program create their unique degree specializations through 35 hours of specialized clinical and professional development, with an option to access external funds for other professional development opportunities. Such flexibility enables professionals already experts in their field to satisfy these hours with non-clinical conference attendance. Approximately 25 students are admitted each year.

Admissions criteria to this program include holding a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an ASHA-accredited program, a Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC) in SLP, and having at least three years of cumulative SLP employment experience. SLPs completing the Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) during the application cycle can still be considered; however, they must have obtained their CCC by the matriculation date. In addition, those with less than three years of SLP experience may be considered only if they remain employed during their SLPD program duration.

  • Location: Evanston, IL
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four quarters
  • Estimated Tuition: $5,564 per unit

Loma Linda University – Online Professional Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology

Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health Professions offers an online SLP doctoral program for master’s-level clinicians. This program is divided into two domains, research, and content. Students are provided the tools to perform independent research in speech-language pathology through the research domain. The second domain allows students to deepen their knowledge base under challenging topics of SLP. Students in both domains gain valuable clinical research experience.

This flexible and comprehensive program provides SLP practitioners with the abilities needed to grow and thrive in their field. This program takes approximately three years to complete. Graduates of the program will be trained to take positions as master clinicians, clinical researchers, and university clinical faculty.

To be considered for admission into Loma Linda University’s SLP doctoral program, applicants must have a master’s degree in SLP from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA of 3.3, current clinical certification, and state licensure to practice SLP, a completed online application with accompanying non-refundable fee, official transcripts for all coursework from bachelor’s and master’s programs, a resume, three letters of reference and a written statement that follows the required parameters. Those eligible applicants who pass the first round of screening will also be invited to participate in a virtual interview.

The SLP program at Loma Linda University is highly competitive, and these stringent requirements ensure successful applicants are well prepared for success in their studies and future SLP careers.

  • Location: Loma Linda, CA
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $45,106 total

Nova Southeastern University – Hybrid Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology

The Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences at Nova Southeastern University offers a hybrid doctorate of speech-language pathology. This 53-credit hour hybrid program was one of the first for practicing SLPs. Through online classes, an onsite course, and a one-week summer institute, students in this program incorporate current research, ethical decision-making, and best practice models to foster knowledge, leadership, problem-solving skills, and research. Students in this program analyze, synthesize and apply research-based theory in current work environments and through the development of the applied dissertation.

The Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) Clinic at the NSU Fort Lauderdale Davie campus offers students unparalleled opportunities for learning and growth through on-campus clinicals in Miami and Palm Beach. This clinic has advanced beyond the traditional university SLP setting, providing a broader clinical experience with a wide range of patients from diverse backgrounds. Students gain experience treating adults and children from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with all communication disorders, including augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), voice disorders, and more.

Admissions requirements to this program include a $50 application fee, official transcripts, current resume or curriculum vitae, professional letters of recommendation, SLP licensure credentials, and written essay responses. Additionally, applicants must participate in an interview with admissions personnel and submit standardized test scores if their native language is not English. New cohorts begin every fall semester in August.

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,261 per credit

Featured Online Doctoral Degrees in Audiology

Due to clinical requirements, most AuD degrees are offered on campus. However, a few online and hybrid doctor of audiology programs are offered as degree completion and post-professional programs for existing audiologists. The two programs featured below are designed for existing audiologists who are mid-career or entering a career with international credentials.

Please note that while these two programs hold state and regional accreditation, they are not accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. This means graduates may have to fulfill additional requirements to earn licensure and work legally.

Salus University – Online Doctor of Audiology (AuD) Bridge Program

The Osborne College of Audiology at Salus University offers an online AuD degree bridge program for exiting audiologists and international applicants with a master’s degree, a medical degree in audiology, and three years of clinical experience. Students who graduate from the AuD online bridge degree program receive the same doctor of audiology (AuD) degree that residential students receive after completing their four-year professional on-campus doctorate program.

It’s important to note that this AuD-bridge program does not include a clinical practicum. In-person clinical experience is required for audiologist licensure and certification in the United States. Admissions requirements for this program include a master’s or medical degree in audiology, three years of clinical or fellowship experience, two letters of recommendation, and a personal goal statement. In addition, applicants are strongly recommended to take the ETS PRAXIS exam in Audiology to determine a baseline of knowledge. International applicants who earned degrees outside the United States must use an accredited credentialing agency, such as WES or SpanTran, to evaluate their transcripts.

  • Location: Elkins Park, PA
  • Accreditation: Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $450 per credit

A.T. Still University – Arizona School of Health Sciences – Online Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Post professional program, formerly known as a transitional doctor of audiology program, the ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS) offers a fully online AuD program for working professionals to learn new skills while remaining employed full-time.

This fully online program is delivered asynchronously. The faculty comprises interdisciplinary experts with diverse cultural and regional knowledge to help audiologists become change agents for diverse populations. Each student’s curriculum is uniquely tailored to their learning needs and interests. Two start dates are available in July and January. The faculty-to-student ratio promotes individual attention and courses last four to ten weeks.

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit documentation of their degree and clinical experience, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and attend a personal interview.

  • Location: Mesa, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $8,240 per year (two years); $7,726 per year (three years)

Featured On-Campus Audiology Doctoral Degrees

Sacramento State – Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Sacramento State’s AuD program expects students to have already completed some foundational work. Students must have completed human development across the lifespan, introduction to psychology, introduction to statistics, American sign language, and biological science physical science courses or their equivalents before applying. Sacramento State also expects students to have earned a 3.0 GPA or higher at their previous institution. Letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and documentation of 25 hours in communication sciences, with the bulk of that documented work focusing on audio.

Students can earn up to a B in a class to advance in the program if accepted. The program will help students achieve the California-specific certification in audiology, California License in Audiology. Many of the courses will be clinics focusing on earning that license.

Students must also complete an audiology doctoral project. During students’ first year, they will be expected to start compiling ideas and literature for their project, as the project will need to be approved by supervisors. This project will also come in tandem with two major exams that will test all students’ proficiency in the program and audiology. The program will focus on students becoming experts in clinical and practical methodologies.

  • Location: Sacramento, CA
  • Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by ASHA
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three to four years
  • Estimated Tuition: $7,371 per semester

University of Iowa – Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Offered through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this program is part of the University of Iowa’s more extensive slate of graduate degrees focusing on communication. Prospective students must have a GPA of 3.0 or above in their previous program. Alongside teaching future audiologists the best strategies for identifying developmental disorders and acting with empathy in their work, the University of Iowa also teaches vital leadership skills.

The program also focuses on their clinical facilities for training and supervision. This includes work with the VA Iowa City Health Care, which may provide students interested in working with adults or helping those with PTSD. Additionally, the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center doubles as a clinical facility and a research hub for students.

  • Location: Iowa City, IA
  • Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by ASHA
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years
  • Estimated Tuition: $12,013 per year (residents); $31,302 per year (non-residents)

Ball State University – Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

This program accommodates those with only an undergraduate degree in a similar field and those with a master’s in audiology. One of the core features of this program is the on-site audiology clinic. This allows students to have accessible, hands-on training while being supervised. In addition, the clinic provides diagnostic and rehabilitative services, allowing students to be fully trained in both realms.

Ball State also helps students navigate the licensing requirements for the state of Indiana. They also encourage students to contact staff and faculty for job placement help during the program.

  • Location: Muncie, IN
  • Accreditation: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) by ASHA
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years
  • Estimated Tuition: $7,884 per semester (residents); $21,546 per semester (non-residents)

Certification for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

Two organizations confer professional certifications for SLPs and audiologists:

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers Certificates of Clinical Competence (CCC) to audiologists (CCC-A) and speech-language pathologists (CCC-SLP). To be eligible for these credentials, candidates must demonstrate they’ve met rigorous academic and professional standards that often supersede state licensure requirements. More than 208,000 professionals are ASHA-certified.

The American Board of Audiology (ABA) offers three certifications: American Board of Audiology Certified, Cochlear Implant Specialty Certification, and Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification.

State requirements for licensure vary but typically include completing a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Other requirements include the following:

  • Minimum of an AuD degree (audiology)
  • Minimum of a master’s degree in SLP (speech-language pathology
  • Minimum number of clinical hours

ASHA features a state-by-state resource on its website for SLPs and audiologists to learn about state licensure requirements where they intend to work.

Nathan Stevens
Nathan Stevens Writer

Nathan Stevens is a reporter, musician, and native Texan living in Austin. He received his degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and has worked in broadcast for over a decade. His website,, is a collection and retrospective of the best music of the 21st century.