Master's Degrees in Speech Therapy

Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists, help patients with speech problems like stuttering or swallowing disorders. Learn about master's degree programs in speech therapy, including admission requirements, common course topics and online availability. Schools offering Bilingual and Multicultural Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn with a Master's Degree in Speech Therapy??

In a 2-year master's degree program in speech-language pathology, you'll study language and swallowing disorders, in addition to exploring early language development. Other graduate-level classes might cover:

  • Phonology
  • Craniofacial abnormalities
  • Neuropathologies
  • Alternative methods of communication

Background RequirementsAny bachelor's degree, plus completion of specific prerequisite coursework
Potential CourseworkLanguage, language development, speech and swallowing disorders
Online OptionsHybrid programs are common, with some on-campus study and completion of a clinical practicum
Certification RequirementsMost states require completion of a master's degree and clinical experience for licensing.

What Undergraduate Majors Can I Pursue?

Most master's programs in speech-language pathology don't require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in a specific major. However, you may have to take some remedial courses, such as language development, phonetics, anatomy and physiology, neurology, and audiology, before beginning your graduate work.

In general, the more undergraduate-level classes you took related to speech and communication, the fewer classes you'll need to level. For example, if you have a clinical science background, you have probably already completed the necessary courses in anatomy and physiology.

What Are My Online Learning Options?

There are numerous online programs in speech-language pathology. However, some require at least partial on-campus study, and most require a supervised clinical practicum.

Delivery methods for online master's programs in speech-language pathology vary. Some programs are offered on a synchronous basis, with classes taken in a specific order. Material might be presented in written fashion, or you might log on to a class session in real time.

What Are the Licensure Requirements?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, nearly all U.S. states require a minimum of a master's degree for licensure as a speech-language pathologist, as well as completion of a supervised clinical practicum. However, licensing mandates vary by state, so you might want to check with your state to verify its requirements.

In addition to licensure, you might want to pursue a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Qualifications for this voluntary certification include completion of a speech-language pathology graduate program that's been approved by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, as well as proof that you've completed a clinical fellowship and passed the speech-language pathology Praxis exam (

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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