Colleges with Speech Pathology Majors: How to Choose

Speech pathology is an area of communications expertise that covers the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of individuals with speech, hearing or other communication disorders. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available at colleges and universities across the country, many of which lead to graduate programs and certificates.

Depending on whether the goal is to become a speech-language pathology assistant or speech-language pathologist, relevant programs can be found at community colleges or 4-year colleges and universities. Learn about schools that offer bachelor's degrees in speech pathology, as well as some considerations for helping students choose the right school for them.

Speech Pathology Schools

The following 4-year schools offer bachelor's degree programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 4-year, Public $8,104 (In-state) $27,890 (Out-of-state)
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public $10,415 (In-state) $29,665 (Out-of-state)
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public $11,839 (In-state) $34,143 (Out-of-state)
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private $49,047
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public $10,002 (In-state) $28,804 (Out-of-state)
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 4-year, Public $11,403 (In-state) $32,630 (Out-of-state)
University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 4-year, Public $10,825 (In-state) $26,659 (Out-of-state)
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public $18,192 (In-state) $28,958 (Out-of-state)
University of Texas-Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public $9,806 (In-state) $34,676 (Out-of-state)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for a speech pathology school:

  • Depending on career goals, students will want to decide on an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree program. An associate's degree is generally required to become a speech-language pathologist assistant (SLPA), although some states require a bachelor's degree, and most states require SLPAs to be licensed. Professional practice as a speech-language pathologist typically requires earning a master's degree or higher and obtaining state licensure.
  • Students may want to consider programs that incorporate hands-on experience in professional environments, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and nursing facilities.
  • Some schools offered combined or accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs that allow students to complete both degrees in five years instead of six.
  • Students may want to consider graduate degree programs accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) because this accreditation is necessary to be eligible for ASHA's certification, the Certificate of Clinical Competence in the field.

Associate in Applied Science in Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

An Associate in Applied Science in Speech-Language Pathology Assistant degree program includes practicums in addition to classroom coursework. Students take courses in topics such as communication disorders and language development.

Bachelor's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology degree program includes clinical practicums, providing students with opportunities to practice speech-language pathology methods. Diagnostics and evaluation training help students learn to evaluate, diagnose and plan appropriate treatment or rehabilitation for individuals with communicative disorders.

Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology

A Master of Arts or Master of Science degree is required for most careers in speech pathology. A master's degree program in speech-language pathology prepares students for employment by incorporating hands-on experience in professional settings. Programs include clinical practicums, and students may complete a thesis or take a comprehensive exam. Program graduates are eligible for additional certification of clinical competency made available by the ASHA.

Bachelor's degree programs in speech pathology are available at 4-year public and private institutions. Students considering these programs should look at opportunities for hands-on learning and accelerated options if they wish to pursue a graduate degree.

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