How Much Does Becoming a Speech Therapist Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ Tuition & Fees, Public Schools: $18,000-$75,000+ $ $ Tuition & Fees, Private Schools: $50,000-$90,000+ $ $ $ Total Costs: $50,000-$135,000+

Officially named speech-language pathologists, the speech therapists not only diagnose but also treat communication and swallowing disorders, which might be a result from a variety of causes such as but not limited to learning disabilities and stroke, developmental delays or disorders like autism,  cerebral palsy, and cleft palate, hearing loss or emotional problems.

The speech therapists usually work in healthcare facilities, schools, or patients’ homes, and the jobs require a master’s degree.

Typical Costs

Getting a master’s degree in speech-language pathology at a public university is priced at $23,000-$75,000 for tuition and fees each year, based on the length and focus of the program and the state of residence.

Also, the books, supplies, room, and board, as well as some other expenses, can bring the total costs to $50,000-$125,000 annually.

The two-year program at the University of Iowa, for example, costs $22,285 per year for tuition and fees for Iowa residents and $44,203 for out-of-state students.

At the same time, the books and average living expenses are calculated at $31,340, which makes total costs of $56,500 for residents and $75,600 for out-of-state students.

At the University of Washington, those students who want to work in a medical setting such as hospitals and rehabilitation centers would need about $28,000 per year for tuition and fees.

At the same time, at a private university, the master’s degree in speech-language pathology tuition and fees reach $50,000-$90,000, based on the length and focus of the program, the student-instructor ratio, the reputation and the status of the school (not-for-profit or for-profit).

The books, accommodation, and board, plus the related expenses can bring total costs to $70,000-$135,000 or more.

The estimated costs at Pacific University in Oregon, for example, are approx. $57,000 for tuition and fees for both years, and approx. $25,000 for supplies and living expenses for two years, for total costs of about $82,000.

The two-year program at Boston University is estimated to cost about $89,500 for tuition and fees; while the estimated books and living expenses are approx. $40,500, which means a total cost of $130,000 or more.

A great deal of the programs need full-time attendance, yet some schools provide online master’s programs; where the tuition and fees are similar to traditional programs, however, the living and travel expenses vary widely depending on the circumstances.

In addition to its traditional on-campus, two-year program (tuition and fees of $33,516 for residents and $67,221 for out-of-state), for example, the University of Northern Colorado provides a three-year online program with one on-campus summer lab session; and the tuition costs $35,490 for the required 65 units.

What Is Included

The master’s programs for speech-language pathologists combine classroom lectures and research, plus work with patients in clinics.

A sample curriculum is provided by Boston University.

Additional Costs

  • Each state has its own licensing and certification requirements, and the fees can vary from $100-$300 or more.
  • Tennessee, for example, charges $100 for an initial license and $80 for a biennial renewal, while New York has a license fee of $294.
  • Some states require speech-language pathologists to be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and thus they should pass the Praxis II test for an exam fee $115.


  • Students in master’s and doctoral programs are eligible for up to $20,500 in Stafford Loans per year, based on income level and other criteria provided by the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid.
  • Some paid graduate assistantship positions may be available at certain universities, such as Pacific University.
  • The National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association secures an annual scholarship.

Shopping For Becoming A Speech Therapist

  • The admissions process here is quite competitive since many programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in speech and hearing sciences or communication disorders, or a related undergraduate degree with sufficient coursework in speech and hearing sciences or communication disorders.
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers information on how to choose an academic program and offers a search tool for schools that offer speech-language pathology programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.

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