The Online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) Program

Prepare to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist | ASHA-Accredited

When you pursue your online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) from Emerson College, you become a lifelong member of our vibrant community that is dedicated to shaping the lives of children and adults facing speech, language, and swallowing challenges while also addressing the needs of families and caregivers.


months to complete, 5-term track


months to complete, 9-term track

As a student in the online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program, you may choose to complete the program in as few as 20 months through a 5-term track or in as many as 36 months through a 9-term track. If you need to complete foundational coursework prior to beginning applied graduate coursework, the program will take longer to complete.

ASHA Accreditation and Licensure

Council on Academic Accreditation - Accredited | Speech-Language Pathology

The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential and distance education) at Emerson College is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Any concerns specific to the program’s accreditation status should first be addressed to the program and Emerson College and then to the CAA.

State licensure varies based on where you wish to practice. Check your state’s requirements to ensure our online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program will allow you to pursue licensure.

Emerson College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Last updated on June 27, 2022

Prepare to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist

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Online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) Admissions

Admission to Emerson’s online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program is competitive, and we seek diverse candidates from a range of academic backgrounds. With multiple start dates throughout the year, you can begin classes when it’s convenient for you: January, May, or September.

We review applications on a rolling basis, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive an admissions decision. Learn more about the application process.

No GRE required to apply.

The final deadline for the January 2025 cohort is October 11, 2024.

Contact an admissions counselor for more information: 855-997-0407 or


Speech@Emerson offers the same curriculum as our on-campus program. The coursework you complete, along with the skills and experience you gain through the program, prepares you to pursue national certification and licensure as a speech-language pathologist.

Online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) Curriculum

Designed and delivered by exceptional Emerson faculty, the online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) curriculum teaches you how to assess and treat an array of communicative challenges experienced by people across their lifespan.

The coursework delves into a range of evidence-based topics, from typical and disordered communication to theories of language development, impairment, and rehabilitation.

Through live class sessions, on-campus immersions, and clinical placements, you will learn family-focused, developmental, cognitive, psychosocial, behavioral, and medical models.

For a full list of courses and descriptions, view our Course Catalogue.


Immersions at Emerson’s Boston campus


Direct client/patient clinical contact hours


Guided clinical observation hours 


Applied credit hours

On-Campus Immersion

You will attend one weekend-long (typically Thursday- Saturday near the end of the semester) immersion experiences at Emerson’s Boston campus. The immersion is a great opportunity to connect with your peers and faculty while practicing hands-on application of concepts learned in class under licensed supervision.

Learn more about the Speech@Emerson curriculum.

Clinical Placements

You will complete one virtual placement and four community placements. Our team of dedicated placement specialists will help you find local sites within our national partner network where you can experience hands-on training. Your community placements will span at least four semesters, broadening your professional experience with a variety of individuals.

As a student in the online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program, you must accumulate a minimum of 400 supervised clinical practice hours, 25 of which may be in clinical observation.

Background Checks and Other Clearances:

As a student, you are required to complete student health requirements specifically related to Massachusetts state law and Emerson College, including a background check and health clearances required by the program and/or placement site. Clearance requirements include vaccinations against Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR), Varicella (Chicken Pox), Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis (TB), Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis), Influenza (Flu), Meningococcal (for students under age 21 only), as well as proof of health insurance, and a physical exam. If you fail to complete or maintain all clearances, you will be unable to continue in the program until you are fully compliant.  Depending on requirements of individual placement sites, students may be required to obtain multiple background checks and/or state specific clearances during their master’s degree studies. Information about background checks and clearances is included on your Orientation site. In addition, your Student Success Advisor will provide details on how to complete these clearances.

Learn more about our online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) clinical placements.

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SLP Careers

Career and Salary Outlook for SLPs

The online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program fulfills the requirements and prepares you to pursue ASHA certification as a speech-language pathologist, working with individuals who have the following:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Aphasia
  • Language and literacy challenges
  • Fluency disorders
  • Phonological and articulation disorders
  • Complex communication needs
  • Cognitive-communicative disorders
  • Voice disorders
  • Swallowing problems
  • Motor-speech disorders
  • Deafness or difficulty hearing

“I firmly believe Speech@Emerson chose me. The admissions team saw something in me that confirmed that I was meant to be a speech-language pathologist. Being seen as an individual is what made me choose this program.”

—Isela Brenes

In 2019, 38 percent of SLPs worked in schools, while most others worked in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals.1 More specific settings include public and private schools, private practices, acute care hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities. Join our community of SLP leaders, and review our Student Outcomes Data here.

Earning potential for speech-language pathologists depends on many factors, such as experience, workplace, and location. In May 2020, the median annual salary for SLPs was $80,480.2

Why Earn a Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.)?

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have the ability to make an immediate impact on those struggling to communicate—a basic human need we often take for granted. As an SLP, you have the opportunity to deliver essential care in a one-on-one setting and provide life-changing support to people from different walks of life.

Emerson’s online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program offers the generalist clinical training you need to pursue a career as a family-centered speech-language pathologist, treat clients and empower their caregivers.

Employment for speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.3

The Need for SLPs

There are a range of societal factors contributing to the increased need for SLPs. Life expectancy is increasing as baby boomers age, and early intervention for children with speech, language, and cognitive disorders is becoming more prevalent.

Speech-language pathologist is ranked No. 7 on U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs list.4


Help Your Clients Find Their Voices

Earn your Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) online from Emerson and make an impact on clients in need.

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The Emerson Community Online

With speech and communication as two of our founding principles, our high-level expertise in the communication disorders space represents our steadfast dedication to providing aspiring SLPs with the tools and techniques needed to support today’s clients, families, and caregivers. And we are honored to offer this same level of excellence in SLP education online to driven, compassionate professionals across the country.

Online Learning Experience—Made for You

Designed to seamlessly integrate Emerson’s evidence-based curriculum to your online learning experience, our virtual campus acts as your academic hub as well as your connection to our small, close-knit community.

As a student, you’ll use sophisticated technology that supports one-click access to your live classes, grades, tech support, and upcoming assignments. The intuitive and engaging online platform enables you to:

  • Attend weekly, live classes, which are kept small to facilitate discussion and collaboration and to ensure you’re fully immersed in the Emerson community. Connect with professors and peers from all over the country in high-quality, face-to-face breakout rooms to perform evaluations and implement intervention programs.
  • Access and complete coursework created by Emerson faculty at your own pace and on any device. The digital hub reflects our dedication to providing an online experience that supports your individual learning style, using features such as focus mode, dark theme, and closed captions.
  • Connect with colleagues meet one-on-one with professors, chat with classmates, and contact the support team through our interactive virtual campus. Emerson staff will work diligently alongside you to help guide you through your coursework and life as an online student.

“There is so much we can do as speech pathologists, including helping people learn/regain the ability to communicate and helping them eat and swallow safely. We can be part of real improvement to their safety and quality of life.”

—Lauren Gertsmann

Student Support

As a student in our online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program, you will have access to a comprehensive support network, including:

  • A dedicated admissions counselor
  • A faculty advisor
  • A student success advisor
  • A field placement specialist
  • A clinical supervisor who is a licensed SLP
  • A financial aid counselor
  • A technical support team
  • Career and library services

Emerson Faculty

The online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program is designed by the same exceptional faculty who teach in the on-campus program.

Our full-time faculty have earned graduate degrees in speech-language pathology or related fields. Most are practicing SLPs, and some engage in applied clinical research. All faculty are committed to integrating evidence-based practice into the learning process.

You can view profiles of our faculty and instructors here:

Amit Bajaj

Lynn Conners

Laura Glufling-Tham

Ruth Grossman

Joanne Lasker

Rhiannon Luyster

Alisa Ruggiero

Lisa Wisman Weil

Pursue Your Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.)

Take the next steps to become a speech-language pathologist and learn to treat clients with a variety of needs, as well as develop skills to support families and caregivers.

Request information to connect with an admissions counselor and receive more information about Speech@Emerson. Alternatively, you can call the admissions team Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET and Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm ET.

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1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Speech-Language Pathologistsarrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Speech-Language Pathologistsarrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Speech-Language Pathologistsarrow_upward

4 U.S. News & World Report, 100 Best Jobs 2021 (Retrieved May 12, 2021) arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

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