Collaborative Distance Learning Program in Speech-Language Pathology

The Distance Learning Program begins in January each year.  Following is the time frame leading up to the first semester.  Applicants will be informed of interview dates after the application period.  

Application Period Opens March 1
Application Period Closes June 30
Interviews  July
Acceptance Notifications  August 15
Orientation October
Program of Study Begins January

The University of Akron and the University of Cincinnati have partnered to offer a collaborative distance learning graduate program that leads to a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

Please note the following:

The Distance Learning Graduate SLP Program was originally developed through a grant from the Ohio Department of Education as a means to decrease the shortage of school-based SLPs and was only available to Ohio residents.

Since then, we have expanded the program to include students from bordering states (Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky).

However, students need to live within a 2-3 hour radius of either Akron or Cincinnati as we are not able to support clinical practicum from greater distances.

This part-time graduate program offers online academic coursework offered by 3 Ohio universities. The program is 8 consecutive semesters in length beginning each January. Students will participate in clinical practicum where they will be required to accumulate a minimum of 400 clock hours supervised by licensed and certified speech-language pathologists in a variety of clinical sites.

Students will be admitted into the graduate program at either the University of Akron or the University of Cincinnati. Regardless of university, all students are required to take the prerequisite courses in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).

In addition, there are 4 other required courses: one in each of the following areas:

  • statistics
  • physical science (physics or chemistry)
  • biological science (general biology, human biology or anatomy and physiology)
  • social science (psychology, or sociology or social anthropology)

Prerequisite leveling courses, for those applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology/audiology, can be taken at any accredited university. The CSD courses can be called by various names at different universities but the content is similar. Some universities cover the Audiology material in one course and others cover it in two courses. Examples are:

  • Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism-UA OR Anatomy & Physiology of Voice and Speech Production – UC OR Anatomy & Physiology and Science of Speech - OSU
  • Language Science and Acquisition-UA OR Language Acquisition – OSU
  • Introduction to Hearing and Speech Scient-UA OR Audiology 1 – UC OR Anatomy, Physiology and Science of Hearing AND Introduction to Audiology – OSU

All applicants must also have taken the GRE within the past 5 years.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible for state licensure in speech-language pathology as well as the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Graduates will be qualified to work as a speech-language pathologist in any type of employment setting.

Interested applicants are directed to first complete a preliminary application (found on each university's SLP department website) and submit it to either the University of Akron or the University of Cincinnati. The university will review the preliminary application and then direct the applicant to formally apply to one of the two universities once the application process is opened for each cohort.

Program Outcomes

Admission Standards for the Distance Learning Graduate SLP Program

(Also see Graduate School Bulletin)

The following are the minimum criteria used by the Graduate School and the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in processing admission applications. It is not unusual for many more qualified individuals to apply than can be admitted to the program; therefore, meeting these requirements does not guarantee that an applicant will be admitted to the program.

Full Admission

Students with a minimum GPA of 2.75 or above, or 3.00 or better for the last two years (64 semester hours or equivalent), and a 3.0 in-field GPA will be considered for the speech-language pathology program. Admission is competitive.

Applicants to the Distance Learning Program must possess a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology or complete a post-baccalaureate sequence of courses in speech-language pathology and audiology from an accredited university. Three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose, and GRE scores are required of all applicants. Applicants must also demonstrate competency in oral and written communication and language.

Average scores of students admitted to the Distance Learning Graduate Program in 2014 were:

  • Overall GPA:  3.48
  • In-Field GPA:  3.43
  • GRE Verbal:  47th Percentile
  • GRE Quantitative:  31st Percentile
  • GRE Writing:  3.8

Pre-Requisite Coursework

Applicants to the Distance Learning Program should complete the academic course requirements for ASHA Standard IV-A (general education) prior to entering the graduate program.  These courses must be taken for credit and grade (not pass-fail or audit):

  1. Biological Science - any human/animal biological science other than the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism 
  2. Statistics – “stand alone” statistics course (not a research methods course) – may be in either a Math or Psychology department
  3. Physical science – chemistry or physics required
  4. Social science - psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health

The following ASHA Standard IV-B (in-field) courses should also be completed at the undergraduate level:

  1. Biological bases - anatomy of the speech and hearing mechanism
  2. Acoustic bases - speech and hearing science
  3. Developmental bases - language acquisition/development
  4. Linguistic bases - phonetics or linguistics

All in-field courses must be taken for credit/grade.

Our program has a 7-year limit for undergraduate coursework.  Students wishing to apply to our graduate program, who have a bachelor’s degree in SLP that is greater than 7 years old, will need to take some of the pre-requisite courses again.  These would be considered as post-baccalaureate courses.  We will work individually with students, based on their transcripts and experiences, to determine which courses need to be taken.

Graduate Tuition Rates for Universities that Deliver Coursework in the Distance Learning Graduate SLP Program


University of Akron:

Ohio State University:

University of Cincinnati: