Speech-Language Pathology, M.S. Program
The Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology is offered by the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. The objective of this degree program is the professional preparation of each student, academically and clinically, for state licensure (CA), national certification in Speech-Language Pathology by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and the Speech-Language-Hearing Services credential to work in public school settings in California.
Speech-language pathology and Audiology are clinical professions, with goals of making effective communication a human right for all persons, and for competently serving children and adults with disorders and differences of speech, language, hearing, cognition, and swallowing.
This program has rigorous and balanced academic and clinical training. *The Master’s degree program is accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).
Students who complete the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology are eligible for ASHA certification, California state licensure, and in most cases the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential to work in public schools. Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, university-based clinics, rehabilitation centers, community speech and hearing clinics, early intervention settings, public schools, and private practice.
Clinical experiences are a key component in preparing students for licensure. The department operates the Norma S. and Ray R. Rees Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, an on-campus facility that provides clinical services to individuals with speech, language, cognitive and hearing impairments from Bay Area communities. Students who are enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology master’s program are able to observe, receive training, and do research in this fully-equipped facility. Additional clinical training is conducted in off-site placements and internships in settings that meet each student’s interests and training requirements, including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, schools, and clinics.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University East Bay will be able to:
- Competently screen, assess and treat communication, cognition and swallowing across the lifespan
- Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication with clients, their families, and other professionals
- Demonstrate proficiency in working collaboratively with peers, professionals and community partners
- Evaluate, integrate and apply scientific evidence, clinical expertise and client values for optimal service delivery
- Uphold the highest ethical professional standards, including recognition of one’s professional competence
- Demonstrate commitment to acquire cultural competence and to advocate for those affected by communicative, cognitive and swallowing disorders
Students with a baccalaureate degree in any subject from an accredited college or university may apply. Foundational coursework minimum requirements, which can be completed through a baccalaureate degree, post-baccalaureate coursework, or after admission, include content in:
- Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing
- Phonetics/Phonological Disorders
- Child Language Development/Disorders
- Speech and Hearing Science
- Clinical Observation (25 hours)
- Neuroanatomy/Neurophysiology and Adult Neurocognitive Disorders
- Clinical Methods/Diagnostics
Application for admission includes two parts:
- Apply to the university directly at CAL STATE APPLY,
- Apply to the department, which typically includes a department application form, a statement of purpose, a resume of applicable experience, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, transcripts of all colleges attended, and select pages from the CAL STATE APPLY application summary. A personal interview may also be held. Links to both university and department application processes, along with requirements for the following admission cycle, are available on the department website.
Three categories of student status while pursuing the degree:
“Conditionally Classified” Status
Students are in “Conditionally Classified” status when they have been admitted to the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology degree program, but have not yet completed the requirements for “Classified Graduate” status. All graduate students are admitted in “conditionally classified” status.
“Classified Graduate” Status
Students obtain “Classified Graduate” status when they:
- have completed foundational coursework in communication disorders corresponding in scope with the baccalaureate degree in speech-language pathology offered at Cal State East Bay,
- have shown evidence of meeting essential functions required for the profession,
- have completed SLHS 694 and 695 with a grade of “B” or better,
- have fulfilled the Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency (UWSR).
Advancement to Candidacy
Students reach “Advancement to Candidacy” status if they:
- maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all graduate work completed,
- complete ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence requirements in the areas of the biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics, and social/behavior sciences.
Declassification from the Program
A student may be declassified (dropped) from a graduate degree or credential program if he/she/they has been deemed unsuitable to continue in the program for a range of reasons, including, but not restricted to: unprofessional conduct; failure to abide by the American Speech Language Hearing Assocation (ASHA) Code of Ethics; behavioral issues that interfere with the learning of others; failure to make progress toward the degree or program as set forth by the University and program policies; unsatisfactory progress in clinical practicum coursework (defined as a grade of B- or lower for 2 consecutive quarters); failure to meet grade requirements to maintain good standing in the program and/or University; and/or if the department/program faculty determine that the student is incapable of completing degree requirements at the level expected of a graduate student in the discipline even if the GPA is above a 3.0.
See the complete Policy Statement and procedures for Declassification from the Program.
Speech-Language Pathology Degree Requirements (62-64 units)
Required Core Courses
The 46 total units of the program core includes 46 units of SLP coursework. This breadth of academic coursework covers current professional practice and curricular standards, required for the program to retain its national accreditation (CAA) and state-level accreditation (CTC).
Required Clinical Practicum
The 16 total units of Clinical Practicum includes 6 units of Treatment, 2 units of Assessment, and 2 off-campus clinical internships (in two different settings) for 4 units each.
All candidates for the MS degree must meet the capstone requirements for 0-2 units. Students must pass the Master’s Comprehensive exam OR complete an oral presentation of a finished Master’s thesis or project, which demonstrates eligibility for clinical licensure and certification in Speech Language Pathology. If thesis is selected as the capstone requirement, thesis units may substitute for the elective course unit requirement in the graduate program as determined by the thesis advisor.