Jan 27, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Speech Language Pathology, MS


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The Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences  (CDS) Master of Science degree program in Speech Language Pathology offers an in-depth study of communication disorders with an emphasis on articulation and phonological disorders, fluency disorders (stuttering), augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), voice disorders, dysphagia (swallowing disorders), neurogenic disorders, hearing disorders, language disorders, social aspects of communication, and cognitive-communication disorders. Courses and clinical training opportunities place a high priority on assessment and intervention within an evidence-based, ethical, inclusive, and culturally responsive framework. Clinical practices are completed in varied settings, including the Kay Armstead Center for Communicative Disorders housed in the department. Signature speech, language and hearing services include screenings, evaluations, and a variety of therapy clinics including an AAC clinic, a voice clinic, a clinic for adults with intellectual disability, a clinic for children with language disorders, the Spartan Aphasia Research Clinic, and a summer camp for children with stuttering. Students have clinical opportunities for working with toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults in multiple settings, including public, private and charter schools (preschool, elementary, middle, high schools), rehabilitation agencies, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals.

Admission Requirements

University Requirements 

Applicants must meet all university admission requirements . The university-level graduate application is separate from the application you send to the department. You will need to apply separately to the university to obtain approval for university-level admission and to the department to obtain admission into the Master of Science degree program. Depending on their level of preparation, students can be admitted in either classified or conditionally classified standing. Minimum requirements for admission in classified standing are a completed Bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate program in communication disorders. An applicant holding a Bachelor’s degree in another field of study may be admitted with conditionally classified standing. The admissions letter will detail the preparatory coursework required for advancing to classified standing in the program. Additional requirements for international students are listed below.

Department Requirements 

Applicants who meet the following criteria beyond university requirements will be considered for classified admission into the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences. The department admission process requires submission of the following information:

  1. Via the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS)
    1. Official Transcripts (3.0 minimum GPA)
    2. Essay (reasons for pursuing Speech-Language Pathology as a career choice; for interest in the program at SJSU, detailing multicultural experience or study and relationship to future career as an SLP
    3. Three Letters of Recommendation
    4. Transcript Evaluation Report (for International Students)
  2. Via the San Jose State University Office of Graduate Applications and Program Evaluation (GAPE)
    1. Official Transcripts
    2. English-Language Skills Verification
  3. Via the CDS Department Office
    1. Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) Scores (not required at the time of admission)

If you are taking the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) to meet the BSR, a minimum scaled score of 41 in each of the three sections (reading, writing, mathematics). A section score as low as 37 is acceptable if the total scaled score is at least 123.

We generally refer students to take the CBEST yet to meet the BSR. There are alternate options for meeting the BSR besides passing the CBEST exam, which are outlined on the CTC website (CL-667).  If you are choosing an alternate option, you are required to have it verified by a Credential Analyst in the Credential Services Office prior to applying for admissions to a credential program. For Preliminary Speech-Language Pathology Credential candidates, the basic skills requirement must be met prior to serving as an intern.

The deadline for submission of completed applications is February 1, 2023.

Applicants from countries in which the official language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students must meet the university requirements for candidacy. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy  for the MS degree are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures  section. Candidacy includes the successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) . The department’s GWAR is met by completing the EDSP 221  course with a grade of B or better.

Graduation Requirements

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements  section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures . Completion of the degree also requires a minimum grade of “B” in all courses taken and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.

Degree Requirements

Students are expected to complete all required courses, the culminating experience, clinical practica, and observation requirements. To meet degree requirements, candidates for the MS degree must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses with no single course grade below a B- (B minus). Students who earn less than a B- (B minus) in any required course must retake the course and earn a grade of B- (B minus) or better.

  1. Complete 24 practicum/fieldwork units including EDSP 277  (3 times in 3 different types of clinics), EDSP 276 , EDSP 269  (School-based SLP externship), and EDSP 278  (medical/other externship). Candidates for the Master’s degree must accumulate a minimum of 375 required clock hours in a supervised clinical practicum in three distinctly different settings, and a minimum of 25 hours of observation;
  2. Complete 39 units of required academic courses, corresponding to national and state accreditation standards in Speech-Language Pathology;
  3. Apply for graduation via MySJSU; and, 
  4. Culminating Experience: Successfully pass the MS Comprehensive exam or complete a Master’s Thesis as a required culminating experience in the graduate program.

In addition to the curriculum, students must demonstrate knowledge of each of five additional content areas (listed below) as required by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

  1. Biological Sciences (ASHA requirement),
  2. Social/Behavioral Sciences (ASHA requirement),
  3. Physical Sciences (ASHA requirement),
  4. Statistics (ASHA requirement) and
  5. Child and/or Adolescent Development (CCTC requirement).

Prior to providing any speech, language, or communication assessment or intervention services during clinical practica, students must show evidence of all of the following:

  1. Certificate of Clearance;
  2. Negative TB (tuberculosis) test;
  3. Negative Hepatitis test;
  4. Physical Clearance to provide speech-language pathology services;
  5. Successful completion of online training related to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act); and,
  6. CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) Certification.
  7. COVID-19 vaccination and vaccine booster, or appropriate documentation of medical or religious exemptions to vaccine, in compliance with the CSU vaccination policy.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) . Program GWAR fulfilled by EDSP 221 .

Culminating Experience

Plan A (Comprehensive Exam)

All students in the Master of Science (MS) in Speech Language Pathology program must successfully complete the Comprehensive Examination during their last semester (Spring semester of the second year). The examination assesses broad knowledge and competency across topics in speech, language, hearing, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Master of Science degree and are eligible to work as speech-language pathologists.

Plan B (Thesis)

Students who have a strong interest in research may be approved to complete the Thesis (Plan A). It requires students to secure a thesis advisor and a thesis committee and enroll in EDSP 299  during the Spring semester of the second year. (Enrolling in the EDSP 299  adds 3 units to the program for a total of 66 units.) Students electing to take this option are not required to complete the comprehensive examination. Theses must be defended and approved by a thesis committee and follow the College of Graduate Studies Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines.

Master’s Requirements (63-66 units)


Practicum (24 units)


Complete the following 24 practicum/fieldwork units for a minimum of 400 clinic hours (375 practicum hours + 25 observation hours):

Culminating Experience (0-3 units)


Complete One Option (Plan A or Plan B):

Plan A (Comprehensive Exam)


  • Comprehensive Exam

Plan B (Thesis)


The Plan B (Thesis) option adds 3 units to program requirements and requires approval from the graduate advisor.

Total Units Required (63-66 units)


Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master’s degree is 15.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU Cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.

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