Education - Communicative Disorders and Sciences, Department of

MA - Education, Concentration in Speech Pathology

The Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences (CD&S) Master's degree program offers an in-depth study of communication disorders with an emphasis on articulation and phonological disorders, fluency disorders (stuttering), augmentative and alternative communication, 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, and multicultural framework. Clinical practica are completed in varied settings, including the Kay Armstead Center for Communication Disorders housed in the department. Students have clinical opportunities for working with infants, 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.

Detailed information about the program can be found on the department website:

Admissions 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 Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Speech Pathology. 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.

Admission to the Department

Applicants who meet the following criteria beyond university requirements will be considered for classified admission into Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences. The department admission process requires three (3) application processes and nine (9) tasks:

1. Via Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS)

a. Official Transcripts (3.0 minimum GPA)

b. Essay(reasons for pursuing Speech-Language Pathology; reasons for San Jose State University; personal qualities; any additional information)

c. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Score. Minimum GRE score requirements can be found on the Graduate Program Test Requirement webpage at GAPE.

d. Three Letters of Recommendation

e. Transcript Evaluation Report (for International Students)

2. Via the San Jose State University Office of Applications and Program Evaluation (GAPE)

f. Official Transcripts

g. English-Language Skills Verification

3. Via the Departmental Office

h. CBEST Scores

A minimum scaled score of 41 in each of 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 California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) but you do not have to if you meet one of the other options outlined in the CTC leaflet cl-667. To submit test scores from one of the CTC leaflet alternatives, you must contact the SJSU Credentials Office ( to verify the validity of your scores before submitting them to CSDCAS. Deadline for submission is February 1.

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

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy (Program Continuation)

Students must meet the university requirements for candidacy. General university requirements for advancement to candidacy for the MA degree are detailed in the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Candidacy includes successful completion of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, refer to the GWAR Course List on the College of Graduate Studies website. The department's GWAR is met by completing EDSP 221 with a grade of B or better.

Requirements for Graduation

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.

MA - Speech-Language Pathology Requirements

Students are expected to complete all required courses, the culminating experience, clinical practica, and observations. In order to meet degree requirements, candidates for the MA in Education with a concentration in Speech Pathology must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses with no single course grade below a B-. Students who earn less than a B- in any required course must retake the course and earn a grade of B- or better.

In addition to the CDS curriculum, students must demonstrate knowledge of five additional content areas as required by American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). They are ASHA Requirement 1: Biological Sciences; ASHA Requirement 2: Social/Behavioral Sciences; ASHA Requirement 3: Physical Sciences; ASHA Requirement 4: Statistics; and CCTC Requirement Child and/or Adolescent Development.

Candidates for the Master's degree must accumulate a minimum of 375 clock hours in supervised clinical practicum in three distinctively different settings and 25 hours of observation.

Prior to providing any speech-language assessment or intervention services during clinical practica, students must show evidence of all of the following: (a) Certificate of Clearance, (b) Negative TB (tuberculosis) test, (c) Negative Hepatitis test, (d) Physical Clearance to provide speech-language pathology services, (e) successful completion of online training related to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and (f) CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) Certification.

Culminating Experience

Plan C (Comprehensive Exam)

All students in the MA, Education, Concentration in Speech 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 Arts degree and are eligible to work as speech-language pathologists.

Plan A (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, Thesis during Fall 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 must also successfully complete the comprehensive examination. Theses must be defended and approved by the thesis committee and follow the College of Graduate Studies Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines.

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Program GWAR fulfilled by EDSP 221.
Requirements of the Masters63
Core Courses39
EDSP 221. Research Seminar in Communicative DisordersGWAR3
Students must earn a B (3.0) or better in EDSP 221
EDSP 222. School Age Language, Literacy, and Social Comm.3
EDSP 250. Seminar in Voice Disorders3
EDSP 251. Seminar in Phonological Disorders3
EDSP 252. Seminar Fluency Disorders3
EDSP 254. Seminar in Neurological Disorders3
EDSP 255. Seminar in Motor Speech Disorders3
EDSP 259. Seminar in Language Disorders in Children3
EDSP 260. Seminar in Dysphagia3
EDSP 262. Speech and Language in a Cross-Cultural Society3
EDSP 264. Contemporary Professional Issues3
EDSP 265. Seminar in Cognitive Disorders3
EDSP 288. Seminar in AAC and Communication Disorders3
EDSP 269. Field Experience in Public Schools - Speech Pathology and Audiology6
EDSP 276. Practicum in Advanced Assessment3
EDSP 277. Advanced Practicum-Speech Pathology1-3
Students take EDSP 277 (3 units) three times for a total of 9 units
EDSP 278. Clinical Management and Practicum6-10
Students take EDSP 278 once for a total of 6
Culminating Experience0-3
Complete one option (Plan A or Plan B):
Plan A (Thesis)
EDSP 299. Master's Thesis3
Comprehensive Exam
The Plan A (Thesis) option add 3 units to program requirements and requires approval from the graduate advisor
Plan B (Comprehensive Exam)
Comprehensive Exam

Total Units:63

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.