Graduate Programs in Speech-Language Pathology

The Department of Communication Disorders offers the following graduate programs:

  • Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program
  • MA Program in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program (see AuD Program)

Additionally, coursework is offered for students in the MA program that leads to the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential in Speech, Language, and Hearing (needed to be employed as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the public school setting).

The Master of Arts program in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology at Cal State LA is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700) and thus prepares students for certification as a Speech-Language Pathologist by ASHA, as well as for state licensure by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance. More information about the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE SLP GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Admission to our Graduate Programs takes place once a year (Fall admission only).

Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program

Students whose undergraduate degrees are in fields other than communication disorders need to complete prerequisite courses before being eligible to apply to the MA program in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology. Students wishing to take these prerequisites at Cal State LA must apply to the Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program.

The Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program requires completion of a minimum of 13 courses (39 semester units). These 13 courses are required prerequisites to the MA Program in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology at Cal State LA.  Complete list of required coursework.

The Certificate can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, therefore students usually complete the program in 1½ to 3 years, depending on course load.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission to the Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program include:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree and
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in the most recent 60 semester units. 

These are minimum criteria only and do not guarantee admission to the program.

How to Apply

Students wishing to apply to the Speech-Language Pathology Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program must complete an online application through Cal State Apply.  The Office of Admissions and Recruitment offers various application tips; we recommend you visit their website as well.  Here are a few tips from us if you are applying to Cal State LA’s Master’s Prep Certificate Program:

  • The Cal State Apply application for Fall 2020 admission opens on October 1, 2019.
  • When creating your Cal State Apply profile, select “Certificate” as your Degree Goal.  
  • The Cal State Apply application has four parts: (1) Personal Information, (2) Academic History, (3) Supporting Information, and (4) Program Materials.  All sections must be completed. 
    • Academic History – Transcript Entry:  Only enter courses that are in-progress or planned.  If you have no in-progress courses or do not plan to take courses before beginning the Master’s Prep Certificate Program, select “I Am Not Adding Any College Transcripts”.
    • Academic History – Standardized Tests: This section allows for submission of ACT, GMAT, and GRE scores; however these scores are not required for this program.  Please select “I Am Not Adding Any Standardized Tests”.  NOTE: International students may have to submit other test scores.  Please contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment for details.
    • Program Materials: This part has three tabs: Home, Documents, and Questions.  Please make sure you follow the instructions in each tab.  For example, within the Documents tab you will be asked to upload a Letter of Intent and unofficial transcripts.  The Home tab will tell you what you need to do after submitting the Cal State Apply application, such as where and when to send official transcripts.   
  • Make sure to send your transcripts to the Admission’s office by the deadline provided by Admissions.  However, we recommend submitting your transcripts within 2 weeks after submitting your application.
  •  Letter of Intent details:
    • Writing Prompt: Explain your reasons for pursuing a career in Speech-Language Pathology, and tell us why we should accept you into our graduate Certificate program.
    • Formatting requirements: 1 – 2 pages, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman.

Cal State Apply Fall 2020 Deadline: March 16, 2020
 

FAQs

If I am a current student at Cal State LA, do I have to re-apply to the University through Cal State Apply?

Even though you are a current student, you still need to submit the application through Cal State Apply. Contact the Admissions office for questions about submitting transcripts.

How long does this program take to complete?

That depends on how many units you take per semester.  Students have the choice of taking three, four, or five courses per semester, therefore the length of the program can vary from 1½ to 3 years.

What is the cost of this program?

The total cost of the program depends on how many semesters are needed to complete all the courses, which depends on the number of courses taken per semester.  Depending on course load, it typically takes three, four, or five semesters to complete the program.

The tuition and fee amount per semester for graduate students during the 2019-2020 academic year is $4,098.08 for students taking 6.1 units or more (tuition and fees are less if taking 0-6 units, but most students take at least three classes per semester, which is nine units).  This equates to a total cost of $12,294.24 if the program is completed in three semesters, $16,392.32 if the program is completed in four semesters, and $20,490.40 if the program is completed in five semesters.  Please go to Student Financial Services for the most recent listing of Tuition & Fees for Graduate programs if you are applying for a different academic year.

Is Financial Aid available for this program?

No, this certificate program is not eligible for financial aid.

When classes are typically offered?

Classes are offered at all times of day, mostly Monday through Thursday.

Are classes offered online or in a more traditional, face-to-face setting?

While we do offer some classes online, the majority of our classes are offered face-to- face at Cal State LA.  Some courses are also offered in a hybrid format, which is half face-to-face and half online.

Can I choose which classes to take each semester?

Yes, within certain constraints.  Some classes in the program are prerequisite to other classes in the program, so some classes have to be taken in a certain order.  If you are accepted into the program, you will meet with the program director one-on-one to plan out your schedule.

Must I go through your preparatory program in order to apply to your Master’s program, or may I complete the prerequisites elsewhere?

The prerequisites for our Master’s program can be taken elsewhere.

Can I take the courses through Open University instead of taking them through the certificate program?

If you are not a currently matriculated Cal State LA student, you can petition through the ComD Department to take courses through Open University. However, we only allow students to take courses through Open University after the first day of classes if there is still space, which there often isn’t.  Please visit the Open University website for more details.

Is this program geared towards working professionals?

While many of our classes are offered at 4:30pm or 6:00pm, we cannot guarantee that each class will be offered at those times every semester.  Therefore, it may become difficult to complete the program if you are only available after 4:00pm.

How can I get a head start?

There are four basic science courses that are not included in this certificate program, yet are prerequisite to all SLP Master’s programs.  These courses are often referred to as ASHA Basic Science Courses (Biological, Physical, and Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Statistics). If you have not completed them already, you may take these courses prior to starting the certificate program.  Otherwise, they will be added to your certificate program coursework.

What courses meet the ASHA Basic Science Requirements?

Biological Sciences: Biology is the study and characterization of living organisms and the investigation of the science behind living things.  Courses in the following areas would meet this requirement: anatomy, biophysics, cell and molecular biology, computational biology, ecology and evolution, environmental biology, forensic biology, genetics, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biosciences, natural science, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, neurobiology, physiology, veterinary science, and zoology.

Physical Sciences: Physical Science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science that study non-living systems.  ASHA now requires a course in chemistry or physics to meet this requirement.

Social/Behavioral Sciences: Social/behavioral science is the branch of science concerned with society and human behaviors.  Courses in the following areas would meet this requirement: psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health.

Statistics: A stand-alone course in statistics is required.  Any course with statistics as the primary topic may be used to meet this requirement (the course does not need to be from a math department).  Research methodology courses in communication sciences and disorders may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

NOTE: You cannot use Communication Disorders courses to meet any of these requirements unless the course meets a University GE requirement.  If you are unsure if a particular course meets these requirements, please send an email to ComD@calstatela.edu including the course title and catalog description.

Do you hold any information sessions or open houses?

If you are interesting in an open house during Fall 2019, please email ComD@calstatela.edu (subject line: Open House) and we will contact you if one is scheduled.

How many students are accepted each year?

Each annual cohort consists of 40 to 60 students.

How is GPA calculated?

We calculate your GPA using only the most recent 60 units of coursework.

What can I do with this “certificate”?

After completing this program, you will be eligible to apply to most Master’s programs in Speech-Language Pathology, here or elsewhere.

Many schools differ in the courses and/or units they offer for their certificate programs. How do I know which certificate program will make me eligible for the most MA programs?

Because all MA programs in Speech-Language Pathology are organized differently, it is difficult to design a certificate program that would meet the prerequisite requirements of all of them.  What you will find is that most certificate programs meet most of the prerequisite requirements of most of the Master’s programs, with some of the certificate programs accomplishing this better than others.  In general, the more units that are required the more likely it is that the courses in the program will meet more of the prerequisite requirements of more of the programs.  The certificate program here at Cal State LA was designed with this in mind, which is why it requires more units than many other programs.

 

 

MA Program in Communicative Disorders with an Emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology

Students who have completed (or will complete by the following Fall) an undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders or the equivalent (i.e., prerequisite courses) are eligible to apply to the MA Program.  Students whose undergraduate degrees are in fields other than communication disorders and who have not completed the prerequisite coursework should apply to the Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program (see above). 

The MA program in Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology requires the completion of a minimum of 59 semester units of graduate coursework and clinical practicum.  Additionally, most students choose to simultaneously pursue the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential, which may add 3 additional semester units to the program. 

Admission Requirements

The Department of Communication Disorders will only admit full-time students to the Master’s program. Students who have completed (or will complete by the following Fall) an undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders or the equivalent (i.e., prerequisite courses) are eligible to apply to the Master’s program.

Requirements for admission to the MA program in Speech-Language Pathology include the following:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in communicative disorders or equivalent (i.e. completion of the Master’s Preparatory Certificate Program or equivalent coursework at another University)
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate coursework
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate or prerequisite speech-language pathology and audiology coursework

Achievement of minimum criteria does not guarantee admission to the MA program.  Admission to the MA program in Speech-Language Pathology is a competitive process whereby all applicants are evaluated by a committee composed of faculty.

Prospective students are admitted, placed on a waiting list, or denied admission based on an evaluation of their grade point average in COMD coursework, grade point average in undergraduate coursework, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, letter of professional goals and intent, and an on-campus interview if selected for an interview.

How to Apply

Admission to the MA Program in Communicative Disorders takes place once a year (Fall admission only).  Students wishing to apply to the MA Program must complete two separate applications.  You must complete both applications concurrently.

1. University Application through Cal State Apply

An on-line application to the University must be submitted by the stated deadline via Cal State Apply (see Office of Admissions and Recruitment).  All students must submit the university application via Cal State Apply, including current Cal State LA undergraduate and Certificate students.  For questions regarding the university application, please contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment at (323) 343-3901. 

Tips

  • In your profile, be sure to select “Graduate” as your Degree Goal.
  • Please do not submit your letter of intent and GRE scores through Cal State Apply.  You will submit those documents with your department application using CSDCAS. Letter of intent (aka “Statement of Purpose”), type “N/A” in the textbox so that the system marks this item as complete.  Please note, if you are applying to other CSUs, be aware that they may have different requirements for the Statement of Purpose. GRE scores: Go to the Academic History section, go to “Standardized Tests”, and click on “I Am Not Adding Any Standardized Tests”.  NOTE: International students may have to submit other test scores.  Please contact Admissions for more details.
  • You do not have to manually enter your coursework into the Cal State Apply application.  Therefore, under the Academic History section, go to “Transcript Entry”, and click “I Am Not Adding Any College Transcripts”.  It will state you opted not to add any college transcripts, which is the correct thing to do.  For official transcripts, which you do need to submit, see (d) below.
  • Official Hard Copy Transcripts: After you submit your online application, you will receive an email from Admissions with instructions on how to submit your transcripts.   
  • Be sure to submit official transcripts to the University by the indicated deadline.  See FAQs for more information.

Cal State Apply Fall 2020 Deadlines
Application opens: October 1, 2019
Application deadline: January 15, 2020

 

2. Department Application through CSDCAS

A separate on-line application must be submitted via CSDCAS (Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service).  CSDCAS is administered by an independent third party provider and is not associated with Cal State LA.  It is a fee-based service that enables applicants to apply to multiple institutions. 

The CSDCAS application is available at https://csdcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/ and requires:

  • A letter of professional goals and intent
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE scores (use Designated Institution [DI] Code 1747)

CSDCAS Fall 2020 Deadlines
Application opens: October 1, 2019
Application deadline: January 15, 2020

 

FAQs

Can I be a part-time student in the Master’s program?

No, you must be a full-time student.

Are classes offered online or in a more traditional, face-to-face setting?

All of the courses in the Master’s program are offered face-to-face.

What is the cost of this program?

The tuition and fee amount per semester for graduate students during the 2018/2019 academic year is $4,088.24 for students taking 6.1 units or more.  Therefore, since this program is a full time program that lasts two years (including summers), the tuition and fee cost would be approximately $24,530 ($4,088 x 6 semesters).  However, please go to Student Financial Services for the most recent listing of Tuition & Fees for Graduate programs.

Do you hold any information sessions or open houses?

If you are interesting in an open house during Fall 2019, please email ComD@calstatela.edu (subject line: Open House) and we will contact you if one is scheduled.

How do I know if I have taken enough prerequisites to apply to the program?

Detailed transcript analysis occurs during the admissions process and cannot be done on a case-by-case basis prior to the application deadline.  However, if you graduated with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders or completed a prerequisite or leveling program, you most likely have enough prerequisites to apply to our Master’s program.  Missing one or two prerequisites will not make you ineligible to apply.

In terms of the ASHA Basic Sciences prerequisites, if you are unsure if a particular course meets these requirements, please send an email to ComD@calstatela.edu including the course title and catalog description.

I am having issues using the Cal State Apply website, who can I contact?

If you have any technical problems with Cal State Apply, please visit Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center

Is there a prompt and/ or page limit for the letter of intent?

There is no prompt or page limit.  Students are welcomed to choose the most relevant information to include and while there is no page limit, we recommend that the letter be no longer than three pages.

Must I enter all of the courses I have taken into CSDCAS and Cal State Apply?

You must enter all of your coursework into CSDCAS but not into Cal State Apply.  Only enter coursework into Cal State Apply if you are currently enrolled in classes or planning to take classes before you begin this program.

Do I have to submit transcripts to both CSDCAS and Cal State Apply?

Yes.

Do I send Cal State Apply transcripts to Admissions?

After submitting your Cal State Apply application online, Admissions will contact you by email regarding your transcripts.  Please be on the lookout for that email and follow their instructions.

I am a Cal State LA student; must I send Cal State LA transcripts as well?

For CSDCAS, yes you must submit Cal State LA transcripts.  Please follow the instructions on CSDCAS.

For Cal State Apply, you will not be asked to submit Cal State LA transcripts.

How many students are accepted each year?

Each annual cohort consists of 20 or 21 students.

What is your acceptance rate?

Based on the historical number of applicants in relation to the number of students we admit, our acceptance rate is less than 10%.

GRE scores

  • Electronic or paper copy of results?  Please refer to CSDCAS instructions and FAQs.
  • What do you consider competitive scores? GRE scores of those recently admitted ranged from 146 – 167 for Verbal, 143 – 159 for Quantitative, and 3.5 – 5.5 for Analytical.

GPA

  • What is a competitive GPA? GPAs of those recently admitted ranged from 3.63 – 4.0.
  • What GPA is used in your admission decisions? The GPA that has the most weight is the GPA based on courses in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

I am an out-of-state/country student. How can I participate in the interview portion of the admissions process?

Out-of-state/country applicants who are invited to participate in an interview may request and arrange to do the interview through video chat (Skype).

What is the percentage of graduating MA students who go to work in schools and hospitals?

Approximately 50% of graduates end up working in schools, and 50% in hospitals.