MS, Speech-Language Pathology

Our MS 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, voice disorders, dysphagia (swallowing disorders), neurogenic communication disorders (aphasia, dementia), hearing disorders, language disorders, social aspects of communication, cognitive aspects of communication.

Courses and clinical opportunities place a high priority on assessment and intervention within an evidence-based, ethical, and multicultural framework. Upon completion of the master's degree, students are eligible to apply for certification with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, California state licensure, and California Speech Language Hearing Services credential.

Program Overview

  • Official Title: MS in Speech Language Pathology, with Speech Language Pathology credential
  • Format: Full-time
  • Units: 63 units
  • Start date: Fall semester
  • Program length: 2 years for in-field students, 3 years for out-of-field students
  • Application deadline: February 1

Student Outcome Data

Students in the MS degree program are expected to demonstrate competence in the Standards for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology set forth by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In addition, graduate students in the CD&S Department are also expected to demonstrate competence in our Program Learning Objectives. We are currently not accepting applications for our Distance Education program.

Program Learning Outcomes

More information about the program learning outcomes can be found on SJSU's Catalog website.

Initial Eligibility and Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Students who majored in a degree program other than communication disorders and sciences are considered out-of-field students (OFS). Out-of-field students require additional credit hours of prerequisite or leveling course work that may be completed in approximately two semesters.
  • In addition to the leveling or undergraduate courses, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) requires that master’s degree candidates show transcript evidence of at least one course in biological sciences, physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences, and statistics. More information about these courses can be found on the ASHA website. A course in child and/or adolescent development is required to meet the requirements for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
  • Complete at least 10 hours of guided clinical observation with SLPs who meet the ASHA supervision requirements. Appropriate documentation is required and will be reviewed upon admission for the eligibility of the SLPs and the quality/variety of observation settings. See CDS Guided Observation form for details.
  • The GRE is not required for admission.

Curriculum and Roadmaps

  • Core courses - 39 units
  • Practicum - 24 units
  • Culminating experience - 0-3 units

For more details about the courses for this program, visit the SJSU Catalog website. Below are samples of roadmaps for students who entered our program in recent years.

A culminating experience is required for graduation and students have two options.

  1. Thesis. Students can conduct a research project under the advisement of a faculty member. Students electing to complete a thesis will enroll in thesis for three credits during Fall semester of the second year; OR
  2. Comprehensive exam. Students can successfully complete the comprehensive examination - also known as “comps” - during their final semester.

If you majored in a degree program other than communication disorders and sciences, you are considered an out-of-field student (OFS). Out-of-field students require additional credit hours of prerequisite course work that may be completed in approximately two semesters.

Fieldwork and Observation

Clinical practica occur in a variety of settings, including our Kay Armstead Center for Communication Disorders. Students have clinical opportunities with infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, and elders in a variety of settings, including public, private, and charter schools (preschool, elementary, middle, high schools), rehabilitation agencies, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals.

Candidates for the Master’s degree must accumulate a minimum of 375 clock hours in a supervised clinical practicum in three distinctively different settings and 25 hours of guided observation with an ASHA certified clinician.

Steps to Apply

  • 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 our department.
  • The SJSU MS in SLP Program no longer requires the GRE for graduate admissions consideration.

Complete the MS and Credential Requirements


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 the CTC leaflet cl-667. If you decide to submit a test score from one of the CTC leaflet alternatives, you must contact the SJSU Lurie College of Education Credentials Office to verify the validity.

Basic Skills Link

Given that the CBEST is a state-level requirement for being credentialed as a speech-language pathologist, the CBEST will have to be taken sometime during the program before you graduate with your Masters degree. Applicants who are admitted to the program will be required to submit their CBEST or alternative scores to our department before graduation.

To pass the test, you must obtain a minimum California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) scaled score of 41 in each of the three sections - reading, writing, and mathematics. A section score as low as 37 is acceptable if the total scaled score is at least 123.

MS - Speech-Language Pathology Requirements

All of our department requirements, including minimum GPA, writing requirements, culminating experiences, additional certifications, and more are outlined on the SJSU Catalog website.

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.

Additional Resources

For information about financial aid opportunities, internship and job opportunities, research opportunities, and more, visit our Student Resources webpage.

Accreditation, Licensure, and Credential

The Master of Science (M.S.) program in speech-language pathology (residential) at San José State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Our Master of Science program is also an approved program of the California Licensing Board in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Basic Skills Requirement information

How to apply for a credential