MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Total units required for MS: 55-57 units

Program Description

Employment as a Speech-Language Pathologist in California requires both a Master's degree and a credential or license. Completion of the Master's degree provides the training necessary for students to qualify for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, the California State License in Speech-Language Pathologist and the California Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential. The Department also prepares students to apply for the Special Class Authorization, an extension of the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential, required to teach a classroom of students with primary disabilities in the area of speech and language impairment (Other experiences and exams are also required; these will be described below under "Additional Information").

Admission Requirements

  • Students must have an undergraduate degree (or its equivalent) in Speech-Language Pathology, Communication Sciences and Disorders, or its approved equivalent.
  • Students must understand that admission preference is given to students whose undergraduate curriculum is equivalent to Sacramento State’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Undergraduate Curriculum.
  • Students must have completed the required major prerequisite coursework as delineated in the Undergraduate Program Catalog description for Communication Sciences and Disorders at Sacramento State before beginning graduate-level coursework in Communication Sciences and Disorders. [Pre-requisites: CHDV 30, PSYC 2, Statistics, DEAF 51, or their equivalents].
  • Students must have an overall GPA of 2.75 and a 3.00 GPA in the major.
  • Domestic applicants with foreign documents and international students (F-1 or J-1 visa applicants) must consult the Office of Graduate Studies and Global Education/International Admissions Department for specific application instructions. These students must also submit TOEFL scores. Consult the Department website for department-specific TOEFL scores.
  • Successful passage of all three sections of CBEST.
  • GRE scores obtained in the last 5 years.
  • Three letters of recommendations.
  • Oral and written essay.
  • Resume of related work, volunteer and multicultural experience and any scholarships, awards or other commendations.
  • Documentation of completed observation hours.
  • Students must consult the Department website for additional current admission requirements and procedures.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program Policies and Procedures

  1. A student must have a 3.0 GPA in the major in order to graduate with a Master of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. To achieve this GPA, students may not earn a grade of less than a B in any major didactic course or a grade of B- in any clinical practicum. Repeated course grades will either be forgiven or averaged with the new grade according to the campus graduate policy on repeating courses. Students failing to maintain a GPA of 3.00 are automatically placed on academic probation. The student then has one semester to make up the grade point deficiency or s/he will not be allowed to continue the graduate program and will be dismissed. Any student who has failed any two clinical practicum courses will not be allowed to continue in the graduate program and will be dismissed.
  2. Prior to enrolling in any Clinical Practica, students must fulfill the following criteria:
    1. Proof of negative tuberculin (PPD) test and verification of measles, rubella, and hepatitis B immunization series.
    2. Completion of a Level 1 criminal background check. Background checks must be conducted by the department-sanctioned agency. Refer to Department webpage for current agency instructions. Background checks performed by other agencies are not accepted.
    3. Students must complete all clinical practica in the proscribed sequence. Students who have not completed a given semester’s clinical practica will not be allowed to progress into subsequent clinical practica including internships.
    4. Current certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Health Care Providers.
  3. Students must meet clock-hour requirements for the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), California License in Speech-Language Pathology and the California Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential with or without Special Class Authorization.
  4. Internship requirements: Documentation of the following is required by the end of the second clinical semester:
    1. Current certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Health Care Providers.
    2. Complete Certificate of Clearance.
    3. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
    4. Students must complete CSAD 295I and CSAD 295M. Optional additional clinical practica are: CSAD 295S and CSAD 295P
  5. Students must furnish their own transportation to off-campus practicum sites.
  6. Students must explore and complete additional internship requirements as delineated by each site.
  7. Clock hours from the following may be counted for the CCC and California License in Speech-Language Pathology only if the on-site supervisors have their CCCs and California License in Speech-Language Pathology:
    CSAD 295IInternship: Speech-Language and Hearing Services in Schools (SLHS)4
    CSAD 295MInternship: Speech-Language Pathology in a Medical Setting4
    CSAD 295PInternship: Speech-Language Pathology in Private Practice4
    CSAD 295SInternship: Special Class Authorization Eligibility4
  8. Students must complete 100 supervised, direct-client-contact practica hours over forty-five work days in CSAD 295I and in the optional CSAD 295S.
  9. Students must meet the clinical practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) and the California License in Speech-Language Pathology at the time of graduation in order to receive the Master's Degree.
  10. Students must submit a signed record of all observation hours and supervised clinical clock hours to the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Department. Students should retain multiple copies for their personal records.
  11. Advancement to Candidacy: Students must file for Advancement to Candidacy per Office of Graduate Studies procedures as posted on their website.

Additional Information

Program Completion

If the Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, or its equivalent, has been completed at another University, additional time may be needed to complete the undergraduate requirements not already met. If courses are waived at Sacramento State because they were taken at another University, the student must have an adequate number of graduate units at Sacramento State in the major to meet the MS degree requirements and ASHA graduate-level requirements.

Certificate of Clinical Competence

A Master of Science Degree from Sacramento State fulfills the academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), which is granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The student must complete a Clinical Fellowship (one year of paid professional experience under supervision) and pass the appropriate PRAXIS exam before the certificate is granted. The Certificate of Clinical Competence is required for most employment positions, both in the public schools and in other settings.

Licensure

A Master of Science Degree from Sacramento State fulfills the academic and clinical requirements for the California License in Speech-Language Pathology. The license is required for employment in settings other than schools or federal agencies. Students must complete a Clinical Fellowship Year (one year of paid professional experience under supervision) and pass the appropriate PRAXIS exam before the license is granted.

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the department graduate coordinator who can be reached at (916) 278-6601.

Credential

A Master of Science Degree from Sacramento State fulfills the academic and clinical requirements for the California Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential. This credential authorizes the individual to work as an itinerant speech-language pathologist in the California public schools. This requires a minimum of 200 clock hours of clinical practice with minors. One hundred of these hours must be in a public school setting. In addition, the applicant may also qualify as a teacher of a special day class for students with primary disabilities in the area of speech and language impairment by acquiring the Special Class Authorization.  This authorization, an extension of the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential, requires completion of the SPHP 295S: Special Day Class Internship, passage of the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA), and passage of appropriate California Subject Matter examinations for Teachers (CSET: Multiple Subjects OR a single subject CSET in  the areas of art, English, foreign language, mathematics including foundational-level mathematics, music,  social science, or foundational-level general science).  Note:  For students with undergraduate degrees in the single subject areas listed above, completion of a subject matter program in one area or an applicable subject matter waiver program may fulfill this subject matter requirement. 

For more information on these examinations, the student is referred to the CTC Exams website.

Candidates must pass the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the department graduate coordinator who can be reached at (916) 278-6601.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MS: 55-57

Minimum Cumulative GPA:  3.0

 Advancement to Candidacy

Students must advance to candidacy before they can enroll in CSAD 500C, CSAD 500P, or CSAD 500T (see culminating experience below).

Program Requirements

Graduate courses are designed for students to begin in the fall semester and progress in a proscribed sequence. Students are admitted into the program in two cohorts. The first cohort (Fall Clinical Practica Cohort) begins clinical practica and coursework in the fall semester and can expect to graduate in a minimum of 4 semesters. The second cohort (Spring Clinical Practica Cohort) begins coursework in the fall semester and begins clinical practica in the spring semester. This group can expect to graduate in a minimum of 5 semesters.

Fall Clinical Practica Cohort

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1: FallUnits
CSAD 218 Motor Speech Disorders 3
CSAD 223 Advanced Seminar in Child Language Disorders 3
CSAD 228A Methods: Speech Disorders I 2
CSAD 229A Practice: Speech Disorders I 2
CSAD 241S Practice: Hearing Screenings 1
CSAD 242A Methods: Language Disorders I & Professional Writing-Field of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology 2
CSAD 243A Practice: Language Disorders I 2
 Units15
Semester 2: Spring
CSAD 217 AAC and Assistive Technologies 2
CSAD 221 Neurogenic Language Disorders 4
CSAD 222 Curriculum in Relation to Language -- Learning Disabilities in School-age Children 3
CSAD 228B Methods: Speech Disorders II 1
CSAD 229B Practice: Speech Disorders II 2
CSAD 242B Methods: Language Disorders II 1
CSAD 243B Practice: Language Disorders II 2
 Units15
Semester 3: Fall
CSAD 219 Counseling Techniques for Speech Pathologists and Audiologists 3
CSAD 227 Dysphagia and the Medical Setting 3
CSAD 228C Methods: Speech Disorders III 1
CSAD 229C Practice: Speech Disorders III 2
CSAD 242C Methods: Language Disorders III 1
CSAD 243C Practice: Language Disorders III 2
CSAD 244 Methods: Speech -- Language Assessment 1
CSAD 245 Practice: Speech -- Language Assessment 1
CSAD 500T
Culminating Experience: Thesis 3
or Culminating Experience: Project
2
 Units16
Semester 4: Spring
CSAD 250 Speech/Language Internships Seminar 2
CSAD 295I Internship: Speech-Language and Hearing Services in Schools (SLHS) 1 4
Select one of the following: 4
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in a Medical Setting  
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in Private Practice  
Internship: Special Class Authorization Eligibility  
Select one of the following: 2
Culminating Experience: Comprehensive Exam  
Culminating Experience: Project  
Culminating Experience: Thesis  
 Units12
Semester 5: Fall
Semester 5 is optional 2  
Select one or two of the following:  
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in a Medical Setting  
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in Private Practice 1, 2  
Internship: Special Class Authorization Eligibility 1, 2  
 Units0
 Total Units58
1

Minimum of 8 units of internships required for the Master of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

2

If a student elects to pursue an additional internship experience, then the student may enroll in one or more of these experiences.

3

Students completing a thesis or project must enroll in two units of CSAD 500T or CSAD 500P in semester 3 AND semester 4.  Students completing the comprehensive examination must enroll in 2 units of CSAD 500C in semester 4.

Spring Clinical Practica Cohort

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1: FallUnits
CSAD 218 Motor Speech Disorders 3
CSAD 223 Advanced Seminar in Child Language Disorders 3
 Units6
Semester 2: Spring
CSAD 221 Neurogenic Language Disorders 4
CSAD 222 Curriculum in Relation to Language -- Learning Disabilities in School-age Children 3
CSAD 228A Methods: Speech Disorders I 2
CSAD 229A Practice: Speech Disorders I 2
CSAD 241S Practice: Hearing Screenings 1
CSAD 242A Methods: Language Disorders I & Professional Writing-Field of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology 2
CSAD 243A Practice: Language Disorders I 2
 Units16
Semester 3: Fall
CSAD 219 Counseling Techniques for Speech Pathologists and Audiologists 3
CSAD 227 Dysphagia and the Medical Setting 3
CSAD 228B Methods: Speech Disorders II 1
CSAD 229B Practice: Speech Disorders II 2
CSAD 242B Methods: Language Disorders II 1
CSAD 243B Practice: Language Disorders II 2
 Units12
Semester 4: Spring
CSAD 217 AAC and Assistive Technologies 2
CSAD 228C Methods: Speech Disorders III 1
CSAD 229C Practice: Speech Disorders III 2
CSAD 242C Methods: Language Disorders III 1
CSAD 243C Practice: Language Disorders III 2
CSAD 244 Methods: Speech -- Language Assessment 1
CSAD 245 Practice: Speech -- Language Assessment 1
CSAD 500T
Culminating Experience: Thesis 3
or Culminating Experience: Project
2
 Units12
Semester 5: Fall
CSAD 250 Speech/Language Internships Seminar 2
CSAD 295I Internship: Speech-Language and Hearing Services in Schools (SLHS) 1 4
Select one of the following: 4
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in a Medical Setting 1  
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in Private Practice  
Internship: Special Class Authorization Eligibility  
Select one of the following: 2
Culminating Experience: Comprehensive Exam  
Culminating Experience: Project  
Culminating Experience: Thesis  
 Units12
Semester 6: Spring
Semester 6 is optional 2  
Select one of the following:  
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in a Medical Setting  
Internship: Speech-Language Pathology in Private Practice 1, 2  
Internship: Special Class Authorization Eligibility 1, 2  
 Units0
 Total Units58
1

Minimum of 8 units of internships required for the Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

2

If a student elects to pursue an additional internship experience, then the student may enroll in one or more of these experiences.

3

Students completing a thesis or project must enroll in two units of CSAD 500T or CSAD 500P in semester 3 AND semester 4.  Students completing the comprehensive examination must enroll in 2 units of CSAD 500C in semester 4.

Culminating Experience

  1. A student working toward a master's degree may choose as a Culminating Experience either a Thesis CSAD 500T, Project CSAD 500P, or Comprehensive Examination CSAD 500C.
  2. In order to enroll in CSAD 500T, CSAD 500P, or CSAD 500C a student must have been advanced to candidacy.
  3. A student may not register for CSAD 500T unless the following conditions have been met:
    • The first and second readers judge that the first two chapters of the thesis or project (literature review and methodology) are sufficiently well-developed.
    • Her/his proposal has been approved by the Culminating Experience Committee no later than the 11th week of the second clinical semester. The proposal must include the first two chapters specified above.
    • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval has been obtained. It is possible for this process to take up to a full academic year.
    • Written approval of the first reader has been accepted by the Department Chair.
  4. No subjects may be recruited until the student has registered for CSAD 500T and has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.
  5. A student may not register for CSAD 500P until the following conditions have been met:
    • The first and second readers judge that her/his written proposal describing the project's significance, objectives, methodology, and conclusions or recommendations are sufficiently well-developed.
    • Her/his proposal has been approved by the Culminating Experience Committee no later than the 11th week of the second clinical semester. The proposal must include the first project description specified above.
    • Written approval of the first reader has been accepted by the Department Chair.
    • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval obtained, if applicable. It is possible for this process to take up to a full academic year.
  6. A student enrolled in CSAD 500T or CSAD 500P may switch to the CSAD 500C Comprehensive Exam with approval from the Culminating Experience Committee and submission of a Petition for Exception form. There is no reversal of this change.

Thesis (CSAD 500T)

  • Definition: A thesis is an independent research study conducted by the student under the supervision of members of the faculty. A thesis must involve a research question or hypothesis, review of pertinent literature, and the collection and analysis of data. It is the student's responsibility to locate and recruit subjects and to collect the data, as well as to write the thesis. A thesis that includes the generation of original data is preferred; however, proposals based on file data or other secondary data sources will be considered.
  • Supervision: A thesis is supervised by a committee of two or more faculty members in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The "first reader" is the chair of the committee, and the student's primary advisor and editor. The "second reader" evaluates the thesis at the beginning, consults on the development of the manuscript as necessary, and must approve the final manuscript.
  • Credit: A student enrolls in two units of CSAD 500T each semester he/she works on the thesis, up to a total of four units. If the thesis is not completed within two semesters the student may enroll in continuous enrollment (CSAD 599), if not otherwise actively enrolled, for two additional semesters. Students are allowed a maximum of three semesters past the semester of first registering in CSAD 500T to complete their thesis for a maximum of four semesters total. Students who do not finish the thesis within the first semester of enrolling in CSAD 500T will receive a grade of "Report in Progress" (RP). If a student does not complete the thesis within the four total semesters, s/he will receive a No Credit (NC) grade for the original units and must enroll in CSAD 500C for the culminating experience.

Project (CSAD 500P)

  • Definition: A project is a significant undertaking appropriate to the professional fields of Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. It must evidence originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. It must be described and summarized in a written document that includes the project's significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion or recommendation. The project can be, but is not limited to, a curriculum project that contributes to the fields by enhancing communication of the subject matter or a research project that contributes to the fields by adding to the professional knowledge base.
  • Supervision: A project is supervised by a committee of two or more faculty members in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The "first reader" is the chair of the committee, and the student's primary advisor and editor. The "second reader" evaluates the project at the beginning, consults on the development of the project as necessary, and must approve the final project.
  • Credit: A student enrolls in two units of CSAD 500P each semester he/she works on the project, up to a total of four units. If the project is not completed within two semesters, the student may enroll in continuous enrollment (CSAD 599) , if not otherwise actively enrolled, for two additional semesters. Students are allowed a maximum of three semesters past the semester of first registering in the CSAD 500P to complete their project for a maximum of four semesters total. Students who do not finish the project within the first semester of enrolling in CSAD 500P will receive a grade of "Report in Progress" (RP). If a student does not complete the project within the four total semesters, she/he will receive a No Credit (NC) grade for the original units and must enroll in CSAD 500C for the culminating experience.

Comprehensive Exam (CSAD 500C)

  • Definition: Written exam comprised of eight questions. Examinees are given one-and-a-half hours to complete each question.
  • Comprehensive Exams are scheduled once per semester at the discretion of the department.
  • Upon completion and review by the examiners, each question is given a grade of “Outstanding”, “Pass", "Pass with Conference" or "No-Pass."
    1. "Pass" indicates a satisfactory completion of the question.
    2. "Pass with Conference" indicates a pass, but the examiner requires oral or written clarification of the answer from the student. This must be completed before the 14th week of the semester in which the exam is taken. Conferences are scheduled at the discretion of the examiner.
    3. "No-Pass" indicates an unsatisfactory answer.
  • The student may receive a “No-Pass” for up to two questions without retaking the entire exam. These “No-Pass” questions must be rewritten under the direction of the examiner.
  • Question rewrites must be successfully completed with a grade of “Pass” before the 14th week of the semester in which the exam is taken.
  • If any rewritten question is not passed, the student receives a grade of No Credit (NC) for CSAD 500C.
  • If three or more questions of the exam receive a grade of “No-Pass”, the student receives a grade of No Credit (NC) for CSAD 500C.
  • Student receiving a grade of No Credit (NC) for CSAD 500C must register again in CSAD 500C and retake the comprehensive exam in its entirety at the next scheduled administration.
  • The same conditions for grading apply on a retaken comprehensive exam as on the first attemp. Students may take CSAD 500C no more than two times.