Communicative Disorders Program Department of Special Education

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Welcome, Prospective Students!

Thank you for your interest in the Communicative Disorders (CD) Program. Here you will find information about how to apply to the program, what qualifications are desired, applying with an undergraduate degree outside of CD, and more. The deadline to apply is December 15 (Fall admissions only).

» Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

» Link to Application Forms

» About the Master's Degree in Communicative Disorders

» About the Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Disorders

Prospective Applicant Information Sessions

This series of informational sessions is for prospective applicants interested in the Communicative Disorders Master of Science program. You can find out more about the admission requirements and how to apply. There are multiple sessions available. The meetings are held in Burk Hall 214.

Speech-Language Pathology Rated an Excellent Career

Speech-language pathology was ranked among the top 25 best careers by U.S. News and World Report.

Speech-Language Pathologists work with the full range of human communication and its disorders. They evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. They treat speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Speech-Language Pathologists may teaching in college and university programs; manage agencies, clinics, organizations, or private clinics; engage in research about human communication; supervise and direct public school or clinical programs; or develop new methods and products to evaluate and treat speech-language disorders. Speech-language pathologists often work collaboratively with teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors and others. Corporate speech-language pathologists also work with employees to improve communication with their customers. (Information retrieved from, 8/20/09)

» Visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Writing Proficiency Requirements for Applicants

Applicants will be required to submit evidence of one of the following as a part of their application for admission to our M.S. in Communicative Disorders:

  • score of at least 3.5/6.0 on the GRE Analytical Writing Test or GMAT Analytic Writing Assessment;
  • score of at least 4.5/6.0 on the essay test of the paper-based [PBT] TOEFL (a minimum score of 24/30 on the Writing section of the Internet-based test [iBT] TOEFL);
  • score of at least 6.5/9.0 on the IELTS writing test, or a concordant score on the Pearson Test of English;
  • a passing status score of at least 220 on the CSET Writing Skills Test;
Applicants who do not meet one of these requirements will be denied admission.

Undergraduate or Transfer Students Declaring CD Major

Choosing a major is a milestone in a student's academic career. The CD Program is a challenging major. Students who are happy and successful in the CD major are those whose skills, talents, and disposition are a good fit for the Communication Sciences and Disorders field. Before declaring CD as your major, we require that you consider the following to see if CD is right for you:

1. In addition to the CD major courses, you must also complete the following:
(Note: The requirements below CANNOT be substituted by CD courses.)

  1. A course in biological sciences (Effective Fall 2016, a course in one of the following area will be required: biology, human anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, human genetics, or veterinary science.)
  2. A course in physical sciences (Effective Fall 2016, a course in Physics or Chemistry will be required. At SFSU, Physics can be fulfilled by PHYS 101 and Chemistry can fulfilled by CHEM 101.)
  3. A Statistics course (At SFSU, this requirement can be fulfilled by MATH 124, PSY 171, or ISED 160.) (CSU Northridge also offers an online Introductory Statistics course – MATH 140 – which is open to eligible SFSU students. For more information, please visit
  4. A course in social/behavioral sciences (Effective Fall 2016, course in one of the following area will be required: psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health.)


2. Download the Undergraduate CD Major Guide and put your initial next to each of the specified activities as you complete it.

You must bring this form to meet with a CD advisor to declare the major.

3. Bring a transcript

You must have a 2.0 GPA to declare the CD major. Please bring a transcript to your advising meeting. (An unofficial transcript is okay.)

4. Download and carefully read the Essential Functions Guide that describes the essential characteristics necessary for success in the SLP field

5. In order to register for CD courses, you must have completed a minimum of 60 units.

If you believe CD is a good fit for you after completing the 5 steps above, or if you wish to learn more about the CD major, make an appointment with a CD advisor by calling 415.338.1001. Please bring the Undergraduate CD Major Guide that you have completed and signed to the meeting.

Undergraduate students who are entering the program from another major are required to complete a "Change of Major" form, obtained from the Special Education Office. They should make an appointment with an undergraduate adviser in CD to complete the card, have the adviser sign it, and return it to Enrollment Services in ADM 153.


You May Also Find the Following Links Helpful:

The Most Frequently Asked Questions about the SFSU CD Program
Descriptions of the Undergraduate Program in CD
Descriptions of the Graduate Program in CD
SFSU NSSLHA’s Guide to Applying to Grad School
Information about SFSU for Prospective Students
Applying to SFSU
Applying to the Communicative Disorders Program
Taking the CBEST

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