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The speech-language pathology curriculum is designed to train competent, culturally sensitive speech-language pathologists who can appreciate and understand the importance of research in clinical practice. In order to accomplish this goal, we provide a multitude of academic and clinical experiences for our students under the direction of skilled teachers, clinical researchers and supervisors both on and off campus. The development of clinical skills requires academic knowledge, the ability to understand and engage in research, and sensitivity to our clients' needs, values and cultures. Our program curriculum includes all academic and clinical experiences necessary for ASHA (American Speech, Language and Hearing Association) certification; two State of California speech-language pathology services credential, and the State of California license to practice speech-language pathology.

Students are required to complete all academic courses. The practice of speech-language pathology in the state of California requires a license issued by the Speech-Language Pathology Examining Committee Medical Board of California. Exempted settings are public schools and federal facilities. The academic and clinical requirements for state licensure are similar to those required by ASHA in speech-language pathology.

Three clinical settings are located on campus: the Communicative Disorders Clinic; the Center for Fluency Development (CFD); and the Center for Interdisciplinary Clinical Studies (CICS). Each offers a different clinical experience, and each has been designated by the ASHA Educational Training Board office as unique.


The Level One requirement must be met prior to admission.

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

  • score of at least 4.0/6.0 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

II. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be denied admission, or, if all other areas of the application are strong, a faculty member may choose to file a petition with Graduate Studies to request conditional admission. If conditional admission is granted, the student will need to pass one of the tests listed above, or complete an English Writing course from an approved list that will be maintained by the department prior to filing for Advancement to Candidacy.

The Level II Written English Proficiency Requirement is satisfied by the successful completion of the essay portion of the Master of Science, comprehensive written examination taken during the final semester.

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Department of Special Education, 1600 Holloway Avenue, Burk Hall 156,
San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1161.