A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Speech-Language Pathology - Masters

About This Program

The program leading to the Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders offers preparation for careers in the professional practice of speech-language pathology.  It provides a basis for graduate study and research at a more advanced level, and encourages growth in independence.  The courses are designed to:

  • increase understanding in the basic sciences of communication and swallowing
  • develop competence in the practice of prevention, evaluation, and intervention of communication and swallowing disorders
  • increase competence in research; and,
  • promote a sense of ethics and responsibility toward the speech, language, and hearing handicapped and toward the community.

The clinical services of the Department, Loma Linda University Medical Center, and affiliated practicum sites provide the opportunity for supervised clinical experiences that represent the breadth and depth of the profession in a variety of settings.

Upon completion of the Master of Science program, graduates are eligible for the Preliminary Speech-Language Pathology Services credential (CA public schools) and the Temporary License in Speech-Language Pathology (CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs). They are also prepared to seek employment as a Clinical Fellow, working towards the Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Council for Clinical Certification.


This program is accredited by The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (www.professional.asha.org)  and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. (www.ctc.ca.gov)

Any concerns about the program's compliance with accreditation standards may be submitted to The Council of Academic Accreditation, 2200 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850, (301) 897-5700  (301) 897-5700; (800) 498-2071 (800) 498-2071, (301) 571-0481(301) 571-0481 TTY.

Learning Outcomes

Students meet the following learning outcomes:

Institutional Learning Outcomes

  • Critical Thinking: Students demonstrate critical thinking through examination of ideas and evidence before formulating an opinion or conclusion. 
  • Information Literacy: Students demonstrate the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, utilize, and share information.
  • Oral Communication: Students demonstrate effective oral communication skills in English.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Students demonstrate the ability to reason and develop evidence-based decisions using numerical information.
  • Written Communication: Students demonstrate effective written communication skills in English.

Mission Focused Learning Outcomes

  • Wholeness: Students apply the University philosophy of wholeness into their personal and professional lives.
  • Wellness: Students facilitate healthy lifestyles in self and others.
  • Values: Students integrate LLU’s Christ-centered values in their personal and professional lives.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students demonstrate knowledge of communication disorders and differences and swallowing disorders, and methods of prevention, evaluation, and intervention.
  • Students demonstrate skill in selecting appropriate tools and conducting evaluations with diverse populations and across the lifespan.
  • Students demonstrate skill in conducting intervention with diverse populations and across the lifespan.
  • Students demonstrate interaction and personal qualities consistent with the standards of the profession.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of school-based speech-language pathology services, including, but not limited to, multiple service delivery models, federal law and state education code, respect for and sensitivity to diverse populations, preparing and conducting IEP.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of processes used in discipline-related research.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of counseling principles and practices applied to the practice of speech-language pathology with diverse populations and across the lifespan.
Employment Rates in the Profession
Period # Graduates % of Graduates
2014-2015 29 100%
2013-2014 31 100%
2012-2013 22 100%
3-Year Average   100%
Pass Rates for Praxis Exam (ETS Data)
Period # of Students Taking Exam # of Students Passed   Pass Rate (%)
2014-2015 29 29 100%
2013-2014 30 29 97%
2012-2013 2 2 100%
3- Year Average     98%


  • Bachelor's degree in Speech-Language Pathology or in communicative disorders or equivalent coursework (see Master of Science-Transitional Program).  A completed post-baccalaureate program qualiifies the applicant to apply to the Master of Science program.  A letter documenting completion of the post-baccalaureate program is required.  **Note: Students admitted to the graduate program must show evidence of having completed a minimum of one undergraduate course in each of the following areas: biological sciences (such as biology, human anatomy, etc), physical sciences (physics or chemistry preferred), statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences (such as psychology, sociology, educational psychology, etc.)
  • Literate personal statement (part of the online application)
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably academic (part of the online application)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Interview for applicants who qualify and receive an invitation.
  • Written communication assessment (conducted at interview) for applicants who qualify and receive an invitation.
  • Note:  Students are required to take the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) within the first quarter of study.


Apply Online

The graduate application is available online.  The application window opens October 1.
Applications and all supporting information (transcripts, recommendations, etc) must be submitted by December 15.

Official transcripts of all academic records from colleges,universities and professional or technical schools must be provided.  It is the applicant's responsibility to have transcripts sent directly to the Loma Linda University.    Transcripts that are hand carried or sent by the applicant are deemed unofficial and may delay the application process. 

Please use the following address when requesting transcripts:

Loma Linda University
Admissions Processing
Loma Linda CA 92350

Admission decisions fall into one of three categories:

Regular Admission, may be granted to applicants who meet admission criteria, who have no undergraduate deficiencies, who demonstrate professional potential and who demonstrate the highest academic requirements for admission to the graduate program.  Note:  The required minimum 3.3 GPA does not guarantee admission.  In most years, the pool of applicants is highly qualified and applicants will be in competition with much higher GPAs.

Alternate Status, may be granted to qualified applicants who are not  accepted in the first round of selection.

Denial of Admission, The applicant did not meet one or more of the admission requirements or because the application was incomplete or late.


1.  All documents must be received by December 15 for the following fall quarter admission. 
2.  Department Admissions Committee reviews applications beginning in early January.
3.  Department Admissions Committee selects applicants for interview and sends recommendations to the School of Allied Health Professions Admissions Committee.
4.  Applicants selected for Interview are notified in late January.
5.  Interviews and on-site Written Communication Assessment- February
6.  Department Admissions Committee makes final admissions decisions.
7.  Applicants are notified of status three-to-four weeks following interview and final review of the application.

The Program

Full-time students who enter the program with an undergraduate degree in communicative disorders will complete the program in seven quarters of coursework. Students go through the program as a cohort, entering in fall quarter.  In the first and second years, including the summer following the first year, graduate courses are taught in the late afternoon/early evening, and on one Friday morning per month.  All students are required to take clinical practicum (usually one morning or afternoon per week) each quarter.  In the winter and spring quarters of the second year. students complete their full-time public school placement and medical placement.

Please note:  Students who are admitted to the Master of Science Program may be required to go out of state for one or both of the last two quarters of their program.  This advance notice is given so that students will be prepared financially.

All students are eligible for graduate assistantship, which permits students to work on campus or in local programs.  Otherwise, students may be able to hold part time jobs a few mornings per week, provided they do not interfere with clinical assignments, classes, or preparation/assignments.   Students are not permitted to work on waivers or as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools as long as they are in the program.  Violation of this policy may be considered grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.

With CSD Undergraduate Major 7 quarters                                                                   
Without CSD Undergraduate Major 11 quarters                           
Completion Rates
Period                               #Completed within
Expected Time Frame
#Completed Later
Than Expected Time Frame
# Not completed % Completed
2014-2015 29 0 1 97%
2013-2014 30 1 0 100%
2012-2013 22 2 0 100%
3-Year Average       95%

Degree Requirements

1.  Students admitted to the graduate program must show evidence of having completed a minimum of one undergraduate course in each of the following areas:  biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics, and the social/behavioral sciences.

2.  A minimum of one quarter in residence as a graduate student.

3.  A minimum grade average for graduate work of B (3.0)- with no course grade below C (2.0)- on all work for the master's degree.

4. A minimum of 49 quarter units of CMSD graduate credit, 3 quarter units of religion, (must be taken at LLU), plus clinical practicum minimum of 2 units of CMSD 567. 1 unit  of 586 Educational Fieldwork 1, 1 unit of 596 Medical Fieldwork 1, 8 units of 588 Educational Fieldwork II and 8 units of 597 Medical Fieldwork II.

5. Evidence of having completed 400 clock hours of clinical practice, including 25 hours of observation (375 clock hours of direct client/ patient contact with 325 hours being at the graduate level)

6.  Complete Graduate Symposium Presentation (Capstone)

7.  Completion of the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)

California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires that all students in the credential program take the CBEST.  This must be done before entering the graduate program or within the first quarter.   When students are admitted to the master's program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Loma Linda University, they are automatically accepted into the credential program.

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is a measure of reading, writing and mathematics proficiency and is required by law for anyone applying for a credential in the public schools of California and Oregon.  The test is give by National Evaluation Systems, INC., Box 340880, Sacramento, CA 95834-0880. (916) 928-4001 (916) 928-4001.  Additional information may be found at www.cbest.nesino.com

Students must give their original "Passing Score" card to the Department's Administrative Assistant.  The test can be repeated as often as necessary, but must be passed before the applicant can be recommended for the credential. The CBEST test result is good for life.

Program Course Listings

University Catalog course listings-  Look for courses with CMSD prefixes.

Clinical practicum

Graduate students are eligible for clinical practicum provided they:

  1. Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA; no course below a C (2.0)
  2. Have provided the Department with documentation of current CPR Certification
  3. Have provided the Department with the CA CTC Certificate of Clearance
  4. Have provided the Department with evidence of having taken the CBEST

The Clinical Coordinator assigns students to clinical sites.  All students rotate through the clinical sites as assigned and are expected to be enrolled in a clinical practicum each quarter.  

  • First-year graduate students are assigned to at least one clinic per quarter, including the summer following the first year.  Each of these clinics consists of approximately 1/2 day to 3-1/2 days per week per quarter with additional time spent in preparation and supervisory conferences.
  • All graduate students roate through Educational Fieldwork I and Medical Fieldwork I and at least one of the following:  autism clinic, phonology clinic, fluency clinic, ESU/accent modification, voice/swallowing clinic and behavioral medicine.
  • In the second year, graduate students who successfully completed the clinical assignments in the first year are eligible for CMSD 597 Fieldwork II and CMSD 588 Educational Fieldwork II.
  • Students must successfully completed their first fieldwork II experience before they can be assigned to the second Fieldwork II experience.
  • Students who are admitted to the Master of Science program may be required to go out of state for one or both of the last two quarters of their program.  This advance notice is given so that students will be prepared financially.

Praxis Exam

The Praxis examiniation (administered by a national testing service) is a multiple-choice exam designed to evaluate students broad based knowledge across the disorders, and is required for ASHA Certification, for the CA License, and for the CA School Crediential.  It is a nationally standardized and publicly administered test.  A passing score of 600 must be achieved, and the test may be taken multiple times,  Information about this exam may be viewed at:  www. ets.org/praxis. As practice for this exam, first year graduates students (TMs in their second year) take the Praxis by the end of the summer quarter, as a requirment for CMSD 511 Graduate Portfolio I.  The Department provides a preparation handbook, which all students are required to use.

Student Progress Review

Each student's progress in the graduate program is reviewed quarterly.  Written feedback is provided along with recommendations for remediation, if needed.  In addition, the graduate advisor meets with each cohort twice annually, as a group, and at least once a year with each student individually.


LLU graduates (former students or  Clinical Fellows) who do not achieve a passing score on the Praxis Exam may take any courses and or seminars offered by the department free of charge, in order to refresh knowledge or remediate areas of concern.  These individuals may also join the preparation workshop free of charge.

Students who need to retake a course may do so at half tuition.  The need to repeat a course may cause significant delay in completion of the program.  Students who fail to meet expectations in clinical practicum will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory, and will be required to repeat the practicum.  For each student who fails to met expectations, an individual remediation plan is developed, with input from the student and any or all of the following: the graduate program director, the clinical coordinator, the clinical instructor and the course instructor.  The remediation plan must specify tasks of competencies, timeliness, and criteria for successful outcome.


Graduate Assistantships are available to graduate students and transitional master's students through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.  Students typically work 6 to 8 hours per week for three (3) quarters, or 4 to 6 hours per week for four (4) quarters. Advantages of working as a graduate assistant include flexible hours and exposure to different aspects of the profession. 

Graduate assistants work in a variety of local settings and responsibilities vary considerably, ranging from clerical to assisting in teaching, research, and administration. Graduate Assistantship placements are assigned by the department Administrative Assistant.

Graduate students who wish to apply for an assistantship must apply through the Department Administrative Assistant prior to the start of the quarter.

Contact information

Communication Sciences and Disorders Department
School of Allied Health Professions
Loma Linda University
Nichol Hall Room A506
Loma Linda Ca 92350

Department phone: (909) 558-4998
Fax: (909) 558-4305
Email: cmsd@llu.edu