Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program prepares students for careers in the profession 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. These experiences represent the breadth and depth of the profession in a variety of settings.

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

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.  Initially, graduate courses are taught in late afternoon/early evening and one Friday morning per month. This is in the first and second years, including the summer following the first year.  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 program may be required to go out of state for one or both of the last two quarters.  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. This is 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.


Program Learning Outcomes

Students meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Synthesize information regarding characteristics & etiologies of communication disorders and differences and swallowing disorders in children and adults.
  • Integrate skills in assessment of human communication disorders and differences in swallowing disorders with a variety of clinical populations.
  • Plan and implement an intervention program for a variety of clinical populations across the age span.
  • Critically apply research design, statistical analyses, and interpretation of literature related to evidence-based practice and specific research topics.
  • Incorporate cultural responsiveness to diversity (e.g., linguistic, neurological, economic, age, sexual, gender, ability, racial) within academic and/or professional environments.
  • Implement counseling principles and practices related to the discipline of speech-language pathology across the lifespan.
  • Identify, discuss, and apply service-learning principles (specifically cooperation, critical reflection, and discipline-specific application through engaged partnership with the community.
  • Incorporate basic components of professional ethics in academic scenarios regarding treating, counseling, advocating for, and documenting care for clients.

Admission Requirements

  • 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 qualifies 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 program must prove they have completed a minimum of one undergraduate course in each of the following:
    • Biological sciences (biology, human anatomy)
    • Physical sciences (physics or chemistry)
    • Statistics
    • The social/behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, educational psychology)
  • Literate personal statement (part of the online application)
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably academic (part of the online application)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0., AND for last 96 quarter credits or 64 semester credits (your last 2 undergraduate years), minimum GPA of 3.3.
  • Interview and writing sample (at time of interview)
  • Written communication assessment (conducted at interview) for applicants who qualify and receive an invitation
  • Students are required to take the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) within the first year of study

The GRE Exam is no longer a requirement for the Master of Science or Transitional Master's programs.

The graduate application is available online. The application window opens October 1st of each year. Applications and all supporting information (transcripts, recommendations, etc.) must be submitted by the following January 1st for the subsequent school year beginning in September.


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
11139 Anderson St
Loma Linda CA 92350

Admission decisions fall into one of three categories:

  • Regular Admission: May be granted to applicants who have no undergraduate deficiencies. They must also demonstrate professional potential and the highest academic requirements for admission. Note: The required minimum 3.0 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: This means the applicant did not meet one or more of the admission requirements or because the application was incomplete or late.


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

Student Essential Functions

Physical Abilities

  • Able to participate in classroom or clinical activities for two-to four-hour blocks of time, with one or two breaks.
  • Able to move independently to, from, and in academic/clinical facilities.
  • Able to provide for one’s own personal hygiene.
  • Able to manipulate therapeutic/diagnostic materials, including setting out test items, turning pages, etc.
  • Able to respond quickly enough to provide a safe environment for clients in emergency situations, including fire, choking, etc.
  • Able to read the dials on instruments and to visually monitor a client’s response.
  • Able to make accurate judgments about speech and/or acoustic signals.

Affective Abilities

  • Able to work effectively with people, in person, and on the telephone.
  • Able to make appropriate decisions, including the ability to evaluate and generalize appropriately without immediate supervision.
  • Able to understand and respect supervisory authority.
  • Able to maintain appropriate workplace behavior, including punctuality and regular attendance.

Cognitive Abilities

  • Able to comprehend and read professional literature/reports and write university-level papers and clinical reports in English.
  • Able to speak English intelligibility, including the ability to give live-voice test items to clients.
  • Able to independently analyze, synthesize, interpret ideas and concepts in academic and diagnostic/clinic settings.
  • Able to maintain attention and concentration for sufficient time to complete academic/clinical activities, typically two-to-four hours, with one or two breaks.

Pre-Professional Behavior

  • Able to align priorities to prevent work from interfering with classes or clinic.
  • Able to manage commuting to classes in order to complete requirements of the program.
  • Able to manage relocating for externship assignment in order to complete requirements of the program.
  • Able to obtain/maintain a reliable vehicle for transporting self to university, off campus, educational, and Fieldwork clinical sites.


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 January 1.

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
11139 Anderson St
Loma Linda CA 92350

Program Course Listings

Student Achievement Data

On-time Program Completion Rates


# Completed with Expected Time Frame

# Completed Later than Expected Time Frame

# Students who did not Complete Program

% Completed within Expected Time Frame
















Praxis Examination Pass Rates of Test-takers

Reporting Period

# Taking the Exam

# Passed Exam

% Passed Exam Rate













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 rotate through Educational Fieldwork I and Fieldwork I courses. Rotations are in at least one of the following. Autism clinic, phonology clinic, fluency clinic, ESU/accent modification, and voice/swallowing clinic.
  • Graduate students who successfully completed the clinical assignments in the first year are eligible for the following. CMSD 597 Fieldwork II and CMSD 588 Educational Fieldwork II. This is in the second year. 
  • Students must successfully complete their first fieldwork II experience before they can be assigned to the second Fieldwork II experience.
  • Students who are admitted to the program may be required to go out of state for one or both of the last two quarters. This advance notice is given so that students will be prepared financially.

Praxis Examination

The Praxis examination (administered by a national testing service) is a multiple-choice exam designed to evaluate student’s broad-based knowledge across the disorders. It is required for ASHA Certification, for the CA License, and for the CA School Credential. It is a nationally standardized and publicly administered test. A passing score of 162 must be achieved, and the test may be taken multiple times. Information about the Praxis examination may be viewed at: Students may take the PRAXIS at any time either during or after completing the program.

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.


Graduates who do not pass the Praxis Exam may take any courses or seminars offered by the department for free. 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 meet expectations, an individual remediation plan is developed. This will be done with input from the student, and (as applicable) the graduate program director, clinical coordinator, clinical instructor and course instructor. The remediation plan must specify tasks of competencies, timeliness, and criteria for successful outcome.

After Receiving Admissions Acceptance Letter

Students typically receive notification of their admissions status sometime in early March  of the year for which they are applying. Those who receive an acceptance offer will receive it both by mail and also via the email address that was provided in their admissions application. The electronic acceptance offer will also include a link for the students to make an online confirmation deposit of $200.  The students will have until April 15th to respond to LLU’s offer.  

After students are accepted, there is a 4-5 month wait until the program begins (program begins on the last Monday in September). In early June, new students are invited to a Facebook group dedicated to the new cohort.  In this forum, new students will be informed of all issues required to be addressed prior to fall registration (which is normally the first week of September). New students also have an opportunity to communicate and meet their fellow classmates via Facebook and exchange information regarding housing, travel, etc.  Newly accepted students often wonder if they should be registering for courses, or participating in some other preparatory measures prior to the first day of school.  Others assume that it is safe to schedule vacations and trips right up to the end of September. For these reasons, we are providing newly accepted students with this very important information. First year graduate students should not schedule any vacations, trips, or other obligations during the month of September. See the list of events which take place in September below:

First Year Graduate Student Pre-sessions

Although courses do not begin until approximately the last week of September, all new graduate students are required to participate in three pre-session events. These events typically begin during the first or second week of September (the Director of Clinical Education will contact you to inform you of the exact dates each year):

Clinic Orientation

Clinic Orientation is the first of the series of meetings and starts approximately on the second Monday of September. Information regarding clinic and program orientation are covered during these meetings which are typically scheduled over two full days. Preparation for Speech-Language & Hearing Screenings is also covered in these meetings.

Clinic Bootcamp

The purpose of Clinic Bootcamp is to prepare new students with the tools necessary to succeed as a beginning clinician. Students are assigned to clinical practicums in their first quarter of school. Students find Clinic Bootcamp very informative and helpful. It typically convenes over 3-4 days and follows Clinic Orientation.

Speech-Language & Hearing Screening

All new graduate students start the year by participating in two or more speech-language and hearing screening days. The Director of Clinical Education schedules the assigns the clinic sites and days for each 1st year graduate. Most screenings are scheduled during the two weeks prior to the first day of fall quarter. The following should also be taken care of before the pre-sessions:

California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)

You are required to show that you meet the Basic Education Skills requirement. You may meet these requirements 3 ways:

  • Take and pass the CBEST (all three subtests)
  • Submit transcripts to the program director showing that you have passed equivalent undergraduate coursework with a grade of B or better. E.g., Freshman English 1 and 2, English Composition, Literature course, College Algebra, or Statistics.
  • Combination of coursework and CBEST subtest.

There are more details regarding the basic education skills requirements here:

If you determine that you must take the CBEST, you must do so before the first day of the presessions (typically scheduled shortly after Labor Day). If you plan to use college coursework to meet the requirements, or a combination of coursework and CBEST subtests, bring an electronic copy of your transcripts verifying your coursework, and the CBEST certificate showing which subtests you have taken. You will receive further instructions from the program director regarding your fulfillment of the CBEST and how to upload your information to the Loma Linda University system.

Certificate of Clearance

Graduate students are automatically enrolled in the California Credential Program (for work in the public schools). In order to do clinical work in the public schools, the Certificate of Clearance is needed. All new students must complete the Certificate of Clearance process prior to Clinic Orientation (typically the second week of September). To complete this process, go to:

  • Click on “Online Services for Educators.”
  • On the Educator Page, click on “Submit Your Application for a New Type of Document – (Direct Web Application)”.
  • Then click on “How to Submit Your Direct-Web Application”
  • This will take you to detailed instructions regarding the Certificate of Clearance, completing the Live Scan and the online clearance process.
  • It is not necessary to bring any form of verification that you have completed this process. The department Director of Clinical Education is able to verify your activity online.

        Note:  No student will be allowed to start clinic until the Certificate of Clearance has been awarded by CTC.

Background Check

As part of the registration process, the university requires all students to complete a current background check. You will receive notification directly from University Student Services. **Note: This is not the same as “Live Scan” or “Certificate of Clearance.”

Current TB Screening:

All students are required to have current TB screening. The Director of Clinical Education will provide you with instructions on how to get verification of your current TB screening to her. It is best that you have it done before you attend the pre-sessions.  Note that if you are having your TB test done through LLU, get a copy of the paperwork/results before you leave the facility where you are tested. Student Health Services does not send us a copy.

Note: No student will be allowed to start clinic until an electronic copy of the TB screening is on record. Additionally, students will not be able to register for winter quarter until the department has record of their TB screening.

CPR Certification

All students in this department are required to have current health care provider Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification (adult, child, infant). Certification through the American Heart Association is required in the department. This class may not be an online class.  Classes are available on campus at Life Support Education, University Arts Bldg., 24887 Taylor St., Suite 102, or phone at 909-558-4977. However, you may take them from any American Heart Association. 

University Catalog

The current school year catalog, along with previous years' catalogs are available online here.

Our Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan was developed by the faculty to address long term goals for all of the programs housed within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. It is our action plan for implementing the department’s Mission, Purpose and Vision.

View our Strategic Plan


The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in speech-language pathology residential program at Loma Linda 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.