The Transitional Master of Science degree education program in speech-language pathology 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. Address: 220 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.


The Master of Science Transitional Program is designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, with a major in a field other than Speech Language Pathology or communication disorders.  This program requires students to complete foundational coursework during the first year of the three-year program.

Upon completion of the 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).

Full-time students who enter the program with an undergraduate degree in a field other than communicative disorders will complete the program in eleven quarters of coursework.  Students go through the program as a cohort, entering in fall quarter.  The first year consists of a full schedule of courses.  In the summer following the first year, students are required to take clinical practicum.  In the second and third years, including the summer following the second 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 third year, students complete their full time public school placement and medical externship placement.

Please note: Students who are admitted to the Master of Science-Transitional Program may be required to go out of state for medical externship and or public-school placement during 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 in the public schools.  Violation of this policy may be considered grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.


Program Course Listings

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in a field other than speech-language pathology or communicative disorders. Note: Prior to fall quarter of their second year in the program, students 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. 
  • 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 March 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 meet admission criteria, have no undergraduate deficiencies, demonstrate professional potential and demonstrate the highest academic requirements for admission to the graduate program. 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, 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 March 1st for the following fall quarter admission
  • Department Admissions Committee reviews applications beginning in early March
  • 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 March
  • Interviews and on-site Written Communication Assessment- March
  • 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.


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

Apply Online

Student Achievement Data

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Clinical Practicum

Students in the Master of Science -Transitional Program begin clinical practicum during the first quarter of the second year (summer between the first and second years).  All students are expected to enroll in clinical practicum each quarter during of the entire program.

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.

  • In the summer following their first year, students are assigned to clinical practicum.
  • In their second year, students are assigned to one clinic per quarter.  Each of these clinics consists of approximately 1/2 day per week per quarter, with additional time spent in preparation and supervisory conferences.  All first-year graduate students rotate through Educational Fieldwork I.  (one quarter each)
  • Additional clinical experiences may include:  Autism; fluency; ESL/Accent Modification; Phonology.
  • In their third year, students who successfully complete the clinical assignments in the second year are eligible for CMSD 597 Medical Fieldwork 11. This should be completed during the Spring quarter and CMSD 588 and CMSD 588 Educational Fieldwork II, completed during the winter or spring quarter.
  • Students who are admitted to the Transitional 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 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.


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. This is 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 meet expectations, an individual remediation plan is developed with input from the student. Input may also come from 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.

After Receiving Admissions Acceptance Letter

Students typically receive notification of their admissions status sometime in April 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 14 days from the day they receive the letter 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). The Graduate Program Director will contact students in August (by email), to instruct them regarding registration procedures. Course registration opens the first week of September. Program Orientation occurs on the first day of school (last Monday in September). TMS students are asked to please make a note that the following summer (the summer after the transitional coursework), they should not schedule any vacations, trips, or other obligations during the month of September. The entire month will be monopolized by First Year Graduate Student Pre-session events. There are, however, several certifications/clearances which students will need to take care of, preferably before the program begins:

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 given by the National Evaluation Systems, INC., Box 340880, Sacramento, CA 95834-0880. (916) 928-4001 (916) 928-4001.  More CBEST Info

Instructions on how to forward your CBEST results to the department are provided by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Director of Clinical Education.  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.

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 909-558-4977, but you may take them from any American Heart Association.

University Catalog

The current school year catalog, along with previous years' catalogs are available online at: