The San Francisco State University Communicative Disorders Program (SFSU CD Program) is certified by the Council of Academic Affairs (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Assocation (2017), the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Specifically, certification by the CAA ensures that the curriculum of the SFSU CD program is consistent with ASHA standards and that students are prepared in all the required areas of Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) to begin practice as a speech-language pathologist in the nine major disorder areas, which include the following:

  • Articulation
  • Fluency
  • Voice and resonance
  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Hearing, including the impact on speech and language
  • Swallowing
  • Cognitive aspects of communication
  • Social aspects of communication
  • Communication modalities



A MASTER'S DEGREE. Graduates of the CD Program possess a Master of Science degree in Communicative Disorders, with a specialty in speech-language pathology.

ASHA CERTIFICATION. In addition, graduates are eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in speech-language pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) because the SFSU CD program is certified by the Council of Academic Affairs (CAA). Although not a legal requirement, ASHA certification is recognized by employers throughout the nation as a symbol of professional training and competence, particularly for speech-language pathologists.

ASHA requires that, after graduation, the individual undergo a 9-month full-time clinical fellowship (CF) experience, in which he or she is employed while being supervised by someone who holds ASHA certification. Upon completion of the CF experience, coupled with state licensure (see below), the individual can practice independently.

CALIFORNIA STATE LICENSURE. The practice of speech-language pathology in the state of California requires a license issued by the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board (SLPAB). Exempt settings are public schools and federal agencies. The academic and clinical requirements for state licensure essentially parallel those for ASHA certification. Following graduation, the individual undergoes a Required Professional Experience (RPE) for 9 month's full-time employment while supervised by someone who holds CA state licensure. After the RPE is completed, the individual can practice independently.

SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY SERVICES CREDENTIAL (SLPSC). The SLPSC is issued by the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for individuals intending to practice speech-language pathology in the public schools. Recent legislation allows speech-language pathologists who possess a CA state license to work in the schools as consultants without the SLPSC; however, many school districts hire only individuals who hold the SLPSC.

Once the graduate has completed the requirements for the SLPSC, the credential will be awarded following proof of receipt of the Master of Science degree, a passing score on the Praxis II Speech-Language Pathology Test, and completion of a 36-week, full-time, mentored clinical experience or equivalent supervised practicum.