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College of Health and Human Services


The field of Speech Pathology and Audiology is concerned with disorders of speech, language, and hearing. A Speech-Language Pathologist is trained to diagnose and treat language and speech disorders.

The Department offers the Bachelor of Science degree and the Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology. The Bachelor’s degree provides background in theoretical and clinical areas necessary for graduate study. The Master's degree provides professional training for a career in Speech Pathology. The entry level degree for Audiology will change to clinical doctorate (AuD) beginning January 1, 2007. The California State University System cannot offer a stand alone clinical doctorate. A partner has not been found with whom Sacramento State can offer to joint degree at the present time. Students with Bachelor degrees in Speech Pathology from other institutions may apply to enter the program as graduate students, although some adjustments in their programs may be necessary. 

Employment in Speech Pathology requires both a Master's degree and a credential or license. Completion of the Master's degree provides the training necessary for students to qualify for the California State License as a Speech Pathologist or the Clinical Rehabilitative Services credential for working as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the public schools, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Pathology. (Other experience and exams are also required before the license and Certificate are granted; these will be described below under "Additional Information.") The Department also offers the Special Class Authorization, an extension of the Clinical Rehabilitative Services credential required to teach a classroom of language-disordered children.

A Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology can lead to other careers in health and education related fields. The broad yet challenging nature of the bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology prepares students for fields requiring backgrounds in human development, communication, health, and education. Some graduates have pursued graduate work in the fields of special education, counseling, and rehabilitation as well as careers in health insurance industry, career advising, and government health programs. 

Special Features

  • Majors in Speech Pathology participate in supervised clinical practice under faculty supervision in the Maryjane Rees Language, Speech, and Hearing Center. Located in Shasta Hall on the Sacramento State campus, this facility provides assistance to individuals with communicative disorders. Students begin clinical practice in the graduate program.
  • Graduate practica in Speech Pathology include an internship in the public schools and optional internships in local hospitals and other agencies. By the end of the Master's degree, students will have acquired a variety of supervised clinical experiences totaling at least 350 clock hours, concentrated in Speech Pathology.
  • More than 500 clients per year receive speech, language, and hearing services through the Maryjane Rees Language, Speech, and Hearing Center. The Center provides services for many disorders such as stuttering, cleft palate, laryngectomy, cerebral palsy, deafness, communication problems following stroke and traumatic brain injury, and other speech and language disorders. Video taping of therapy is used as an important procedure in developing clinical skills. There is also an in-clinic computer lab. Supervised practicum experiences off campus provide unique clinical opportunities in a variety of professional settings.
  • The Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has approved the program in Speech Pathology. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing has approved the Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential (Language, Speech, and Hearing) with Special Class Authorization.


A student must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the major to graduate from the program. If the student falls below a 2.5 GPA, she/he may repeat two courses and must petition the Department to take any additional courses to improve his/her GPA.

This program is organized for students to begin in the fall semester. If begun in the spring, it may take an extra semester to finish the undergraduate curriculum.

Requirements - Bachelor of Science Degree

Units required for Speech Pathology Major: 58-61
Minimum total units required for BS: 124

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Pre-Major Courses (15 units)


A course in Human Development such as CHDV 30


A course in Introduction to Statistics such as STAT 1


A course in Introduction to Psychology such as PSYC 2


A course in biological sciences such as general human anatomy, physiology, biology, botany, zoology,
microbiology, genetics, marine biology, etc., such as BIO 7, BIO 10, BIO 20, BIO 22, BIO 25 or BIO 26


A course in physical sciences such as physics, chemistry, astronomy, physical geography, geology, meteorology,
marine environment, matter and energy, etc., such as PHYS 1, PHYS 5A, PHYS 10, PHYS 11A, CHEM 1A, CHEM 6A,
ASTR 4B, GEOG 1, GEOL 8, GEOL 10, or GEOL 130

B. Required Upper Division Courses (28 units)*


SPHP 110

Phonetic Sciences (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 111)


SPHP 111

Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism


SPHP 112

Language Science and Development (Child Development course, introductory course in Psychology)


SPHP 125

Language Disorders Across the Life Span (SPHP 112)


SPHP 126

Speech Sound Development and Disorders in Children: Aspects of Articulation and Phonology (SPHP 110)


SPHP 130

Audiology and Hearing Testing (SPHP 111 or instructor permisisson)


SPHP 133

Aural Rehabilitation (SPHP 125, SPHP 126, SPHP 130)


SPHP 142

Topics in Autism Spectrum Disorders (SPHP 112 and SPHP 125)


SPHP 145

Supervised Field Observations


SPHP 148

Research in Speech ­ Language Pathology and Audiology (Introductory course in statistics or instructor permission; senior status)

C. Area Requirements (15 units)


SPHP 123

Voice and Fluency (SPHP 110, SPHP 111)


SPHP 127

Introduction to Medical Speech Pathology (SPHP 110, SPHP 111)


SPHP 143

Communication Disorders in Multicultural Populations (SPHP 110, SPHP 125, SPHP 126)


SPHP 147

Assessment Procedures (SPHP 125, SPHP 126, SPHP 145)

(3) Select one course in sign language

D. Electives (0-3 units)


SPHP 146*

Introduction to Clinical Methods, Ethical Practices and Legal Issues (Senior standing; SPHP 145; fulfill requirements under "Admission to supervised clinical practice")

* Required for students who plan to attend graduate school at Sacramento State in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Optional for students who do not plan to attend graduate school or plan to attend graduate school at another university. Must meet requirements for Admission to Supervised Clinical Practice. Students who do not take this course may need to take an elective to meet the 124 unit requirement.

Course Sequence

Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in order to continue in the program. If the student falls below a 2.5 GPA, he/she may repeat two courses and must petition the department to take any additional courses to improve his/her GPA. Listed below is the recommended course sequence:

Semester 1, Fall:

SPHP 110, SPHP 111, SPHP 112, SPHP 130, SPHP 145

Semester 2, Spring:

SPHP 125, SPHP 126, SPHP 145

Semester 3, Fall:

SPHP 123, SPHP 142, SPHP 146 or SPHP 147

Semester 4, Spring:

SPHP 146, SPHP 127, SPHP 133, SPHP 143, SPHP 148

Admission to Supervised Clinical Practice

Prior to enrolling in the first course involving direct-client contact (SPHP 146) the student must demonstrate the criteria listed below. These criteria are applicable for all succeeding clinical practica.

  1. Able to model appropriate speech, voice, and language in the clinical setting. Screening for these skills occurs during the first semester in the program.
  2. The ability to write using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The writing proficiency requirement is fulfilled by passing the Sacramento State Writing Placement for Juniors Examination administered by the English Department.
  3. Physical capability of dealing with young children and physically disabled persons.
  4. Sufficient self-discipline and reliability to maintain and meet regular clinical schedules.
  5. Sufficient emotional stability to work with difficult clients.
  6. Once the student has met with the client(s) or students in the public schools, dropping clinical practicum classes by the student is prohibited except for medical reasons or extraordinary circumstances as approved by the Department. Students are not allowed to repeat clinical practicum courses if they drop without permission.
  7. Must maintain a 3.2 GPA within the major (SPHP) with no SPHP clinical practicum course grade below a "B-" and no other SPHP course below a "C."
  8. Pass a tuberculin (PPD) test and have measles, rubella, and hepatitis B immunizations.
  9. Have current CPR certification for infants, children, and adults prior to beginning internships (SPHP 295B, SPHP 295C, SPHP 295D).
  10. Must complete a Level 1 criminal background screening investigating any prior convictions and disciplinary actions. Failure to disclose a conviction may interfere with clinical placement. All background checks must be performed by Corporate Screening.  Background checks performed by other agencies are not accepted.   Students will complete background check following provided instructions. All results are sent to the Dean’s Office and remain confidential. Students with prior convictions or disciplinary actions which will interfere with clinical placement will be contacted by the Department Chair to determine a possible resolution. If a resolution cannot be found, the student will not be admitted into the clinical practicum courses. 
  11. Allied Health and Education programs require a $20.00 annual fee for insurance. The insurance is $20.00 per academic year, and not charged per course.


The Speech Pathology and Audiology Department offers a graduate program leading to the MS with a Speech Pathology emphasis.  This professional program provides the academic coursework for the Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential and Special Class Authorization for the public schools, state license, and Certificate of Clinical Competence. Interested persons are advised to contact the Speech Pathology and Audiology Department for more detailed information.

Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Policies
  • In order to complete the MS, students must meet the clock-hour practicum requirements established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
  • Classes may be repeated only once without special department petition; the total number of classes which may be retaken is limited to two at the undergraduate and two at the graduate level.
  • Students must keep a signed record of observation hours and supervised clinical clock hours in the supply room for each semester; a personal copy is recommended in the event signed hours may be missing from the student's department file.
  • With incomplete's in clinic practice, the student will not be allowed to enroll in public school practice or clinic practice.
  • Students may not register for SPHP 500A or SPHP 500B until his or her prospectus has been approved by the Thesis Committee and the first and second readers judge that the first two chapters of the thesis are sufficiently well developed. No subjects may be run until the student has registered for SPHP 500B or until written permission of the first reader has been accepted by the Department Chair.
  • Regarding grades of ''Incomplete'' ("I") and ''Report in Progress'' ("RP") in a SPHP 500: if all coursework has been completed and an "RP" has been carried for over two years (i.e., two calendar years since date grade was first assigned), the student will receive ''No Credit'' ("NC") and must:
    1. reapply for admission to the University;
    2. meet any new requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence that the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has established since the grade in a SPHP 500 was first assigned; and
    3. submit to the Department Chair written approval of the first reader to continue work on the thesis and/or project. Note: If a student has not maintained an "RP" during the two years since the date the first grade was assigned, the student will receive "NC," must apply for admission, and meet all departmental criteria in place at that time.
  • Students may switch from a Thesis or Project to Comprehensive Exam Track providing they have not enrolled in SPHP 500A or SPHP 500B.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student to the Speech Pathology graduate program requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • an undergraduate major in Speech Pathology and Audiology or communicative disorders;
  • a minimum 2.75 GPA overall and 3.0 GPA in the major;
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores totaling at least 900 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the exam. In the event that 900 is not achieved, the minimum total score required is 1350 if the analytic score is included, or 4.5 on the analytical writing portion. (The GRE may be waived if the student has a 3.5 GPA or above in SPHP courses);
  • three letters of recommendation on the department form; and
  • a letter describing relevant experience. (See Undergraduate Advising Manual.)

Applicants who have deficiencies in admission requirements that can be removed by specified additional preparation may be admitted with deferred or conditionally classified graduate status. Students with degrees in other fields must complete the equivalent of an undergraduate major and apply to be classified. Any deficiencies in admission requirements will be noted on a written response to the student's admission application.

Admission Procedures

All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (915) 278-6470:

  • an online application for admission; and
  • one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit

At the same time, each applicant must send the following to the Graduate Coordinator in the Speech Pathology and Audiology Department:

  • Graduate Record Examination (aptitude section) scores;
  • a record of clinical observation hours and supervised clinical experience if any;
  • one additional set of transcripts;
  • three letters of recommendation, on the department form; and
  • description of relevant work, volunteer and internship experience and description of experience with ethnic and minority groups (persons with disabilities, multilingualism, and signing).

For full Graduate Studies application procedures and deadlines, please reference the Office of Graduate Studies Web site at

Approximately ten weeks after the closing date for applications, a decision regarding admission will be mailed to the applicant. Students may take up to 6-7 units as unclassified graduates.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student in the MS program must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements; and
  • completed the first and second semester sequence of courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

The student fills out the Advancement to Candidacy form after planning a degree program in consultation with the Speech Pathology graduate advisor. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Science Degree

Courses should be taken in the sequence shown. Students working toward a master's degree may choose as a Culminating Experience either a Thesis (Plan A) or Project (Plan B) or a Comprehensive Examination (Plan C). Contact the Speech Pathology and Audiology Department for more information on these programs.

If a student with a BA or BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology (Communicative Disorders) is admitted into the Sacramento State graduate program and had a "C-" grade in any undergraduate course in the major, he/she must retake the course or an equivalent course before enrolling in related clinical practice courses.

Note: This program assumes that the student starts in the fall semester; he/she may start in spring. If starting in spring, the student begins with the courses listed under second semester, but takes the clinical methods and practice listed under first semester. He/she then continues with coursework listed under the first, third, and fourth semester. He/she will continue with clinical methods and practice for the second, third, and fourth semesters in the same order as those that start in the fall semester.

Speech Pathology (54-60 units)

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. First Semester (15 units)


SPHP 221

Neurogenic Language Disorders


SPHP 223

Advanced Seminar in Child Language Disorders (SPHP 125 or equivalent)



Methods: Speech Disorders I (SPHP 125, SPHP 126, SPHP 143, SPHP 145, SPHP 146, SPHP 148 or equivalents; instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 229A)



Practice: Speech Disorders I (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 228A)



Practice: Hearing Screenings (SPHP 130 or instructor permission)



Methods: Language Disorders I (SPHP 130, SPHP 133, SPHP 145, SPHP 146, SPHP 148 or equivalents; instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 243A)



Practice: Language Disorders I (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 242A)

B. Second Semester (13 units)


SPHP 217

AAC and Assistive Technologies


SPHP 218

Motor Speech Disorders


SPHP 222

Curriculum in Relation to Language - Learning Disabilities in School-Age Children (Instructor permission)



Methods: Speech Disorders II (SPHP 123, SPHP 127 or equivalents; SPHP 228A, instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 229B)



Practice: Speech Disorders II (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 228B)



Methods: Language Disorders II (SPHP 223, SPHP 242A, instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 243B)



Practice: Language Disorders II (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 242B)

C. Third Semester (16-18 units)


SPHP 219

Counseling Techniques for Speech Pathologists and Audiologists


SPHP 227

Dysphagia and the Medical Setting (SPHP 218, SPHP 221, instructor permission)



Methods: Speech Disorders III (SPHP 218, SPHP 228B; SPHP 221 may be concurrent; Corequisite: SPHP 229C)



Practice: Speech Disorders III (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 228C)



Methods: Language Disorders III (SPHP 218, SPHP 242B; SPHP 221 may be taken concurrently, instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 243C)



Practice: Language Disorders III (SPHP 243B, instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 242C)


SPHP 244

Methods: Speech ­ Language Assessment (SPHP 147 or equivalent; SPHP 228B, SPHP 242B; instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 245)


SPHP 245

Practice: Speech ­ Language Assessment (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 244)





Culminating Experience (Advanced to Candidacy)

D. Fourth Semester (10-14 units)


SPHP 250

Speech/Language Internships Seminar (SPHP 228A, SPHP 228B, SPHP 228C, SPHP 229A, SPHP 229B, SPHP 229C, SPHP 241S, SPHP 242A, SPHP 242B, SPHP 242C, SPHP 243A, SPHP 243B, SPHP 243C, SPHP 244, SPHP 245; Corequisite: 8 units of SPHP 295B, SPHP 295C or SPHP 295D)


SPHP 295B**

Internship: LS HS in Schools (Approval of the Department's Credential Committee, achievement of a passing score on the CBEST, completion of all required graduate clinics; Corequisite: SPHP 250)


SPHP 295C**

Internship: Speech Pathology in Hospitals/Clinics (Instructor permission; Corequisite: SPHP 250) AND/OR


SPHP 295D**

Internship: SDC-CH Classes (Approval of the Department's Credential Committee, a passing score on the CBEST, completion of all required graduate clinics; Corequisite: SPHP 250)

**Minimum of 8 units of internships required.

  • Students must meet clock hour requirements for the CCC, License and credential. Clock hours from SPHP 295B and SPHP 295D may be counted for the CCC and License if the on-site supervisors hold the CCC.
  • The student must complete 100 supervised practicum hours with minors prior to enrolling in SPHP 295B.

Additional Information

Audiology Degree

The Master of Science degree in Audiology is no longer a curricular option due to changes in professional standards requiring a clinical doctorate degree. A joint doctorate with another institution is being investigated. Please contact the Department office at (916) 278-6601 for more information.

Certificate of Clinical Competence
A Master's degree is required for the Certificate of Clinical Competence, which is granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The MS degree fulfills the academic and clinical practice requirements for this certificate in Speech Pathology. The student must complete a Clinical Fellowship Year (one year of paid professional experience under supervision) and pass the appropriate PRAXIS exam before the certificate is granted. The Certificate of Clinical Competence is required for most positions, both in the public schools and in other settings.

A Master's degree is required for the California License in Speech Pathology or Audiology. The MS degree fulfills the academic and clinical practicum requirements for this license. The license is required for employment in settings other than schools or federal agencies. The student must complete the required professional experience (one year) and pass the appropriate PRAXIS exam before the license is granted.

A Master's degree is required for the Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential (Language, Speech, and Hearing). The MS degree fulfills the academic and clinical requirements for this credential, authorizing the individual to work as an itinerant speech-language specialist in the public schools. This requires a minimum of 200 clock hours of clinical practice with minors. One hundred of these hours must be in a public school setting. In addition to the credential, students may pursue the Special Class Authorization, which is required to teach a special classroom of language disordered children. This requires a minimum of 100 hours in a class for children with severe language disorders.

Candidates must not have a criminal record that would preclude the issuance of a credential as determined by California State law. Candidates must pass the CBEST (California Basic Education Skills Test).

Career Possibilities

Speech-Language Pathologist in Hospitals · Rehabilitation Centers · Private Practice or Other Settings · Audiologist in Hospitals · Clinics, Private Practice · Hearing Aid Dispensing or Other Agencies · Language · Speech and Hearing Specialist in the Public Schools · Teacher of a Special Day Class for Language Disordered Children · A variety of health and education related fields.


Ann Blanton, Candace Goldsworthy, Laureen O'Hanlon, Robert Pieretti, Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin

Clinical Staff

Lynda Oldenburg

Contact Information

Laureen O'Hanlon, Department Chair
David Gleason, Administrative Support Coordinator
Shasta Hall 172
(916) 278-6601