Graduate Manual

Welcome to the department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Cal State East Bay. We are glad that you have chosen to come here for your education. As you move through our program, we pledge to structure your academic and clinical learning in ways that will help you become a successful, competent, critically-thinking professional. We look forward to working with you.


The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences provides students pre-professional and professional training in speech-language pathology and audiology, which is founded on state and national standards, evidence-based practice, research, and science and technology, to prepare them to serve persons with communication disorders and their families in an ethical and culturally competent manner.


The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Cal State East Bay will deliver innovative instruction, excel in research, and expand community-based collaboration to create a vibrant and supportive learning community that engages and inspires students, faculty, staff, and clients with communication disorders.

Overview of graduate program

The Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology is offered by the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. The objective of this degree program is the professional preparation of each student, academically and clinically, for state licensure (CA), national certification in Speech-Language Pathology by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and the Speech-Language Pathology Services credential to work in public school settings in California. The department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences offers the M.S. program for students with Bachelor’s degrees or equivalent preparation in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and an Extended M.S. program for students with Bachelor’s degrees in other fields who have NOT completed undergraduate course work in Communicative Sciences and Disorders.

M.S. (Conditionally Classified II) program: This program is intended for individuals with Bachelor’s degrees in communicative disorders or equivalent coursework. It is typically completed in five or six terms (four semesters and one or two summer terms).

Extended M.S. (CCX) program: This program is intended for individuals with Bachelor’s degrees in fields other than communicative disorders.  It can be completed in seven or eight terms. Individuals who are admitted into the extended M.S. program must complete both undergraduate prerequisites and graduate coursework.  Extended M.S. students do not need to re-apply to the graduate program upon completion of undergraduate coursework.

All graduate students

This section offers information to orient you to the department and university, and provides some guidelines for registration.  Please read this material carefully as soon as you have been admitted, as it includes important dates and deadlines.  The university’s Important Dates are posted at

Fall Semester typically begins in the third week of August and there is a mandatory orientation and  group advising meeting before classes start. Registration for incoming graduate students opens in the middle of May, though possibly later depending on a student’s final date of admission with the university. Check the university calendar and your university Horizon email frequently for university registration, department orientation and first day of class dates. Please go to the roadmap for your cohort (see “keeping track of your progress,” below), to determine the courses for which you must register. Note that courses taught in the Department are offered annually, and missing any one of them will cause you to get "out of sequence" and may add as much as a year to the time it takes for you to complete your degree.

If you have questions prior to the first group advising meeting, you should contact the Graduate Coordinator, Michelle Gravier ( ). Please allow one week for response during summer. In August, students are assigned a cohort advisor. For general information, the department contact email is or you may contact the Administrative Support Coordinator, Tiffany Ramoneda, directly at (

 The following items should be submitted to the department by the requested deadlines:

  • Advising grid
  • If completed:
    • Guided observation hours records
    • CBEST scores

For students with no prior background in speech-language pathology, we encourage you during your first year to explore your chosen career through clinical volunteering and research opportunities available in the department. For departmental activity opportunities, please see the “Student Activities” section of this graduate student handbook.

Academic advising overview

The graduate programs are run as cohort programs, and initial advising is conducted in group format with the whole cohort (i.e., with all students who start in the same year in the same program stream). As students move forward in the program, they are assigned individual advisors. Advisor assignments are sent out to your @horizon email.

Students are assigned individual advisors as they begin or transition into clinical practicum coursework.

Degree Progress Tools

Students are expected to keep track of their own progress using available self-advising support tools posted on the department's Graduate Student Resources website, and to contact their advisor in a timely manner with any additional questions. Some examples of documents and tools available to support you and help you stay on track as you move through the program on this website, as well as the Clinic Manual  and additional Resources  websites, include:

  • Cohort-specific roadmaps
  • Key points of advising document
  • Portfolio Index
  • GPA calculator
  • Internship planning form 

Sources of information

            Your official sources of information include the department and university websites, course syllabi, and your academic advisor. Because roadmaps, policies and procedures may differ from cohort to cohort, students are strongly encouraged to clarify any information received from others, including fellow students, part-time lecturers and clinical supervisors, with one of these official sources as soon as possible.


Current degree requirements for the M.S. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences are posted in the university catalog at It is expected that students will carefully read the graduate catalog provided by the university as well as the graduate manual provided by the department. The graduate manual is intended as an additional source of information and clarification for the requirements listed in the university catalog.

Transition from ‘conditionally classified’ to ‘classified’ status

According to the university catalog, students are in “Conditionally Classified” status when they have been admitted to the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology degree program, but have not yet completed the requirements for “Classified Graduate” status. All graduate students are admitted in “conditionally classified” status.

Students obtain “Classified Graduate” status when they:

  1. have completed foundational coursework in communication disorders corresponding in scope with the baccalaureate degree in speech-language pathology offered at Cal State East Bay,
  2. have shown evidence of meeting essential functions required for the profession,
  3. have completed SLHS 694 and 695 with a grade of “B” or better,
  4. have fulfilled the University Writing Skills Requirement.
    1. Note:  A demonstration of graduate writing skills through course or test is no longer a requirement in the CSU system. 

Requirements highlights:

  • University general requirements for Master’s degrees are posted at . Of special note, “All [600-level] units must be earned within the five calendar years immediately preceding the receipt of the degree.” This means that students must complete the M.S. program within five years.
  • University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR): Cal State East Bay has temporarily suspended the University Writing Skills Requirement through Academic Year 2022-23
  • Clinical practicum: Students participate in clinical practicum both on- and off-campus as part of the program. In addition to university and department standards for academic success and professional behavior, students are expected to follow clinical guidelines and procedures related to patient care while in clinical practicum. These guidelines and procedures are outlined in a separate clinic manual:
  • Capstone: Students must complete a capstone requirement as part of their program. Most students will take a comprehensive exam. Students who meet eligibility criteria may petition to complete a thesis in lieu of the comprehensive exam.
    • Policies and procedures for the comprehensive exam can be found at
    • Students who are interested in completing a thesis should contact the faculty member who most closely matches their area of interest with the following information: overall GPA up to date in the program, overall undergraduate GPA, and a description of areas of interest. Eligibility to select completing a thesis as the Capstone requirement will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may be impacted by faculty availability.  If thesis is selected as the capstone requirement, thesis units may substitute for the elective course unit requirement in the graduate program as determined by the thesis advisor.

Student Complaints

Students may file complaints according to the policies and procedures outlined at the Cal State East Bay website. These include policies for academic complaints, sexual harassment, and standards of student conduct. Processes for complaints/appeals vary depending on the category. Please refer to the university website for guidance on complaint procedures:

Students may also consult with the department chair regarding appropriate procedures as needed.

For concerns regarding academic activities:

  1. Contact your Instructor; if you are not satisfied, contact
  2. Your Academic Advisor; if you are not satisfied, contact
  3. The Department Chair; if you are not satisfied, contact
  4. The college’s Associate Dean, MB1511

For concerns regarding clinical activities:

  1. Contact your Clinical Supervisor; if you are not satisfied, contact
  2. The Clinic Director; if you are not satisfied, contact
  3. The Department Chair; if you are not satisfied, contact
  4. The college’s Associate Dean, MB1511

 For student grievances:

  1. Contact the college’s Associate Dean, MB1511, (510) 885-3161, or
  2. Contact the college’s Student Services Center, MI 4006, (510) 885-3477

If you have questions or concerns regarding your graduate education, you may contact the Council on Academic Accreditation following the procedure outlined at  (section XIII)

In addition to degree-required courses, the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence requires courses in the areas of the biological sciences, physical sciences, statistics, and social/behavior sciences. For more information, please see, Standard IV. The California Teacher Credential (CTC) requires content in the area of lifespan development. For more information, please see , SLP Standard 2 (p. 64).   Courses can either be applied from prior educational history, or taken while a graduate student. Courses offered at Cal State East Bay are detailed in Key Points of Advising

California Credential

California Licensure

Clinical Fellowship (CF)

ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence


University Policies

Department Policies

Roadmap: The SLHS M.S. programs are cohort programs designed for full-time enrollment. This means your course sequence is planned in advance and all students in a cohort enroll in the same courses each semester. On rare occasions, to accommodate documented medical or other grave emergencies, the department will work with students to alter the course sequence. However, it is expected that this will prolong student time in the program, and no particular sequence is guaranteed. Please also note that the university requires all graduate (i.e., 600-level) units to be completed within five years prior to graduation. Students who think they may need to alter their course sequence should contact their advisor as soon as possible.

GPA / minimum grade requirements: CC I (extended M.S.) students must obtain a 3.5 average across all departmental course work in the first year to be eligible to begin clinic the following year. Students who have reason to believe they are not meeting this requirement towards the end of their first year should contact their advisor as soon as possible.

Absences/Leaves:  Student attendance is expected across the full academic term for which they are enrolled. Planned absences which impact a student’s ability to attend a full term must be approved in advance by the student’s program advisor. Please note that only professional (i.e., conference) or documented medical emergency travel is considered an excused absence. Students who have been approved for educational leave by the university or are planning to take any leave of absence are required to meet with their program advisor before their absence and complete a program leave form.  Additionally, the department requires that students give at least 60-day notice before the semester they are planning to come back. Students who do not notify the department in a timely manner may not be able to enroll in relevant courses or practicum.

Outside employment: We recognize that many of our students hold outside jobs to support themselves while at the university. However, we cannot accommodate course or clinic schedules to requests stemming from outside employment. We strongly encourage students to evaluate their academic progress every semester and consider reducing work hours if academics are affected. Financial supports available through the department and the university can be accessed at

Declassification: A student may be declassified (dropped) from a graduate degree or credential program for a range of reasons, including, but not restricted to, unprofessional conduct; behavioral issues that interfere with the learning of others; failure to make progress toward the degree or program as set forth by the University and program policies; failure to meet grade requirements to maintain good standing in the program and/or University; and/or the department/program faculty determine that the student is incapable of completing degree requirements at the level expected of a graduate student in the discipline even if the GPA is above 3.0.  Additional details are provided below:

Grading and academic progress within individual courses: The department strives to maintain fair and equitable course grading systems and to allow students to demonstrate competencies in a variety of ways. Every instructor’s grading and course expectations are expected to be clearly outlined on the course syllabus. Consistent communication with an instructor and, as necessary, with the academic advisor is key to maintaining the minimum grade requirements. Midterm grades are robust indicators of course progress. If you are earning a B- or lower at midterm, please contact the course instructor and, if necessary, your academic advisor to set up support structures for the remainder of the term.

Course substitutions: Out-of-department (i.e., non-SLHS) prerequisites include the following content to meet ASHA and CTC standards as well as department course prerequisite requirements: physical sciences (for CC I students, content matching PHYS 304 in the Cal State East Bay catalog is required), general biology or anatomy (lab component required), statistics (stand-alone course), general psychology, and human or cognitive development.  Any missing courses can be re/taken in our graduate program. You must get academic advisor permission to take any out-of-department courses outside of Cal State East Bay (e.g. at a community college) while you are in the program. Students who would like to substitute previously taken content for the SPED 500, Educating All Learners in Diverse Classrooms, course must fill out a Request for Equivalency review (see form in Appendix) with the department of Special Education.

With advisor permission, CC I students who may have communication disorders coursework may use the Department Petition process to substitute up to two CD courses from other programs for course content offered within the department.


As a professional preparation program, we expect students to follow the ASHA code of ethics, which can be found at . Rules of conduct in the program include, but are not limited to, professional expectations on conflict resolution, maintaining constructive interactions with each other, faculty and clients, being an engaged member of the department community, and more. Specific standards are outlined below. Repeated failure to follow standards of conduct will be grounds for academic discipline and may include declassification.

Academic Dishonesty / plagiarism: In addition to the policies on academic dishonesty described in university policies and procedures, please review the following considerations for clinical writing.

Clinical writing requires a certain amount of repetition (such as when documenting the medical history of the client). However, reproducing large parts of another client’s report in one’s own, using language from previous reports in sections of clinical reports related to current status, goals and objectives, supports and strategies, or home programs will be identified as plagiarism. Clinicians are advised to consult with their instructor and/or supervisors for clarification and support in understanding requirements for clinical writing to avoid negative consequences.

Consequences of plagiarism will be determined by the clinical supervisor in collaboration with the Clinic Director and Department Chair. An Academic Dishonesty Incident Report will be filed with the Academic Affairs Office detailing the infraction and the department action taken. The clinician will receive a copy. The report will remain on file for five years or until the clinician graduates, whichever comes first. If the office receives two or more reports on an individual, the Director of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities (DSCRR) will be notified.

Social Media policies: For HIPAA guidelines on client interactions, please see the Confidentiality/HIPAA section of the clinic manual. In addition, the following rules apply in non-clinical settings:        

Students, faculty and staff may not discuss other students, faculty, staff, or clients in any social media formats open to the public. Students may not post on any social media or set up social media accounts on behalf of Cal State East Bay or the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences unless explicitly approved by a faculty member. When communicating within closed groups set up by the department (e.g. Blackboard Discussion Boards), students must adhere to confidentiality and professional language standards.

Email guidelines and expectations: Students who contact faculty and staff should remember that email is professional communication that adheres to standards for formal written language (e.g. capitalization, complete sentences, formal titles and greetings, provision of necessary context). Students should check with faculty about expectations for time required for email response. It is more effective to attend office hours or schedule a phone call to address longer or more complex questions.

Having difficult conversations: In the course of the program, to support your learning, students will receive frequent feedback from, and will occasionally be asked to offer feedback on, instructors, clinical supervisors, and fellow students. Effective feedback focuses on specific observable skills rather than an individual’s personal character. It is timely, structured to further a student’s educational goals, and offered with the student’s current level of knowledge in mind. While offering critical feedback may be temporarily uncomfortable and upsetting for one or all parties involved, adhering to professional conversation standards will ensure that feedback conversations lead to positive change.  In the case of potential student-instructor miscommunication, students should arrange a face-to-face meeting with the instructor as soon as possible to discuss their concerns. If you would like support in setting up the meeting with the instructor, please contact your academic advisor.

Work and Study Spaces: Graduate students have use of two spaces - the clinic work room and Graduate Collaborative room.

The Graduate Collaborative room is a venue for constructive collaborations, respite on long days, and a space to build our SLHS community. Please note the following departmental guidelines about the space:

  1. The room cannot accommodate large groups of students. Please be mindful in your use of the space so all can utilize the amenities provided in the room. Remember that spaces such as individual therapy rooms or the library are available to you. This is just one additional space in the department created specifically for you to use during your long hours/night classes in the department.
  2. The room will be typically be opened at 8 am Monday-Thursday, and locked but left open at 5 pm if night classes are in session that day.
  3. Please remember that the Graduate Student Collaborative is adjacent to classes and clinical spaces that may be disrupted if the room gets too loud or noisy or messy. We ask that you follow the guidelines suggested by your Space Committee members in the video as well as pay attention to the “Constitution” displayed in the room for rules of use.
  4. Finally, in the event that the space is not adequately maintained or if other more pressing needs arise, the Chair of the department reserves the right to request the room back for departmental use. Please note that space on a university campus is a luxury.

The department typically requests a committee be formed each academic year to work with the department to oversee the space to help meet student and facility needs.  An email will be sent to graduate students requesting volunteers.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about the space, please email .

The clinic work room is available to graduate students currently registered for clinical practicum, with room and materials use policies outlined in the clinical manual.

Equipment Use: Some equipment (e.g. iPads, a projector, books and games) is available for student use, primarily within clinical practica, but also for academic courses, department events and other occasional uses. Students must complete a User Agreement form for access. Students must complete a Property Custody Receipt form for each offsite use of equipment of high value, such as audiometers.

In addition to completing academic and clinical course work, students have many opportunities for meaningful participation in various aspects of department life. Some common ways to participate are described below; other opportunities are frequently posted on department mailing lists and on the department website.
  • NSSLHA (the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association). The department has an active NSSLHA chapter that supports departmental events, organizes graduate school info night for the undergraduate students and holds socials and fundraisers for various causes.
  • Clinical volunteering. Students have the opportunity to participate as clinical volunteers in several key clinical programs. The Aphasia Treatment Program (including the AphasiaTones choir), the Conversation Club for adults and the Pioneer Pals summer camp for children with ASD accept volunteers annually.
  • Instructional and Student Assistants. There are frequently opportunities available within the department for students who are interested in supporting other students’ learning. Positions include Instructional Assistants for various courses, Supplementary Instructors (small group study leaders) and Writing Tutors. Positions are announced via department mailing lists. Student Assistant positions may also be available to support department and/or clinical activities not directly related to instruction.
  • Research opportunities: The department faculty and staff maintain active research agendas and there are frequent opportunities for students to participate as research assistants in ongoing research. Many students in the department have earned fellowships from the Center for Student Research on campus to participate in projects both within and outside the department. For more information on the Center for Student Research, please visit . Research opportunities within the department are announced via department mailing lists.