Communicative Disorders - Deaf Education Option, M.A.
Communicative Sciences Graduate Program Requirements
The master's degree is considered essential for the professional training needed for effective practice in deaf education or speech-language pathology. The master's degree generally involves about two years of full-time study.
The graduate program is open to students with communicative disorders or related bachelor's degrees who have demonstrated the ability to excel at an advanced level as well as indicated great potential for success in academic work and clinical work. In order to be considered for admission to the graduate program, the applicant needs to submit the following: (1) a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of any coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in CSDS coursework; (2) three letters of recommendation; (3) a letter of intent; and (4) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
Consideration for admission may include but will not be limited to the following: (1) students with outstanding clinical potential, (2) deaf and hard of hearing students, (3) students with disabilities, and (4) students with multicultural or bilingual experience.
Applicants who have specific deficiencies or need coursework may be accepted with conditionally classified status. Students must apply to the department for fully classified graduate standing as soon as any conditions of acceptance have been met. No more than 10 units of graduate work taken under conditional classification can be used to meet the requirements of the master's degree.
To apply for graduate study in the Department of CSDS, you need to apply to the university and to the department by completing the following two (2) steps. Our deadlines for application may differ from those published by the University; contact the department office at 559.278.2423 for the current application deadlines.
Step 1. Apply to the University
a. Submit your application online via CSU Mentor.
b. Submit one copy of official transcript to the university. Information about submitting your transcripts to the university can be found on the Transcripts Requirement page.
c. Submit one copy of GRE scores to Fresno State Graduate Admissions. The school code is 4312. (These scores will go directly to the university and not the Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies Department.) For more information about the GRE, go to http://www.ets.org/gre for their home page. For more information about applying to a graduate program at the university, please visit the Graduate Admissions page. There is a list of helpful links that may answer questions you may have.
Step 2. Apply to the Department
After applying to the university you will be directed to the department application forms. Send a single envelope with a completed packet that includes the following:
a. Department application
b. Three letters of recommendation addressed to the department (each in a sealed envelope signed by the person writing the recommendation over the seal)
c. Letter of intent addressed to the department Please mail your packet to:
Dept. of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies
California State University, Fresno
5310 N. Campus Drive, MS PH80
Fresno, California 93740-8019
Advancement to Candidacy
Each student in a master's degree program must file for advancement to candidacy. See Admissions and Master's Degree Programs, Division of Research and Graduate Studies.
Graduate-Level Writing Competence
California State University, Fresno requires that students have graduate-level writing abilities before being advanced to candidacy for the master's degree. Students can demonstrate these abilities by passing the writing component of CSDS 200 and obtaining written clearance from the instructor. If GWR clearance is denied, students may appeal to the course instructor. Please see the CSDS Graduate Handbook for more information.
Any 3-unit, one semester statistics course (lower division, upper division, or graduate level) is required to complete the Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders. Students are encouraged to take the course during their senior year. Exceptions may be made with the consent of their faculty advisor.
To be eligible to receive the master's degree, a student must have maintained a B average with no more than two C grades on the approved Program of Study. Once a student has received three Cs at any point in the graduate program, he or she will automatically be disqualified from the graduate program.
Master of Arts Degree Requirements
Communicative Disorders Major
Deaf Education Option
Culminating Experience (6 units)
Thesis or project (6 units)
Total (36 units)
* Approved electives are as follows: CSDS 290; CI 230; LEE 172, 214; LING 244; SPED 179, 219, 233; CI 240, 241, 260.
Other coursework is developed with the advisor to reflect such factors as students' preferences regarding thesis or project, individual needs and preferences for training, meeting certain state or national requirements, etc.
Student Teaching and Internship
Students are required to take their final student teaching and internship (e.g. CSDS 257, 258, 267, 268) during the last two semesters of their approved Program of Study and within the last 12 units of graduate coursework. Earlier final student teaching and internships are not permitted in the Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies Department.
All students are involved in supervised clinical practicum experience during their graduate training. At least 400 clinical hours are required prior to receiving the M.A. A minimum of 300 of these hours must be at the graduate level. These hours are gained at the University Speech and Hearing Clinic and in at least two other settings (internship, student teaching, residency program, etc.)
A culminating experience is required of all California State University, Fresno students earning master's degrees. This requirement is accomplished by completing a thesis, project, or comprehensive written exam. Only a limited number of students may be permitted to undertake a thesis or project, depending on the availability of faculty or committee members. Selection of students for a thesis or project is determined by their consistent demonstration of academic superiority in coursework and evidence of outstanding writing skills and research papers. Up to 6 units of credit can be earned for a thesis or project. These units may be applied toward the unit requirements of the degree. (See Criteria for Thesis and Project.) Students considering a thesis or project need to consult the faculty very early in their graduate program, so as to assure completion of the assignment prior to graduation. Selecting a thesis or project option is recommended for students who may at some point consider working toward a doctoral degree. Students who do not participate in a thesis or project must complete a comprehensive written examination. For this examination, students write detailed responses to questions about specific topics within the field. Further information about these options is available from an advisor.
Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology
Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. Completion of the master's degree fulfills all the academic and clinical practicum requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech Pathology. A Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) of paid, professional supervised experience is required along with passing the PRAXIS Exam in Speech-Language Pathology before the certificate is granted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. A Certificate of Clinical Competence is required for employment in nearly all work settings except the public schools. All students are encouraged to acquire national certification regardless of the work setting they may choose.
California License as a Speech Pathologist
The master's degree fulfills all academic and clinical practicum requirements for the State License. A year of paid Required Professional Experience (RPE) is necessary along with passing the PRAXIS Exam in Speech-Language Pathology before the license is issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The license is required for employment in almost all settings except the public schools.
The CFY and RPE can be completed concurrently when graduates accept their first professional position.
Certification by Council on Education of the Deaf
For students specializing in deaf education, completion of the master's degree fulfills all the academic and clinical practicum requirements for Provisional Certification by the Council on Education of the Deaf, the national organization responsible for certifying teachers of the deaf. Professional level certification is available following three years of successful teaching under the supervision of a professionally certified educator of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. All students are encouraged to acquire national certification.
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