Welcome to the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences


The mission of the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) at San Francisco State University (SFSU) is based on our commitment to antiracism and other forms of anti-discrimination as fundamental to our professions, and essential to our preparation of professionals to:

  • Identify, challenge and dismantle institutional, environmental, sociocultural, informational, attitudinal and linguistic barriers to accessible, equitable and transformative communication for individuals with communication disabilities and those whose right of expression are diminished or silenced;
  • Develop, model, disseminate and adopt best practices in the provision of equitable, competent, compassionate and culturally/linguistically responsive services to individuals with communication disabilities across the lifespan; and
  • Promote linguistic diversity and recognize the use of different languages and Englishes among our students and professionals as an asset to our academic and professional community (Read our full position statement on students who are non-native speakers of Standardized American English).

Our students go on to work in a variety of settings with a full range of clinical competencies to serve a diverse population.  


The vision of the SLHS department at SFSU is to be a leader in the field of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences for advancing critical thinking, equity and scientific rigor. We aspire to meet the challenges of creating pathways for recruiting, supporting, retaining and nurturing high qualified students and professionals that represent diverse histories, identities, life experiences, and perspectives. The SLHS administration, faculty, student body and professional partners represent a community of practice that respects and supports individuals with communication disabilities; that integrates research with clinical practice; that embodies equity; and that fosters an inclusive student/professional community in service of accessible communication for all. 


The Master of Science program in Communica at San Francisco State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The current accreditation cycle by CAA is 2017-2025. Further, the SFSU SLHS department is accredited by the Bachelor of Arts/Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and the Master of Science in Communicative Disorders. Undergraduate students entering the SLHS department in or after Fall 2017 will receive a Bachelor of Science degree. Our final Bachelor of Arts cohort will graduate in Spring 2018. Our curricula prepare students to meet the standards of ASHA certification, California state licensure in speech-language pathology, and the California Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential. Please visit our Prospective Students page for more information about how to apply to our program and to download an application form.

View Student Outcome Measures

Applying to the Master's Program

SLHS Clinic

The SLHS department also houses Nicholas J. Certo Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, which provides high quality and affordable speech-language services for individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area. The SLHS Clinic is an educational and training facility for master’s level clinicians. Graduate students provide screenings, diagnostic evaluations, and therapeutic services to children, adolescents, and adults. All services are performed under the direct supervision of a state-licensed and ASHA certified member of the faculty.

More information about the Speech-Language Clinic



Messages to our students

Once again, we are faced with a racist mass killing. This time in Georgia, against Asian-American women. Once again, the stories in the media are about the white racist and misogynist man, the women are erased. We do not care about this man. We are not interested in making another statement. We want justice. 
According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, hate crimes against Asian Americans in the largest 16 U.S. cities spiked by nearly 150 percent in 2020. But this is not just about one group of people. It's a pervasive pattern of racial physical and symbolic violence that plagues us as a nation. For racially-minoritized people, these are shocking and extreme manifestations of the pain and anger that underlies everyday life. 
Our department has made a commitment to anti-racism in this overwhelmingly white discipline of speech-language and hearing sciences. This is a reminder of how we can’t let up, how we need to always strive to do more as an institution and as individuals, and how hatred against racialized peoples are not separate xenophobia, transphobia, ableism and other forms of hatred. The task is big and we need to take care of each other. Please take action now:



From the President of Operation Smile at SFSU:


To our San Francisco State SLHS community,


Along with our sister chapters, NSSLHA and SAA, Operation Smile would like to speak on the unjustifiable actions of the broken system we are living in today. Like many, we have a platform to share, educate, and raise awareness to others. We must be transparent with one another and make aware of the sad reality of how our system is built. As future professionals in this field and most of all as humans, we stand by the advocacy for the equality of black lives and the justice for George Floyd along with the many other black lives that have been taken away through the abuse of power and police brutality. We are fortunate to live in a time with advanced technology and social media which allow for us to grab the attention of all. Especially younger generations. Without it, the murder of George Floyd would have been ignored and under the radar to protect the system and the police officers who were involved. As we have seen, all fifty United States have been active in protesting for the change that should occur. This is a time for all of us to truly come together, educate one another, and be active in ending racism towards the black community. Our voices should be used to speak of the untold and unjust actions that have happened. Most of all, let us use our voices to spread love and positivity as we continue on this fight for what is right. 

Enough is enough. We should not have to be fighting and protesting for the black community to be treated with decency and respect. Lives should not be taken away. Change must happen now. Black Lives Matter. 


With kindness, 

SFSU Operation Smile




  • Official George Floyd Memorial Fund 



  • SF NSSLHA For Justice 



  • Text FLOYD to 55-156

  • Text JUSTICE to 66-8366 


Petitions to sign: 

  • Justice for George Floyd


  • Justice for Breonna Taylor




From the President of our student organization, the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association:


June 1, 2020


Say His Name: George Floyd


Dear SFSU Communicative Disorders Community,


At the risk of compromising the sense of professionalism that exists within our organization and greater discipline, I will be transparent when I say that I have written this email countless times. Why? Because I feel it is essential to address the evolving dynamic of the situation that has brought to light the holes in the fabric of our society on account of George Floyd's murder. However, let us be clear— racism, systemic oppression, police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and white supremacy are not new issues. Instead, the violence and pain that has unfolded before our eyes has provided a platform, a voice for these issues to be taken seriously once and for all. And here at NSSLHA San Francisco State University, we feel it is our duty to take a stance. The right stance. 


On Monday May 25th, 2020 George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officers. While handcuffed, an officer felt it necessary to sit on Floyd's neck with his knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, at which point bystanders watched helplessly as George lost consciousness. During this time, Floyd made multiple attempts to plead for his life with the detaining officer. Bystanders recording the incident also made efforts to inform the officer George Floyd was dying, as he struggled to scream "I CAN'T BREATHE." The officer who sat on Floyd's neck was arrested and charged. However, the three remaining complicit officers have yet to be reprimanded. 


Today, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) released the following statement in response to the many within our discipline who demanded ASHA take an official stance regarding racism—


"We stand with those who stand against racially motivated violence. We stand in opposition to any actions that silence change and progress, as well as those actions that impede and interfere with mutual respect and dignity"




We would like to take this opportunity to respond on behalf of our fellow students and members of the speech community, who feel this statement lacks heart, empathy, and is rooted in ambiguity. Our response is the following commitment:


"We stand for what is right. We stand for the African American population who is two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police. We stand for our people of color and minority groups who feel underserved and without protection. We stand for parents who must sit their children down and coach them on how to properly avoid being killed by police. We stand for the brave individuals who are risking their lives to protest and make their voices heard. We stand for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, and the countless others who have lost their lives at the hands of injustice. We stand for what is clearly right. The side that says enough is enough. The side that says, we want change and we want it now."


Lastly, this email will contain resources during this time that we encourage you to take advantage of. In addition, the family of George Floyd has constructed a gofundme page labeled "Official George Floyd Memorial Fund" in light of the tragedy. NSSLHA SF and its members will be making donations directly to this campaign. Anyone else is welcome to do so. 


NSSLHA SF has also created a separate gofundme account labeled "SF NSSLHA For Justice" where donations will be sent to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. This fund is a community based non-profit organization that combats the harms of incarceration by paying bail for low-income individuals who cannot otherwise afford it. The funds donated will go directly to the MFF. The links to both gofundme pages will be at the end of this email.


As a campus and community that positively represents minorities both in ethnicity and identification, as well as a commitment to cultural humility, we want to remind everyone that we are here to support you in whatever capacity possible. Remember to be kind to one another. 


Thank you,


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"If SLPs can help people find their voice, then it's time to find ours and speak up."
- @soundsspeechie


How can you help?

Visit: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co


GoFundMe: Official George Floyd Memorial Fund 



GoFundMe:  SF NSSLHA For Justice





Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nsslhaatsfsu

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nsslha_sfsu/?hl=en

Website: https://nsslhasfsu.weebly.com/





From Our University President, Lynn Mahoney:  

Cultural Humility in the Face of Tragedy and Turmoil

George Valentine.
George Floyd.
Christian Cooper.

On March 25, George Valentine, an aide to the mayor of Washington D.C., struggling to breathe, entered the hospital and died two days later, a victim of COVID-19.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer.

On May 25, Christian Cooper was birding in Central Park when a white woman weaponized her race and gender to falsely accuse him of a crime.

These men did not know one another. They held different jobs, lived in different cities, grew up in different circumstances. But they are all African American and all experienced the consequences of the United States’ long history of persistent racism.

African Americans are at least 2.4 times more likely to die of COVID-19. With heartbreaking regularity, unarmed African American boys and men are killed by police. And every day African Americans and other people of color experience microaggressions and overt acts of racism, some of which place individuals — like Mr. Cooper — in potentially grave physical danger.

The national climate is illuminating a number of challenges facing marginalized communities, including growing anti-Asian and Pacific Islander sentiment and the grossly disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans, Latinos and the Asian Pacific Islander and Native American communities. Students who are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients are anxiously waiting to hear about the future of DACA from a federal administration that has made clear its stance on immigration and undocumented Americans, including recently explicitly excluding them from receiving much-needed federal COVID aid. While we, on some levels, come together as a nation to face the greatest health threat in a century, evidence of division, hatred, intolerance and ignorance abounds.

“To borrow from the work of scholars on cultural humility ... we need to engage in critical self-reflection and demonstrate compassion.”

In a recent piece in The New York Times, Sabrina Strings, a sociologist at the University of California, Irvine, asked “Why are black people so sick?” She quickly and strongly identified the cause: slavery.

While her argument focused on the impact and legacy of slavery on health and access to health care, her answer is widely applicable. Centuries of structural racism and its persistence into the 21st century impact all communities of color and affect their health, access to health care, their treatment by police, the ways in which they are perceived, access to education, upward mobility and more.

We know that San Francisco and San Francisco State University are not immune to this. Our students, faculty and staff are regularly on the front lines challenging institutional racism and all inequities. To borrow from the work of scholars on cultural humility, including San Francisco State Professor Vivian Chavez, we need to engage in critical self-reflection and demonstrate compassion. That doesn’t change for us as a university community, whether we’re on campus or remote. Clearly there is more that many of us need to learn. SF State affords us all opportunities to learn and contribute to the change we seek. Enroll in a College of Ethnic Studies course, engage in a conversation or activity sponsored by the Office of Equity and Community Inclusion or watch Professor Chavez’s video on cultural humility.

We need to recognize and challenge power imbalances and inequities. And we must become even better at modeling this commitment as a university now as much as ever. There is much more to be done. And we all need to do it.


Lynn's signature

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.


A Message Regarding Summer and Fall Instruction:  

All instruction this summer semester, and fall semester, is expected to take place remotely.
The GCOE is here for you – feel free to Contact Us to stay in touch with your program and to get assistance.
Departments, faculty, offices, and advisors are available via email and Zoom.
We wish you and your loved ones good health and well-being in the days and weeks ahead.

Check https://news.sfsu.edu/covid-19 for updates.