California Speech Pathology State License Guide

A speech pathology license in California requires the applicant to have a master’s degree with completion of 60 credit hours. Supervised clinical practice and supervised professional experience are also required.1

The below information has been curated by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) based on California’s rules and regulations for state licensure. Please note that requirements/information may change at any time, so always check with your state for the most up-to-date information.1

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Summary of California Speech Pathology State License Requirements

California speech pathology licensure requires a master’s in speech pathology as well as a supervised clinical practice that reaches a wide variety of age ranges and communication disorders. A California speech pathology license requires not only the practice but also work in a setting that is under the supervision of a current licensee. 

Don’t have a master’s degree? Learn how to get your master’s in speech pathology.

Speech Pathology Initial Licensure for California

According to ASHA, California speech pathology licensure requires the following before working in the state1:

  • Speech-language pathologists need a master’s degree (with 60 credit hours) in speech-language pathology from an educational institution approved by the Board.
  • Speech-language pathologists must complete a 300-hour supervised clinical practice of all ages and communication disorders. The practice must be under the direction of an educational institution approved by the Board.
  • Speech-language pathologists must provide evidence of completion of no less than 36 weeks of supervised professional full-time experience or 72 weeks of professional part-time experience. The practice must be under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist.
  • Speech-language pathologists must pass a Board-approved examination for license verification.

Speech Language Pathology Licensure Exemptions for California

California speech-language pathology licensure exempts physicians; school personnel who are properly licensed and not practicing outside the school setting; interns or trainees; federal employees; and required professional experience temporary licensee.1

Reciprocity for Speech Therapists in California

A California speech therapy license can be extended to holders of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). Individuals who are licensed in other states and have worked for one year, but do not possess the ASHA CCC, are exempt from the required professional experience requirement, but they must provide proof of education, clinical practicum and passage of a national exam.

Interim Practice for Aspiring Speech Pathologists in California

California allows a temporary license for a period of 6 months from the issued date to a speech-language pathologist who holds an unrestricted license from another state. Those who hold equivalent qualifications as determined by the Board and have submitted an application to the Board for a license are also allowed to hold a speech pathology license in California. A person who completes the required professional experience for licensure must obtain a temporary license to start working with clients.1

Continuing Education for Speech-Language Pathologists in California

Speech-language pathologists are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education per license renewal period (two years) to maintain their California license. Dual licensees must complete 16 CE hours in each practiced discipline for a total of 32 hours per license renewal period.1

Contact Information for SLP State Licensure in California

For further information on speech pathology licensure in California, interested individuals can consult the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board. This Board has speech-language pathology applicants and verification information from the state.

California SLP Licensing Board Oversight

Licensing for California SLPs is monitored through the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board

California Speech Language Hearing Association

California Speech-Language-Hearing Association

825 University Avenue

Sacramento, CA 95825

Contact: Brian Lewis, Executive Director

Phone: 916-921-1568

Email: blewis@csha.org

California Regulatory Agencies

California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board

2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 2100

Sacramento, CA 95815

Contact: Paul Sanchez, Executive Officer

Phone: 916-263-2666

Email: speechandhearing@dca.ca.gov

California Hearing Screening Contacts

California Newborn Hearing Screening Program

California Department of Health Care Services

MS 8102      

P.O. Box 997413

Sacramento, CA 95899-7413

Phone: 916-322-5794

Email: nhsp3@dhcs.ca.gov

California Hearing Conservation Program

California Department of Health Care Services

MS 8103

P.O. Box 997413

Sacramento, CA 95899-7413

Phone: 916-323-8087

Email: HearingConservationProgram@dhcs.ca.gov

California ASHA Network Representatives

1The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. “California Licensing Requirements for Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists,” accessed December 2020. 

Information Last Updated December 2020

Sponsored Online Speech Pathology Programs

Earn Your SLP Master’s Online From Baylor

Baylor’s SLP master’s program online can be completed full time in 20 months or part time in 25 months. Bachelor’s required. No GRE required.

  • Part-time and full-time options: 20 and 25 months
  • Industry-leading curriculum in a faith-based environment
  • Bachelor’s Degree Required

info SPONSORED

Online MS: Pursue SLP Certification. Study FT/PT

Speech@Emerson enables you to earn an MS online and pursue SLP certification in as few as 20 mos. Learn the same curriculum as the on-campus program. Study FT or PT.

  • Prepares you to pursue certification as an SLP generalist
  • In-person clinical placements at faculty-approved partner sites
  • As few as 20 months to complete

info SPONSORED

Want to Become an SLP? Earn an MS Online at NYU

NYU Steinhardt’s online master of science program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders prepares aspiring speech-language pathologists with a comprehensive professional education.

  • Prepares students to pursue SLP licensure 
  • Accredited by ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation 
  • As few as six terms to complete 
  • Full-time and part-time plans of study

info SPONSORED