Biola’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduates Achieved High Acceptance Rate into Speech Language Pathology Programs

Acceptance rate speaks to quality of Biola’s program and unique opportunities for hands-on experience

Sep. 19, 2017 By Alisa Ohara

Undergraduate students enrolled in Biola University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program had an 86.4 percent acceptance rate into competitive Speech Language Pathology programs, compared to the national average of 24.6 percent this past year.

The program’s high acceptance rate is in large part due to the hands-on experience, specialized courses and strong community students are able to be a part of, according to Matthew Rouse, Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Biola’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program has come a long way since its start as an emphasis within the communications major in the late 1970s. Since then, the department launched its first Speech Language Pathology graduate program. They also had a record high acceptance rate into competitive Speech Language Pathology programs from the fall 2016-2017 undergraduate class.

Our students get practical hands-on clinical experience at the undergraduate level — which is extremely rare,” said Rouse.

The hands-on experience is one of the many factors that separates Biola’s program apart from other schools. Students within the program are able to work with clients, provide therapy and conduct speech-language evaluations by their senior year. The department also operates a free clinic where locals from the La Mirada and Whittier community enroll in varying speech pathology programs administered by the faculty and senior undergraduate students. Students are also able to work off-site by conducting speech pathology practices at established private schools.

The curriculum of Biola’s program is also more thorough than a typical undergraduate program.

“Undergraduates attract the attention of prospective graduate programs because they get to take classes that are not offered at other schools,” said Rouse.

Students are required to take classes such as fluency disorders, diagnostic methods and therapeutic methods. Biola’s program also offers classes that are only available at specific schools. Biola’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is one of three programs in the United States that offer dysphagia as an undergraduate class.

To ensure each student is supported during application season, a variety of structured support systems are in place to help them thrive. Application seminars are available over the course of the semester and mentorship is facilitated through the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). Students also have the opportunity to participate in events that contribute to a cause they are passionate about in NSSLHA.

In the coming years, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders strives to continue developing their undergraduate and graduate programs through the increase of research opportunities and inter-professional collaboration with other departments on campus. The department will also be a part of the new School of Science, Technology and Health at Biola.

Apply for Biola’s Speech Language Pathology master’s program online.

Written by Alisa Ohara, Media Relations Intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or

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