Program Description


The professional Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology is a degree for Master’s-level clinicians who want to increase depth of knowledge in the field of speech-language pathology while also acquiring clinical research experience. Graduates of the program will be trained to take positions as master clinicians, clinical researchers, and university clinical faculty. Current practitioners will gain advanced knowledge in the field of speech-language pathology, with specialized training in evidence-based practice, critical thinking, and leadership. Doctoral students will become adept at analyzing and synthesizing the existing research literature as they work with a Faculty Research Mentor to design and conduct their own clinical study in their area of interest.

It is projected that students will spend 2.3 to 3 years in the program (9-11 quarters). Students take 2 classes a quarter for 2 years (8 quarters) and put the finishing touches on their capstone project for the last 1 to 3 quarters.

The SLPD program is split into two broad domains: research and professional content. In the research domain, students will be given the necessary background and support to complete an independent clinically-based research project in speech language pathology. During this process, each student will work closely with a faculty member who specializes in their research area. The research classes include a dedicated class on how to complete a study proposal, a formal 1-day capstone presentation, mentorship through the IRB approval process and implementation of the project, and finally, the presentation of defense of the study. Students will submit their manuscript for publication in a scholarly journal prior to graduating. Final journal publication is not a graduation requirement. 

In the content domain, students will gain expertise in some of the most complex topics in the field. The doctoral Special Topics seminars in speech-language pathology are designed to provide clinicians with increased depth of knowledge that is current and evidence-based. Other classes include advanced knowledge in leadership and ethics.

Classes are predominantly online, synchronous, cohort based, and most include weekly Zoom class components one evening a week. Students will attend Loma Linda University in person at three different times during the program.

  • The first visit is at the start of the program (fall quarter). At this 1-day visit, students will familiarize themselves with the University, department, faculty, current students, the program, and the Canvas learning system.
  • The second visit is at the start of the second year (summer quarter) where students will present their proposed research capstone project to the faculty for approval.
  • The third visit is the third year of the program, for graduation. Students will attend a doctoral hooding ceremony as well as the general commencement events.

These three required meetings on campus are an opportunity to meet faculty, attend presentations, and interact with other SLPD students.

State laws across the nation require universities to be authorized to legally deliver online education to students residing in states other than the home state of the institution. To view the list of states authorizing Loma Linda University online students, go to:

Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

9-11 quarters (2.3 to 3 years)

Possible Careers

Public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, short-term and long-term nursing care facilities, community clinics, colleges and universities, private practice offices, state and local health departments, state and federal government agencies, home health agencies (home care), adult day care centers, centers for persons with developmental disabilities, research laboratories.

Application Deadlines

Quarter Application Open Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Autumn of 2024 Oct 1, 2023 Jun 15, 2024

Admissions Requirements

  • Master’s degree in speech-language pathology from an accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Current clinical certification (CCC’s) and state licensure to practice speech-language pathology
  • Completed online application
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Written statement: 2-3 page essay describing your research interests (and experience, if any), your professional experience/accomplishments, why you want to pursue a Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology, and why you want to attend Loma Linda University.
  • Virtual interview (to be scheduled with applicants who pass the first round of screening)
Integrating faith and health
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

The following estimated cost of attendance is based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. Estimated amounts may vary based on a number of factors. Students may use these estimates when applying for financial aid.

Required Program Costs

Academic Year 2024-2025

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Tuition & Fees $14,742 $19,656 $7,371
Books, Materials, Supplies & Equipment Allowance
(May or may not be purchased through the school)
$243 $325 $82

Other Educational Costs

Non-required costs that can be funded with scholarships/loans.

Year of Program
Months Enrolled
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Living Expense (Food & Housing Allowance)
Students will be assigned one of the following Living Expense Budget Options:
  • On Campus Dorm
  • $11,835 $15,780 $7,890
  • LLU Owned Rental Property
  • $18,900 $25,200 $12,600
  • LLU Owned Rental w/ Dependents
  • $19,800 $26,400 $13,200
  • Undergraduate Dependent w/ Parents
  • $7,200 $9,600 $4,800
  • Off Campus
  • $18,900 $25,200 $12,600
    Transportation Allowance $3,150 $4,200 $2,100
    Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $3,150 $4,200 $2,100
    Federal Student Loan Fees $217 $217 $217
    Cost of Obtaining Professional License 0 0 0
    Dependent Care
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request
    Disability-Related Expenses
    (See Budget Revision Request form)
    Available upon Request


    The cost of attendance varies from year to year. Please contact the Office of Student Finance for up-to-date costs.
    • Estimated amounts are for the academic year specified only. Amounts are based on full-time attendance for the number of months enrolled per academic year. International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on these amounts.
    • Amounts are expected to increase each year consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.
    • To qualify for financial aid, most students must be enrolled at least half time in an aid eligible program and be taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.