Certificate in the Linguistics of Speech Science 

Considering a career in speech-language pathology? The Certificate in the Linguistics of Speech Science (CLSS) provides an understanding of the sound system and grammatical system of language and applies that knowledge to language acquisition, speech-language pathology, and elective topics such as applied phonetics and neurolinguistics.

Many students who complete the CLSS do so as part of their preparation for graduate study in Canada in order to pursue a career in speech-language pathology or audiology. Others choose to work as therapist assistants or with families of children with special needs. International students who complete the CLSS may return to their home country to pursue graduate level training and/or work in clinical settings.

In addition to speech therapy and rehabilitation, other applications of the CLSS include neurosurgical planning, voice training, and voice authentication. 

Students in the CLSS come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds including linguistics, cognitive science, communication, health science, kinesiology, and psychology.

NOTE: This program is intended only for SFU students. Students registered at other post-secondary institutions will not be able to obtain the CLSS program's required courses in a timely manner. 

Program Curriculum (18 units)

Students complete the following four courses (12 units):

  • LING 190-3 The Science of Speech
  • LING 200-3 Foundations of English Grammar
  • LING 330-3 Phonetics
  • LING 350-3 First Language Acquisition

Plus two of the following (6 units):

  • LING 315-3 Psychology of Language
  • LING 321-3 Phonology
  • LING 322-3 Syntax
  • LING 401-3 Topics in Phonetics
  • LING 411-3 Topics in Applied Phonetics
  • LING 415-3 Neurolinguistics
Note: some of the courses above have prerequisites not included in the certificate requirements. Students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites of all courses in the CLSS.
As of January 1, 2024, a new curriculum for the Certificate in the Linguistics of Speech Science (CLSS) will be in effect. Students will no longer be required to complete LING 200, and instead, will need to complete an additional upper division course. For any questions or concerns, connect with the Student Advisor at lingadv@sfu.ca.

Are you currently a CLSS student or have plans of applying?
 Here's how the change will affect you:
Approved CLSS students who have taken LING 200
Follow the current curriculum
Approved CLSS students who have not taken LING 200
Follow the current curriculum OR
redeclare to follow the new curriculum*
Future CLSS applicants (not yet approved)
Follow the new curriculum

*Students will be able to redeclare the program beginning in October or early November 2023.

Program Requirements

Admission Requirements 

  • Approval must be obtained from the Department of Linguistics in order to declare into CLSS 
  • Completed at least one semester at SFU 
  • Minimum CGPA of 3.00 
  • You are encouraged to declare the program at least one year prior to graduation 

Continuation Requirements

  • Minimum CGPA of 2.40 (after completion of 60 units). A CGPA of less than 2.40 will prevent further enrollment in upper-division LING courses. Upon restoring a 2.40 CGPA, you must meet with the student advisor in order to redeclare into the program. 

Transfer Credits

  • A maximum of six (6) units may be transferred from outside of SFU toward the CLSS.

Credits applied to this certificate may also be applied to major, extended minor, or minor programs, or to a Bachelor degree under the normal regulations governing those programs, but may NOT be applied to another SFU certificate or diploma. Duplicate courses are counted only once.

Hear from our alumni 

If you are planning to apply to a SLP graduate program, take a look at our alumni below who gained admission to graduate school and have gone on to become speech-language pathologists. 


Interested in the Certificate in the Linguistics of Speech Science program? Meet with our student advisor for more information. 

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Join the student-led SFU Speech and Hearing Club (Shlub) and connect with your peers on everything related to speech-language pathology and audiology.