A Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Undergraduate Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders is considered pre-professional as students must obtain a graduate degree to be employed as a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (M.A.) or Audiologist (Au.D.) in any work setting. Specialized coursework prepares students to work with speech-language and hearing disabled children and adults in a variety of settings, including the public schools, hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers and private practice.


Transferable Skills

A communication sciences and disorders degree offers:

  • Critical thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Learning strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Ability to relate societal and cultural issues to others 
  • Customer and personal service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Some Careers in Communication Sciences and Disorders

CareerMedian SalaryMarket Growth
Audiologist$74,890 14% + 
Speech Pathologist$ 73,41014% + 
Speech Therapy Assistant (state dependent)$35,780 9 – 13% 
Classroom Assistants$24,9005 – 8% 
Audiology Assistant$49,600 14% + 

Source: O*NET Online, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

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Graduate Study

An undergraduate degree in CSD is a solid foundation for graduate work in other areas including education, special education, counseling, social work, health and human development, vocational rehabilitation, health policy and administration, etc. Further, if a student does not get accepted into a graduate school in CSD, they might wish to sit out a year, take more undergraduate courses to improve their GPA, re-take the GRE, and/or work in a CSD-related field for one-two years, then re-apply to graduate schools in CSD or a related profession.

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

  • Speech Pathology
  • Audiology

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Notable People With a Communications Sciences and Disorders Major

  • Marion Downs (AuD) was an audiologist and Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, who pioneered universal newborn hearing screening in the early 1960s.
  • Nancy Helm-Estabrooks (SLP) – A WCU professor emerita leads the language therapy team for former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
  • Lionel George Logue (SLP) was an Australian speech and language therapist and amateur stage actor who successfully treated, among others, King George VI, who had a pronounced stammer.
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