Communication Sciences and Disorders, B.S.
Studying communication sciences and disorders at Saint Louis University will prepare you for a career as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. Speech-language pathologists help prevent, identify, assess and treat communication and swallowing disorders, while audiologists help prevent, identify, assess and treat hearing disorders.
If you choose to major in communication sciences and disorders at Saint Louis University, you will observe adults and children with a variety of speech, language and auditory disorders during your undergraduate years. Following the completion of your required courses, you'll also have an opportunity to participate in an elective clinical practicum. Many students also choose to study abroad.
SLU’s program requires 38 credits of communication sciences and disorders coursework along with the required credits of Doisy College of Health Sciences core curriculum. It also requires 25 credits of clinical observation and completion of a capstone project.
Speech-language pathologists help prevent, identify, assess and provide treatment for communication and swallowing disorders — to improve outcomes and quality of life of the client and their families. These include language development, acquired language disorders, stuttering, and voice and articulation disorders. Disorders related to literacy also have become an area of focus for speech-language pathologists. Speech-language pathologists provide service to children and adults and work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, nursing homes, private practice and private clinics such as the Saint Louis University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
Audiologists help prevent, identify, assess and treat hearing disorders. Audiologists also evaluate hearing, prescribe and dispense hearing aids, program cochlear implants, assess balance, assess and provide intervention for auditory processing disorders improve auditory skills to improve outcomes and quality of life of the client and their families. Audiologists are involved in hearing conservation (particularly in industry) as well as in monitoring nerve function during surgery. Audiologists work in a variety of settings, including physician offices, hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, nursing homes, private practice and schools.
Requirements for the degree include:
- 3.00 cumulative GPA
- 25 hours of clinical observation
- Capstone project
- A minimum of 120 credits (33 credits from core curriculum in addition to 38 credits are required for the major)
SLU undergraduate students in communication sciences and disorders are encouraged to participate in research activities, either faculty-guided independent research or as a research assistant. Such activities provide learning experiences outside the classroom and serve to focus interest in the discipline. In addition to enriching the undergraduate curriculum, engaging in research is a valuable way to prepare for graduate studies.
All students in the program experience guided observation of adults and children with a variety of speech, language and hearing disorders. Undergraduate students meeting all pre-requisites have the opportunity to participate in an elective clinical practicum, typically done the second semester of their senior year.
Clinical and Research Opportunities
Students will observe adults and children with a variety of speech, language and auditory disorders. Following the completion of required courses, students also have an opportunity to participate in an elective clinical practicum.
The senior-year capstone course allows students to actively participate in communication sciences and disorders research.
Speech-language pathologists typically need a master’s degree to practice. Most speech-language pathologists work in schools or health care facilities.
A doctoral degree (either a Ph.D. or an Au.D.) is required for audiologists entering the profession. Most audiologists work in health care facilities.
An undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders can also act as preparation for other professional degrees such as medicine, special education or public health.
For those not wishing to pursue an additional degree, one can practice as a speech-language pathology assistant in many states with a B.A. In communication sciences and disorders. Furthermore, some graduates have gotten jobs as research assistants or patient care advocates with a B.A. alone.
Speech-language pathology and audiology professions offer excellent opportunities for employment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for both professions is positive, with speech-language pathology listed as “faster than average growth” and audiology listed as “much faster than average growth” in the next decade. Forbes ranks audiologists and speech pathologists as the No. 4 and No. 9 best jobs of 2016, respectively.
The communication sciences and disorders undergraduate program also gives graduates a foundation for a future education in the field since speech-language pathologists typically need a master's degree to practice. An undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders can also prepare graduates for professional degrees in medicine, special education or public health. Other recent graduates work as research assistants or patient care advocates.
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists are employed in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation agencies and private clinics or practices.
- High School diploma or acceptable score on the General Educational Development Test (GED)
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale
- Minimum ACT score of 20
Transfer applicants are encouraged to meet with the department for evaluation of their transcript. A 2.50 cumulative GPA is required.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:
- Scholarships: awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
- Financial Aid: provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.
For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, applicants should apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.
For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://finaid.slu.edu.
The leveling option is designed for students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology or audiology and who already have a baccalaureate degree in different discipline. The curriculum (33 credits) of the leveling option is based on the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders undergraduate curriculum and is designed to provide the courses necessary to apply to a graduate program in one of these professions.
Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard #310,
Rockville, Maryland 20850
800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700
For more information about the SLU Communication Sciences and Disorders program completion rates, Praxis exam pass rates and employment rates, please see Additional Accreditation Information.
- Graduates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the marginalized status of individuals with disabilities.
- Graduates will be able to identify how students' actions can impact their professional decisions with ethical consequences.
- Graduates will be able to apply the principles of evidence-based research to understand typical speech and language development.
- Graduates will be able to apply the principles of evidence-based practice to identify acceptable treatment methodologies.
Students in SLU's communication sciences and disorders undergraduate program take the following courses.
|CSDI 2200||Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism||3|
|CSDI 2400||Foundations of Language||3|
|CSDI 3200||Speech Science||3|
|CSDI 3400||Hearing Science||3|
|CSDI 3000||Characteristics of Multicultural Populations||3|
|CSDI 3700||Speech and Language Development||3|
|CSDI 4150||Survey of Speech & Language Disorders||3|
|CSDI 4200||Audiology: Basic Audiometry||3|
|CSDI 4300||Clinical Methods||3|
|CSDI 4350||Clinical Observation||1|
|CSDI 4400||Aural Rehabilitation||3|
|CSDI 4500||Neurological Basis of Communication||3|
|CSDI 4800||Senior Seminar||2|
|Intro to Comm Sci & Disorders|
|Beginning Sign Language|
|Advanced Sign Language|
|CSDI 4900 Speech Sound Disorders|
|CSDI 4900||Speech Sound Disorders Assessment & Treatment||2|
All communication sciences and disorders courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher in order to count for the major (courses may only be taken twice). Students must maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA as freshmen and sophomores, a 2.75 cumulative GPA as juniors, a 2.90 cumulative GPA as seniors and a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required to graduate. Students will be dismissed from the program if they are on probation for three semesters and do not meet the GPA requirements.
Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.
Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.
This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.
|CSDI 1000||Intro to Comm Sci & Disorders (Or Elective)||3|
|ENGL 1500||The Process of Composition (If received 25 or higher on ACT, can take elective instead)||3|
|IPE 1100||Introduction to Interprofessional Health Care (Or Elective)||1|
or MATH 1300
|Introduction to Statistics
or Elementary Statistics with Computers
|Critical course: CSDI 2400||Foundations of Language||3|
|IPE 3500||Health Care Systems and Health Promotion (Or Elective)||3|
|PSY 1010||General Psychology||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 2000||Phonetics||2|
|Critical course: CSDI 2200||Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 3400||Hearing Science||3|
|EDSP 4310||Ed & Psych of the Exp Ind (Or Elective)||3|
|ENGL 1900||Advanced Strategies Of Rhetoric and Research||3|
|BIOL 1240||Principles of Biology I||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 3200||Speech Science||3|
|XXXX||Fine Art Elective||3|
|XXXX||Human Development Across the Lifespan Elective 1||3|
|XXXX||Modern Foreign Language Elective||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 3700||Speech and Language Development||3|
|EDSP 3700||Intro to Disabilities Studies (Or Elective)||3|
|PHYS 1050||Intro to Physics of Human Body (or CHEM)||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 3000||Characteristics of Multicultural Populations||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 4150||Survey of Speech & Language Disorders||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 4200||Audiology: Basic Audiometry||3|
or CMM 1200
|Voice & Diction
or Public Speaking
|Participation in / Completion of 25 observation hours by mid-December, if you plan to take CSDI 4700, otherwise by mid-April of Senior year for graduation|
|Critical course: CSDI 4300||Clinical Methods||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 4350||Clinical Observation||1|
|Critical course: CSDI 4400||Aural Rehabilitation||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 4500||Neurological Basis of Communication||3|
|Critical course: CSDI 4600
or CSDI 4900
|Advanced Audiology (Critical course: Or CSDI Elective)
or Speech Sound Disorders Assessment & Treatment
|Critical course: CSDI 4650||Counseling (Critical course: Or Elective)||2|
|Critical course: CSDI 4700||Clinical Practicum (Critical course: or CSDI Elective)||1|
|Critical course: CSDI 4800||Senior Seminar||2|
|EDSP 3560||Special Ed. Process (Or Elective)||2|
Minor is not required, though suggested