Communication Sciences and Disorders

Studying communication sciences and disorders 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.


Communication sciences and disorders students at SLU are encouraged to volunteer at our Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, which serves patients throughout the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The clinic provides training that positions students to excel among future speech, language and hearing professionals.

Major in Communication Sciences and Disorders

If you choose to major in communication sciences and disorders at SLU, 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.

SLU’s program — offered through the Doisy College of Health Sciences — requires 39 hours of communication sciences and disorders coursework along with the required 51 to 63 hours of core arts and sciences curriculum. It also requires 25 credit hours of clinical observation and completion of a capstone project.

The senior-year capstone course will give you a chance to actively participate in communication sciences and disorders research, reflect upon and analyze a field experience, or choose from many other options to personalize your study.

The program offers two curriculum tracks:

  • Standard track
  • Leveling track (for students who are interested in pursuing a career in speech-language pathology or audiology but do not have the necessary undergraduate prerequisites)
  • CSDI 1000: Introduction to Communication Science and Disorders
  • CSDI 2000: Phonetics
  • CSDI 2400: Foundations of Language
  • CSDI 3400: Hearing Science
  • CSDI 3600: Speech Development
  • CSDI 3700: Speech and Language Development
  • CSDI 4200: Audiology: Basic Audiometry
Internships and Careers

With a Bachelor of Arts in communication sciences and disorders alone, it is possible in many states to work as a speech-language pathology assistant. Other recent graduates work as research assistants or patient care advocates.

SLU’s communication sciences and disorders undergraduate program also gives you 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 you for professional degrees in medicine, special education or public health.


SLU’s communication sciences and disorders faculty have diverse backgrounds and a wide range of research interests, including child language and literacy disorders, stuttering, voice disorders, memory and cognition in adult populations, and rehabilitation in people with cochlear implants.

We conduct clinically oriented research across the lifespan to improve the quality of life of others, with both medical and educational areas of emphasis. All of the faculty have presented at state, national or international conferences, and several have international recognition in their areas of expertise. 

Real-World Experience 

Elective Clinical Practicum 

All students in SLU's communication sciences and disorders program experience guided observation of adults and children with a variety of speech, language and hearing disorders. Undergraduate students who meet all prerequisites can participate in an elective clinical practicum (typically done second semester, senior year).