Communication Disorders

Communication Disorders Degree

One out of every six Americans has a communication disorder ranging from stuttering to aphasia. The undergraduate degree in Speech Communication within the College of Arts and Sciences is the first in a continuum that can lead to the Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Frequently Asked Questions about the Speech Degree can be found here.

There are 42 million Americans- one out of every six- with a communication disorder. Each one can be helped in some ways by a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, or speech, language and hearing scientist. Individuals working within the field of Communication Disorders possess the training necessary to assess and treat children and adults with disorders such as stuttering, delayed language development, aphasia, voice disorders, speech articulation problems, swallowing impairments and cognitive disorders. They also select and develop augmentative and alternative communication systems for those individuals with severe disabilities. A career in Communication Disorders offers a wide variety of work settings including hospitals, research laboratories, rehabilitation clinics, pediatric facilities, nursing homes, public schools, or even teaching at the college or university level. Others develop their own private practice facilities, often in collaboration with other health care professionals. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)  provides additional information.
No, but GSU does have an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication within the College of Arts and Sciences. The undergraduate degree is the first degree in a continuum that leads to the Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. Under the concentration, Communication Across the Lifespan, students can obtain pre-professional course work in order to prepare themselves for a graduate program in Communication Disorders.
There are two good choices if you are interested in Communication Disorders: one is Psychology and the other is Interdisciplinary Studies. If you choose Psychology as your minor, specific courses are recommended: PSYC 3010, PSYC 3030, PSCY 4040, PSYC 4100 and one additional Psychology course of your choice. If you choose Interdisciplinary Studies as your minor, recommended courses are in the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders in the College of Education. Courses can include EXC 4020, CSD 4320, CSD 4360, CSD 4480, and CSD 4490. Note that the College of Education does not allow students to minor as a stand-alone so the Interdisciplinary Studies minor should also include Psychology (PSYC) courses. CSD Prerequisite Courses 
Yes. The American Speech-Language –Hearing Association(ASHA) recommends that undergraduate preparation begins with courses in psychology, biology, engineering, chemistry, statistics, English, professional writing and the humanities. The following is a brief list of suggested core courses at Georgia State arranged by subject area:

Math and Natural Sciences (Area D): Bio 1410, 1420, Phy 2030

Social Science (Area E): Psy 1010, 2020, 2030, 2040

Electives (Area J): CSD 4360, 4320 Psyc 1101

You can take American Sign Language (Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders ) as a foreign language and it will count for the Georgia State Communication Sciences and Disorders MS Program prerequisites.

Yes! Anything you can do in addition to specific program requirements is beneficial. Volunteering your time to an organization or business shows motivation and an interest in serving others in the community. Try to find positions where you can gain experience working with young children and/or aging adults. For starters, you can call your local Easter Seals chapter, hospital, nursing home, or pediatric facility, and inquire about the volunteer positions available to you as a student. Other possible options include churches, schools, and after-school programs. Meals-on-Wheels, hospice etc. Use your imagination and get involved!

Another good option for you to gain experience is by observing the activities developed by an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. You can contact the same places indicated above and ask if they provide the opportunity for observation hours.

It is important to keep in mind that entry into graduate school is quite competitive and space is limited. In order to improve your chances for admission, a strong grade point average (3.5 or better) and a competitive score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are recommended when applying for a graduate program at most colleges or universities in the nation.
Yes. GSU offers a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders through the College of Education. This program is one of the 226 programs nationally accredited by ASHA. The Master’s program at GSU is designed to combine academic course work and practical experience in order to prepare students for a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. There are approximately 25-28 spaces per year in the program at GSU with over 250 applications seeking admission to the program. More information about the graduate program is online at http://esc.education.gsu.edu/ and ASHA describes all the accredited programs.