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. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn about the opportunities offered at GSU for students interested in the Speech Pathology profession.

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. The Speech Communication major combined with the Interdisciplinary Minor in Communication Sciences allows students to obtain pre-professional coursework in order to prepare them for a graduate program in Communication Disorders.
If you choose the Interdisciplinary Minor in Communication Sciences, recommended courses are in the Department of Communication (SCOM 3000, 4410, 4440, 4890) and in the Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders in the College of Education (CSD 4360, 4480, 4490, 4320; EXC 4070). Some Psychology courses also count towards the minor, such as PSYC 4400, 4610, 4040).

This minor was developed to help students complete the prerequisite coursework required by the CSD Master’s Program at GSU. 

Yes. The American Speech-Language –Hearing Association(ASHA) recommends that undergraduate preparation begins with courses in psychology, biology, physics, statistics, English, professional writing and the humanities. The following is a brief list of suggested core courses at GSU arranged by subject area:

Math and Natural Sciences (Area D): BIOL 1103K, PHYS 2030, MATH 1070

Social Science (Area E): PSYC 1101, 2040, 2103

Electives (Area J): SCOM 3000, 4410, 4440; CSD 4360, 4320; EXC 4020; PSYC 4400

You can take American Sign Language (ASL 1001, or EXC 4370) as a foreign language.

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. Keep in mind that you will also need three strong letters of recommendation for the application process. You will need at least one academic recommendation letter from professors; therefore, maintaining high academic and ethical standards during your undergraduate studies is crucial for a strong application.
Yes. GSU offers a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders through the College of Education. This program is accredited by ASHA and 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 30 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 here  and ASHA describes all the accredited programs at http://www.asha.org/edfind/.