University of Vermont

2011-12 Online Catalogue

Communication Sciences and Disorders (Bachelor of Science)

General Requirements

Specific Requirements

Communication Sciences and Disorders aims to achieve two primary goals for its students: (1) to provide students with basic knowledge about the development and structure of typical and disordered human communication across the lifespan, and (2) to give students the opportunity to enhance their own abilities to learn and communicate effectively.

Through coursework and research opportunities as well as observation of therapy, students gain expertise in the uniquely human endeavor we call “communication." The primary topics presented at the undergraduate level focus on the form and structure of speech and language, and how these skills are learned, produced, perceived, and understood. In recent years, exciting research from such sources as brain imaging and computer technology has enhanced our understanding of speech, language, and communication and our ability to remediate disorders in these areas. Students learn about current developments and how they impact the field of communication sciences.

As they begin to study communication sciences & disorders, students are introduced to the discipline through a series of courses dealing with linguistics, cognitive science, and the typical processes of speech, language, and hearing. These courses deal with physical, neurophysiological, cognitive, and linguistic bases of normal speaking, hearing, and language use; the acoustics of sound and of speech; the development of language in children; and how communication develops from infancy to adulthood.

During their junior or senior year, students study the principles of assessment as they apply to the study of human communication and its disorders. In this course, they participate in directed measurement projects as they learn to critically evaluate communication and the assessment tools used by practitioners in the field.

Outside of the classroom, those students who show interest are encouraged to pursue research through collaboration in ongoing faculty research. Ongoing areas of faculty research encompass normal and disordered communication throughout the life span and include the following topics:

  • Interaction patterns in families contributing to the development of stuttering and its effective prevention and treatment
  • The nature and treatment of autism
  • The development of psychometrically sound measures of social cognition
  • The role of temperament in stuttering
  • Typical and atypical changes in communication and cognition associated with aging and central nervous system disorders
  • The assessment and treatment of communication challenges following traumatic brain injury

Students are exposed to clinical resources in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology —two closely related areas. Special opportunities include guided observations in the Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communications and access to selected graduate disorders courses prior to graduation.

A Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders provides a good foundation for graduate work in other fields such as psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, or medicine, given some extra undergraduate preparation. In addition, individuals with a Bachelor’s degree can consider a future career as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist. (Note: a B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders is not an option for students who enter UVM after the 2010-2011 academic year.)

Working as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) requires a Master’s degree, clinical certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and state licensure. Positions in audiology are now requiring a professional doctorate, the Aud. or scholarly Ph.D.

Employment as a pre-professional is possible in many settings without the Master’s degree. Many students, even those firmly committed to the idea of eventually doing graduate work, take interim jobs upon graduation as speech-language assistants in schools or medical centers or as audiology assistants.


Course Credits
Fall Spring
CSD 080 Intro to Linguistics 3
NH 050 Health: Personal to Systemic 1
PSYCH 001 General Psychology 3
ENGS 001-ENGS 099 3
Electives/Diversity/Minor/Distribution 6 9
CSD 094 Development of Spoken Language 3
PHYS 013 Conceptual Physics 3
Total 16 15
Course Credits
Fall Spring
CSD 101 Speech and Hearing Science 4
NH 120 Health Care Ethics 3
STAT 111 or STAT 141 3
Electives/Diversity/Minor/Distribution 6 6
BIOL 004 Human Body (lab recommended) 3-4
CSD 165 Phonetic Theory and Practice 3
PSYC 161 Developmental Psychology 3
Total 16 15-16
Junior Year
Course Term
Fall Spring
CSD 164 Structure of English Language 3
CSD 262 Measurement of Comm. Processes 4
CSD 271 Intro to Audiology 3
Electives/Diversity/Minor/Distribution 6 9
CSD 208 Cognition and Language 3
CSD 272 Hearing Rehabilitation 3
Total 16 15
Senior Year
Course Term
Fall Spring
CSD 281 Cognitive Neuroscience 3
CSD 284, CSD 285 or CSD 299 3 3
Electives/Diversity/Minor/Distribution 9 9
Total 15 12



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