UVM's Communication Sciences and Disorders program introduces students to the form and structure of language - how language is learned, produced, perceived, and understood - including the physical, neurophysiological, cognitive, and linguistic bases of speaking, hearing, and language use; the development of language in children; and the acoustics of sound and speech.
Students are prepared for evidence-based practice in the field through specialty courses taught by internationally-known faculty, the incorporation of guided speech-language pathology and audiology observations, and opportunities for involvement in faculty research.
The Communication Sciences and Disorders curriculum focuses on the normal processes of speech, language, and hearing, and how communication is effected across the lifespan. Students are also introduced to a variety of communication disorders through classes, observations, and clinical activities.
Clinical experiences include guided speech-language pathology and audiology observations in the Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communication: Speech, Language and Hearing, a non-profit clinic providing speech-language pathology and audiology services to children and adults. The center is designed so that students may observe professionals at work before meeting with patients themselves.
UVM Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty engage in research focused on speech, language, and cognitive functions, on topics ranging from the nature and treatment of autism to the role of temperament in stuttering, advancing the knowledge of brain function and creating new therapies for children and adults challenged by cognitive and neurological disorders.
A bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders prepares students for a wide variety of careers, some of which require a graduate degree. This program provides the breadth of a liberal arts education plus an introduction to the health sciences, as well as in-depth information about human communication, including opportunities to explore a variety of communication disorders and the work of speech-language pathologists and audiologists. A minor is required as part of the curriculum; a student should consider using this as an opportunity to explore an additional area of interest, particularly if graduate school in audiology or speech language pathology is not the next step for the student.