Major in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Designed to provide the scientific and cultural foundations of human communication, disorders and differences, Elmhurst’s major in communication sciences and disorders provides an excellent foundation for graduate study, which is required for national certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, licensure in most states and clinical practice in the majority of medical and educational settings in the United States. Our students are regularly accepted at top national and regional graduate programs, including our own.

You’ll have ample opportunities to gain experience and skills at Elmhurst. On campus at our Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, you can gain clinical hours necessary for ASHA certification. In addition, our communication sciences and disorders graduates often work at facilities such as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, acute care hospitals, public schools and special education centers once they have earned a master’s degree. Our students also gain research experience; many have presented at the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention and at the National Council on Undergraduate Research.

All students are encouraged to join NSSLHA (National Student-Speech-Language-Hearing Association).

Major Requirements

Required Courses

  • CSD 200 Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders (.50 credit)

  • CSD 205 Clinical Phonetics

  • CSD 234 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing

  • CSD 237 Linguistics and Social Justice for Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

  • CSD 339 Introduction to Audiology: Principles and Methods

  • CSD 341 Speech Sound Disorders

  • CSD 344 Speech Science

  • CSD 345 Professional Writing in Speech-Language Pathology

  • CSD 390 Language Development and Disorders

  • CSD 433 Neurological Bases of Communication

  • CSD 450 Beginning Practicum: Clinical Methods and Diagnostics

  • CSD 455 Aural Rehabilitation

  • CSD 477 Experiential Learning and Assisting in Clinical Practicum (.50 credit)

One Elective From The Following

  • CSD 100 Introduction to Sign Language (.50 credit)
  • CSD 101 Sign Language I (.50 credit)
  • CSD 102 Sign Language II
  • CSD 242 Toward Understanding Autism
  • CSD 340 Fluency Disorders (.50 credit)
  • CSD 356 Children at Risk from Birth to Five
  • CSD 376 Principles and Methods for Medical Settings in Speech-Language Pathology (.50 credit)
  • CSD 381 The China Experience (.50 credit)
  • CSD 382 Global Perspectives in Communication and Disability: Costa Rica Experience
  • CSD 476 Language Stimulation and Enrichment Experiences (.50 credit)

Thirty-two (32) credits are required for graduation; 10 of which must be at the 300/400 level. All 10 can be completed at Elmhurst University if all of the required courses for the major are taken here.

Two Semesters of Practica

  • CSD 450 Beginning Practicum: Clinical Methods and Diagnostics
  • CSD 477 Experiential Learning and Assisting in Clinical Practicum (.50 credit; may be repeated for credit)

Additional elective practica are offered and encouraged

  • CSD 376 Principles and Methods for Medical Settings in Speech-Language Pathology (.50 credit)
  • CSD 476 Language Stimulation and Enrichment Experiences (.50 credit)

Required Foundational Science Courses

  • Social/behavioral science (e.g., psychology, anthropology, ethnic and cultural studies)
  • Statistics
  • Physical science (physics or chemistry)
  • Biological science (general, human or animal)

For additional information about these ASHA content area requirements, see

Requirements for a Professional Educator License

(From the Illinois State Board of Education.)

  • A master’s degree in speech-language pathology
  • EDU 223 Education of PK-12 Learners with Exceptionalities
  • Coursework in reading methods

Highly Recommended Courses Outside the Major

  • PSY 311 Educational Psychology
  • PSY 317 Child Development
  • PSY 318 Adolescent Development
  • COM 114 Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 315 Intercultural Communication
  • REL 332 Religious Ethics and Health Care or PHL 310 Ethics and Business

Admission Requirements

For admission to communication sciences and disorders, students must have an overall (cumulative) GPA of 3.00 or above at the end of their sophomore year, and must have earned a B or above in ENG 105 and ENG 106 or their equivalents. To remain in the major and enroll in 300- or 400-level CSD courses, an overall 3.20 GPA must be maintained. Enrollment in a clinical practicum is contingent upon the student’s ability to meet the required essential functions.

The Minor

Any four full courses (except CSD 492) from the department constitute a CSD minor.

Ruiying Ding, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Professor and Chair, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

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