Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

(Formerly Department of Communicative Disorders — new name effective July 1, 2012)

201 Carter Drive
Cheryl Gunter, Chairperson



ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Kim, Swasey-Washington


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers a program leading to a B.A. in communicative disorders. It is a preprofessional program that provides students with basic knowledge of human communication and communication disorders in preparation for graduate study in audiology, speech-language pathology, speech and hearing science, or related health science or communication fields.

Students will be provided with the opportunity to complete the undergraduate preparation that is applicable to fulfilling the requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The department operates a Speech and Hearing Clinic that serves as a teaching and training facility for the academic program. The clinic provides diagnostic and therapeutic services for children and adults with speech, language, and hearing problems. These services are available to individuals from the University as well as from the surrounding communities.

Academic Policies

  1. Restrictive major requirement
    To remain in the major or to transfer into the major, students must complete the following prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 and a minimum grade of C or better in each course: ENG 230/LIN 230; any 100-level MAT; SPP 101, 106, 203, 207; any 100-level WRT and any 200-level WRT.
  2. Letter grade requirement
    Grades of C–, D, or F earned in major (SPP) courses must be raised to C or better. A major course in which a student earns a grade of C-, D, or F must be repeated the next time the course is offered. If a student earns less than a C in a major course that is a prerequisite for a more advanced course, the student will not be permitted to enroll in the advanced one until the prerequisite course is repeated with a grade of C or better.
  3. GPA requirement
    A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and 2.5 GPA in the major courses are required for all communicative disorders majors to complete the degree program.


120 semester hours

  1. General ed. requirements, see pages 38-44 (48 semester hours)
  2. Language and culture (3-15 semester hours)

  3. Related areas (18 semester hours)
    These courses are to be selected under advisement from a department-approved list.
  4. Communicative disorders concentration (34 semester hours)
    SPP 101, 106, 163, 166, 203, 204, 207, 208, 263, 329, 333, 346, 348, 350, 363, 366, and 463
  5. Electives (up to 17 semester hours)


Symbol: SPP

101 Introduction to Communicative Disorders (3) An introductory survey of normal processes and disorders of speech, language, and hearing. Suitable for nonmajors.

106 Anatomy of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms (3) A study of embryology, normal development, neurology, and physiology of anatomical structures of the speech and hearing mechanisms. PREREQ: SPP 101. Writing emphasis course.

110 American Sign Language I (3) This is the first in a sequence of four American Sign Language courses. Students in this course will develop a fundamental vocabulary and understanding of American Sign Language. Students will recognize, comprehend, apply, and demonstrate culturally appropriate linguistic behaviors (vocabulary selection, grammar usage, turn-taking skills, feedback signals, and eye-gaze, among others.) in order to communicate with other students and signers. In addition, information will be provided about deaf culture and the general impact, barriers, and opportunities related to hearing loss. Crosslisted with KIN 110.

111 American Sign Language II (3) This is the second of four courses in the ASL foreign language option. In this course students will increase communication skills and develop conversational skills in ASL. Students also will continue to expand their knowledge of deaf culture by gaining a better understanding of cultural values and behavioral roles in the U.S. deaf community. This course includes receptive and expressive activities, sign vocabulary, grammatical structure, receptive and expressive finger spelling, and facial expressions and body language. PREREQ: KIN/SPP 110. Crosslisted with KIN 111.

163 Seminar I in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information. The seminar will focus on career/professional awareness, orientation to the department, and individual studies. Suitable for nonmajors. Should be taken concurrently with SPP 101.

166 Seminar II in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information. The seminar will focus on personal adjustment, assertiveness, and active listening.

203 Speech and Hearing Science (3) This course presents students with the fundamental knowledge of acoustics related to speech production and speech perception. It also provides an opportunity for students to engage in laboratory experiences related to acoustic and psychoacoustic measurement. PREREQ: SPP 101 or linguistics minor.

204 Speech and Language Development (3) Examination of normal communication development: biological, cognitive, social, and ecological bases of language. Developmental milestones from prelinguistic communication to oral language and literacy. Normal variations in development associated with cultural diversity and bilingualism. PREREQ: ENG/LIN 230, SPP 101. Writing emphasis course.

207 Introduction to Phonetics (3) Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet and its use in transcribing normal and disordered speech. Emphasis is placed on broad and narrow transcription skills. PREREQ: SPP 101 or linguistics minor.

208 Neurology of Speech and Hearing (3) A study of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the speech and hearing mechanism. PREREQ: SPP 101, 106.

210 Intermediate American Sign Language I (3) This course is the third in a sequence of four ASL courses. In this class students will build on what was learned in KIN/SPP 110 and 111, continuing to emphasize the development of proper ASL grammar, syntax, and vocabulary with emphasis on conversation and narration/storytelling. Vocabulary-building and mastery of grammar will be through rigorous receptive and expressive language activities. Topics discussed in ASL include the location and description of items in rooms and buildings, complaints, making suggestions, and making requests. Exposure to and knowledge of deaf culture is an integral part of the course. PREREQ: KIN/SPP 111. Crosslisted with KIN 210.

211 Intermediate American Sign Language II (3) This is the final of a four-course sequence in ASL. This course provides students with opportunities to expand their sign production and comprehension skills in ASL. Students continue to expand their awareness of ASL conventions, grammar, and vocabulary, including an extensive review of topical signs and idioms. Students develop a greater competency in their receptive understanding of connected ASL discourse and in their expression of extended ideas, concepts, and stories in ASL. Their expressive competency in discussion of ideas includes their understanding of deaf culture. Students continue the growth of their technical awareness of deaf culture and ASL linguistics. PREREQ: KIN/SPP 210. Crosslisted with KIN 211.

240 Development and Disorders of Language (3) An examination of normal language development and its psycholinguistic, neurological, and social dimensions. Special education considerations for children with language disorders. Suitable for nonmajors.

266 Seminar III in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information. The seminar will focus on implications of disabilities and on cultural diversity.

329 Speech and Voice Disorders (3) The symptomatology, etiology, assessment, and treatment of communicative disorders associated with speech and voice. PREREQ: SPP 101, 106, 203, 204, 207.

333 Language Disorders (3) Clinical management issues associated with developmental and acquired language disorders in children and adults. Linguistic patterns observed in the performance of individuals with various etiological conditions (e.g., mental retardation, autism, hearing loss, neurological impairment, craniofacial anomalies, learning disability). Factors indicating risk for and maintenance of language disorders. Protocols for evaluation and treatment indicated by developmental theories, processing models, and sensitivity to normal variations among culturally diverse populations. PREREQ: SPP 204.

346 Hearing Disorders (3) An introduction to audiology and its relationship to other medical and educational fields concerned with hearing impairments. Developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological properties of hearing and sound are explored. Evaluative techniques are introduced with opportunity for limited practical experience. PREREQ: SPP 106 and 203.

348 Hearing Disorders Laboratory (1) Laboratory experience to become familiar with most common hearing testing and remediation equipment. Taken concurrently with SPP 346.

350 Clinical Principles in Communicative Disorders (3) A study of evaluative and therapeutic materials and methods applicable to the professional setting. PREREQ: SPP 329 and 333. Writing emphasis course.

363 Seminar IV in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information, focusing on principles and applications of counseling.

366 Seminar V in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information, focusing on professional resources and the legal, ethical, and political responsibilities of the professional.

410 Independent Study (1-3) Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in speech pathology and audiology. Application must be made to advisers by students one semester in advance of registration. Open to juniors and seniors only. PREREQ: Approval of department chairperson. Offered on demand.
This course may be taken again for credit.

463 Seminar VI in Communicative Disorders (.5) The seminar is designed to help integrate experiential and theoretical information, focusing on employment opportunities and graduate education.

469 Clinical Instrumentation (3) Evaluation, selection, use, and maintenance of electronic aids for the speech and hearing clinician. Emphasis on demonstrations and practical experience. Open to communicative disorders students with senior standing. Also offered as SPP 569 for graduate credit.

498 Workshop in Communicative Disorders (3)
This course may be taken again for credit.