One out of every 10 people has a speech, language or hearing problem. If you’re interested in helping others overcome these issues, CMU’s major in communication sciences and disorders is a perfect fit for you. As a graduate, you’ll be ready for graduate school in speech-language pathology or audiology.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
Below is a list of potential careers, median salary over the course of the career and projected job growth.
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2026|
|Speech language pathologist||$76,610 per year||18% (25,900 more jobs)|
|Audiologist||$75,920 per year||21% (3,100 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Communication Disorders Major
Completion of this Major will provide a student with a background in Communication Disorders and a foundation for application to graduate school in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. Students will learn about the development and use of speech, language, hearing, and learn fundamentals of assessing and managing communication disorders. Students who major in Communication Disorders will complete a core of undergraduate courses and demonstrate the attributes and meet the expectations listed in the Technical Standards for CDO Major Program. Near the end of the four years of undergraduate education, students may apply for a master's degree program in speech-language pathology (SLP), or a professional doctorate degree program in audiology (Au.D.).
With the exception of CDO 494, courses taken Credit/No Credit do not count toward a major.
Total: 40 semester hours
Additional requirements for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) clinical certification:
1. Completion of an accredited master’s in speech-language pathology or a doctoral degree in audiology.
2. Completion of the academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence as delineated on ASHA’s Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) form.
3. A course in each of the following areas:
c. Physical Science, preferably Chemistry or Physics
d. Social/Behavioral Sciences
For details, see the Department of Communication Disorders in the Graduate Bulletin.
Normal Speech Developmental/Descriptive Phonetics
Study of speech sound acquisition emphasizing broad and narrow transcription of normal and disordered American English speech sound production using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Study of language development in normally developing children from birth through adulthood; oral language sample analysis; language characteristics in disordered language learners.
Introduction to Audiology
Anatomy and basic psychophysics of hearing; pathologies causing hearing loss; quantitative measurements of hearing; practice in testing. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
The Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing
Anatomical structures and functions for speech and hearing.
Introduction to Speech Sound Disorders
The study of formal and informal assessment of speech sound system disorders, associated factors and intervention approaches applied to various etiologies. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO Major; CDO 278, 335. Co-requisites: CDO 340, 431.
Child Language Assessment and Intervention
Formal/informal assessment of language, cognition, and communication functioning in infant through school-aged children not developing normal language parameters: intervention approaches for deficits in language. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO Major; CDO 330. Co-requisites: CDO 338; CDO 431.
Introduction to Adult Communication Disorders
Overviews neuroanatomical bases of acquired adult communication disorders and reviews nature and impact of such disorders including aphasia, dementia, apraxia, dysarthria, and traumatic brain injury. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO major; CDO 335, 340. Co-requisites: CDO 439, 494.
Habilitative and rehabilitative issues/approaches for persons with hearing loss, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, speechreading, conversational strategies, auditory training, speech/language intervention, psychosocial adjustment, and education. Prerequisite: CDO 331.
Diagnostic and Intervention Methods in Speech Language Pathology
Classroom lecture integrating the clinical interaction process with clinical principles and techniques. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO major; CDO 278, 338, 340. Co-requisites: CDO 494, 417.
Introduction to Acoustic Phonetics
Physical properties of sound generation, transmission, reception, and perception. Acoustics of sound production, phonemic distinctions, and graphic representations of American English speech. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO Major; CDO 278. Co-requisites: CDO 525, 551.
Mentored Practicum in Communication Disorders
Supervised clinical assignment with an experienced student mentor encompassing up to 4 hours per week; with required weekly lectures regarding clinical procedures, issues, and cases. CR/NC only. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO major; CDO 338, 340. Co-requisites: CDO 417, 439.
Research Design in Communication Disorders
Study of critical evaluation of scientific literature. Research in evidence-based practice related to clinical decision-making. Exploration of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods in research design procedures. Prerequisites: Admission to the CDO major; CDO 494, 439; a statistics course; or admission to the graduate program in Speech- Language Pathology or Audiology. Co-requisites: For Undergraduates Only: CDO 463, 551.
Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Clinical Focus
This course examines clinical procedures and evidence-based practice for assessment and intervention of communication skills of clients with autism spectrum disorders. Prerequisites: Signed CDO major, 30 hours CDO coursework; or admitted SLP or AuD.