The Department of Communication Disorders offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders and a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. The degrees, which focus on the science behind communication problems as well as how to treat children and adults through new strategies, technologies and rehabilitation, are comprised of rich internal and external clinical experiences. With the largest university clinic for speech-language pathology in Connecticut, clinical opportunities include three on-campus clinical service programs: The Center for Communication Disorders, The Access Network, and Southern Connecticut Audiology Services.
The Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders is a pre-professional degree designed primarily for students who anticipate earning a master's or doctoral degree, state licensure and national certification as speech-language pathologists or audiologists.
The program's mission is to prepare graduates for entrance into advanced study in communication disorders. The degree may also be helpful for entrance into other academic programs, human services professions, or special education. Students who complete the degree requirements and do not intend to pursue a graduate degree may find immediate entry into positions such as speech assistant, paraprofessional, or aide in public and private school systems. The program prepares the undergraduate learner for life-long inquiry, leadership, and adaptation to change, through exposure to state-of-the-art instructional techniques which embrace questioning, interaction, assessment, and communication. Dedicated to excellence in academic preparation, the program is committed to an outcomes-based education. Through formative and summative assessments, students demonstrate acquired knowledge and skills based on program objectives.
The B.S. Healthcare Studies degree program prepares students for entry-level jobs within the healthcare sector, provides a strong academic foundation for those advancing to graduate school, and prepares students with the prerequisite coursework and advisement to apply to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.
Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites 13 of the top 20 fastest growing occupations as those in the healthcare sector with overall employment in healthcare occupations expected to grow 19%. This is the single largest growth sector among all occupation areas. In Connecticut, healthcare practitioner and technical positions, both clinical and non-clinical, are expected to grow 9.5% in a 10-year period ending 2024 (approximately 24,000 new healthcare jobs will be added statewide by 2024).
Many Connecticut healthcare employment opportunities exist in the Greater New Haven region as the healthcare industry is a dominant contributor to the local economy. Employers are seeking professionals attuned to the dynamics of an evolving healthcare system. They have expressed a growing demand for bachelor-level trained employees in critical non-clinical positions. Employers are seeking employees who possess a skill set that includes knowledge of overall health, health informatics, health systems, and healthcare management. The B.S. Healthcare Studies degree program will address the development of these skills and help employers meet these needs.
The Master of Science degree with a major in Speech-Language Pathology prepares students to practice in public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private practice as speech-language pathologists.
The educational program includes instruction in a broad array of diagnostic and treatment paradigms as well as supervised hands-on experience in the department's unique Center for Communication Disorders and at selected off-campus sites including schools and hospitals.
The Master of Science program in Speech-Language Pathology at Southern Connecticut State University is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 220 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, Maryland, 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700. The current accreditation cycle expires in November 2026.
A student declares Communication Disorders as a major and must meet the following criteria to continue in the program:
Minimum GPA of 3.0 (taking into account grades from all universities attended).
Completion of the following courses with a grade of “B” or higher in each class:
CMD 200 — Introduction to Developmental Communication Disorders
CMD 201 — Introduction to Communication Disorders in Medical Settings
ENG 112— Writing Arguments
Following completion of CMD 200 or CMD 201 with a grade of B or better, the student will be eligible to take the second introductory course. Transfer students with at least 45 credits may be allowed to take both CMD 200 and CMD 201 in the same semester. A minimum grade of B in both of these courses must be achieved in order to continue with CMD course work.
After declaring a CMD major, the student must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA both within the major and overall each semester. A student who fails to meet these criteria will not be eligible to continue taking CMD courses until they meet the GPA requirement. If they do not meet the GPA requirement the subsequent semester they will need to meet with an adviser in Academic Advisement to select another major. A student may return to the CMD major in a subsequent semester if both the department and overall GPAs are brought up to the requisite 3.0.
Students who do not maintain this GPA will no longer be considered as CMD majors and will not be able to register for classes in the major. Students who have registered for CMD courses in an upcoming semester will be required to drop those courses if they fail to achieve the required 3.0 GPA in the previous semester.
Students who are further along in their studies when they apply may not be able to complete their undergraduate degree in four years.
How many communication disorders courses are required for the undergraduate degree?
Eleven communication disorders courses are required in order to complete the undergraduate degree.
Is there a required Grade Point Average (GPA) in order to be an undergraduate student of of Communication Disorders?
Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in order to become CMD majors. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained departmentally and overall throughout the program.
Can I find employment with a bachelor's degree in communication disorders?
Students who complete the degree requirements and do not intend to pursue a graduate degree may find immediate entry into positions such as speech assistant, paraprofessional, or aide in public and private school systems. Students might also use this degree as a base for general educational and special education graduate studies or other human services professions, academic programs and clinical experiences.
Will I do "hands-on" clinical work as an undergraduate student?
Our undergraduate students do not provide "hands-on" clinical services. All undergraduate students are required to observe 25 hours of therapy as part of their program.
How are the 25 undergraduate observation hours obtained?
Students will obtain many of the 25 observation hours as part of their course work requirements. Observation hours may take place within the SCSU Center for Communication Disorders Clinic, through the Master Clinician Network, or at an outside site. The therapy must be conducted or supervised by a speech-language pathologist or audiologist who is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
How many students are accepted into the SCSU Communication Disorders master's program each year? Where are other master's programs located?
The SCSU Department of Communication Disorders master's program has an incoming annual class of approximately 40-45 students. There are numerous programs throughout the United States that offer master's degrees in communication disorders. For a complete listing of accredited programs, consult the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) web site.
I am a transfer student. Will I be able to graduate on time if I major in communication disorders?
Whether or not a student graduates "on time" (defined here as within four years after entering college) depends on many factors. The earlier a student begins the communication disorders program, the greater the chances of finishing on time. Transferring sophomores can usually complete the program and graduate within four years of starting college (taking at least 15 credits per semester), while juniors and seniors may typically need an additional semester or more in order to complete all requirements. However, if students are willing to take additional courses during the summer and/or spring or winter breaks, it is usually possible to accelerate completion of the program.
What is the role of the academic adviser in the Department of Communication Disorders?
The CMD academic adviser meets with all students at least twice a year, in order to plan courses for each semester. The adviser maps out the program so that students can anticipate when they will take each course. The adviser can also provide valuable career counseling for students.
Dr. Kelly Mabry, Undergraduate Advisor
Department of Communication Disorders
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent St., Davis Hall 012
New Haven, CT. 06515
Individuals who enter the graduate program with all prerequisite coursework can complete the graduate program in six semesters, full-time (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer). Individual programs for all students are designed to meet the requirements for certification in speech-language pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Connecticut licensure, and special endorsement in speech-language pathology for Connecticut public schools. Students who are missing prerequisite coursework will require up to three additional semesters to complete the program. The Graduate Program Coordinator will review students’ prior coursework to determine which prerequisite courses are needed to fulfill all requirements.
Students must maintain an overall and departmental GPA of 3.0 to remain in the program. A “B-” or higher must be achieved in all academic courses and clinical practica.
ASHA Prerequisite Coursework
Biological (human or animal)
Physical Science (physics or chemistry)
Social/Behavioral Science (psychology, sociology, anthropology, public health) - 2 courses
Required Pre-Professional Coursework – minimum of 21 credits
Phonetics and Phonological Systems
Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms
Introduction to Audiology and Hearing Science
Neurological Bases of Communication
Clinical Practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
25 hours of observation documented by a practitioner with ASHA certification
School Certification Coursework
Speech-language pathologists who work in Connecticut public schools must have school certification (Special Endorsement in Speech-Language Pathology)
Special Education - 3 credits
Professional Education – 6 credits (e.g. psychology: child, educational, developmental, adolescent, or cognitive/learning; foundations in education; classroom instruction and management)