The Value of the Undergraduate Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

Although the degree goes by many names—speech & hearing science, speech-language pathology & audiology; communication disorders—it shares core elements across programs.

High Demand

Many graduates of CSD undergraduate programs seek to pursue graduate education in either audiology or speech-language pathology. These and other allied health and disabilities services careers are all identified as growing faster than other occupations, with demand projected to grow. The field has a deficit in research doctoral-level graduates, so those interested in a career in academia and research are highly encouraged to consider CSD as a stepping stone to a successful career as a college professor. Additionally, for those seeking other paths, the systems-based thinking, rigor, and complexity of the CSD undergraduate degree provides a superior platform for success in many different careers.

High Value

Communication is fundamental to all of human activity. The bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) is centered around the basic science of human communication including biological, physical, social, and linguistic aspects, and this basic science is used as a lens to develop understanding of what happens when communication is impaired. CSD exposes students to important questions within an interdisciplinary framework and prepares individuals to consider critical questions and contribute to key enterprises of the 21st century.  

Degree Benefits

A degree in CSD provides students with

Core competence in understanding the science of human communication and its disorders, integrating information from the broad areas of lifespan human development, psychology, cognitive science, biology, acoustics, and language science.

Development of critical thinking and written and oral communication abilities within contexts of the physical, biological, cognitive, linguistic, and social sciences.

Exposure to contemporary issues in health care and education:

  • Professional ethics
  • Cultural competence for professional interactions in a diverse society
  • Evidence-based decision-making
  • Regulatory and institutional aspects of provision of services

Opportunities to engage in high impact learning practices such as:

  • Service learning
  • Undergraduate research
  • Community engagement

Preparation to succeed in audiology and speech-language pathology graduate programs as well as a wide variety of disciplines in areas such as:

  • Allied health
  • Education
  • Human services
  • Life sciences
  • Social sciences

Opportunities and a broad range of options that utilize transferable skills learned with an undergraduate degree in communication sciences. Graduates can be found working in all sectors of society:

  • Media
  • Education
  • Sales
  • Public relations
  • Health and human services
  • Government

Additional Information

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