Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders contributes to the liberal education of the student by providing learning experiences about the nature, development, and effective use of human communication. A goal of this department is to prepare students with a basic foundation in communication sciences and an introduction to the field of human communication disorders.

An undergraduate major in communication sciences and disorders is offered in the department, leading to a broad-based bachelor's degree in human communication, its development, and its disorders. Coursework in the major introduces students to the anatomical, physiological, neurological, psychological, developmental, linguistic, and acoustic bases of speech and language behavior. Upper level courses introduce students to the nature, assessment, and management of several communication disorders. The undergraduate major provides a foundation for students who intend to complete graduate study in speech-language pathology or audiology, who are considering further study in related areas, such as education, special education, or counseling, or who are preparing for other careers in the public or private sectors.

Students who choose to prepare for graduate study in speech-language pathology, audiology, or other areas of special education, and who demonstrate strong academic capability, may engage in observation and clinical practicum in the on-campus Ludden Speech and Language Clinic, which serves persons of all ages with communication disorders. Student practicum experiences are directly supervised by faculty who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists, who must hold a graduate degree in their field, practice in a variety of settings: public schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, university clinics, special education and early childhood centers, and private practice. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders also offers a master of science degree in speech-language pathology. Information on this program is available in the graduate catalog.

Graduates of the B.A. program in communication sciences and disorders will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of biological and physical sciences as they apply to the development of speech, language, and hearing processes.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of basic human communication processes and normal development in the areas of speech, language, and swallowing.
  3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of speech and language disorders and how these may warrant clinical intervention.
  4. Demonstrate basic knowledge of contemporary professional issues, as well as current research in the field of speech-language pathology.
  5. Demonstrate competence in critical thinking and in oral and written language skills.


W. Sennett, Chair; C. Szymanski, Graduate Program Director; P. Klick, Clinic Director; M. Alfano; E. Cherullo; K. Czarnik; D. Mackowiak; K. McShane; S. Schellinger; M. Schmitt.

Program Requirements for the Major in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

To obtain the Bachelor of Arts in communication sciences and disorders, students complete courses in the CSD major as well as supporting courses. Most of the second group are taken as part of the General Education curriculum. All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted.

Supporting Courses (15 credit hours)

These must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Required Courses (35 credit hours)

Courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C or better, but see the requirements for admission to the program.  Graduate programs expect that CSD courses will be completed with grades of B or better.

One course in Communication Cross Cultures, chosen from the following:

Recommended Courses in the CSD Major (5 credit hours)

Two courses are reserved for students who have achieved a CSD grade-point averageof 3.2 or higher, a grade of B or higher in CSDI 301 and CSDI 306, and who receive permission from the Department. Students registered for CSDI 310 must complete 25 hours of documented clinical observations, complete a federal criminal background check, present current CPR certification, and successfully complete other mandated pre-clinical requirements.

Admission to the Communication Sciences and Disorders Major

Application to the program must be made in writing after the completion of 9 credit hours of required courses in the major.  Admission is dependent upon achievement of a minimum CSD grade-point average of 3.0 and overall undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0, and the successful completion of a written language sample and an oral speech, language, and voice screening.  Applicants are expected to demonstrate those qualities of communication and personality necessary to relate effectively with children and adults who have communication disorders.

Transfer students must meet the same requirements for admission to and completion of the CSD major.  A minimum of 15 credit hours in the major must be taken at Saint Xavier University

Minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders

All students who wish to complete a CSD minor must complete CSDI 204 and an additional 15 credit hours of CSD coursework with a grade of C or better. Students interested in a minor should meet with the department chairperson to plan a course of study, which could include a focus on basic human communication processes or on communication development and disorders