Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
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CSD Undergraduate FAQ
You should choose a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) if you are interested in learning how people use their speech, language, and hearing abilities to communicate and what can be done to help those who experience a breakdown in such abilities due to illness, accident, or atypical development. Students in this major typically are motivated to work with people with disabilities. Perhaps you have thought about a career in teaching but prefer one-on-one contact with individuals with a focus on one or more abilities related to communication.? Because the curriculum in the CSD major incorporates psychology, linguistics, biology, and human development, this major appeals to students who are interested both in the sciences and the liberal arts. A bachelor’s degree with a CSD major is a stepping stone to graduate work in CSD that enables individuals to work with people across the life span; these include infants and toddlers in early intervention programs, school-age children and adolescents, or adults in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. With a master’s degree in CSD you can become a certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist.
Yes. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association sets national standards of education to practice in our field; individual states require that you have a graduate degree in order to obtain a license to practice.
No. If you apply and are accepted to Emerson College you may declare your major in CSD without any further application procedures. An interview is not required.
The bachelor’s degree program in CSD at Emerson College provides an excellent, well-rounded education in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology. ?
We emphasize application of knowledge into our courses throughout the curriculum; to that end, we provide opportunities in both clinical and research domains so that our students can develop their aptitudes in either or both areas.
Students in our major thrive in the student-centered culture of the department and the College. Most CD courses typically include up to 25 students and are taught by highly qualified and supportive faculty. You will begin taking CD courses in the freshman year and will continue to do so throughout your four years of study. Because CD is a small major, it will be easy for you to get to know others in the major. Likewise, your professors will get to know you personally. Our faculty offices are in the same building as many of the CD classes, the in-house speech and hearing clinic, and your student mailbox. The faculty has an open-door policy and welcome student contact outside of class. We pride ourselves in the close relationships we build with our students!
We offer our students a variety of opportunities to gain exposure to clinical work. In freshman year you will take the course Introduction to Communication Disorders where you will begin guided observations of videotaped treatment and evaluation sessions. In that course you will learn how to use clinical terminology to report your observations. In the course Language Acquisition you will observe young children as they acquire speech and language skills in preschool classrooms or other environments. In the junior year, course work is supplemented through direct observation of clinical sessions in the Robbins Speech, Language and Hearing Center located on campus. By taking the (elective) course Field Experience in the senior year, you can intern in a school, hospital, or clinic to assist speech-language pathologists, audiologists or other professionals in their work. Additionally, throughout the program you can get hands-on experience by utilizing the volunteer opportunities in our on-campus Robbins Center.
Yes. Many CSD majors have attended the Kasteel Well study abroad program in the Netherlands for a semester. You should meet with your academic advisor in advance to plan your course sequence if you want to pursue a semester abroad; because CSD courses are typically not available at Kasteel Well, you will take more courses in your major during the semesters just prior to, and upon return from, your semester away.
Yes. . . and no :). We want to accept our undergraduates into the graduate program and do so whenever we can; however, students should keep in mind that admission to any graduate program in CSD can be competitive and that all applicants must meet certain criteria to be admitted. While we do not alter the admission criteria for our graduating seniors, we encourage them to apply to our graduate CD program by supporting them in the following ways: an early application deadline for Emerson seniors who want to apply to our graduate CD program and early notification of our admission decision; waiver of application fees and one letter of recommendation so only two letters are required in the application materials.
With a bachelor’s degree in CSD you can be hired as a speech-language pathology aide or an audiology technician. Depending on the caseload and other factors, you will sometimes work independently and at other times assist licensed speech-language pathologists or audiologists with treatment or evaluation. For instance, you may conduct hearing screenings or run treatment sessions designed by the speech-language pathologist on staff. This can be an excellent opportunity to apply what you have learned in the CSD major and gain real-world experience in a clinical setting.
Although a majority of students in the CSD major pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology or audiology, many CSD alumni have gone on to sign language interpreter training and professional programs in nursing, special education, social work, public health, and deaf education. Some have deferred a decision about graduate school and taken jobs as speech-language pathology aides, audiology technicians, teacher aides, or sign language interpreters.
Many CSD majors choose a minor in areas that complement their CSD focus. Here are some examples:
- With a minor in marketing communication you can help develop communication strategies for organizations that deliver health care services, community outreach programs, or market clinical products produced for speech-language pathologists.
- A minor in political communication will enable you to partner with grassroots organizations around issues of patient advocacy and disability rights or to advocate for issues affecting public policy.
- Many CSD students minor in psychology, science, and/or hearing and deafness. These subjects can raise your profile for graduate school in CSD or can lead to a variety of other career paths.
Yes.? A double major requires careful advising from a faculty member in each of the programs in which you want to focus. Different programs, however, have different degree requirements. It is possible that completing requirements for two programs at the same time may extend the length of your program. Your academic adviser can assist you with course planning so you can fulfill requirements for both majors.
CSD students have historically been among the most active in campus clubs and organizations. They have served the College as student government leaders, orientation leaders, family weekend staff, resident assistants, and have been involved in the radio/TV stations and athletic teams. CSD students have been performers in major theatrical productions on campus. We have a chapter of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association on campus; among other activities, their annual programming activities include fund raising for health and social causes (e.g. walk for breast cancer or autism), bringing guest speakers to campus, and viewing CD-related movies on campus. Many CSD students volunteer for service programs such as Best Buddies or Jumpstart—an AmeriCorps program.
Please feel free to contact us for more information. Good luck and hope to see you on campus!
Amit?Bajaj, PhD, CCC-SLP
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
amit_bajajemerson [dot] edu
Joanne Lasker, PhD, CCC-SLP??
joanne_laskeremerson [dot] edu