Why pursue the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) major?

The primary focus of the Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) major is to prepare students for careers in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Students interested in speech-language pathology will need to complete the CSD major to be eligible for speech-language pathology graduate programs, while students interested in audiology can pursue either the CSD major or CSD minor to be eligible to apply for audiology graduate programs. The CSD major provides foundational knowledge in normal aspects of speech, language, and hearing, introductory to intermediate knowledge of clinical methods and various communication disorders, and research and design and evidence-based practice. 

What does a speech-language pathologist do?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, speech-language pathologists "prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders" in individuals in all stages of life. They may work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, private practices, and rehabilitation facilities. In many settings, SLPs often work as a part of a collaborative, interdisciplinary team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and rehabilitation counselors. Aside from clinical practice, there are also opportunities for research and education within the field. Being a SLP requires a master's degree, as well as a certification (M.A., CCC-SLP). CMU offers a graduate program in speech-language pathology. According to the Bureau of Labor, employment of SLPs is projected to grow 21% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for SLPs was $73,410 in May 2015. For more information about careers in speech-language pathology, visit ASHA-Careers.

What does an audiologist do?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, audiologists are "healthcare professionals who provide patient-centered care in the prevention, identification, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of hearing, balance, and other auditory disorders for people of all ages." Most audiologists work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, physician's offices, and audiology clinics, while some work in schools or for school districts and travel between facilities. Aside from clinical practice, there are opportunities for research and education within the field. Being an audiologists requires a clinical doctorate degree (Au.D.), which can be obtained after completing a Bachelor's degree. CMU offers a clinical doctorate program in audiology. According to the Bureau of Labor, employment of audiologists is projected to grow 29% from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for audiologists was $74, 890 in May 2015. For more information about careers in audiology, visit ASHA-Careers.

Program Mission

The undergraduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Central Michigan University is committed to the development of students who are well prepared for graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology and have a foundation for becoming professionals devoted to improving the lives of persons with communication disorders. Our program provides student-centered learning opportunities through coursework, clinical experiences, service learning activities, and faculty-guided research opportunities designed to promote critical thinking, high ethical standards, a commitment to lifelong learning, an understanding of the clinical process, and knowledge of speech, language, and hearing development, disorders, and differences.

Program Goals

  1. Graduates will have knowledge of the characteristics of speech, language, and hearing development, disorders, and differences.
  2. Graduates will have knowledge of the materials and procedures used for the prevention, assessment, and intervention of speech, language and hearing disorders.
  3. Graduates will know how to use the information gathered from the client, clinician, and literature to make evidence-based clinical decisions. 
  4. Graduates will understand the professional and ethical requirements of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.