What career opportunities are there for majors in Communicative Disorders?

The undergraduate major in Communicative Disorders is a preprofessional major designed to provide the academic preparation and experiences required for admission into a graduate program in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology. After you complete your graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, you will have a variety of career opportunities in settings such as public schools, hospitals, home health care agencies, and private practice.


What do Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists do?

Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists evaluate and treat individuals who have Communication Disorders. They work in a variety of settings such as public and private schools, hospitals and nursing homes, home health agencies, and private practice. Audiologists evaluate and treat children and adults with hearing impairments. They conduct hearing screenings and assessments, prescribe appropriate amplification devices such as hearing aids, and provide counseling regarding the effects of hearing loss on communication. Speech-Language Pathologists evaluate and treat children and adults with speech and language disorders. Speech-Language Pathologists assess many communication skills including the ability to produce speech sounds, formulate sentences, and speak fluently. Treatment might involve working directly with the child or adult to improve speech and language skills, or providing communication devices such as voice output and communication aids.


What is the job market in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology?

The employment outlook is excellent. Both Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology were ranked in the top 5 among the fastest growing jobs for the next five years. The most recent projects from the U.S. Department of Labor suggest employment in both field is expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations at least through the year 2005.  


Why is a 3.0 Grade Point Average (B) required for admission to the major?

The undergraduate major in Communicative Disorders is a preprofessional major preparing the student for admission into a graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. The minimum cumulative GPA for admission to most graduate schools is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).  


If I do not meet the GPA requirement for the major, what can I do?

Students who do not have the 3.0 GPA required for admission to the major have several options. If your GPA is close to 3.0, you might petition the department head for admission. Most students who are admitted to the major with less than a 3.0 GPA are required to raise their GPA to 3.0 within 1-2 semesters. You also can consult with your departmental academic advisor to identify strategies to improve your overall performance as a student. Also, retaking one or more courses in which you had low grades is sometimes helpful.  


How difficult is it to get into graduate school?

Graduate school admission in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology is competitive. Usually applicants are judged on their overall GPA and GPA in the major, scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the strength of their letters of recommendation, and experiences that are relevant to the field such as undergraduate clinical practicum, part-time and volunteer work. Students are advised to apply to several schools to increase the probability of being accepted into a graduate program. The faculty in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are happy to discuss the process of applying to graduate school and the programs you might consider.


What kind of financial aid is available for undergraduate students?

Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine their eligibility for university grants and scholarships as well as student loan programs. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders awards two scholarships, the Humpal-Guthart Sertoma Scholarship and the Dr. Lois Shefte Potter Scholarship, in the spring of each year to junior or senior students. Incoming freshmen are eligible to compete for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts/Dean's Award Scholarships.