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Communication Sciences and Disorders Program

The program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) 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 program is to provide students with a basic foundation in communication sciences and an introduction to the field of human communication disorders.

The program in Communication Sciences and Disorders leads to a broad-based bachelor's degree in human communication, its development, and its disorders. Coursework in the program 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 program 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 or audiology and who demonstrate strong academic capability may engage in observation and clinical practicum in the on-campus Ludden Speech and Language Clinic. This clinic 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. 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. Students applying to graduate programs should be aware that a grade point average of 3.0 tends to be the minimum required for admission into most graduate programs in the area of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the principles of biological and physical sciences as they apply to the development of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing processes.
  • Students will examine basic human communication and swallowing processes and their normal development.
  • Students will analyze speech and language disorders and how these may warrant clinical intervention.
  • Students will interpret and evaluate contemporary professional issues and current research in the field of speech-language pathology.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in critical thinking and in oral and written language skills.


M. Alfano; E. Cherullo; K. Czarnik; D. Mackowiak; K. McShane, director of clinical education; G. Nunez; L. Osier: S. Schellinger, graduate program director; M. Schmitt, CSD program coordinator; W. Sennett

Requirements for the Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

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

Supporting Courses (16 credit hours)

These must be completed with a minimum grade of C:

  • Behavioral/Social Science course
    • PSYCH 101: Introduction to Psychology
    • PSYCH 200: Child Development or PSYCH 199: Development Across the Lifespan
  • Biological Science course
    • BIOL 200: Human Biology and BIOLB 200: Human Biology Lab
  • Physical Science course
    • PHYS 101: Physics for Nonscientists or CHEM 106: Chemistry Essentials is recommended
  • Statistics course
    • MATH 135: Introduction to Statistics

Admission to the Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Application to the program must be made in writing after the completion of nine credit hours of required courses in the major. Admission is dependent upon achievement of a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and a minimum overall undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0.

Required Courses (38 credit hours)

  • CSDI 202: Professional Writing in Communication Sciences and Disorders (2 credit hours)
  • CSDI 204: Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • CSDI 205: Phonetics
  • CSDI 206: Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism (4 credit hours)
  • CSDI 207: Speech Science
  • CSDIL 207: Speech Science Lab (1 credit hour)
  • CSDI 301: Speech Sound Development and Disorders
  • CSDI 305: Development of Language in the Young Child
  • CSDI 306: Language Disorders in Children
  • CSDI 307: Introduction to Audiology
  • CSDI 309: Neuroscience of Communication
  • CSDI 315: Fluency, Voice, and Resonance
  • CSDI 317: Multicultural Aspects of Communication
  • CSDI 370: Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

Elective Courses

  • CSDI 308: Aural Rehabilitation
  • CSDI 320: Communication Skills in the School-Age Years
  • CSDI 310: Clinical Methods
    • CSDI 310: Clinical Methods is reserved for students who have achieved a minimum CSD grade-point average of 3.2, a minimum grade of B in CSDI 301 and CSDI 306, and who receive permission from the program coordinator. Students registered for CSDI 310 must complete 25 hours of guided and documented clinical observations, complete a federal criminal background check, present current CPR certification, and successfully complete other mandated pre-clinical requirements.
  • CSDI 355: Clinical Practicum (2 credit hours)
    • CSDI 355: Clinical Practicum is reserved for students who have completed CSDI 310: Clinical Methods and obtained a minimum grade of B and who receive permission from the program coordinator.

Transfer Students

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.

Course Retake Policy

Students are allowed to repeat a course once and may repeat only one course in the Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Grades of D and F do not count towards successful completion of the undergraduate program in CSD.

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 minimum grade of C. Students interested in a minor must meet with an academic advisor in CSD to plan a course of study, which will focus on basic human communication processes or communication development and disorders.

Direct Admission Policy

Direct admission to the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is available for students who meet specific criteria. Criteria for direct admission include the following:

  • Senior status (90+ credit hours accumulated) in undergraduate CSD program
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 across all coursework completed at the college/university level
  • Achieve a minimum GPA in the major of 3.6 by the end of the junior year with all A and B grades in CSD courses
  • During the final undergraduate year, students must continue to meet the overall and CSD GPA and grade requirements and complete CSDI 310: Clinical Methods and CSDI 355: Clinical Practicum
  • Admission is conditional based on completion of the bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Saint Xavier University; all CSD courses must be taken at SXU.

Process for direct admission:

  • Students who wish to be admitted into the graduate program under this process need not complete an application through the Common Application System (CSDCAS) for SXU.
  • By (a specific date to be provided by the Program Coordinator) of the final undergraduate year, interested students will submit:
    • a Faculty Support Form with signatures of three full-time faculty members endorsing direct admission (in lieu of letters of recommendation) and,
    • official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended to the CSD Program Coordinator (this includes transcripts from SXU and any other university or community college attended, even if those transcripts have already been sent to the University as part of an initial application).
  • Students who meet all the eligibility requirements will be sent a confirmation letter by the Program Coordinator by (a specific dates provided).
  • Students who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to reserve their place in the graduate class must submit a $500 non-refundable deposit by April 15 of the final undergraduate year.