Welcome to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Communication Sciences and Disorders


The undergraduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a pre-professional program. A master's degree is the entry-level degree for the field of speech-language pathology. A clinical doctorate is the entry-level degree for the field of audiology. These advanced degrees are required for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Certificate of Clinical Competence and Illinois Licensure.

All students receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders will have the option to pursue either advanced degree, since all proposed required coursework in the undergraduate Communication Sciences and Disorders major meets the prerequisite coursework for either graduate degree (M.S. in speech-language pathology or Au.D.).

Why Study Communication Sciences and Disorders?

Speech-language pathologists are involved in the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of persons with communication disorders. Speech-language pathologists assess and treat patients who have speech, language, voice, fluency, or oral motor disorders. They also assist people who wish to improve their communication skills through changes in vocal pitch, quality, or accent. Speech-language pathologists utilize special instruments and tests to develop individualized treatment plans for patients. Also, they counsel and refer clients to other professionals, teach, conduct research, and administer programs in speech-language pathology. The profession provides the opportunity to work in a variety of work settings including schools, community centers, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, hospices, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers.

Audiologists are involved with people who have hearing, balance, and related ear problems. They examine individuals of all ages and identify those with the symptoms of hearing loss and other auditory, balance, and related sensory and neural problems. They then assess the nature and extent of the problems and help the individuals manage them. Using audiometers, computers, and other testing devices, they measure the loudness at which a person begins to hear sounds, the ability to distinguish between sounds, and the impact of hearing loss on an individual's daily life. In addition, audiologists use computer equipment to evaluate and diagnose balance disorders. Audiologists interpret these results and may coordinate them with medical, educational, and psychological information to make a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment.

Related Majors


Related Skills

  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Active Learning
  • Critical Thinking
  • Writing
  • Time Management

Being Successful in the Field

  • Join the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association while in school.
  • Maintain a high GPA.
  • Build relationships with faculty to enhance career information, contacts, and letters of recommendation.
  • Volunteer in a variety of settings.

Related Fields

  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Audiology


  • Schools, K-12
  • Universities and colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Physicians' offices
  • Speech, language, and hearing centers
  • Home healthcare offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Residential facilities
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Federal agencies including:
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Education
    • Armed Services
  • Private individual or group practice
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Public health departments
  • Rehabilitation centers

Other Professions

  • Occupational Therapist
  • CaseManager
  • Geriatric Case Worker
  • Health Educator
  • Health Information Technician
  • Hospice Coordinator
  • Human Services Worker
  • Medical Assistant
  • Developmental Therapist
  • Patient Representative
  • Physical Therapist
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Health Educators

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Maureen Roach  110 Student Services Building  maroach@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5823 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone Note
Cara Boester  Fairchild Hall 208G  clboest@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-2318  Speech Pathology 
Kelly Pyle  Fairchild Hall 217H  kpyle@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5355  Audiology 

New Freshmen

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing periodfor freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

New Transfer

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

3.38 - 3.73

Required Courses

Recommended Courses

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Heidi Verticchio  Fairchild Hall 217D  hrfritz@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-3266 

Illinois State Students

Middle 50% GPA

3.38 - 3.73

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

Applications always available

Major Requirements

Students must have 12 hours of graded college level coursework to apply.  The number of students admitted varies based on space availability and the quality of the pool of applicants.

In order to remain in the major, students must attain a 3.00 GPA in the following courses:  CSD 155, 175, 210, and 215.  An average grade below 3.00 in these courses will result in the student being withdrawn from the CSD major.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Heidi Verticchio  Fairchild Hall 217D  hrfritz@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-3266