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Overview

Communication Disorders majors study just about any disorder than impairs language abilities, speaking, hearing, or otherwise normal communication with others. This field deals not only with those people born with disorders, but also those who become afflicted with them later in life. As a Communication Disorders major, your focus will be two-fold: you’ll learn what fundamentally causes these disorders, as well as ways to manage them.


In this major, you’ll study how language develops, the acoustics of speech, audiology, and the acquisition of speech and language. You’ll learn the different ways disordered communication develops, and how these disorders are affected and viewed by society. You’ll learn about rehabilitation, American Sign Language, speech pathology, and other treatment services. You’ll learn how to identify, manage, and prevent communication disorders of all kinds.


If you’re looking ahead to a career in speech-language pathology or audiology, you should know that undergraduate work is not enough to become a professional in these fields; graduate work is required. There are plenty of graduate programs out there with great programs in these fields, so don’t feel pressured…yet.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Acoustics of Speech

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Language

  • Articulation Disorders

  • Audiological Assessment

  • Aural Rehabilitation

  • Communication Using Computers

  • Developmental Disorders of Communication

  • Language and Cognition

  • Language Development

  • Mind and Brain

  • Neurogenic Disorders of Communication

  • Psycholinguistics

  • Speech and Language Acquisition

  • Speech Pathology

  • Structure of English Words


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

To prepare for a major in Communication Disorders, try to take as many science courses as possible—biology, chemistry, anatomy, and others. Math courses will also be valuable. Writing and speaking will be important in your major, so make an effort to take English and communication courses. And it never hurts to acquire a second (or third, or fourth) language while you’re still in high school. If you have time, also consider becoming a volunteer to help people with communication disorders;your guidance counselor might have ideas for where to seek out this sort of opportunity.