What Is a Communication Disorders Major?

A communication disorders program explores ways to recognize, treat and prevent speech, hearing and language development problems. Learn about course topics, continuing education options and professional licensing requirements. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study With a Major in Communication Disorders?

A typical bachelor's degree curriculum in communications disorders will cover symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders that affect hearing, language and speech. You'll also take a number of general education courses. Internships are usually recommended and sometimes required. Search for a degree program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA), which is part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Other majors related to communication disorders include communications sciences disorders and communicative disorders. Some of the communications disorders your degree program may cover include:

  • Acquired deafness
  • Articulation disorders
  • Autism-related disorders
  • Delayed language
  • Fluency disorders
  • Phonological disorders
  • Vocal disorders

Important Facts about This Field of Study

Common Courses Diagnostic Audiology, Disorders of Hearing, Neuroanatomy
Specializations Pediatric audiology, geriatric audiology
Degree Level Master's or doctoral degree
Possible Careers Audiologist, Speech-Language Pathologist

Where Can I Work?

Because so many positions in this field require master's and doctoral degrees, most bachelor's degree programs in communications disorders are designed to prepare students to go on to graduate programs, so the job market after graduation may be limited. You may find work in education, medicine, healthcare or research, possibly at a long-term care facility, speech center or hospital.

Do I Need a License to Work in This Field?

Government and educational positions may have licensing or certification requirements. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all states require audiologists to hold doctoral degrees, so you may want to consider enrolling in a graduate program in speech-language pathology if you're considering this career. These programs typically lead to the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the ASHA, which is also necessary for licensure. The BLS also reports that the majority of states requires speech-language pathologists to hold master's degrees, so a graduate program will be necessary in this field as well. Other positions that may require graduate degrees are children's hearing specialist, speech therapist and speech-language educator.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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