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CSD Orientation

Students at the Communication Science and Disorders Orientation 2019

For students who have been working towards a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist, the Communication Science (CS) major is the necessary path to obtain the fundamental requirements and knowledge to achieve graduate school acceptance. It’s a major that teaches about the anatomical structures and physiological functions of the multiple systems involved in human communication, balance, and swallowing. It’s a major that immerses students in basic concepts of producing and perceiving speech and language and the many disorders that can impact how individuals communicate, maintain balance, and swallow such as speech sound disorders, hearing loss, vestibular disorders, voice disorders or problems with memory and attention.

While a bachelor’s degree in CS is a must on the academic checklist for those aiming to be practicing clinicians and scientists in the field of Communication Science and Disorders (CSD) at the master’s or doctoral level, it is often overlooked as a standalone degree. On average, approximately 25% of students who graduate with their Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science at Pitt do not apply for graduate programs. So, what are they doing? The answer is anything and everything!

Over the past few years, our CS BA students have held various roles at The Watson Institute, UPMC Hospitals, Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh, Beltone, Hearing Screening Associates, Western Psychiatric Hospital and Special Olympics (just to name a few). Students also go on to other healthcare careers with a great foundation in communication. Whether you are interested in medical settings, commercial settings, non-profit organizations, education or maybe you don’t know yet—the Communication Science program delivers a comprehensive curriculum that is both challenging and relevant to a wide range of careers.

Finding an occupation in any field that doesn’t heavily rely on communication with others is unlikely. In the Pitt CS program, students gain an understanding of how the systems involved with communication function, get exposed to practical clinical and research methods, and have the opportunity to pursue minors and certificates in other related areas of interest. As a result, the Pitt CS degree will strengthen the confidence of any new graduate searching for a career.


Written by:

Ali Lewandowski, MA, CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor and Director, Undergraduate Program in Communication Science

Published on January 24, 2023