2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

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The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to equity, inclusion, and collaboration with Emerson students and the community. The department offers BS and MS degrees in Communication Disorders, a BA in Health and Social Change, and a minor in Hearing and Deafness.

Study in all these disciplines is designed to emphasize critical thinking; ethical practice; scientific foundations; and culturally- responsive practice, advocacy, and education. The department is dedicated to embracing the diversity of human cultures, languages, and identities as the foundation of our fields of study.

Along with coursework, students undertake co-curricular activities and experiences in the community that help them develop and apply their knowledge in the working world. Most courses take place at the Boston campus, but students can also take Liberal Arts or elective courses as part of Education Abroad or Domestic Programs.


The purpose of the undergraduate degree program in Communication Disorders (CD) is to provide students with intensive academic preparation in the basic human communication processes with a foundation in speech, language, and hearing sciences. In addition, students will be guided to take appropriate related courses in statistics, social or behavioral science (e.g., psychology or sociology); biological science and physics or chemistry, which satisfy both the Liberal Arts requirements of the College and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s standards. The undergraduate degree program is designed to prepare students graduate study in speech-language pathology, audiology, or related fields, including psychology and education. The degree also prepares students for employment in education or health professions. Undergraduate students majoring in Communication Disorders become candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree.

The Communication Disorders program is guided by the following Student Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate basic clinical and research writing skills.

  2. Demonstrate a foundational understanding of the scientific bases of communication and its disorders.

  3. Apply scientific and theoretical knowledge to clinical processes.

  4. Collaboratively engage with peers and faculty in applied learning opportunities.

  5. Practice critical thinking and rational inquiry in the study of communication disorders.

  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the range of human diversity and its relationship to communication disorders.

Clinical Education

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders includes the Robbins Speech, Language, and Hearing Center. Since 1953, the Robbins Center has provided evaluation and treatment for children and adults with communication deficits, as well as education programs for family members and caregivers. A number of programs are run through the Robbins Center, including the Thayer Lindsley Family-Centered Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, the Program for Acquired Communication Disorders, the Program for Developmental Communication Disorders, the Program for Speech Improvement, the Gender Affirming Voice and Communication Program, and the Group Language Therapy Program.

All Communication Disorders majors have opportunities to obtain 25 hours of guided observation in CD courses, in the Robbins Center, or elsewhere. Additionally, upper-level students may apply to participate in the Robbins Center Clinic Buddies Program, which pairs undergraduate students with graduate students working with clients under the supervision of clinical faculty. Upper-level students also may take CD 499  Field Experience, which is a type of clinical internship. This elective provides students with opportunities to interact directly with individuals with communicative impairments; also, it enables students to learn about the types of services provided in various agencies through contact with speech-language pathologists, audiologists, or other professionals working in the field.


Communication Disorders majors may partner with CSD faculty to gain research experience in state-of-the-art facilities; such partnerships are enabled through volunteer activities, work-study obligations, or co-curricular credit.

Student Organizations

The CSD department has active chapters of the Bilingual Language and Literacy Investigative and Networking Group (BLLING); and LGBTQ+CSDCSA; and National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA). Communication Disorders majors may also be interested in Jumpstart, Best Buddies, or Kidding Around, among others.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceMinor

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