308 Ford Building, 814-865-3584, FAX: 814-863-3759

Diane Williams, Head of the Department, 308 Ford Building,

Constance Kossan, Professor-in-Charge, 308 Ford Building, 814-863-2290,

Stacy Dorner, Externship Coordinator, 308 Ford Building, 814-865-3584,

Joel Waters, Academic Adviser, 308H Ford Building, 814-867-3375,

Nancy Wiggin, Staff Assistant to the Undergraduate Program, 308H Ford Building, 814-865-3584,

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University Faculty Senate Approved Curriculum
Recommended Academic Plan(s)
Semester-by-semester academic plans recommend in table form the courses students might schedule each semester as they pursue a particular degree. These tables serve several University purposes and assist multiple constituencies: students, advisers, departments, deans, registrars, admissions officers, and family members. The plans:
  • Identify normal academic progress, course offerings, and recommended course sequencing;
  • Assist students and advisers in planning academic schedules, registrars and departments in planning course offerings, and registrars and deans in determining when students should change campus;
  • Help students to anticipate the academic workload and courses needed to earn a degree, and to schedule appropriate prerequisites;
  • Serve as tools to help advisers learn the curriculum.

Semester scheduling recommendations for all baccalaureate majors can also be found in the University Bulletin.

Recommended Academic Plans - Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)
CSD Recommended Academic Plan (University Park)
CSD Recommended Academic Plan (Commonwealth Campuses)
Degree Audit
CSD Degree Audit

The Penn State Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) is very highly regarded as a national leader in training health care professionals in the areas of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists provide intervention, diagnostic, and therapeutic services to children and adults having speech, language and/or hearing disorders; they work in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and public schools.

A bachelor of science degree in CSD helps students to develop fundamental knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for working with people of all ages having a wide range of speech, language, and hearing problems. The four-year curriculum includes course work, observation and writing assignments, and experiences in normal and disordered aspects of speech, language, and hearing. The first 2 years of the curriculum emphasize general education and CSD introductory course work while the last 2 years emphasize specialized course work in CSD, observation and writing assignments, experiences, and elective course work. With appropriate scheduling, students can obtain a minor in a related area.

An undergraduate degree in CSD enables students to develop fundamental knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for habilitating and rehabilitating persons of all ages having a wide range of speech, language, and hearing problems. The undergraduate curriculum has been specifically designed to prepare students for graduate study. This occurs because Speech-Language Pathologists must have a Master's Degree, pass a national test, and complete a Clinical Fellowship year to be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or to obtain a state license to practice speech-language pathology. Audiologists must have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Au.D., or equivalent) and pass a national test to be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) or to obtain a state license to practice audiology. As such, students completing the requirements for a bachelor of science degree in CSD are not eligible for a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Instructional Level I Teacher Certificate in Speech-Language Impaired.


National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

The Department strongly supports the Penn State chapter of NSSLHA. All CSD majors are encouraged to join and become active members in the Penn State NSSLHA chapter. The purpose of NSSLHA is to involve students in various activities related to the profession. These activities include attending professional meetings, lectures, and planning and participating in activities dealing with persons of all ages having a communication handicap. For more information, please contact Eileen Kowalski, 401K Ford Building or Kelly Webb 308J Ford Building, University Park, PA 16802, 814-863-3118 or 814-863-3115,,

Penn State Sign Language Organization (PSSLO)

The PSSLO is dedicated to spreading deaf awareness to the State College and University Park community. PSSLO provides it members with practice in the art of sign language and instruction on deaf culture during its informal meetings for anyone who is interested. Through informal lectures, movies, and group activities, members are given a better understanding of the hearing impaired, deaf and deaf culture. For more information, please contact Sommar Chilton, 404E Ford Building, University Park, PA 16802, 814-865-6110,

College of Health and Human Development

The College of Health and Human Development sponsors several undergraduate student organizations. For more information concerning these organizations, contact the CHHD Student Services Center at 5 Henderson Building, 814-865-2156.


One of the Department’s goals is the promotion and enhancement of the diversity of the CSD undergraduate and graduate student body. The CHHD Office of Diversity Enhancement provides staff to assist underrepresented students in achieving their personal and professional goals. For more information, contact Joyce Hopson-King, 814-863-1291, College of Health and Human Development, 5 Henderson Building.


Outstanding students, including incoming first-year students, may participate in the University Scholars Program. The CSD Scholars Program offers special opportunities for study, research, and scholarly exploration. The goal is to provide a challenging and flexible educational environment in which University Scholars can achieve their potential. Eligibility requirements and application procedures are available from the Schreyer Honors College at 814-863-2635. The CSD University Scholars adviser is Carol Miller, Ph.D., 814-865-6213.


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders website is maintained on a regular basis and provides the most current information about the undergraduate program. Students should visit the CSD website and review the FAQs for more information about the program and scheduling. Listed below are several very important websites especially for CSD undergraduate students.

Penn State Undergraduate Information Websites:

  1. Undergraduate Advising Handbook:
  2. Scholarship/Student Aid information:
  3. Course offerings:
  4. Audits/Advising/Transcript

Graduate school information:

  1. Accredited universities:
  2. Accredited universities:
  3. GRE information:

General information about the Professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology:

  1. American Speech Language Hearing Association:
  2. American Academy of Audiology:


Relocation to University Park and Advanced Registration: All non-University Park students pursuing the CSD major should plan on being at the University Park campus no later than the first semester (fall semester) of their junior year. If a student relocates to University Park for the fall semester of their junior year, they should have completed all of their general education requirement courses and understand that they will be taking CSD introduction as well as higher-level courses simultaneously. Earlier relocation to University Park is possible if a student is unable to make normal progress toward the degree because the requisite courses are not available at the student’s campus. If a student delays relocation to University Park campus beyond fall semester of a student's junior year they will not graduate within a normal four-year period. Regardless of when a non-University Park student relocates to the University Park campus, the student must contact Joel Waters, CSD Pre-Major Adviser 308H Ford Building, University Park, PA 16802, 814-867-3375, Mr. Waters will assist students to relocate to University Park and help them to register for courses for their first semester at the University Park campus.

Academic Advising: Typically, Joel Waters will initially advise pre-and beginning CSD majors. Students are then assigned to a CSD faculty member who will help tailor an academic program to fit their career goals and needs. Students can use LionPATH to locate their adviser.

Course work: A minimum of 120 credits are required for a Bachelor of Science degree in CSD 45 credits are General Education Requirements, 57-58 credits are requirements for the major 45 credits of Prescribed and 12-13 credits of Additional Courses, and the remainder are for Elective courses.

General Education Requirements (GERs): Students are required to take a minimum of 45 credits to complete the GERs. The GERs consist of course work in the following areas:

Writing/Speaking (9 credits; courses are designated with the suffix GWS)
Quantification (6 credits; courses are designated with the suffix GQ)
Natural Sciences (9 credits; courses are designated with the suffix GN)
Arts (6 credits; courses are designated with the suffix GA)
Humanities (6 credits; courses are designated with the suffix GH)
Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits; course are designated with the suffix GS)
Health and Physical Activity (3 credits; courses are designated with the suffix GHA)
First-Year Seminar (1 credit; PSU 14 Communication Sciences and Disorders Seminar)

The following are GER courses recommended for CSD students.

Writing/Speaking: ENGL 15 or 30, CAS 100A or B, and ENGL 202A or C
Quantification: EDPSY 101 or STAT 200
Natural Sciences: BI SC 2, BI SC 4, BIOL 33, BIOL 55, PHYS 1 or PHYS 255
Social and Behavioral Sciences: PSYCH 100, HD FS 129
Health and Physical Activity: CSD 100, CSD 101

CSD Additional Courses: CSD majors must take 1 course within each of the 3 areas listed below. Some of the additional courses are also GER courses. The courses not taken as Additional Courses make excellent choices as elective courses.

Elementary Statistics: EDPSY 101, PSYCH 200, or STAT 200
Psychology of Human Learning: EDPSY 14 or PSYCH 261
Developmental Psychology: HD FS 129 or PSYCH 212
Development, Relations, Abnormal Psychology, and Psychology of Adjustment: HD FS 229, 249, 315, 411, 418, 432; PSYCH 270 or 471

CSD Electives: CSD offers several courses listed below that are not required for graduation. These courses would be excellent elective courses for CSD majors.

PSU 14 First-Year Seminar in Communication Sciences and Disorders (1 credit; can only be taken during first year; counts as the First-Year Seminar Requirement if no other First-Year Seminar has been taken)
CSD 100 (GHA) Prevention of Vocal Abuse (1.5 credits, can count as a GER Health and Physical Activity course)
CSD 101 (GHA) Prevention of Hearing Loss (1.5 credits, can count as a GER Health and Physical Activity course)
CSD 218 American Sign Language I (3 credits)
CSD 318 American Sign Language II (3 credits; prerequisite is CSD 218)

Other Electives: Because Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists commonly work with infants, pre-school, school-age children, and adults, course work in the following areas would be excellent choices for electives.

Special Education: SPLED 400, 402
Counselor Education: CN ED 403, 404, 408, 409, 410, 415
Infant, Adolescent or Adult Development: HD FS 229, 239, 249, 435, 428, 429, 445; PSYCH 412
For Students who wish to work in the public schools, you must take a literature course for Instructional I Certification. Go to for a list of literature courses.

Minor: By careful scheduling, students can use their elective credits to complete a minor in such areas as Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, Linguistics, Health Policy and Administration, Spanish, or a related area. Typically, a minor requires 18 credits of which 6 credits have to be 400-level courses. CSD majors interested in obtaining a minor should consult with the department offering the minor to find out all of the requirements for a minor.

University Requirements: The following university requirements must be completed for graduation.

C or Better Course Requirement: CSD majors must obtain a “C” or better grade in all CSD courses
United States/International Cultures: For CSD majors 3 credits of the requirement is completed once a student has passed CSD 269 (US; IL)
Writing Across the Curriculum Requirement: For CSD majors this requirement is completed once the student has passed CSD 395W and 459W

Academic and Advising Information: The university supplies students with the latest information concerning their academic progress, advising, and other information. CSD students are strongly advised to become familiar with and regularly use eLion.

Suggested Course Scheduling Sequence: CSD majors must plan their schedule with their adviser very carefully since most CSD courses are only offered fall or spring semester. Further, CSD 300-level courses generally serve as prerequisites for CSD 400-level courses. Please see Recommended Academic Plan and CSD course check list. CSD majors should consult with their advisers to develop their own academic schedules to fit their needs. The department cannot guarantee that CSD courses will follow the sequence of courses shown on each typical academic schedule. CSD majors must check with their advisers to find out changes in CSD course offerings.

NOTE: The semester in which CSD courses are given is subject to change. Students MUST check with their adviser to obtain the latest information as to when CSD courses will be offered.

A minimum of 120 credits and other department and university requirements are needed for graduation.