Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Prepare for a career in speech-language pathology with the preprofessional Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Wayne State University. Carefully curated, each class and research component prepares you to assist children and adults struggling with speech and hearing across a range of professional settings.

Why Wayne State's communication sciences and disorders major?

  • Get a direct path to entering graduate study and earning your American- Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) clinical certification.
  • Engage in hands-on, vital research at state-of-the-art labs spanning topics like aphasia, autism, tinnitus and stuttering.
  • Observe and participate in live speech therapy sessions in our community-serving clinics.
  • Network with leaders in the field of speech-language pathology.

What is the study of communication sciences and disorders?

The field of communication sciences and disorders, otherwise known as speech-language pathology, is a healthcare field focused on diagnosing and treating communication disorders.

Healthcare facilities or private practices employ speech-language pathologists (SLPs)-or speech therapists-to assess and treat people who have difficulty with communication. These professionals work with individuals who struggle with a wide range of issues, both cognitively and physically, such as:

  • Dysphagia-difficulty swallowing
  • Speech Sound Disorder (SSD)-trouble speaking clearly
  • Stuttering
  • Understanding verbal or nonverbal communication

Learning objectives

The Bachelor of Arts in communication sciences and disorders prepares you to:

  • Build foundational knowledge to enter a graduate program and earn an ASHA clinical certification
  • Become a compassionate leader across the field of communication sciences and disorders
  • Enter a speech-language career across a variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals, clinics, research centers, rehabilitation centers or private practice

Note: To become a speech-language pathologist/speech therapist, you must earn your master's degree and your clinical certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). A doctoral degree is required to become an audiologist.

Completion of the B.A. degree at Wayne State University does not imply automatic admission to one of our communication sciences and disorders graduate programs.

Communication sciences and disorders program requirements

To earn your communication sciences and disorders Bachelor of Arts, you must complete 120 credits of coursework and meet the following requirements:

  • ASHA's general education requirements

    Students who plan to pursue an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology or Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree and the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) or Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) must complete undergraduate general education courses that meet the ASHA requirements below.

    Only courses appearing on the student's official transcript will be counted as meeting ASHA requirements.

    • College mathematics: Three semester hours (STA 1020 or equivalent required for WSU graduate programs)
    • Biological sciences: Three semester hours
    • Physical sciences: Three semester hours
    • Behavioral-social sciences: Six semester hours

You must begin enrolling in communication sciences disorders courses at the beginning of your sophomore year if you intend to declare it as your major.


Blending the disciplines of mathematics, psychology and the physical sciences, the CSD major includes several of the following courses:

  • Audiology
  • Aural Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Methods in Communication Disorders
  • Normal Language Acquisition and Usage
  • Phonetics
  • Speech Science

View courses by major: Audiology | Speech-language pathology (SLP)

  • Coursework

    Foundational coursework

    Course Title Cr. Fall Winter Spring/summer Prerequisites
    SLP 5080 Phonetics 3 WSU WSU   N/A
    SLP 5090 Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech Mechanism 3 WSU   WSU N/A
    SLP 5300 Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology 3 WSU WSU   N/A
    AUD 5400 Introduction to Audiology 3 WSU WSU   N/A
    SLP 5320 Normal Language Acquisition 3 WSU WSU   N/A

    Advanced coursework

    Departmental permission is required to register for the five advanced courses (SLP 5120, SLP 5310, SLP 6460, SLP 6480, AUD 5420). In order to be granted permission to register for advanced coursework, B.A. and post-bachelor program students must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75, cannot have earned more than one grade of C in the foundation courses, and must maintain a 3.0 GPA for courses in the major.

    Course Title Cr. Fall Winter Spring/summer Prerequisites
    SLP 5120 Speech Science 3 WSU WSU   SLP 5080; 5090
    SLP 5310 Clinical Methods 3 WSU WSU WSU SLP 5080; 5090; 5300; 5320
    AUD 5420 Aural Rehabilitation 3   WSU WSU AUD 5400
    SLP 6460 Language and Phonological Disorders 3 WSU WSU   SLP 5080; 5300; 5320
    SLP 5360 Clinical Practice 3 WSU WSU WSU

    SLP 5310; 6460; 6480

    SLP 6480 Organic Disorders 3 WSU WSU    

Research opportunities

Active participation is how we learn. As a communication sciences and disorders major, you have the opportunity to get engaged in undergraduate research.

Research is conducted on campus or at nearby medical facilities across Detroit, MI. Take a look at our faculty labs:

  • Aphasia and Neurocognitive Disorders Lab
  • Behavior, Speech & Genetics Lab
  • Speech-Language Neuroscience Lab
  • Stuttering Research Lab
  • Tinnitus and Auditory Neuroscience Research Lab

Find your next communication sciences and disorders lab.

Pathways for graduate study

As a pre-professional degree program, the B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders directly supports your pursuit of graduate studies. The following programs prepare you for academia, research and advanced clinical practice settings:

Communication sciences and disorders degree career outlook

Earning your bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders typically leads to a career in speech pathology as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist. Graduates have ample opportunities in the field as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job outlook for speech-language pathologists to grow by 21% (much faster than the average for all occupations) into 2031.

Our students go on to teaching careers or enter the field of research, discovering exciting ways to treat speech disorders. Your undergraduate degree opens the door for a few of the following professions:

  • Audiologist assistant
  • College professor
  • Manager for developmentally disabled adults
  • Rehabilitation aide
  • Research assistant
  • Special education teacher

Scholarships and financial aid

Our department offers internal and external scholarships, along with additional resources from ASHA, to fund your degree.

Explore scholarships and financial aid for communication sciences and disorders majors.

Learn more about WSU's B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Make a difference in someone's life and the lives of their families by enrolling in Wayne State University's bachelor's in communication sciences and disorders program.

With supportive faculty committed to your success, you gain hands-on experience to pursue graduate studies and ace your ASHA clinical certification.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.