Communication Disorders Undergraduate Program

Communication Disorders Undergraduate Program Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree

Communication Disorders

Build a strong scientific foundation for a rewarding career.

Learn the science behind communication and the skills needed to improve the lives of individuals with communication and swallowing disorders. A bachelor's degree in communication disorders from California University of Pennsylvania gives you a broad understanding of speech and hearing processes, as well as the diagnostic and rehabilitation procedures utilized in speech-language pathology and audiology.

This pre-professional undergraduate program prepares you for a wide-range of entry-level jobs, as well as graduate studies in speech-language pathology, audiology,or other professional training programs.

A comprehensive, hands-on education prepares you for success.

  • Receive strong academic instruction from extensively qualified faculty.
  • Observe real clients who are diagnosed with communication disorders and treated in the University's Speech and Hearing Clinic.
  • Participate in a hands-on experience with preschool-age children in the department's Learning and Language Center.
  • Collaborate with graduate students and clinical faculty in a hands-on, client-centered approach to targeting diagnostic and treatment goals for clients attending the University's Speech and Hearing Clinic.
  • Develop familiarity with how to make evidence-based clinical decisions and experience writing objective clinical documentation.

Communication Disorders

Clinical Experience: Clinical Experience: As a communication disorders major, you will experience hands-on clinical contact as part of your bachelor's degree. You will have opportunities to assist in the department's Learning and Language Center preschool program, Cal U's Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Audiology Clinic

Top Faculty: Our undergraduate professors also teach in Cal U's communication disorders master's degree program and have decades of real-world experience in clinical settings. They are actively publishing articles and manuscripts relevant to aspects of the field of speech-pathology, and presenting papers at state and national conferences.

Minimum grade-point average required for communication disorders students who wish to go on to graduate school.
The average annual salary for speech therapists is $76,900 per year. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.  
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Degree Benefits

From applicable knowledge to on-the-job skills, discover the many benefits of the bachelor's degree program in communication disorders:

  • Gain a scientific understanding of normal speech, language and hearing.
  • Learn about a vast array of communication disorders.
  • Develop skills to help assess, diagnose and treat communication disorders.
  • Use a wide variety of evidence-based therapeutic instruments and procedures.
  • Prepare for a job as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist with real-world clinical practicums.
  • Assist professors in research projects.
  • Attend regional, state and national professional workshops and conventions.
  • Participate in Cal U's chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
  • Conduct research to present at the University or at regional, state or national workshops and conventions.
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Graduate Outcomes


A degree in communication disorders leads to many rewarding careers. To work as a certified speech-language pathologist or speech therapist you must complete an accredited graduate program. You can also pursue graduate studies in social work, counseling and special education, or enter the workforce as a speech-language pathology assistant.

Curriculum and Related Programs

This pre-professional bachelor's degree program focuses on comprehensive courses and hands-on clinical experiences to provide a strong scientific foundation in communication disorders and speech-language pathology.

Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 14 to 15
CMD 220  Communication Across the Lifespan 4
CMD 350  Sign Language and Braille 3
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
General Education/Biology*** 3 to 4
Second Semester 15
CMD 105  Language and Speech Development 3
CMD 108  Nature of Language 3
CMD 203  Phonetics 3
MAT 181  College Algebra 3
General Education/Health and Wellness 3
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15 to 18
CMD 216  Articulation 3
CMD 221  Speech Science 3
CMD 400  OR  402  Clinical Practicum (first time)* 1 to 3
PSY 100  General Psychology 3
Free Elective 3
General Education/Fine Arts 3
Fourth Semester 15 to 18
CMD 310  Anatomy and Physiology 3
CMD 300  Fundamentals of Language Disorders in Children 3
CMD 400  Clinical Practicum: Video  OR  CDM 402  Clinical Practicum: Learn/Lang Ctr (first time)* 1 to 3
ESP 210  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration 3
PSY 208  Educational Psychology 3
Free Elective 3
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15 to 19
CMD 301  Fundamentals of Language Disorders in Adults 3
CMD 305  Introduction to Audiology 3
CMD 400, 401 OR 402  Clinical Practicum (second time)* 1 to 3
Ethics Course 3
General Education/Chemistry or Physics*** 3 to 4
General Education Rec II Course**  3
Sixth Semester 15 to 18
CMD 306  Acoustics/Psychoacoustics 3
CMD 322  Technical Writing in Health and Education 3
CMD 400, 401 OR 402  Clinical Practicum (second time)* 1 to 3
EDU 333  Technology for Teaching and Learning 3
General Education/American-English Literature 3
General Education Rec II Course** 3
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 12 to 15
CMD 320  Assessment of Speech and Language 3
CMD 400, 401 OR 402  Clinical Practicum (third time)* 1 to 3
CMD 450  Intro to Clinic Procedures 3
EDU 310  Teaching in a Multicultural Society 3
Free Elective 3
Eighth Semester 12 to 15
CMD 321  Common Organic Disorders 3
CMD 400, 401 OR 402  Clinical Practicum (third time)* 1 or 3
EDU 350  Supporting English Language Learners 3
Free Elective 3
Statistics Course (recommended: MAT 205) 3
Total 120

* Taken in the fall or spring semester each time

** Any ANT, BIO, CHE, ESP, Foreign Language, GTY, Linguistics, PHI course taken in addition to other courses and approved by adviser

*** Two science courses are required, one biology course and one physical science course that addresses either chemistry or physics and meets current ASHA requirements. One of these courses should satisfy the Gen Ed - Natural Science requirement and one should satisfy the Gen Ed - Laboratory course requirement.

Program Notes

  • Above is a typical sequence of classes. Variations are permissible, but approval should be obtained from your adviser. Note that changes to course sequencing and offerings may occur.
  • Student must submit current clearances/checks/etc. prior to academic term in which clinical experiences/observations are obtained, such as CMD Clinical Practicum Series. These include but are not limited to: ACT 24 (Arrest/Conviction), ACT 31 (Mandated Report Training), Act 34 (Criminal Hx), ACT 114 (FBI Fingerprinting), ACT 151 (Child Abuse Hx), HIPAA Compliance & Hand Hygiene Training.
  • Four credits of the Clinical Practicum Series are required (6 credit max) for this degree. Rec: CMD 400 (1 credit), CMD 401 (1 credit), and CMD 402 (2-3 credits).
  • Freshmen and students without an overall GPA less than 2.0 are not permitted to enroll in the CMD Clinical Practicum Series.
  • Graduate school acceptance is competitive and the completion of this undergraduate program does not guarantee acceptance into this University’s graduate program in Communication Disorders.
Related Programs

Master's Degree Program:

Smiling students in a classroom.

Student Speech and Hearing Club

Network with professionals working in speech-language pathology, travel to state and national conferences and participate in social, educational and community service activities. Cal U's Speech and Hearing Club is a chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

A Cal U student in a lab wearing headphones.

On-Campus Speech and Hearing Clinic

Cal U's department of communication disorders manages an on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic where clients come for speech therapy each week. We also manage an intensive group experience for children in a "preschool-like" environment. All clinical areas are accessible by video monitoring, so program courses can be linked with related clinical experiences. 

Communication Disorders Faculty

Dr. Ralph Belsterling
Associate Professor

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Nancy Carlino
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Joseph Constantine
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Denise Joseph
Associate Professor

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Sheri Passarelli
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Robert Skwarecki

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