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Communication Sciences & Disorders Frequently Asked Questions


 Why should I pursue a degree in communication sciences and disorders?

The career prospects of speech-language pathology and audiology are excellent. Job opportunities in both fields are growing in demand. According to the US. Bureau of Labor, the number of audiology positions is expected to rise 16%, and speech-language pathology positions 28% in the next decade (2018-2028). In addition, the undergraduate coursework in CSD provides training in foundational sciences relevant to other fields.

 What do audiologists and speech-language pathologists do?

Audiologists work with populations of all ages from newborns to older adults and provide a variety of hearing and balance related services. For example, newborn hearing screening, evaluations, hearing aid consultations and fitting, and aural rehabilitation are all within the scope of practice for an audiologist.

Speech-language pathologists also work with a wide age range of clients and provide a variety of services. Some examples include: therapy for children who have voice, fluency, speech sound, and language disorders, adult neurogenic speech and language disorders, and swallowing.

 How does JMU compare to other CSD programs in the nation?

Undergraduate programs are not individually ranked, but the graduate program rankings provide an idea of the rigor and reputation of JMU’s CSD program as a whole. According to the 2020 U.S. News and World Reports analysis, JMU’s audiology program is ranked #20, and is the ONLY audiology program in Virginia. JMU’s Speech-Language Pathology program is ranked #32 .

 How many faculty members are in the CSD program and what are the faculty roles in the undergraduate program?

There are approximately 17 total full-time faculty members for the CSD program at JMU, with national and international presence in both fields of audiology and speech-language pathology. Faculty members teach undergraduate courses, serve as academic advisors for undergraduate students, and mentor students who pursue undergraduate research whether through volunteering or Honors College. The faculty is dedicated to student success at the undergraduate level and the long-term success for graduate training and career development.

 What does the relationship between faculty and undergraduate students look like?

All faculty members have office hours when students could visit. Most of the faculty members have an open door policy and provide a welcoming environment for discussion. Faculty members also provide many opportunities for interactions in class instructional contexts or other activities (such as student organization events, research volunteering opportunities).

 How will JMU’s CSD program prepare me for graduate school?

The coursework at JMU is known for its rigor, with graduate training and professional certification requirements in mind. Students also take Aural Rehabilitation and Neuroanatomy, which are not offered in every undergraduate CSD program. All students are required to take an Observations course in which students engage in mentored observation activities that prepare students for advanced studies and graduate-level clinical work.

 What are the other courses required in the CSD program besides major and general education?

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) requires CSD majors to take courses in statistics, biology, physics or chemistry, and social sciences. The coursework is designed to prepare student well for graduate-level training.

 Does it make a difference to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science or Arts degree with a CSD major?

There is no difference in terms of the major requirement coursework. The main difference is in the university degree requirements coursework. In CSD, students can pursue either a degree in Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. This depends mainly on individual preference and experiences. Typically students who have more advanced foreign language training in high school may be more likely to go with the B.A. route, while a large number of students tend to pursue the B.S.

 Are there summer course offerings or study abroad opportunities in CSD at JMU?

All CSD major requirement courses are offered only in the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, if interested, students may fulfil university requirements or the major cognate course requirements (e.g. math, sciences, psychology).

There is no study-abroad for required CSD major courses, but there are elective opportunities focused on topics in CSD and led by CSD faculty that may be available in the summer. Due to the major course scheduling, it is strongly advised that, if interest, students pursue study abroad early in the undergraduate career before the spring of sophomore year or during summer terms.

 Does the CSD program at JMU offer research opportunities for undergraduate Students?

Yes! There are many CSD research labs that offer opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved in. Students may become involved through volunteering, Honors College, or independent studies. Below is a list of the CSD research labs available at JMU. Please follow this link if you would like more information: https://csd.jmu.edu/researchlabs.html

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