MelisawboyandboardStudents major in communication sciences, with a concentration in communication disorders. Communication disorders students complete 45 credit hours of required courses for the major/concentration. This coursework includes study in communication sciences and disorders, psychology, English/linguistics, as well as statistics and research design.

Following completion of an undergraduate degree, students can pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. A master’s degree typically requires two additional years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. At CWRU, undergraduate students can apply to participate in the Integrated Graduate Studies program. In this program, a student can complete an undergraduate degree in communication disorders and a master’s degree in communication disorders in five years. Below you will find a recommended sequence of courses for an undergraduate degree in communication disorders. The recommended undergraduate sequence is slightly different for students interested in the IGS program.

A master’s degree is the entry level degree for professional clinical practice in speech-language pathology. Thus, for many students, an undergraduate degree in communication disorders is a pre-professional degree in preparation for graduate study. As such, the undergraduate coursework in the communication disorders curriculum emphasizes the basic processes and acquisition of normal communication in children and adults. Graduate study then focuses on the study of disordered communication.

Many students pursue undergraduate study in communication disorders as preparation for further study or in conjunction with study in other fields. For example, one can combine a major in communication disorders with a major in sociology or psychology or a minor in gerontological studies. For students interested in academic or research careers, investigation in the field of communication disorders is often done alongside investigation of normal human behavior. For example, one might study the word learning of children with normal language as well as children with language impairments.

Declaring a Major

If you wish to declare a major in Communication Sciences, obtain a Major Declaration for in the Office of Undergraduate Studies (Sears 357). Complete the form, then contact the Department of Psychological Sciences Chair, Dr. Demaree ( or simply schedule an appointment with him using his Google Appointment Slots calendar. Dr. Demaree will meet with you for approximately 15 minutes to discuss the major requirements and to assign a major advisor.

To achieve Gold status, our chapter:

  • Increase awareness of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) on more than 135 local college campuses and communities across the country—primarily through virtual platforms
  • Increase advocacy efforts by sending more than 9,500 letters to state and federal legislators
  • Provide scholarships to students in CSD programs by contributing more than $24,000 to the ASHFoundation’s NSSLHA Scholarship
  • Support CSD-related organizations by donating more than $64,000 and approximately 20,000 hours of chapter members’ time

“National NSSLHA Chapter Honors are awarded to affiliated NSSLHA chapters that demonstrate an outstanding effort to support National NSSLHA’s mission to inspire, empower, and support students in communication sciences and disorders programs.”

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is the only national student organization for pre-professionals studying communication sciences and disorders (CSD) recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Established in 1972, National NSSLHA is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, and supports 11,700+ members and 340+ chapters at colleges and universities nationwide.

Click here for the CWRU Undergraduate Communications Handbook

Undergraduate Communication Sciences News and Events

Second-Year Stefani Garcia receives scholarship and summer research opportunity

Stefani Garcia is a second-year Emerging Scholar Student and IMPACT Fellow majoring in communication sciences with a minors in Spanish and studio art, studying to be a bilingual speech pathologist. Originally, Garcia came to Case Western Reserve University to study computer science, but when she realized that wasn’t where her...

Spartan Showcase: Aja Leatherwood

Year: First-year Major: Communication sciences Photo of Aja Leatherwood Growing up in Cleveland, Aja Leatherwood knew of Case Western Reserve University thanks to its location in her own backyard. She was accustomed to seeing faculty, staff and students’ successes in the news, and as time passed she aspired to join their ranks. Upon...

Students learn in 3D using HoloAnatomy

Having the opportunity to interact with the human body has a much different experience than watching a presentation or looking at photos in a text book. Rachel Mulheren, assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, can attest to this after a semester of utilizing HoloAnatomy with HoloLens to teach...

Student IMPACT: New Program Promotes Diversity, Inclusion in Audiology

The United States is home to a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse population. In contrast, there is remarkably little diversity among audiologists. Drs. Jessica Sullivan and Lauren Calandruccio are determined to help change that. Dr. Sullivan is an Assistant Professor and interim Department Chair in the Department of Communicative...

Lauren Calandruccio’s IMPACT Program receives additional funding

Lauren Calandruccio’s IMPACT Program in the Department of Psychological Science launched in September 2020. Since its start the program has gained traction, attention and now additional funding to continue. Learn more about the program and its recent success in The Hearing Journal’s October cover story.

Case Western Reserve University named best college in Ohio in new study

WalletHub named Case Western Reserve as the top college or university in Ohio for the third year in a row. Kenyon College was No. 2, followed by Oberlin College. For the third straight year, Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University has topped the list of the best colleges and universities in...

Lauren Calandruccio acknowledged for creating mentorship program for minority students in communication sciences

Lauren Calandruccio, associate professor of communication sciences and the Louis D. Beaumont University Professor II at Case Western Reserve University, was featured as part of the cover story in the latest publication of The Hearing Journal. In collaboration with Hampton University, a historically black college and university, Calandruccio worked...