Suggested Sequence of Required Courses (45 credits)

This is the suggested sequence of courses for COSI Majors – an individual student’s sequence may differ.




Freshman PSCL 101 General Psychology (3) COSI 109 Introduction to Communication Disorders (3)

COSI 211 Phonetics and Phonology (3)

COSI 260 Multicultural Aspects of Communication (3)

PSCL 230 Child Psychology (3)

COSI 220 Introduction to American Sign Language (3)

PSCL 282 Quantitative Methods in Psychology (3)



COSI 325 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech & Hearing Mechanism (3)

PSCL 375 Research Design and Analysis (3)

COSI 313 Language Development (3)

COSI 321 Speech and Hearing Science (3)

COSI 355 Introduction to Linguistics


COSI 352 Introduction to Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (3)

COSI 370 Introduction to Audiology (3)

COSI 345 Communication and Aging (3)

*COSI 109 is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. All other COSI courses are offered only one semester per year, as noted above.

*Undergraduate students may elect to take 400 or 500 level graduate courses with departmental/instructor permission.

Program Electives

COSI 101, Introduction to Health Communication

COSI 221, American Sign Language 2

COSI 261, Multicultural Aspects of Communication Disorders

COSI 305, Neuroscience of Communication Disorders

COSI 340, Advanced Health Communication

COSI 357, Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders

COSI 390, Independent Study (opportunity to develop knowledge in an area of specialty)

COSI 395, Honors Program (opportunity to complete an independent research project under the guidance and mentoring of a faculty member in the COSI program that fulfills and goes beyond that SAGES Capstone requirement)

COSI 580, Aural Rehabilitation (for those applying to graduate school in Communication Sciences and who have completed COSI 370)

Recommended Electives to Compliment the major requirements:

ANTH 306 Anthropology of Childhood and the Family
BIOL 114 Principles of Biology
BIOL 116/117 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
EDUC 304 Educational Psychology
ENGL 379 Topics in Language
ENGL 317 Business and Technical Writing
ENGL 310 History of the English Language
PHIL 385 Philosophy of Language
PSCL 290 Adolescence
PSCL 317 Health Psychology
PSCL 344 Developmental Psychopathology
PSCL 350 Behavior Genetics
PSCL 353 Psychology of Learning
PSCL 357 Cognitive Psychology
PSCL 370 Human Intelligence
PSCL 382 Psychological Measurement
PSCL 393 Experimental Child Psychology.

Course Descriptions (Required Courses)

COSI 109 Introduction to Communication Disorders (3) Forty-two million Americans have some type of communication disorder. How does a person with a communication disorder cope with the challenges of daily living? This course will examine the characteristics of communication disorders via first hand and fictionalized accounts in books, films, and simulated communication disorders experiences. Topics will include disorders of speech, language, and hearing in children and adults. Effects of communication disorders on families.

COSI 211 Phonetics and Phonology (3) Theoretical and applied study of the speech sounds of language. The use of the international phonetic alphabet as a tool for characterizing normal and deviant sound patterns. The linguistic structure and function of speech sound systems of both the adult and developing child.

COSI 220 Introduction to American Sign Language I (3) This course offers basic vocabulary training and conversational interaction skills in American Sign Language. Syntactic and semantic aspects of American Sign Language will be addressed.

COSI 260 Multicultural Aspects of Human Communication (3) Introduces intercultural/interracial communication by discussing specific communication principles and by putting theory into practice by exploring differences in perception, and verbal and nonverbal communication messages. Course emphasizes relationship between communication, race, culture; nature of race and culture; and how they influence the communication process. Various theories and approaches to study of intercultural/interracial communication will be discussed, along with significant concepts, processes and considerations. Practical outcomes of intercultural/interracial encounters also will be discussed.

COSI 313 Language Development (3) Language acquisition theory and stages of development of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and phonology in children. Contributions of biological, social, cognitive, and environmental factors to process of language development. Information on language variation in multicultural populations. Recommended prerequisite: Child Psychology

COSI 321 Speech and Hearing Science (3) The course will focus on the aspects of normal speech productin and perception and hearing perception. The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation in normal aspects of oral communication that will prepare students for advance study in the assessment and management of disorders of speech and hearing perception. Topics to be covered include motor speech control, aeromechanics, basic acoustics, phonatory acoustics, speech and hearing acoustics, psychoacoustics, and speech and hearing perception. Recommended Preparation: COSI 325

COSI 325 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms (3) The course will focus on normal anatomy and physiology of the body systems involved in the processes of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing including the following: the auditory, respiratory, phonatory, articulatory, resonatory, and nervous systems. In part, the course material will be presented in a problem-based learning format. That is, normal aspects of human anatomy and physiology will be discussed in the context of the disorders that affect the processes of human communication and swallowing.

COSI 345 Communication and Aging (3) The normal and abnormal psychobiological changes that occur during aging and their effects on communication are addressed, as are communicative interaction styles, disordered communication, and rehabilitation practices. Graduate students are given an opportunity to incorporate information from their own disciplines in a special project, where appropriate. Offered as COSI 345 and COSI 445. Counts as SAGES Departmental Seminar.

COSI 352 Introduction to Clinical Practice (3) Clinical assessment and teaching procedures as well as the role of research/theory in clinical practice. Procedures to observe, measure, analyze communication skills. Practical application through case studies. Students complete 25 hours of observation of speech/language assessment and intervention. Prereq: COSI 211 or COSI 313.

COSI 355. Introduction to Linguistics. (3) This course provides an introduction to linguistics, with application to clinical assessment, diagnosis and therapy of language disorders. In particular, the course provides an introduction to theory and methods of linguistics: universal properties of human language; phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic structures and analysis; nature and form of grammar.

COSI 370 Introduction to Audiology (3) Disorders of hearing, assessment of hearing; including behavioral and objective measures; intervention strategies; and identification programs. Offered as COSI 370 and COSI 470. Prereq: COSI 325.

Additional Required Courses Outside the Program:

The following courses are required courses that are offered by other departments in CWRU. Coursework in psychology provides an orientation to basic human development and behavior, an essential foundation in an applied field such as communication disorders.

PSCL 282 and PSCL 375 These courses provide students with the knowledge necessary to participate in the research process as well as to be a consumer of research. Professionals in communication disorders must keep abreast of current research so as to provide state-of-the-art services to individuals with communication disorders. Increasingly, undergraduate students have opportunities to participate in research and to consider careers in research.

PSCL 101 General Psychology Introduction to methods, research and theories of psychology. Basic findings from such areas as psychophysiology, sensation, perception, development, memory, learning, psychopathology, and social psychology.

PSCL 230 Child Psychology Basic facts and principles of psychological development from the prenatal period through adolescence.

Elective Courses in Communication Disorders

Students can elect to take any of the following courses:

COSI 221 Introduction to American Sign Language II. (3) This class is taught without voice, using functional whole language approaches and in situ experiences, emphasizing communicative competency. It emphasizes sentence structure development, classifiers, and conversational regulating behaviors. It also covers inflection, role shifting, adverbial non-manual behaviors, temporal aspects, sequencing, and includes a brief introduction to ASL English diglossia and biolingual aspects. There will be opportunities for discussion of deaf culture. PREREQUISITE: COSI 220

COSI 261 Multicultural Aspects of Communication Disorders. (3) This course introduces intercultural/interracial communication principles and includes the exploration of differences in perceptions for communication messages. Provides students with a basic understanding of the differences associated with assessment, intervention, and identification of communication disorders for culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Students will critically analyze best practice approaches for communication disorders for diverse populations including differences in race, ethnicity/culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socio-economic status. Practical outcomes that can encourage more positive intercultural/interracial encounters will be discussed.

COSI 305 Neuroscience of Communication Disorders. (3) The course focus is neuroanatomy and neurophysiology related to sensory function, motor control and cognition, particularly aspects of cognition involved in language functions. Topics to be addressed include: principles of neurophysiology and neurochemistry; functional neuroanatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems; neurological and neuropsychological assessment of communication; and neurodiagnostic methods. In part, the course material will be presented in a problem-based learning format. That is, normal aspects of human neuroscience will be discussed in the context of neurological disorders affecting communication. COSI 305 is an elective for undergraduate students, COSI 405 is a pre-requisite for COSI 557 and COSI 561, and a co-requirement for COSI 457 for graduate students.

COSI 357 Acquired Neurogenic Communication Disorders. (3) This course is designed to provide knowledge about the theoretical foundations, etiologies, and characterizations of acquired language-based and cognitive-communication disorders in adults. The organization of the course is designed so that we will discuss communication disorders typically associated with left hemisphere lesions (e.g., aphasia), right hemisphere lesions (e.g., RHD), frontal lobe lesions (e.g., traumatic brain injury) and mesial temporal lesions (e.g., dementia). This course is intended to provide students with a framework for considering communication disorders of diverse medical etiologies rather than specific impairment types. The course is meant to provide information that can be used as a foundation for a clinically applied course in acquired language disorders. The course will focus on critical thinking, professional presentation (both oral and written), and critical consumption of research. Recommended preparation: Instructor consent for COSI 457 only. Offered as COSI 357 and COSI 457. Prereq: COSI 109.

COSI 580 Aural Rehabilitation. (3). This course is designed to build from COSI 370 to explore in more depth the effects of hearing impairment, especially related to speech perception and language processing. Remediation and intervention strategies for hearing impaired children and adults, including speech reading, auditory training, and the use of hearing aids are covered in the course. Prereq: COSI 370. Students planning to go to graduate school or either Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology are encouraged to take this course during their undergraduate program.