Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD)

Students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at Penn State study human communication disorders by acquiring a strong foundation in the basic sciences and processes related to communication, swallowing, and cognition. Students acquire critical-thinking skills necessary to apply foundational knowledge and skills to the identification, assessment, and treatment of communication disorders.

Academic and Clinical Offerings

The department offers academic course work and clinical experiences leading to bachelor's and master's degrees in speech-language pathology. The department also offers doctoral degrees in communication sciences and disorders.

Max in the Penn State Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic

Researchers explore the future of augmentative communication

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, in collaboration with a variety of other health care organizations and research centers, is leading research, training and dissemination of information to improve outcomes for those who rely on alternative communication.


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Facts

  • The history of the department at Penn State goes back to 1933. The department always has been nationally recognized for its academic, research, and clinical outreach programs for educating speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
  • In 1987, the department joined the College of Health and Human Development to continue its mission of excellence in research, teaching, and outreach activities in speech, language, and audiology.
  • In the early 1990s, a new, critical area in the discipline emerged (augmentative and alternative communication) in which the department became a key leader worldwide, along with a few other universities.
  • During the last two decades, the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Program at Penn State became a national leader in training research scholars and master clinicians.
  • The AAC Program at Penn State is the number one program in the United States focusing on translational research, teaching, and outreach activities to improve the lives of children and adults with severe communication disabilities.
  • The department continues to expand its role as a worldwide leader. It has eight undergraduate and graduate courses in AAC, and it offers unique learning and research experiences with direct applications for enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with severe communication disabilities. The department also offers interdisciplinary and collaborative weekly seminars aimed at bringing together like-minded faculty members, staff members, students, parents, teachers, and members of the community.
  • In 2007, the department moved into a newly renovated space with four floors for teaching and research activities and a newly designed Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic.
  • The undergraduate program continues to flourish as numerous publications have named speech-language pathology and audiology careers among the top 10 best careers in the United States.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Faculty Searches