About the Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders trains students to help meet the basic human need of communication for individuals with speech or communication disorders. More than 40 million people in the United States experience some form of communication disorder, and you will learn the science of how to therapeutically address the disorders and gain a creative approach that is transformational to the patients and families you serve. Areas of focus for our bachelor of science degree include speech-language pathology, speech and hearing science, and audiology.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders trains students to help meet the basic human need of communication for individuals with speech or communication disorders. More than 40 million people in the United States experience some form of communication disorder, and you will learn the science of how to therapeutically address the disorders and gain a creative approach that is transformational to the patients and families you serve. Areas of focus for our bachelor of science degree include speech-language pathology, speech and hearing science, and audiology.

Main Content
Speech pathology students working together

What is Speech-Language Pathology?

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are certified, licensed professionals who work in healthcare and educational settings to assist patients with communication and swallowing difficulties. SLPs must have master’s degrees in order to obtain certification by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as well as state licensure to practice. They work with individuals across the lifespan, from neonatal intensive care units to memory care/Alzheimer’s care facilities – and every place in between where people need help to communicate. 

One Master’s Program, Two Locations

The SLP master’s program at ACU is a 52-credit hour, residential (face-to-face) program taught by highly qualified, dedicated faculty members in two locations: Abilene and Dallas. ACU’s program, now celebrating the 20th anniversary of its accreditation, is home to more than 100 graduate students who are working to become certified speech-language pathologists.

On completion of the comprehensive program at either site, students are fully prepared to enter professional practice. Students in both Abilene and Dallas enjoy studying in beautiful, well-equipped facilities with access to essential tools for learning and practicing clinical skills. Clinical directors and coordinators ensure that each student engages in supervised practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools and private/specialty practices. Students also have the opportunity to participate in clinical placements in other countries. At both campuses, faculty and clinical educators work to ensure students meet academic and clinical practice requirements for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

 

Student working with professor

Abilene Campus

The Abilene SLP master’s program is housed in the Duncum Center, just south of the main campus. Most graduate classes occur in this building, which enjoys a dedicated classroom space, student work and break areas, and easy-access parking. The Duncum Center is also a fully functioning Center for Speech, Language and Learning, where services are provided to community members of all ages who need assistance with speech, language, communication or swallowing. Graduate students earn a portion of their clinical practice hours by working with highly trained clinical educators and supervisors in the on-campus clinic.

 

Speech therapist works with young child

Dallas Campus

The Dallas SLP division is housed in the suburb of Addison. Our spaces are located on the eighth floor of a beautiful building adjacent to the Dallas Expressway, where breathtaking views of the skyline are viewed from giant picture windows in the classroom, community areas and study/work spaces. With all the benefits of a major city at their disposal, students participate in community clinical practice opportunities in major medical facilities, schools, and SLP private and specialty practices. A team of dedicated clinical coordinators oversees these placements to ensure successful experiences.

What is Audiology?

Audiologists provide a variety of testing and rehabilitation services across the lifespan. This can include hearing evaluations, newborn hearing screening and diagnostic testing, balance evaluations, fitting hearing aids and providing follow-up care. These services can be provided in an outpatient clinic, private practice, school/university setting, ENT (ear, nose and throat physician) clinic, and more. An audiologist might prefer to work with all age groups or choose to focus on pediatric or geriatric patients. The Doctorate of Audiology (AuD) is the entry-level degree for an audiologist. The degree plan consists of three years of academic and clinical instruction followed by a fourth-year externship.

What is a Speech and Hearing Scientist?

A speech, language and hearing scientist is a professional who works as a researcher, scientifically exploring aspects within the field of communication sciences and disorders. Their unique knowledge of the CSD field, combined with their training in scientific research, can be used collaboratively with other professionals to research and develop new products. Typically, these professionals must earn a PhD, with the CSD bachelor’s degree as an admission requirement.

Becoming More

Young girl works on learning sound

Pursue a Masters Degree

Approximately 95% of our undergraduate students who apply to graduate programs across the country are admitted to a graduate program of their choice, including the ACU M.S. degree program in speech-language pathology. We have two locations, but our mission is still the same.

Ignite Your Passion

ACU’s classroom-to-clinic mentality develops your professional abilities to serve those with communication disorders as you step out into the field from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as a speech pathologist or audiologist.