Online Bachelor of Science in

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Communication promotes connection — fostering relationships and forming the backbone of interactions and conversations. Communication disorders affecting learning, speech and language acquisition, however, interrupt this process. To help the estimated 40 million Americans living with such a condition flourish and find their voice, start your path with an online Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Abilene Christian University.

This pre-professional program equips you for the rigors and advanced content of graduate study: be it in speech-language pathology or audiology. Encouraging your compassion and commitment to serving others, the online B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders touches on speech, language and hearing development, the role and function of communication, physiology and anatomy perspectives, and common disorders and assessment techniques.

Communication promotes connection — fostering relationships and forming the backbone of interactions and conversations. Communication disorders affecting learning, speech and language acquisition, however, interrupt this process. To help the estimated 40 million Americans living with such a condition flourish and find their voice, start your path with an online Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Abilene Christian University.

This pre-professional program equips you for the rigors and advanced content of graduate study: be it in speech-language pathology or audiology. Encouraging your compassion and commitment to serving others, the online B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders touches on speech, language and hearing development, the role and function of communication, physiology and anatomy perspectives, and common disorders and assessment techniques.

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Understand and Break Through Communication Barriers

Pursue your goal of fulfilling prerequisite requirements for a master’s program in speech-language pathology or audiology. The online B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders accommodates busy working adults with a flexible format, while our vibrant, virtual, Christ-centered community values all you bring to nurture your progress. 

Locked-In Tuition

Introducing
Locked-In Tuition.

Our Locked-In Tuition program guarantees you’ll pay the same price for your entire undergraduate degree.

About the Program

child and speech therapist, Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders

Understand the complexities and science behind how we communicate — and how to treat patients, from newborn to elderly, who need your help to manage an acquired or developmental communication disorder. In the online Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program, you’ll learn about normal language development, speech sound development, anatomy, physiology and audiology.

Program Structure

All the Details on Your Degree

The online Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders prepares you to pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology or audiology. You’ll also be able to seek job opportunities in a variety of medical and treatment centers after completing your undergraduate degree.

Required Hours

Total: 120 hours
University Requirements: 56 hours (including 9-15 hours in Bible)
Major: 64 hours (up to 16 hours in electives)

Example Coursework

Intercultural Communication
Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology
Language Development and Disorders
Intervention for Speech and Language Disorders in Schools

Upcoming Start Dates

June 25, 2024
August 20, 2024

Common Job Titles

Speech-Language Pathologist*
Audiologist*
Child Care Center Manager
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
Respiratory Therapist**
*Graduate degree required
**Additional training required

Curriculum & Format

Start to tackle the complexities of communication disorders with a curriculum introducing you to speech-language pathology, audiology and speech and language disorders, with the goal of positively impacting patients’ lives. As preparation for an intensive graduate program, the online Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders:

  • emphasizes communication processes along the lifespan while focusing on conditions like autism spectrum disorders, cleft palate, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases;
  • prepares you to effectively and compassionately assist patients and their families by exposing you to foundational clinical skills;
  • strengthens your understanding of speech, language and hearing development, language fluency, swallowing disorders and social and behavioral communications;
  • looks comprehensively at disorders and treatment, from anatomy and physiology to key characteristics of a condition’s role in language development to assessment, intervention and treatment methods; and
  • illustrates how people communicate and how verbal forms function in facilitating connections.

Over the 64 credit hours required for your major, you’ll grow what you know about communication disorders through core courses exploring:

  • articulatory and acoustic phonetics;
  • language acquisition, from forms to use and characteristics, and the effects of language development disorders;
  • the science of audiology used for hearing assessments to examine auditory functioning, measure hearing sensitivity and prevent hearing loss;
  • rehabilitation for individuals living with hearing impairments;
  • assessing and diagnosing articulation and phonological disorders;
  • cleft palate, cerebral palsy, laryngeal problems and other organic and neurogenic speech and language disorders;
  • the neuroanatomy and neurophysiological processes related to speech, language cognition and swallowing;
  • principles, tools and theories for assessing and treating speech and language disorders in adults and children; 
  • anatomical and physiological processes for speech and learning language;
  • the physics of sound and the tools used to measure waves and perception;
  • intercultural communication methods designed to be used globally and with U.S. patients;
  • statistics and data analysis; and
  • biology and chemistry related to speech, hearing and communication disorders. 

Meet the Program Director

Alicia Ramirez, Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Alicia Ramirez, M.S., CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of the undergraduate Communication Sciences and Disorders program at ACU Online. Alicia graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Abilene Christian University in 1997 and went on to earn her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Texas Woman’s University in 1999. Her clinical fellowship was completed in Birdville Independent School District where she went on to become “Teacher of the Year” at Richland Elementary after only her second year of employment there—becoming the first speech-language pathologist in the district’s history to attain that title.

Following her education career, Alicia entered the world of pediatric home health in 2003, where she spent 17 years in various roles, including as a feeding specialist, supervisor, lead speech pathologist, alternative Director of Therapy, and Director of Business Development. Currently, Alicia is working on her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Special Education at Regent University. Her dissertation topic and research interests are in language development, assessment, and intervention for English Language Learners with speech and language impairments and ethical considerations for culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She lives in Dallas with her husband Chris, where they enjoy spending time with family and taking their three dogs on nature walks.

Spotlight

Liz

Student Spotlight: Liz Zamudio

Whether she’s raising her family, tutoring her kids, battling cancer, or communicating with her professors, Liz Zamudio is on the road to completing her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Eager to share her story on being a mom and online student, Liz is a testament of what it means to be someone who is hardworking, diligent, kind and – above all else – a humble human being.

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Professor Alicia Ramirez

Program Overview

The field of communications disorders is dedicated to the complexities of and science behind how we communicate–and to the care and treatment of patients, from birth to elderly, who need our help with communications disorders. Hear more from Professor Alicia Ramirez as she provides an overview of the power of a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the impact you can make on the lives of others.

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Tosha

Student Spotlight: Tosha Ochoa

Whether she’s picking up her three boys from school or finishing her online classwork assignment, Tosha Ochoa is a perfect example of working hard and pushing forward—no matter the obstacle in her way. Aiming to finish her B.S. in Communication Science and Disorders degree within the next year, Tosha is eager to share how she’s become the supermom she is today.

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Kayla

Student Spotlight: Kayla Perez

Bright, young, and full of life. These words best describe Kayla Perez, a future graduate of the bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders program. Hoping to become a speech-language pathologist serving underserved communities, Kayla is elated to finish her studies and potentially enroll in a master’s program soon after. Looking to be an advocate for other students who have felt like an outcast, Kayla shares her story about what can happen when you finally decide to allow God to take control of your life and follow your dream career.

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Brittany

Student Spotlight: Brittany Moore

Army wife, mom of two, and career-driven woman Brittany Moore is the perfect role model for women looking to reach their goals or change their careers, despite life’s constant changes and commitments. Graduating with her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2023, Brittany is beyond grateful to ACU Online for effectively preparing her for the world of speech pathology.

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Communication Disorders

What Can You Do With a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders?

One in four people are projected to be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050. And as many as one in 10 people are estimated to have a disabling hearing loss that will require rehabilitation. That’s why we need specialists in communication disorders now more than ever! Read our blog to learn how you can enter this rapidly growing field with a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

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Alicia

Faculty Spotlight: Alicia Ramirez

Returning to the Wildcat family as the new program director for the Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders program, Alicia Ramirez has her eyes set on the prize. With goals and dreams to make the ACU Online program one of the best in the country, Alicia yearns to continue the ACU legacy that motivated her many years ago.

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Faculty Spotlight: Katie Pitts

Growing up with a cleft lip, cleft palate, and hearing problems, Dr. Pitts embodies what it means to push past challenges and follow your passions both in career and in life. Teaching courses around topics related to audiology and phonetics, Dr. Pitts is beyond excited to see where her career will take her next within ACU and as a clinical audiologist.

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Speech pathologist working with child

The online B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree program sparks your passion to uplift others and marks the start of your journey toward a graduate degree in speech-language pathology or audiology. The requirements you earn at ACU prepare you to apply to either program to continue expanding and refining your skills, gain clinical experience and qualify for licensure.

Between these two career paths, growing awareness of communication disorders is predicted to increase the number of positions for speech-language pathologists. Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 29% more positions will open between 2020 and 2030.

While speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat speech, language and communication disorders, audiologists specialize in hearing- and balance-related conditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 16% growth for these roles over the same period.

While considered a pre-professional program, your undergraduate degree qualifies you to make a difference while observing licensed professionals as a speech-language pathologist assistant. Opportunities to support patients through treatment exist in:

  • hospitals;
  • schools and childcare centers;
  • rehabilitation centers;
  • nursing homes;
  • research facilities;
  • communications-oriented organizations;
  • speech and learning services; and
  • private practices. 
girl working with speech therapist physiotherapist, Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders

To be considered for admission, students must:

  • Submit official high school and/or college transcripts.
  • Complete the online program application accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee.
  • Availability of externship site/completion of externship cannot be guaranteed for applicants living outside of the United States.

Students are not required to submit ACT or SAT test scores.

Students must meet specific program requirements after 45 credit hours to continue into upper-division coursework. Additionally, students must have a minimum GPA for graduation of 3.0 and a minimum grade of C for all courses in the major.

SACSCOC Stamp Color

Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga. 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of ACU.

Abilene Christian University enjoys a strong national reputation as one of the leading private Christian universities in the west and southwest, indicated by various ratings (such as U.S. News and World Report and other reports).

girl learning, Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders

This degree prepares students with the prerequisites required by graduate programs in order to meet the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification standards.

Professional Licensing Disclosure for the SLP-Assistant through Abilene Christian University’s CSD Undergraduate Degree.