Speech Communication Disorders


Communication skills affect not only learning, but also everyday quality of life. Communicating effectively and effortlessly is a gift that not everyone shares, unfortunately. By helping those who struggle with various speech communication disorders, Speech Language Pathologists, Audiologists and those involved with research provide an invaluable service.

At the Curry School, we offer three Speech Communication Disorders degrees taught by high-caliber, collaborative scientists pursuing research to improve language, cognition, literacy, augmented/alternate forms of communication, autism, voice, swallowing and neurogenic communication disorders. The program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Our mission includes the education of future clinicians and future researchers.

The Curry Impact

Speech Communication students at Curry receive a large amount of practical, hands-on education. The program provides clinical services through our Sheila C. Johnson Center, which is a full-service clinic for individuals experiencing difficulty in speaking, hearing, reading, writing, organizing thoughts or even swallowing. Faculty members strive to provide each student with a variety of clinical experiences with populations that are culturally and linguistically diverse.

Students choose one of three tracks in this program - Speech Language Pathology, Audiology, or a Doctorate in Speech Communication Disorders concentrating on clinical research.

Careers

A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluates and diagnoses speech, language, voice, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. An SLP also treats those same disorders among people of all ages ranging from infants to elderly individuals, and also counsels patients and their family members. Often, an SLP works as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team.

An Audiologist measures the hearing ability of individuals of all ages, from new born babies to the elderly.  An Audiologist administers and interprets screening, assessment, and diagnostic procedures. He or she counsels patients and their families about handling communication situations at home, work, and school to reduce the effects of hearing loss. Audiologists also assess the benefit of amplification devices, such as hearing aids.

Careers in speech communication disorders include jobs in areas such as:

  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Healthcare and clinical environments
  • Skilled nursing care facilities
  • Hospitals and other clinical settings
  • Community centers and government agencies
  • Research agencies
  • Teaching

Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists are in high demand, and Curry graduates enjoy a 100% job placement rate. Employment of SLPs is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of Audiologists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024. Hearing loss increases as people age, so the aging population is likely to increase demand for Audiologists.

  • Speech Communication Disorders Major


    As an undergraduate Speech Communication Disorders Major, you’ll be introduced to the speech pathology and audiology fields and prepare for graduate studies. You’ll need to complete an accredited graduate program required for an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification, state license, and professional practice.

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  • M.Ed. in Communication Sciences and Disorders


    Our M.Ed. in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree will fully prepare you for an entry-level position. In addition to our academic courses, you’ll gain hands-on clinical practice at the Sheila C. Johnson Center for Human Services and make decisions applying evidence-based practice methods.

    We offer Track I and Track II program paths, depending on your undergraduate studies. If you’re considering a Ph.D., we also offer a Master’s thesis program option.

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  • Ph.D. in Education - Speech Communication Disorders


    Curry’s doctoral program will earn you a Ph.D. in Education—Speech Communication Disorders. Pursuing this route will ready you for a career as a teacher, scholar or research scientist. In addition to our academic courses, you will gain clinical research experience at the Sheila C. Johnson Center for Human Services.

    Our degree typically takes three to four years of full-time study to complete its minimum 78 credits. You need to obtain a graduate teaching internship and complete a dissertation.

    Learn More

Speech Communication By The Numbers


  • 100 %

    Graduate Employment Rate, Reported Per ASHA

  • 100 %

    PRAXIS Exam Pass Rate, Reported Per ASHA

  • 92 %

    of Students Completed Program Within Expected Timeframe, Reported Per ASHA

Program Details


  • Message from the Director

    Greetings and welcome to the web pages of the Communication Disorders Program at the University of Virginia. The focus of our program is human communication and disorders of communication that may occur throughout all stages of life.

    This is a web forum for prospective students, current students, and individuals who may have a communication disorder - as well as those who care for them. These pages are meant to provide information and resources for everyone visiting our site. If you do not find what you are looking for, I invite you write to me at Robey@virginia.edu. I’ll try to be helpful.

    Some individuals coming to our pages are experiencing one or another form of difficulty in speaking, listening, reading, writing, organizing thoughts, or even swallowing. Other visitors may be wondering if they are experiencing a disorder in one of these areas. Still others are the loved ones of these individuals and they are seeking professional assistance on their behalf. For all such visitors, I encourage you to contact our UVA Speech Language Hearing Center. The Center is a full-service clinic. Our fully-certified and licensed professional faculty members provide clinical services to individuals of all ages. Please visit the U.Va. Speech-Language-Hearing Center website which includes a Contact Us page. We will be pleased to answer your questions and to schedule an appointment if that is appropriate.

    For individuals exploring grad schools, I invite you to browse through our web pages. You will notice that several pages are designed specifically for prospective students. In them, you should find many of the answers you seek. You may also find the web pages dedicated to our current students to be an informative resource. The documents and links in those pages may provide you a sense for what it means to pursue a graduate education in the Communication Disorders Program at the University of Virginia. Should you choose our Program, you will be joining a productive cadre of bright, motivated, and goal-focused individuals (who are an absolute delight, by the way).

    Our faculty members have established a long history of graduating first-rate speech-language pathologists into the workforce. Our alums go on to successful careers. If you would like to obtain a first-hand sense of our Program, please sign up for one of our Visitation Days .

    Sincerely,

    Randall R. Robey
    Director

  • Mission Statement

    The graduate program in speech-language pathology at the University of Virginia provides academic and clinical instruction for establishing the knowledge and skill base necessary for (a) completing the Master's degree, (b) becoming a credentialed speech-language pathologist, and (c) practicing speech-language pathology in an entry-level position. That knowledge and skill base conforms to the Scope of Practice as defined by the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

  • Student Outcome Measures

    The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-language-Hearing Association (ASHA) requires that we make the following information available to the public: 

    Program Completion Rate 2015-2016

    # completed program within expected time frame: 36

    # completed later than expected time frame: 3

    # not completing: 0

    % completing within expected time frame: 92

    Download all details

  • Accreditation Status

    The masters education program in speech-language pathology at the University of Virginia is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

  • Resources