Speech Communication Disorders Major


Good communication skills affect all areas of our lives—but effective and effortless communication is a gift that not everyone shares. By studying speech communication disorders, you can be the person who helps bring the gift of communication to those who need it. This undergraduate major is a first step to a career as a speech-language pathologist, an audiologist, a deaf educator or a speech, voice or hearing scientist.

The undergraduate major in Speech Communication Disorders at the University of Virginia (a) introduces students to the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology and (b) provides pre-professional learning experiences to prepare students for graduate studies in either profession by emphasizing math, biological and behavioral sciences, basic human communication sciences and critical thinking. This major leads to a Bachelor of Science in Education in Speech Communication Disorders.

The undergraduate curriculum prepares students to choose from three career paths at the graduate level:

  1. Audiology
  2. Speech-language pathology
  3. Speech and hearing science

Completion of an accredited graduate program is required for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certification, state licensure and professional practice in audiology or speech-language pathology. Graduates with an undergraduate major in Speech Communication Disorders also go on to careers in other fields requiring good analytical and communication skills as well as a solid grounding in behavior science.

To learn what Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists do, where they work, what the job market looks like and what salaries you might expect, please visit For Undergrads Looking for a Major.

Program Details


  • Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

    An applicant for this major must be a student in good standing with a GPA of 2.5 or greater.

  • Application Due Date

    Students interested in the undergraduate major in Speech Communication Disorders must apply for admission to Curry by February 1 of their second year in the College.

  • Degree Requirements

    General Education requirements for the major are 12 credits in Humanities including English Composition (1st writing requirement) and English Literature (required), with the balance from any of the following: Foreign Language, Public Speaking, Fine Arts, Music, and Philosophy; 9 credits in Social Sciences including two classes in Sociology and/or Psychology (required), with the balance from any of the following: History, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Geography, and Psychology; 3 credits in Cultural Literacy; 15 credits in Natural Sciences and Mathematics including MATH 1110 or higher (required), a physical science course (required), one course in the biological sciences (required), and Statistics (required); 6 credits in Professional Education including EDLF 3150 or PSYC 2700 (required) and EDLF 3160 (required); Contemporary Health Issues (KINE 3420) (required); and one class in Physical Activity (required).

    Students need to also meet a second writing requirement.

    The major includes at least 36 credits of approved coursework covering the nature, prevention, evaluation, and treatment of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing disorders. The coursework addresses normal and abnormal human development and behavior across the life span and within culturally/linguistically diverse populations.

  • Funding Opportunities

    Students may apply for federal financial aid, including work-study. Information about federal aid programs, including applying using the FAFSA, can be found through Student Financial Services. Additional financial aid information can be found on Curry's Financial Aid webpage.

  • Typical Length of Study

    Two academic years after admission into the Program

    Full or Part Time:

    Students in this major are full-time.

  • Course Overview

    In addition to the General Education requirements listed above, the following pre-professional courses are required:

    EDHS 4020 Clinical Phonetics 3 credit hours
    EDHS 4030 Introduction to Speech and Hearing Science 3 credit hours
    EDHS 5050 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing 2 credit hours
    EDHS 5080 Introduction to Audiology 3 credit hours
    EDHS 4300 Psycholinguistics 3 credit hours
    EDIS 3020 The Exceptional Learner 3 credit hours
    EDIS 5040 Psycho-educational Assessment 3 credit hours
    EDIS 5100 Characteristics of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 1 credit hours
    OR    
    EDIS 5110 Characteristics of Learning Disabilities 1 credit hours
    EDIS 5120 Characteristics of Intellectual Disabilities 1 credit hours
    EDIS 5210 Introduction to Language Development 3 credit hours
    EDHS 4010 Instructional & Assistive Technology / Applications for Special Populations 3 credit hours
  • Sample Jobs After Graduation

    For a clinical career as a speech-language pathologist or as an audiologist, bachelor's degree graduates enter into a graduate degree program.

    ASHA Links:
    A career as an SLP — http://www.asha.org/Students/Speech-Language-Pathologists/#careers
    Certification   -  http://www.asha.org/certification/
    Licensure —  http://www.asha.org/advocacy/state/ 

    NSSLHA: http://www.nsslha.org/default.htm

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.