Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders Degree

Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Gain Foundational Knowledge of Communication Disorders

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree at GCU can equip you with a foundation of knowledge of developmental and acquired speech and language disorders. You work directly with clients and families to gain hands-on experience. As a graduate of this program, you will be taught to support those with impairments in communication by implementing evidenced-based therapeutic methodologies and functional intervention as a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA).1

SLPAs may work in school systems, early intervention, private clinics, rehabilitation centers and other health-related environments. SLPAs are eligible to become American Speech-Language- Hearing Association (ASHA) members through their Assistants Certification Program.

Earn Your BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders at GCU

This communication sciences and disorders bachelor’s degree is for anyone who is looking to serve individuals with communication and related disorders while making ethical decisions and practicing cultural humility. Additionally, this degree can help you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to go on to graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist, audiologist or speech, language and hearing scientist.

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You have the opportunity to complete your CSD undergraduate degree online. As you complete your studies, you can take advantage of the flexibility and convenience that online courses offer. You will also have access to the various online learning resources and support that GCU offers as you complete your studies online.

Course Topics for the CSD Undergraduate Degree

During your communication sciences and disorders undergraduate program, you will cover various topics related to typical and disordered speech, language, hearing and swallowing. Course topics you will study in the program include:

  • Human anatomy and physiology related to speech, hearing and swallowing
  • Communication disorders across the lifespan
  • Speech and language development
  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Physics
  • Audiology
  • Relationships between communication and culture
  • Clinical writing
  • Neurological communication disorders
  • Common professional issues and ethical practices

Learning about these topics will be critical to your ability to provide understanding, treatment and rehabilitation to those with communication disorders and challenges.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $450 per semester [More Info]

Career Paths With a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

As a graduate of this bachelor’s degree, you will have been taught knowledge that can help you prepare yourself for professional positions in the field. Along with gaining knowledge of various aspects of human communication disorders, you can also acquire an understanding of cultural humility, and you will be taught how to show respect for those with different values from a variety of backgrounds. These skills, along with leadership, problem-solving and ethical decision-making skills, are applicable to various careers related to communication sciences and disorders.

One role that graduates of this program may choose to pursue is that of a speech–language pathology assistant (SLPA). SLPAs support licensed speech–language pathologists with their day-to-day tasks. These tasks can include assisting in therapeutic services, relaying information to patients and their families and performing administrative duties.

Earn Your CSD Undergraduate Degree From an Accredited University

When deciding on a university to complete your communication sciences and disorders degree with, it’s important to review the university’s accreditation. Institutional accreditation reflects the quality of that institution and the programs it offers. GCU is proudly accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has been so since 1968, offering programs that meet rigorous educational standards.

Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders Degree Program FAQs

If you’re interested in making a difference in the lives of those with communication impairments, read through our frequently asked questions to learn more about earning a degree in this field.

A communication sciences and disorders bachelor’s degree is a great way to jumpstart a career in speech pathology or audiology. After graduating, you may be eligible to work as an SLPA and support speech–language pathologists in their day-to-day activities.

Although the undergraduate degree itself does not qualify you to become a speech pathologist or audiologist, it can prepare you for entrance into a graduate speech pathology or audiology program. In your graduate program, you will complete master’s-level coursework and work to attain licensure and/or certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to become a certified speech–language pathologist or audiologist. A master’s degree is the minimal entry-level degree to work as an SLP and a doctoral degree (AuD or PhD) is required to work as an audiologist or speech and hearing scientist.2

There is a lot to learn in the field of communication sciences and disorders. From the physical anatomy of our communication systems to understanding numerous disorders and applying knowledge of different cultural backgrounds, the material in this undergraduate program is certainly diverse. Applying yourself, focusing on your studies and being sure to take advantage of the resources that your university offers can aid you in completing this degree.

The bachelor’s in communication sciences and disorders degree consists of 120 total credits to completion. When completing this bachelor’s degree online, the majority of classes are each 15 weeks in length.

Yes. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs at GCU provide you with a 21stcentury education, teaching you modern-day principles through an ethical, Christian worldview. STEM programs can prepare you to drive change in the field of your choice.

1 Obtaining SLPA licensure in any state is not guaranteed, students need to research their state’s specific licensing requirements.

2 More information about careers is available on the ASHA website.

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
74 credits
Open Elective Credits:
6-12 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is the first of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; genetics; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-requisite: BIO-201L.

Course Description

This course is a systematic study of human gross anatomy and function. Topics include the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-Requisite: BIO-201.

Course Description

This course provides a broad overview of the field of speech-language pathology and audiology and an introduction to specific disorders, related assessments, and evidence-based interventional methodologies. Students are also introduced to issues in the field across the life span.

Course Description

This course is the second of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of immunity; metabolism; energetics; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; and the endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Prerequisites: BIO-201 and BIO-201L. Co-requisite: BIO-202L.

Course Description

This course is a systematic study of human gross anatomy and function. Topics include the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. Prerequisites: BIO-201 and BIO-201L. Co-Requisite: BIO-202.

Course Description

In this course, students are introduced to developmental milestones from birth through school age. Students learn developmental patterns and how speech, language, and cognition are acquired and developed. This course also discusses cultural variants in development. Prerequisite: CSD-110.

Course Description

This course discusses how speech can be written down, how speech is produced, its acoustic characteristics, and how listeners perceive speech. Students become well versed in transcription, production, acoustics, and perception. Prerequisite: CSD-220.

Course Description

This course is a study of basic concepts of physics, including motion; forces; energy; the properties of solids, liquids, and gases; and heat and thermodynamics. The mathematics used includes algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis. A primary course goal is to build a functional knowledge that allows students to more fully understand the physical world and to apply that understanding to other areas of the natural and mathematical sciences. Conceptual, visual, graphical, and mathematical models of physical phenomena are stressed. Students build critical thinking skills by engaging in individual and group problem-solving sessions. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111L.

Course Description

This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY-111 lecture course. Learners are able to perform the proper analysis and calculations to arrive at the correct quantifiable result when confronted with equations involving gravity, sound, energy, and motion. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111.

Course Description

The course involves the study of anatomical systems that underlie human communication and swallowing, including respiration, phonation, articulation, and related nervous system processes. In this course, students build upon knowledge of the interrelated mechanisms and how they function together. Prerequisites: CSD-110, BIO-201, and BIO-201L.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the physics and biomechanics of speech production and perception, integrating the fundamentals of acoustics, the human response to sound, and speech and voice production. Measurements of acoustic variables, perception, and communication physiology are discussed. Prerequisites: CSD-220, CSD-310, PHY-111, and PHY-111L.

Course Description

In this course, students are introduced to the field of audiology, including a general overview of anatomical and physiological aspects of hearing. The course discusses different screening procedures, possible diagnoses, and treatment implementation. Prerequisites: CSD-220, CSD-310, PHY-111, and PHY-111L.

Course Description

This course uses a cultural humility framework to address the impact of cultural-linguistic factors on clinical service provision. The link between culture and communication is discussed with emphasis on multilingualism, multiculturalism, and the identification of communication differences and disorders. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their own cultural and linguistic identities and biases to discern how they impact client care. Prerequisite: CSD-230.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course focuses on clinical planning and documentation skills. Students practice writing client goals, session notes, and reports. Special emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of documentation from other care providers, integrating information from multiple sources, and explaining clinical reasoning. Students gain experience writing concise and thorough clinical reports. Prerequisites: CSD-230 and MAT-274.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and other exceptionalities. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course covers the disability experienced by people who are deaf and hard of hearing and the options for rehabilitation/habilitation, including amplification and assistive devices, speech reading, educational management, counseling, and ethical considerations. Prerequisites: CSD-320, CSD-330, and CSD-340.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of acquired neurological disorders that commonly lead to communication impairment. Basic neuroanatomy is discussed, with specific attention to the link between the physiology and communication ability. The course addresses sudden-onset and progressive neurological disorders. Prerequisite: CSD-310.

Course Description

This course examines the scope of practice in speech-language pathology and audiology, common professional issues, and ethical practice patterns. The ethics guidelines and legal requirements set forth by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, national health care organizations, and state organizations are discussed. Students learn to communicate with an interprofessional team. Prerequisite: CSD-340.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to evidence-based practice and clinical practice patterns in speech-language pathology and audiology. Students critically appraise research, clinical, and client-specific evidence for integration and decision making. Communication screening, assessment, and diagnosis are discussed. Practicum/field experience hours: 25. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: CSD-410 and CSD-420.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course combines scholarly research with clinical practice to translate academic knowledge into a professional environment. The capstone project offers students the opportunity to propose an evidence-based solution with guidance from faculty and a clinical supervisor in the field. Clinical hours: 100. Fingerprint clearance required. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: CSD-440.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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