The separate but overlapping disciplines represented by the Department of Communication Disorders involve the study of the processes and disorders of hearing, speech, and language. The department integrates principles and methods of acoustics, anatomy, psychology, linguistics, medicine, physiology, and rehabilitation to prepare students to more effectively help persons of all ages who have either congenital or acquired impairments to hearing, speaking clearly, participating in conversations, or any of the other aspects of communication.
The graduate program in the department provides a mixture of academic course work, clinical experience, and research involvement. Students are expected to master knowledge related to treating persons with disorders and to apply this knowledge in clinical activities at BYU and at other professional settings in the community. Strong performance in both course work and clinical activities is required, as is the successful completion and defense of a thesis. Because clinical training requires broad expertise, no clinically relevant topics are excluded from coverage in course work or clinical training; however, student research activities are channeled into topic areas in which faculty have focal expertise.
The master’s degree program in the department focuses on speech-language pathology and prepares students to (a) work competently with clients of all ages in all professional settings, (b) conduct research and communicate findings to peers and cooperating professionals, (c) meet requirements for national certification, state licensure, and school licensure, (d) qualify for and excel at doctoral study if desired, and (e) maintain currency in the discipline through lifelong learning.
Approximately 20 students per year are admitted into the program. Students generally complete their programs in two years.
Chair: Christopher Dromey
Graduate Coordinator: Shawn Nissen
Resources & Opportunity:
The Department of Communication Disorders is housed in the John Taylor Building and as such is part of the BYU Comprehensive Clinic. This clinic allows speech-language pathology students to work with programs in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, and LDS Family Services in interdisciplinary cooperation on a variety of clinical cases. The clinic also allows for shared access to audiovisual services, computers and networks, and tests and therapy materials.
The BYU Speech and Language Clinic is staffed by graduate students under faculty supervision and focuses on assessing and treating the speech and language disorders of students, faculty, staff, missionaries, and the public in conjunction with the department's academic and educational needs.
Research Facilities and Equipment. The facilities supporting research and clinical work include evoked potential and brain mapping, digital audio recording and editing instrumentation, spectrographic, laryngographic, and nasometric analyses of speech and voice production, stroboscopic digital video laryngoscopy, and audiovisual equipment for conversational language sampling and analysis.
Financial assistance in the Department of Communication Disorders is given to graduate students in the form of graduate assistantships. These assistantships involve helping faculty in course management or research. Awardees are selected by faculty from those applying for assistantships on the basis of suitability for the work needed. Other financial aid is available in the form of supplementary awards such as partial-tuition scholarships.