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2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin

School of

Communication Science and Disorders

Undergraduate Programs

College of Communication and Information


Director: Hugh Catts; Professors: Catts, Morris, Wood; Associate Professors: Farquharson, Ingvalson, Lansford; Assistant Professors: Barton-Hulsey, Constantino, Hall-Mills, Madden, Romano, Therrien, Tibi; Specialty Faculty: Teaching Faculty III: Nimmons, Snowden; Teaching Faculty II: Montgomery, Sasser; Teaching Faculty I: Brosnan-Maddox, Crass, Deason, Guynes

The mission of the School of Communication Science and Disorders is to prepare undergraduate and graduate students to demonstrate broad-based knowledge in communication processes and disorders and to integrate theoretical knowledge and research findings with clinical practicum experiences. The School prepares students to become speech-language pathologists who can provide effective diagnostic and treatment services to individuals with a wide variety of speech, language, and hearing impairments. It also prepares clinical scientists to generate new knowledge pertaining to communication processes and innovative strategies for evaluating and managing communication disorders. The mission is carried out through clinical and instructional programs, professional and clinical service, and clinical research. The School provides education for students seeking the Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.

Florida State University has approved American Sign Language as a substitute for a foreign language for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. The sequence of American Sign Language courses includes: Beginning ASL (ASL 1140C), Intermediate ASL (ASL 2150C), and Advanced ASL (ASL 2160C). ASL courses may not be taken for a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) or Pass/Fail (P/F) grade. These courses may not be available to non-Communication Science and Disorders majors every semester.

Students with previous experience with ASL may wish to take a competency exam administered by a non-affiliated third party. Students interested in pursuing this option should contact the academic office at (850) 644-2253 for a copy of the current competency exam policy. Students will not earn University credits for ASL coursework they need not complete. The School does not offer a degree in education of the Deaf nor in sign language interpretation.

Students enrolled in programs of the School of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University are provided unique experiences because of the learning environment. The school is in the College of Communication and Information, which provides numerous collateral educational experiences. The L.L. Schendel Speech and Hearing Clinic is the primary teaching and research laboratory for students and faculty and provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment services to persons in the community and region with communication disorders. The newly renovated Warren Building has space for a variety of specialized functions including videotape laboratories, diagnostic audiology instrumentation, sound isolation rooms, non-speech systems, and a complement of other clinical resources for clinical instruction and delivery of clinical services.

The School also maintains a number of Communication Science and Disorders laboratories for the study of physical and psychological aspects of sound, speech, voice, and language. These facilities provide space and highly specialized equipment to students and faculty, including laboratories for study in speech and voice science, language and literacy, early language development, and adult language.

In addition, the School administers the Interdepartmental Certificate Program in Developmental Disabilities. The purpose of this program is to provide upper-division undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines with knowledge regarding etiology, assessment, treatment, and policy issues related to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Students seeking certification must complete nine semester hours of coursework from three different departments and three semester hours of practicum from an approved list of courses and practica. No more than three semester hours may be taken in the student's major area of study. More than forty courses are available in the following disciplines: art education, communication science and disorders, family and child sciences, middle and secondary education, music education/therapy, nursing, psychology, social work, and special education.

State of Florida Common Program Prerequisites

The state of Florida has identified common program prerequisites for this University degree program. Specific prerequisites are required for admission into the upper-division program and must be completed by the student at either a community college or a state university prior to being admitted to this program. Students may be admitted into the University without completing the prerequisites, but may not be admitted into the program.

At the time this document was published, some common program prerequisites were being reviewed by the state of Florida and may have been revised. Please visit for a current list of state-approved prerequisites.

The following lists the common program prerequisites or their substitutions, necessary for admission into this upper-division degree program. Please note that not all courses within the listed prefix are acceptable. For all prerequisite questions, please contact Jennifer Kekelis, Assistant Director of Academic and Student Services, School of Communication Science and Disorders, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1200 via email:

Speech Pathology & Audiology


Minimum Requirements for Application

Students normally enter the program at the junior level, but must have at least 52 credit hours, must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for all coursework, and have successfully completed Florida State University's liberal studies requirements. Admission to Florida State University does not ensure admission to the School of Communication Science and Disorders, nor does attainment of the minimum grade point average. Formal application to the school is required of all entering majors. Non-FSU or transfer students also must apply to the University. Normally, admission is for the Fall semester. All materials necessary for admission applications must be submitted directly to the School by the first business day in February by 5:00 p.m. EST for admission. Additional deadlines and admission procedures can be found on the school Website, at It is recommended that students include MAC 1105 and STA 2122 in their pre-major coursework.

Students applying for admission must:

  1. Have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on all college coursework to be considered for admission
  2. Have completed CLEP and accelerated credit scores posted by time of application
  3. Have all liberal studies course substitutions approved by the appropriate dean and posted by time of application
  4. In addition, students must complete the following requirements by the end of the Spring semester in which they are applying
    1. A minimum of fifty-two semester hours of college coursework accepted by Florida State University
    2. Successfully complete all Liberal Studies and writing requirement coursework as accepted by Florida State University

Note: All coursework for eligibility must be reflected on submitted transcripts or on Spring course schedules by the application deadline.

Requirements for an Undergraduate Major in Communication Science and Disorders

The curriculum leading to the baccalaureate degree consists of forty-two credit hours of upper division coursework and combines liberal arts education with pre-professional preparation for the graduate program in the School or elsewhere. At the undergraduate level, students are provided experiences relating to the basic processes of hearing, language, and speech. The junior-year course offerings focus on the basic science and developmental foundations considered prerequisite for the specialty curricula initiated during the senior year. To qualify for graduation from the major, all undergraduates in Communication Science and Disorders must earn a grade of "C–" or better for each required major course and must have an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in major coursework, and complete forty-two credit hours of School of Communication Science and Disorders major coursework.

Speech-language pathology courses cover the nature, evaluation, and treatment of problems of articulation, language, fluency, voice, neurophysiological, and structural disorders affecting speech and language. Audiology courses are concerned with the identification, measurement, evaluation, and rehabilitation of persons with hearing impairments. Studies in communication science concern analysis and measurement of components of the production, transmission, and reception of the speech signal.

Undergraduate students learn anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms; sound and its perception; the development of language and communication systems; the components of the English sound system; the neurological bases of speech, language, and hearing; sign language; strategies for clinical intervention; diagnostic/evaluation strategies in speech, language, and hearing; basic concepts related to disorders in language, phonology, and fluency; as well as professional issues in communication disorders.

The major professional, educational, and clinical experiences occur during graduate studies leading to the master's degree. Eligibility for the certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and state licensure are not possible until the requirements for the master's degree are met.

The master's of speech-language pathology program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and prepares students to work in hospital, clinical, school, or private settings with a variety of developmental and acquired communication disorders.

Modern/Foreign Language Competency

Students admitted into the School of Communication Science and Disorders undergraduate program will be required to become proficient in one language other than English prior to graduation. Proficiency is defined as a letter grade of "C–" or better per course in a modern or classical foreign language through the intermediate level (a language course numbered 2220 or its equivalent) or a letter grade of "C–" or better in American Sign Language courses through the advanced level (ASL 2160C). Students may not take ASL courses for S/U or P/F grades. Native speakers of another language and other students who wish to demonstrate proficiency by means other than coursework should consult the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, or for American Sign Language, the School of Communication Science and Disorders.

Fulfilling the language requirement for the School will partially fulfill the University requirements for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. To earn a BA degree, a student must complete the language requirement and take an additional nine semester hours in the fields of humanities or history beyond the liberal studies requirements. Please consult the "Undergraduate Degree Requirements" chapter of this General Bulletin for more information. If the additional nine semester hours in humanities or history are not present on the student record at the point of graduation, the student could expect to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.

Please note that the School's classical or modern foreign language requirement is more extensive than the University's foreign language admission requirement. It is important to understand that, although completion of two years of high school foreign language courses or two semesters of post-secondary foreign language will satisfy the University's admission requirement, these courses do not satisfy the School of Communication Science and Disorders foreign language graduation requirement for BA/BS students.

Computer Skills Competency

All undergraduates at Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer skills competency prior to graduation. As necessary computer competency skills vary from discipline to discipline, each major determines the courses needed to satisfy this requirement. Undergraduate majors in communication science and disorders satisfy this requirement by earning a grade of "C–" or higher in CGS 2060 or CGS 2100.

Retention Standards

The School of Communication Science and Disorders reserves the right to discontinue enrollment of any student in the major at any time if, in the judgment of the faculty, the student does not meet the standards of the School or the major. Specifically, majors in the School of Communication Science and Disorders must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 on all college coursework or they may be placed on probation and may be dropped subsequently from the major.

Definition of Prefixes

ASL—American Sign Language

IDS—Interdisciplinary Studies


SPA—Speech Pathology and Audiology

Undergraduate Courses

ASL 1140C. Beginning American Sign Language (4). In this course, students develop expressive and receptive American Sign Language (ASL) skills at an introductory level, participating in one-to-one and group conversations of varying topics. Students also learn basic grammatical principals of ASL, and foundational concepts of Deaf culture, with a focus on implications for future careers.

ASL 2150C. Intermediate American Sign Language (4). Prerequisite: ASL 1140C. This course expands students' comprehension and production of American Sign Language (ASL) with a primary emphasis on dialogue. The course focuses on increased vocabulary and conceptual accuracy. Students continue to develop expressive and receptive ASL skills to an intermediate level, participating in one-to-one and group conversations of varying topics. Students increase their knowledge of grammatical principles of ASL and more in-depth concepts of Deaf culture, with a continued focus on implications for future careers.

ASL 2160C. Advanced American Sign Language (4). Prerequisites: ASL 1140C and ASL 2150C. This course is designed to advance students' sign language skills towards conversational proficiency. Students continue to develop expressive and receptive American Sign Language (ASL) skills to an advanced level, participating in larger group conversations of varying topics. Students increase their knowledge of ASL grammatical principles and Deaf culture. Students in this course shift from "learning to sign" to "signing to learn." Conversational topics focus heavily on implications for future careers.

ASL 2400. Introduction to Sign Language Systems (2). This course provides an introduction to the deaf culture and to sign language as a communication system, and encoding and decoding skills of Signed English and finger spelling.

ASL 2510. Deaf Culture (3). This course acquaints students with the political, cultural, educational, and social parameters of Deaf Culture. Students develop knowledge regarding the cultural perspective of deafness held in the United States of America and in less depth, worldwide. In comparison, perspectives opposing the cultural view of deafness are also explored.

IDS 2650. Thinking About Language: How Cognition and Language Interact (3). This course discusses how having language influences other cognitive processes, such as vision and memory.

LIN 3200. Fundamentals of Phonetics (3). This course is a study of the acoustical and physiological aspects of speech-sound production. An orientation to the international phonetic alphabet and its use for the broad transcription of General American English.

SPA 2001. Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders (3). This introductory course provides an overview of human communication disorders with a focus on the neuroanatomic, acoustic, biological, psychological, developmental, and linguistic principles underlying human communication disorders. It also provides an overview of the field of speech-language pathology and audiology with an emphasis on the scientific aspects of clinical assessment and rehabilitation of clients. Intended for non-majors.

SPA 2020. Effective Oral Communication (3). This course surveys and applies selected techniques for generating effective oral communication using standard American English. Course topics include listening and speaking skills, vocal health, interpersonal communication, public speaking, speaking apprehension, and dialect/accent differences. Speaking activities are designed to meet the student's professional goals.

SPA 3801r. Applications of Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders (1–3). This course teaches basic research concepts and skills through practical experiences. Students apply research techniques while assisting with activities in various research settings, through simulations in the classroom, and through individual projects. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

SPA 3949r. Cooperative Education Work Experience (0). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 4004. Normal Communication Development (4). This course provides an overview of the fundamental bases of language development, offering skills and knowledge that are pivotal to preparing future professionals for a variety of careers and scientific inquiry. This overview serves as a foundation for advanced coursework and for a variety of professions such as working in an educational setting, in a child-care facility, with individuals with communication disorders, or conducting related research.

SPA 4011C. Acoustics for Speech and Hearing (4). This course covers basic acoustics and speech acoustics including frequency, intensity, duration, and wave composition and their psychological correlates, pitch, loudness, time, and sound quality. Lectures, demonstrations, and required laboratory project.

SPA 4050. Clinical Observation and Practice (3). (S/U grade only.) Prerequisites: SPA 3201, SPA 4302, and SPA 4400. This course provides supervised practice in therapeutic procedures with persons with various speech-language problems.

SPA 4056. Clinical Methods (3). This course introduces students to clinical practice of speech-language pathology. Students become acquainted with the principles of assessment, application of diagnostic information, intervention planning, intervention strategies and techniques, service delivery options, and data collections. Students also gain an understanding of team membership and are introduced to the skills necessary for team building.

SPA 4101C. Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism (4). This course is an introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing systems. It also includes critical thinking and effective writing components.

SPA 4104. Neurological Bases of Communication (3). Prerequisite: SPA 4101C. This course covers normal neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropathologies affecting communication. Prior anatomy and physiology of speech mechanisms needed.

SPA 4112. Clinical Phonetics (4). This course focuses on the phonetic transcription of the spoken language. Students learn and frequently practice transcription of vowels and consonants at the levels of isolation, syllables, words, phrases, and connected speech. The course also covers relevant material about phonetics as a science, the similarities and differences between spelling and sound, the anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanism, clinical phonetics, and dialectal variation in the spoken language.

SPA 4255. Developmental Communication Disorders (3). This course places disorders in perspective, defines basic theories of causation, introduces identifying characteristics, and presents an overview of procedures for evaluation and treatment. Topics include cultural and linguistic diversity, evidence-based practice, and current trends in the discipline.

SPA 4257. Acquired Communication Disorders (3). This course introduces the principles and procedures involved with diagnosis and treatment of adults with communication disorders. Students in this course develop a fundamental knowledge of voice disorders, dysphagia, head and neck cancer, neurogenic communication disorders, motor speech disorders, language disorders, and cognitive-linguistic disorders.

SPA 4302. Introduction to Clinical Audiology (3). This course is an introduction to disorders of hearing and the measurement of hearing loss by pure-tone, speech, and impedance audiometry.

SPA 4302L. Introduction to Clinical Audiology Laboratory (1). (S/U grade only.) Pre- or corequisite: SPA 4302. This course is the practical application of the techniques learned in SPA 4302.

SPA 4321. Aural (Re)habilitation I (3). Prerequisite: SPA 4302. This course examines diagnostic-evaluation and (re)habilitation techniques.

SPA 4431. Nature of Autism and Severe Communication Disorders (3). This course provides class participants with an overview of the characteristics and etiology of autism spectrum disorders and the knowledge needed to develop effective communication and language assessment and intervention strategies for individuals with autism and severe communication disabilities.

SPA 4470. Bilingual Assessment: Building Language & Literacy with Dual Language Learners (3). This course is part of a series designed to equip students with the foundational knowledge and skills to be able to approach assessment with bilingual children from an evidence-based mindset. The in-class serves as an accompaniment to weekly supervised experiences working with bilingual children or adults.

SPA 4477. Bilingual Intervention: Building Language & Literacy with Dual Language Learners (3). This seminar provides an overview of evidence-based practices for assessing and intervening with bilingual children with communication problems. This course is part of a series that quips students with the foundational knowledge and skills to be able to approach clinical practice with bilingual children from an evidence-based mindset.

SPA 4477Lr. Applied Clinical and Research Practicum in Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology (1-6). (S/U grade only.) This course develops with applied clinical skills and research tools needed to provide evidence-based services to bilingual children and English learners (Els). Practicum experiences support pre-service training of speech-language pathologists with specialized knowledge and skills in speech, language, and literacy needs of a high-need population. The applied practicum provides opportunities for direct exposure to, practice with, and feedback on use of research-based bilingual assessment and intervention. May be repeated to a maximum of six (6) credit hours.

SPA 4556r. Practicum in Developmental Disabilities (3). This course is designed to provide a field experience for undergraduate students to gain an understanding of the services available to help people with developmental disabilities. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

SPA 4800. Research Evaluation (3). This course explores elements of quantitative research and application of psychophysiological research methods to human communication problems.

SPA 4905r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). May be repeated to a maximum of eight semester hours. May be repeated within the same semester.

SPA 4930r. Undergraduate Seminar in Communication Disorders (1–3). Prerequisite: Instructor permission. This seminar provides undergraduate students with information on critical issues in the profession or information on innovative methodologies in the remediation of communication disorders. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

SPA 4970r. Honors Thesis in Communication Disorders (1–6). Prerequisites: Admission to honors program and admission to the School of Communication Science and Disorders. This course is available to seniors who are majoring in communication disorders and who are interested in undertaking independent and original research under the direction of a faculty member whose area of expertise matches the student's interest. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

Graduate Courses

SPA 5005. Communication Science & Disorders: Assessment & Treatment (3).

SPA 5009. Normal Communication Development and Disorders (4).

SPA 5012. Introduction to Communication Science (4).

SPA 5033. Introduction to Clinical Audiology (4).

SPA 5055r. Professional Tools in Speech-Language Pathology (1–3).

SPA 5102. Neurological Basis of Communication (4).

SPA 5103. Anatomy and Physiology: Speech, Language, and Hearing (4).

SPA 5113. Clinical Phonetics (4).

SPA 5204. Phonological Disorders (3).

SPA 5211. Voice Disorders (3).

SPA 5225. Fluency Disorders (3).

SPA 5230. Motor Speech Disorders (3).

SPA 5252. Speech Production and Swallowing Disorders (3).

SPA 5254. Acquired Neurolinguistic and Cognitive Disorders (3).

SPA 5256. Developmental Speech Disorders (3).

SPA 5305Lr. Measurement and Management of Impaired Hearing (1–3).

SPA 5322. Advanced Aural (Re)habilitation (3).

SPA 5401. Communication Intervention: Infants and Preschoolers (3).

SPA 5403. Language-Learning Disabilities in School-Age Children (3).

SPA 5432. Autism and Severe Communicative Disabilities (3).

SPA 5436. Nature of Autism (3).

SPA 5460. Foundations of Developmental Communication Disorders (3).

SPA 5462. Developmental Communication Disorders: School-Age Issues (3).

SPA 5500. Clinical Practicum in the Schools (3).

SPA 5505r. Advanced Clinical Practicum (1–4).

SPA 5522. Medical Speech Pathology (3).

SPA 5526L. Laboratory in Child Speech-Language Diagnostics (1–3).

SPA 5528Lr. Laboratory in Adult Speech-Language Diagnostics (1–3).

SPA 5553. Seminar in Clinical Differential Diagnostics (2).

SPA 5554. Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology (3).

SPA 5554Lr. Supervision and Counseling in Communication Disorders (1).

SPA 5559. Augmentative Communication Systems (3).

SPA 5562. Advanced Seminar in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (1–3).

SPA 5565. Seminar in Dysphagia (3).

SPA 5646. Communication for Persons Deaf and Hard of Hearing (3).

SPA 5906r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 5910r. Supervised Research (1–5). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 5940r. Supervised Teaching (1–5). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 5941r. Beginning Speech-Language Pathology Practicum (1–4). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 5942r. Community Clinical Practicum (1–4).

SPA 5944. Speech-Language Pathology Internship (1–12). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 6140. Seminar in Experimental Phonetics (1–3).

SPA 6231r. Seminar in Neuropathologies (1–3).

SPA 6434r. Seminar on Developmental Disabilities (1–3).

SPA 6804. University Academic and Clinical Teaching Colloquium (0–2). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 6805r. Seminar in Clinical Research Methods (3).

SPA 6825r. Seminar in Speech Pathology (1–3).

SPA 6841r. Seminar in Language (1–3).

SPA 6900r. Readings for the Preliminary Examination (1–6). (S/U grade only.)

SPA 6930r. Seminar in Special Topics (1–3).

For listings relating to graduate coursework for thesis, dissertation, and master's and doctoral examinations and defense, consult the Graduate Bulletin.