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Students in CSD 331 show off their cardboard larynx models.

Course Enrollment Procedures

Students are expected to abide by published course prerequisites as published in the Schedule of Courses. Students will be allowed to enroll conditionally in courses that require prerequisites if, based on their current official enrollment, they will satisfy these course requirements prior to the time courses requiring prerequisites begin.

Students wishing to take a course for which they do not have the prerequisites should consult with their assigned CSD Academic Adviser about the appropriateness of their request. If you do not have an assigned CSD Academic Adviser, please email

An exception to published prerequisites will be considered by requesting a prerequisite override in LionPATH (download instructions). Requests are evaluated in consultation with the academic adviser and faculty member teaching the course. If approved, the student will be notified and will complete enrollment via LionPATH.

Please review the College of Health and Human Development procedures on course disenrollment for students who fail to successfully complete the enforced prerequisites.

TA, Research, and Independent Study Credits

General Education Suggestions


Students majoring in CSD are encouraged to choose STAT 200 (4 cr) from the statistics course list of STAT 200 (4 cr), EDPSY 101 (3 cr), or PSYCH 200 (3 cr).

We have found that most graduate programs in CSD require the content covered in the 4 credit STAT 200 course and that students electing to take EDPSY 101 or PSYCH 200 may need to later take STAT 200 in order to meet graduate school prerequisites. 

Some graduate schools require students to take the GRE for admissions, and in those cases, we recommend taking MATH 21: College Algebra I (3 cr) prior to taking the GRE to refresh math concepts that will be tested on the exam.

Students who choose do not need to take the GRE may select any GQ of interest and can review the math course descriptions for more information. MATH 32: Math for Allied Health Professions and MATH 34: The Mathematics of Money are popular selections for CSD students.

GN-Natural Science

To gain entry in graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, ASHA (but not Penn State) requires a human biological science and a physical science (physics or chemistry), so GN courses should be selected accordingly. Suggested courses include:

Human Biological Science

  • BISC 2: Genetics, Ecology and Evolution (3 cr)
  • BISC 4: Human Body: Form and Function (3 cr)
  • BIOL 133: Genetics and Evolution of the Human Species (3 cr)
  • BIOL 155: Introduction to the Biology of Aging (3 cr)

Physical Science

  • CHEM 1: Molecular Science (3 cr) - fall only
  • CHEM 101: Introductory Chemistry (3 cr) - not offered at University Park
  • CHEM 130: Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry (3 cr)
  • PHYS 1: The Science of Physics (3 cr) - offered via the DLC for CSD students
  • PHYS 10: Physics Behind the Headlines (3 cr) - not offered at University Park

A beneficial GN-Natural Science selection is INART 50: The Science of Music (3 cr).

GA-Arts and GH-Humanities

Students are free to choose any course of interest in these categories.

We recommend CI 280: Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners (3 cr) to fulfill GH-Humanities, as this is a required course for future certification as a school SLP.

For students who started prior to Summer 2023, it is strongly recommended that students select 3 credits of Interdomain courses in each of these categories to best maximize the use of required credits.

GHW-Health and Wellness

Students are free to choose any course of interest in this category.

A popular selection is CSD 100 (GHW; US): Preventing Vocal Abuse, Misuse, and Disorders (3 cr) which is offered online every summer, fall and spring semester via the World Campus. Talk to your adviser for instructions on how to schedule this course in the fall or spring semester.

Inter-Domain Courses

Students are free to choose any course of interest to fulfill this requirement. 

For students who started prior to Summer 2023, it is strongly recommended that they select courses that encompass GN-Natural Science, GA-Arts and/or GH-Humanities to best maximize the use of required credits.

CSD Suggested Electives

The CSD major includes 30-36 credits of electives which allows students to customize their studies to their interests. 

Students may choose any course of interest to fulfill elective credits and are not limited to the selections on this page.

The categories below are offered as suggestions and have been curated to emphasize the skills and knowledge needed to be successful as speech-language pathologists and audiologists. 

Students are advised to check prerequisites for all courses.

Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology

Many graduate programs now require coursework that is focused on neurology and neural bases of communication. The list of courses below may fulfill this requirement though final approval is always at the discretion of the graduate school to which you are applying.

  • CSD 431: Neuroanatomical and Neurophysiological Foundations of Communication Disabilities (3 cr)
  • PSYCH 260/BBH 203: Neurological Bases of Human Behavior (3 cr)
  • PSYCH 455: Cognitive Neuroscience (3 cr)


A common graduate school prerequisite is coursework in linguistics. The list of courses below may fulfill this requirement though final approval is always at the discretion of the graduate school to which you are applying.

  • APLNG 200 (GH; IL): Introduction to Language, Culture, and Social Interaction (3 cr)
  • APLNG 210 (GH; IL): The Ecology of Global English (3 cr)
  • LING 1 (GS; US, IL): The Study of Language (3 cr)
  • LING 100 (GS): Foundations of Linguistics (3 cr)
  • LING 429/PSYCH 426: Language and Thought (3 cr)
  • LING/PSYCH 457: Psychology of Language (3 cr)

Personal and Professional Development

These courses will help you develop as a professional working in the field of communication sciences and disorders

  • CSD 218: American Sign Language I (3 cr)
  • CSD 240 (GS): Supporting Communication Through Performance (3 cr) – spring only
  • CSD 250: Professional Issues in CSD (2 cr)
  • CSD 251: Guided Observation Hours (1 cr)
  • CSD 318: American Sign Language II (3 cr)
  • CSD 418: American Sign Language III (3 cr)
  • CSD 428: American Sign Language IV (3 cr)
  • CSD 495B: Audiology Practicum (3 cr)
  • CSD 497: Special Topics such as Research Principles in CSD, Theory of LangDev, etc. (3 cr)
  • HDFS 108N (GS/GHW): Art and Science of Human Flourishing (3 cr)
  • HDFS 497: Special Topics such as Mindfulness, Grant Writing, etc. (1 cr)
  • PHIL 3 (GH): Ethical Life (3 cr)
  • PHIL 103 (GH): Ethics (3 cr)
  • PSYCH 120N (GS/GH): Knowing Right from Wrong (3 cr)

Diversity Studies

Audiologists and SLPs commonly work with individuals across the lifespan and from various backgrounds, it is imperative to be sensitive to and appreciative of the lived experiences of others.

  • AED 225 (GA; US): Diversity, Pedagogy, and Visual Culture (3 cr)
  • AFAM 100N (GH/GS): Black Freedom Struggles (3 cr)
  • AFAM/WMNST 101N (GH/GS; US): African American Women (3 cr)
  • AFAM/SOC/WMNST 103 (GH): Racism and Sexism (3 cr)
  • AFAM 110N (GH/GS; US): Introduction to African American Studies (3 cr)
  • AFAM 152 (GH; US): African American History (3 cr)
  • APLNG 220N (GH/GS; IL): Multilingual Lives: Stories of Language and Culture Learning (3 cr)
  • CAS 271N (GH/GS; US, IL): Intercultural Communication (3 cr)
  • CI 185 (GS): Principles of Social Justice in Education (3 cr)
  • CI 280 (GH): Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners (3 cr)
  • CMLIT 101 (GH; US, IL): Race, Gender, and Identity in World Literature (3 cr)
  • COMM/WMNST 205 (GS; US): Gender, Diversity and the Media (3 cr)
  • HDFS 254N (GH/GS; US): Reading Our Lives: Understanding Diversity and Human Development through Memoirs (3 cr)
  • LTNST 100 (GH; US) Introduction to Latina/o Studies (3 cr)
  • LTNST/SPAN 315N (GH/GS; US): Spanish and Spanish-speakers in the U.S. (3 cr)
  • PHIL 8 (GH): Gender Matters (3 cr)
  • PHIL 9 (GH): Race, Racism, and Diversity (3 cr) 
  • SOC 5 (GS): Social Problems (3 cr)
  • SOC 119N (GS; US): Race, Ethnicity, and Culture (3-4 cr)
  • WMNST 105N (GH/GS): Living in a Diverse World (3 cr)

Health Equity and Advocacy Studies

Worldwide, access to healthcare and therefore, levels of health are not equal. These courses examine the societal impacts of health disparities and advocacy for disadvantaged populations.

  • AFAM/BBH 302 (US): Diversity and Health (3 cr)
  • CMAS/HDFS/SOC 258N (GS/GHW): Introduction to Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies (3 cr)
  • HDFS 210Z (GHW): Ethnicity, Health and Aging (3 cr)
  • PHIL 432: Medical and Health Care Ethics (3 cr)
  • SOC 210Z (GS): Social Determinants of Health (3 cr)
  • SOC 211Z (GS): Health Inequality: Understanding the Geographies of Life and Death (3 cr)
  • SOC 451 (GS): Health, Disease and Society (3 cr)

Disabilities and Special Education

SLPs and audiologists may often interact with individuals with disabilities or those who require accommodations. These courses will provide background knowledge to be effective in that work.

  • CSD 240 (GS): Supporting Communication Through Performance (3 cr) – spring only
  • EDPSY 10 (GS): Individual Differences and Education (3 cr) 
  • ENGL 228 (GH; IL): Introduction to Disability Studies in the Humanities (3 cr)
  • HDFS 467: Autism: Providing Professional Support for Individuals and Families (3 cr)
  • LER/RHS 410: Employment Strategies for People with Disabilities (3 cr)
  • SPLED 400: Inclusive Special Ed Foundations: Legal, Characteristics, Collaboration, Assessment, and Management (4 cr)
  • SPLED 403A: Evidence-Based Instruction for Elementary Students with Disabilities in Reading, Math, and Writing (3 cr)
  • SPLED 403B: Evidence-Based Methods for Teaching Secondary Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings (3 cr)
  • SPLED 461: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Issues and Concerns (3 cr)
  • RHS 100 (GS; US, IL): Introduction to Disability Culture (3 cr)

Counseling and Interpersonal Communication

A basic understanding of counseling and communication techniques is helpful in any health-related profession where you may need to communicate difficult information.

  • AA 120N (GA/GS): Introduction to Arts Therapy (3cr)
  • AA 130N (GA/GHW): Creative Arts Therapy Applications (3 cr)
  • CAS 101N (GH/GS): Introduction to Human Communication (3 cr)
  • HDFS 411: The Helping Relationship (3 cr)
  • RHS 301: Introduction to Counseling as a Profession (3 cr)

Human Development and Aging

Coursework in human development, including social and emotional development, provides a better understanding of clients across the lifespan.

  • HDFS 210Z (GHW): Ethnicity, Health and Aging (3 cr)
  • HDFS 229 (GS): Infant and Child Development (3 cr)
  • HDFS 239 (GS): Adolescent Development (3 cr)
  • HDFS 249N (GS): Adult Development and Aging (3 cr)
  • HDFS 254N (GH/GS): Reading Our Lives: Understanding Diversity and Human Development through Memoirs (3 cr)
  • HDFS 315: Family Development (3 cr)
  • HDFS 428: Infant Development (3 cr)
  • HDFS 429: Advanced Child Development (3 cr)
  • HDFS 432: Developmental Problems in Childhood and Adolescence (3 cr)
  • HDFS 433: Developmental Transition to Adulthood (3 cr)
  • HDFS 445: Development Throughout Adulthood (3 cr)
  • PSYCH 212 (GS): Introduction to Developmental Psychology (3 cr)

Health Administration and Communication

As future practitioners in the field of healthcare it is helpful to understand health organizations and health messaging and communications.

  • CAS 453: Health Communication Theory and Research (3 cr)
  • HPA 57 (GHW): Consumer Choices in Health Care (3 cr)
  • HPA 101: Introduction to Health Services Organization (3 cr)


With careful scheduling, students can use their elective credits to complete a minor in such areas as:

  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Human Development and Family Studies 
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Health and Human Development
  • Spanish
  • Gerontology
  • Special Education 
  • Health Policy and Administration
  • Rehabilitation and Human Services
  • or any area of interest! 

Typically, a minor requires 18 credits, 6 of which have to be 400-level courses.

CSD majors interested in obtaining a minor should review the minor requirements in the Undergraduate Bulletin and consult with their academic adviser.