Skip to main content

Penn State to begin spring semester remotely, delay in-person classes. See details >>

What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

Search search
Mobile Search:

Penn State’s Communication Sciences and Disorders program is designed to help students prepare for a profession in speech-language pathology or audiology.

Helping One Person at a Time

The Communication Sciences and Disorders undergraduate program includes coursework, observation, and experiences in typical and disordered aspects of speech, language, and hearing. Support others with a variety of disorders and delays, such as fluency and stuttering, language delay, or challenges with hearing or swallowing.

You will learn how speech-language pathologists and audiologists provide intervention and services to children and adults with speech, language, and/or hearing disorders in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and public schools. Learn about typical and disordered aspects of speech, language, and hearing as well as professional management, concerns, and obligations.

The program is designed to help you develop fundamental knowledge based on scientific principles as well as skills and attitudes required for habilitating and rehabilitating persons of all ages with a wide range of speech, language, and hearing challenges.


A bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders will help you learn about typical and disordered aspects of speech, language, and hearing.

The curriculum follows standards set by the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA) for admission into a graduate program.

Because most careers require advanced degrees, the program is specifically designed to prepare students for graduate study. All of the core courses help students prepare to enter graduate school.

You will take supporting classes in addition to your Communication Sciences and Disorders core courses. Coursework can provide a solid foundation in the sciences, including biology, physiology, and chemistry. You can also learn about the humanities and education, such as language learning, special education, and linguistics.


The Deafness and Hearing Studies Minor is designed for students who want to learn about individuals with hearing disabilities and deafness. The minor will assist students in recognizing relationships among hearing disability, deafness, and cultural differences and their impact on the individual in educational, social, and vocational settings.

The minor is appropriate for students interested in clinical and health-related fields, business, social sciences, and education.

Professional Development

Student Organizations

The Multicultural Interest Group provides students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders with opportunities to expand their knowledge about working with individuals from diverse/multicultural populations.

The purpose of National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is to involve students in various activities related to the profession, including attending professional meetings, lectures, and planning and participating in activities dealing with persons of all ages having a communication disorder.

The Penn State Sign Language Organization (PSSLO) is dedicated to spreading deaf awareness to the State College and University Park community. PSSLO provides its members with practice in the art of sign language and instruction on deaf culture during its informal meetings for anyone who is interested. Through informal lectures, movies, and group activities, members are given a better understanding of the hearing impaired, deaf, and deaf culture.

Professional Interaction

Alumni of the program regularly return to campus to take part in professional and social events. You will have the opportunity to meet and work with a number of these engaged alumni and learn from them.

Professional Resources

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is a national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 173,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, and students.

Careers in Aging Week

The College of Health and Human Development and the Center for Healthy Aging present Careers in Aging Week during the spring semester. During the week-long event, you’ll learn how our aging population is impacting every sector of our lives and the growing demand for aging professionals.