Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology

The undergraduate program in Speech Pathology and Audiology is committed to the preparation of students interested in understanding the foundations of communication for typical and disordered speech, language and hearing across the lifespan.  Leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, this undergraduate program emphasizes education in liberal studies; anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms; development of speech and language skills; awareness of cultural diversity and its relationship to communication; phonetics; and a broad introduction to communication sciences and disorders.

Undergraduates with a B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology can work to pursue graduate school in speech-language pathology, audiology, public health care, public policy, education, and special education. Other options after the B.S. program include jobs as speech-language pathology or audiology assistants, hearing aid sales, communications, public affairs and policy, and other health-related jobs. The demand for certified practitioners is continually increasing; consequently, job prospects remain very good.  The undergraduate program and subsequent options in graduate study enable graduates to seek employment in a variety of settings and work with individuals of all ages as well as to pursue academic and research careers in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.

Pre-Speech Pathology and Audiology


Normally, students are first admitted to the pre-Speech Pathology and Audiology (Pre-SPA) program of study and matriculate as such during their freshman and sophomore years. Pre-SPA students are advised in the College of Education and Human Services within the Office of Student Services. To qualify for Pre-SPA admission, incoming freshmen must present an overall high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, 1050 or higher on the SAT, or 23 on the ACT.

Students who transfer into pre-SPA during the freshman or sophomore year from either another major at WVU or from another university must present a grade point average of 3.0 for all undergraduate coursework taken prior to the time of transfer.


Students are considered pre-SPA until they have met the requirements specified below and have applied and been accepted into the SPA degree program. The following are the minimum requirements for all Pre-SPA students applying for the SPA major:

  1. Completion of at least fifty-eight academic hours, including a letter grade of C or better in each of the following courses:
    • ENGL 101 & 102 (or equivalent ENGL 103)
    • LING 101
    • MATH 124 (or higher)
    • STAT 211 (or ECON 225)
    • PSYC 101
    • BIOL 101 & 103 (or BIOL 102 & 104)
    • Physical Science (Physics, Physical Science or Chemistry course)
    • Human Inquiry & The Past (GEF 5)    
  2.  Successful completion of:
  • CSAD 199, Orientation to Speech Pathology and Audiology (for students declaring Pre-SPA as an incoming freshman);
  • CSAD 200, Introduction to Communication Disorders;
  • CSAD 222, Phonetics and Phonology;
  • CSAD 234, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism;
  • CSAD 236, Language Science;
  • CSAD 270, Effective Public Speaking;

        3.   A score of 80% or higher on the SPA Qualifying Examination (administered in CSAD 200); and

        4.   An overall GPA and in the major of at least 3.00 (A=4.0).

These requirements are subject to change. Interested students should contact the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders or for information on current requirements.

B.S. Degree Program in Speech Pathology and Audiology


After completing all pre-SPA requirements listed above, a student must apply for admission to the degree program by completing an online application form accessed at  It is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit online to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders online between the deadline dates of February 15 and March 1.  No applications will be accepted after March 1.  After the application has been reviewed and verified, the student will receive a letter summarizing the department’s admission decision.  Students who are not admitted should consult their advisor to plan their next steps.

Following admission to the degree program, the student must continue to meet GPA standards set by the department in order to continue in the program and graduate with a degree in speech pathology and audiology.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

Speech Pathology and Audiology

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Departmental requirements

A minimum grade of C- is required for all courses counting toward the major, except where noted. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. A minimum score of 80% on the CSD Qualifying Examination (administered in CSAD 200) is required.

A minimum grade of C- is required for GEF courses, except where noted.

GEF Requirements 5, 6 & 79
CSAD 191First-Year Seminar1
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
Select one of the following (GEF 2):4
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
Principles of Biology
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3
Elementary Statistical Inference
Elementary Business and Economics Statistics
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (GEF 4)3
CS 101Intro to Computer Applications (GEF 8)4
CSAD 270Effective Public Speaking (GEF 8)3
LING 101Introduction to Language (GEF 8)3
MATH 124 College Algebra or higher (prerequisite for STAT 211 or ECON 225)3
Chemistry or Physics (select one of the following):3
Introductory Physical Science 2
Introductory Physics
Introductory Physics
Conceptual Physics
Light, Vision and Color
General Physics
General Physics
Survey of Chemistry
Survey of Chemistry
Fundamentals of Chemistry
Fundamentals of Chemistry
Principles of Chemistry
Principles of Chemistry
Normal Human Developement (select two from the following):6
Families Across the Life Span
Introduction to Parenting
Infant Development
Early Childhood Development
Adolescent Development
Contemporary Issues in Family Relations
Adolescent Problems and Disorders
Family Interaction and Communication
Best Practices in Pre-K Movement
Introduction to Helping Professions
Medical Terminology for Occupational Therapy
Introduction to Human Development
Multiculturalism in Psychology
Prenatal and Infant Development
Child and Adolescent Development
Adulthood and Aging
Introduction to Sociology
Families and Society
Death and Dying
Human Behavior in the Social Environment 1
Human Behavior in the Social Environment 2
Abnormal Human Development (select one of the following):3
Health of the Individual
First Aid and Emergency Care
Nonverbal Communication
Communication and Aging
Disability and the Family
Disability and Society
Health Care Ethics
Research Methods in Psychology
Sex Roles and Behavior
Introduction to Social Psychology
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Behavior Principles
Topics in Social Psychology
Psychology of Adjustment
Exceptional Children
Cognition and Memory
Learning and Behavior Theory
Applied Behavior Analysis
Human Diversity
Introduction to Social Work
Social Welfare Policy and Services 1
Women and Men in Society
Special Education in Contemporary Society
Major Area Courses
CSAD 200Introduction to Communication Disorders3
CSAD 222Phonetics and Phonology3
CSAD 234Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing4
CSAD 236Language Science3
CSAD 320Speech Science3
CSAD 336Language Acquisition 13
CSAD 340Hearing Science3
CSAD 426Introduction to Speech Disorders3
CSAD 442Aural Rehabilitation3
CSAD 342Introduction To Audiology3
CSAD 485Professional Applications in Communication Sciences and Disorders3
or CSAD 496 Senior Thesis
Content/Practica Electives 9
Manual Communication
Intermed Manual Communication
Communication Disorder in Film
Language Disorders
Language Acquisition 2
Audiological Assessment
Speech and Language Assisting
Speech and Language Practicum
Audiology Practicum
Total Hours120

Students must complete minimum requirements.

Senior Capstone

All students in the B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders program must complete a capstone experience before graduation.  Majors will engage in a variety of written, oral, and analytical activities related to the field and will develop an oral/PowerPoint presentation which will be graded by faculty members.  

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
CSAD 1911CSAD 2003
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3LING 101 (GEF 8)3
MATH 124 (or higher; GEF 3)3CS 101 (GEF 8)4
PSYC 101 (GEF 4)3GEF 63
BIOL Requirement (GEF 2)4Normal Human Development 23
Normal Human Development 13 
 17 16
Second Year
CSAD 270 (GEF 8)3CSAD 2344
CSAD 2363CSAD 2223
STAT 211 or ECON 225 (GEF 3)3Abnormal Human Development3
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 53
 15 16
Third Year
CSAD 3203CSAD 3363
CSAD 3423CSAD 3403
 15 15
Fourth Year
CSAD 4263CSAD 4423
CSAD 4853Elective3
 14 12
Total credit hours: 120

Major Learning Outcomes

Speech Pathology and Audiology

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to the preparation of students interested in graduate study and eventual careers as a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, or as a researcher/teacher-scholar within the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders at West Virginia University, the student will be able to:

  • Identify anatomical structure/function that support speech, language, and hearing.
  • Explain acoustic and psychoacoustic principles of speech and hearing.
  • Classify English speech sounds and develop the perceptual skills necessary to transcribe normal speech using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Differentiate stages of typical speech and language development (oral and written) from birth through adolescence.
  • Apply information about communication and communication disorders in oral and written format.
  • Identify characteristics of common speech and language disorders across the lifespan.
  • Describe basic concepts related to evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders.
  • Compare and contrast clinical practice utilizing principles of evidence-based practice.

CSAD 199. Orientation to Speech Pathology and Audiology. 1,2 Hour.

Designed to meet the First Year Experience core objectives for pre-spa students. This course serves as an orientation to the professions of speech pathology and audiology as well as departmental degree programs, requirements, and personnel.

CSAD 200. Introduction to Communication Disorders. 3 Hours.

Survey of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing disorders. Introduction to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders and the professions of speech- language pathology and audiology.

CSAD 222. Phonetics and Phonology. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 200 and LING 101 or consent. Description, classification, and transcription of the speech sounds in English. Phonetic and phonological principles will be emphasized in normal, dialectal, and clinical speech and language contexts, particularly as these principles apply to speech-language pathology and audiology.

CSAD 234. Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing. 4 Hours.

An overview of anatomy, physiology, and neural pathways for the speech and hearing mechanisms. The respiration, phonation, articulation, and resonance systems will be highlighted for speech production. The outer ear, middle, and inner ear will be highlighted for hearing perception.

CSAD 236. Language Science. 3 Hours.

Study of the structure and function of human language. Methodologies used within the field of speech-language pathology to examine oral and written language will be utilized.

CSAD 270. Effective Public Speaking. 3 Hours.

Designed for improvement of the student's speech based upon theory and demonstrated performance of voice and diction skills and public-speaking skills for effective communication in a variety of speaking situations.

CSAD 274. Manual Communication. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Development of skills needed to communicate in sign language. The manual alphabet, basic number concepts, and the basic vocabulary of traditional American signs.

CSAD 276. Intermed Manual Communication. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 274 or consent. Improve skills needed to communicate in sign language. Includes increasing sign language vocabulary, practicing finger spelling, and communicating with signs.

CSAD 280. Communication Disorder in Film. 3 Hours.

Analysis of selected films to explore the socio-emotional and functional impact of impaired speech, language, hearing, and cognition and the ways in which society views people with communication disorders.

CSAD 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

CSAD 320. Speech Science. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 200 and CSAD 234 or consent. Review of the fundamental concepts related to acoustics, perception and production of speech, and associated theoretical models.

CSAD 326. Articulation and Cleft Palate. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 322. Characteristics and etiology of articulatory and phonological disorders; survey of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Characteristics of articulation and resonance, and survey of evaluation and treatment considerations for cleft palate.

CSAD 336. Language Acquisition 1. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 222 and CSAD 236. Normal processes involved in the acquisition of language, including the development of phonological, semantic, morphological, pragmatic and syntactical systems in prelinguistic, emergent, and developing language stages. Application of these processes to the diagnosis and treatment of language disorders.

CSAD 340. Hearing Science. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 200 and CSAD 234. The purpose of this course is to provide the student with basic knowledge in two areas of hearing science: the physics of sound (acoustics) and the perception of sound (psychoacoustics). This knowledge will provide a foundation for further study in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

CSAD 342. Introduction To Audiology. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 234. Introduction to the profession of audiology; principles of hearing screening, audiological assessment and treatment; disorders of hearing; audiogram interpretation.

CSAD 388. Interantional Experience/Communication Sciences and Disorders. 3 Hours.

Faculty-led exploration of professional practices and perspectives related to communication sciences and disorders in foreign countries and cultures. Offered only through study abroad. Additional fees required.

CSAD 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

CSAD 420. Exploring Speach-Language Pathology Clinical Settings. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 324 and CSAD 326. Overview of governmental regulations, ethical considerations, relevant technology, and administrative/ programmatic matters germane to the clinical practice of speech-language pathology and audiology in various settings including schools, medical and rehabilitation facilities, and private practice.

CSAD 422. Voice and Stuttering. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 200 and CSAD 326. Basic knowledge about and understanding of voice disorders and stuttering; relevant theories, facts, research findings, and clinical practice related to the epidemiology, etiology, course, prevention, diagnosis, and remediation.

CSAD 424. Language Disorders. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 324. The nature and etiology of child and adult language disorders are described. Assessment and remediation procedures are examined.

CSAD 426. Introduction to Speech Disorders. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 222. Introduction to the speech disorders of articulation, fluency, resonance and voice. Characteristics and course of treatment for the different disorder types will be discussed across the lifespan.

CSAD 436. Language Acquisition 2. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 336. Normal processes involved in the acquisition of oral and written language, including the later development of semantic, pragmatic, phonological, morphological, and syntactical systems. Application of these processes to the diagnosis and treatment of developmental language disorders.

CSAD 440. Audiological Assessment. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 340 and CSAD 342. Application of basic audiological techniques, including puretone and speech audiometry, masking, and immittance testing.

CSAD 442. Aural Rehabilitation. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 440 or consent. Communication and hearing impairment; aural rehabilitation evaluation; remediation including amplification, auditory and visual training, and ALD.

CSAD 460. Professional Writing/Speaking. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 and CSAD 270) or consent. (For majors only.) Designed for improvement of students' professional skills, specifically oral and written. Emphasis is placed on report writing, letter writing, resume writing, listening, interviewing, group problem solving, leadership, persuasion, and public speaking.

CSAD 480. Speech and Language Assisting. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Assisting graduate clinicians in the treatment of speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

CSAD 482. Speech and Language Practicum. 3 Hours.

PR: CSAD 480 with a minimum grade of B- and consent. Clinical Practicum in treatment of speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

CSAD 483. Audiology Practicum. 2 Hours.

PR: CSAD 440 with a minimum grade of B- or consent. Clinical practicum in audiology.

CSAD 485. Professional Applications in Communication Sciences and Disorders. 3 Hours.

PR: Required CSAD courses prior to the senior year. CSAD seniors will meet weekly face-to-face and online to develop a clinical research project related to speech, language, or hearing communication disorders.

CSAD 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

CSAD 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

CSAD 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

CSAD 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.



  • Jayne M. Brandel - Ph.D. (University of Kansas)


  • Carolyn Peluso Atkins - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Speech-language pathology, Speech improvement, Public speaking, Effective communication
  • Mary Ellen Tekieli Koay - Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma)
    Speech-language pathology, Neurophysiology, Neuropathologies
  • Norman J. Lass - Ph.D. (Purdue University)
    Speech and hearing science
  • Dennis M. Ruscello - Ph.D. (University of Arizona)
    Speech-language pathology, Language, Articulation, Cleft Palate-Craniofacial disorders, Clinical supervision

Associate professor

  • Jayne M. Brandel - Ph.D. (University of Kansas)
    Speech-language pathology, Child language development and disorders

Teaching Associate Professors

  • Karen B. Haines - M.S. (West Virginia University)
    Speech-language pathology, Augmentative and alternative communication, Clinical supervision
  • Gayle B. Neldon - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Audiology, Amplification, Clinical supervision

Assistant Professors

  • Jeremy J. Donai - Ph.D. (Texas Tech University)
    Audiology, Psychoacoustics, Amplification, Hearing aids
  • Derek Headley - Ph.D. (Florida State University)
    Speech-language pathology; Adult Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders; Adult Neurogenic Cognitive and Communication Disorders; Motor Speech; Voice
  • Kimberly M. Meigh - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Speech-language pathology; Motor speech disorders, Motor learning, Diagnostics, Adult neurogenic communication disorders
  • Michelle W. Moore - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Speech-language pathology, Child language disorders, Literacy, Phonological disorders

Teaching Assistant Professor

  • Ashleigh J. Callahan - Ph.D. (James Madison University)
    Audiology, Vestibular evaluation/rehabilitation, Hearing conservation
  • Leslie C. Graebe - M.S. (West Virginia University)
    Speech-language pathology, Clinical practice, Clinical supervision

Teaching Instructor

  • Janet J. Petitte - M.S. (West Virginia University)
    Audiology, Hearing aids, Clinical supervision

Professors emeriti

  • Kenneth O. St. Louis - Ph.D.
  • Charles M. Woodford - Ph.D.

Associate Professor Emeritus

  • Conrad Lundeen - Ph.D.

Assistant Professors Emeritae

  • Lynn R. Cartwright - Ed.D.
  • Cheryl L. Prichard - Ed.D.