The Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences has a three-dimensional mission incorporating teaching, research and service for the advancement of human potential in language, speech, voice, swallowing, hearing and balance. As part of a comprehensive university system dedicated to undergraduate and graduate instruction, teaching is always regarded as the first priority.
Communication Disorders and Sciences majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are required to attend advisement at least once each term prior to course registration. Advisors assist students with formulating tentative plans of study in order to facilitate reasonable progression to graduation. An advisor should be consulted regarding fulfillment of specific coursework that is related to professional licensure and certification requirements, which may include courses involving biology, human anatomy and physiology, physics, statistics, psychology, growth and development of children, and variables related to literacy that are within the scope of practice for the professional field. Although majors are required to meet with an advisor only once per term, more frequent contact between student and advisor is encouraged. For enrolled majors, information is posted on the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences website regarding advisement periods that are opened specifically for developing and submitting tentative plans of study.
Prospective students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels should attend an orientation meeting for basic information on the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology, and for assistance in formulating initial academic and career plans. These orientation meetings are held monthly. The schedule of orientation meetings (times, dates and locations) is available through the department’s general advisement website or by contacting the department.
Program alumni with graduate degrees (i.e., master’s and doctoral) find a variety of career opportunities as speech-language pathologists and audiologists serving the needs of persons across the lifespan who have challenges with communication, hearing and balance.
The entry-level degree for Speech-Language Pathology is a master’s degree. For Speech-Language Pathologists, employment opportunities are widely available due to the general population’s longer life expectancy, advances in technology and advances in health. Program alumni find employment in California’s and the nation’s medical centers, skilled nursing facilities and other rehabilitative facilities, community speech and hearing centers, medical offices, public and private schools, and private practices. With approximately 100 graduates annually in the M.S. degree program in Speech-Language Pathology, the regional and national networks of alumni are substantial and always expanding.
The entry-level degree for Audiology is a doctoral degree. For Audiologists, employment opportunities continually grow in private practices, medical centers, rehabilitative settings and, in some states, in public schools. Growth in the field of audiology is impacted by the expanding population of older age groups who are prone to hearing loss due to the normal aging process, earlier identification of instances of hearing loss that may come from not wearing hearing protection while in environments that have “loud” working conditions, and the medical advances that have improved the survival rate of infants and children with critical illnesses.
The Master of Science education program in speech-language pathology at California State University, Northridge is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 2200 Research Blvd., #310, Rockville, MD 20850, (800) 498-2071 or (301) 296-5700.
The Doctor of Audiology education program at California State University, Northridge, has been awarded “Developing Status” through the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education, affiliated with the American Academy of Audiology, 11480 Commerce Park Dr., Suite 220, Reston VA 20191, (202) 986-9500 or (800) 222-2336 x1056.
The department’s Clinical-Rehabilitative Services Credential (Language, Speech and Hearing Services and Audiology) is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
Unresolved concerns regarding accreditation of the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology may be addressed to:
Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Blvd., #310
Rockville, MD 20850
Unresolved concerns regarding accreditation of the Doctor of Audiology may be addressed to:
Director, Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE)
11480 Commerce Park Dr., Suite 220
Reston, VA 20191
Clubs and Societies
California State University, Northridge Chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)
The mission of the CSUN Chapter of the NSSLHA is (a) to unite students in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences with those with similar interests enrolled in other departments on the CSUN campus; (b) to provide relevant information to students concerning their academic tenure at California State University, Northridge; (c) to inform members of contemporary affairs, both local and national, that concern the professional fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; and (d) to facilitate the transition from undergraduate studies to graduate studies, and then from graduate studies to entry into the profession.
California State University, Northridge Chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA)
The mission of the CSUN Chapter of the SAA is to serve as a collective voice for students within the chapter area and to advance the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in audiology. Chapters will engage students in lifelong professional activities that promote and advance the profession of audiology, and provide services, information, education, representation and advocacy for the profession and the public we serve.
The department is housed within Monterey Hall (MH), which is located on the southeastern corner of the campus. The building is home to the department’s Language, Speech and Hearing Center (LSHC) with convenient client access to parking on Zelzah Avenue and in a parking lot adjacent to Monterey Hall. Clinical facilities include extensive diagnostic and treatment resources for persons with a wide variety of disorders of speech, language, voice, swallowing, hearing and balance. In addition, space is provided for classrooms, seminar rooms and research hubs emphasizing hearing/speech science, speech and language development and disorders, physiology of voice production, neurogenic disorders of communication and auditory electrophysiology. The facility also includes a hearing aid dispensary, and the Language, Speech and Hearing Center jointly operates a vestibular and balance disorders laboratory hub with the Department of Physical Therapy. Students have wireless access to the Internet for personal laptop computers, tablets and mobile devices throughout the building. Monterey Hall houses all of the department’s academic offices for faculty and staff, as well as the business office, records room and materials preparation room of the CSUN Language, Speech and Hearing Center.
Distance Learning Program
The department offers the Master of Science degree with emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology in a distance learning (DL) program that is administered jointly with the CSUN Tseng College. The purpose of this program is to serve graduate students in Speech-Language Pathology who are unable to relocate close enough to travel regularly to the CSUN campus. Qualified graduate students are admitted to this program in cohorts (groups) every 12 months; cohort students take no courses on the residential campus. Students are not permitted to transfer between the residential program and the distance learning program. The DL courses are taught in an asynchronously meeting format but following the regular University calendar, with students taking the entire course of study (57 units) as a cohort over a 36-month period. Courses are delivered to the homes and workplaces of DL students via the Internet, and all clinical practica are completed in the DL students’ home communities. The DL program charges tuition that reflects the cost of instruction. The M.S. degree in the DL program ultimately reflects the same prerequisite and requisite content as the residential degree, and the DL program meets CAA-ASHA certification and state licensure standards.
For California residents who hold bachelor’s degrees in Communication Disorders and Sciences or Speech-Language Pathology, but are not pursuing graduate studies at this time, the CSUN Distance Learning Program offers the noncredit SLPA Certificate of Advanced Professional Development in SLPA Fieldwork. This 100-hour program, which includes both online study at home and an eight-week clinical field experience, is designed to facilitate career advancement.
The CSUN Distance Learning Program also offers a two-year, fully online Certificate of Preparation for Advanced Studies in Speech-Language Pathology, which prepares those with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than Communication Disorders and Sciences or Speech-Language Pathology to apply for admission consideration into the DL’s Communication Disorders and Sciences master’s program, as well as other programs that offer graduate studies in Speech-Language Pathology.
Visit the DL program website for further information.
Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences
Chair: Patricia J. Seymour
Monterey Hall (MH) 301
(818) 677-2852 (VOICE)