Do you want to earn the skills needed to help others express themselves? Do you want to prepare for an advanced degree toward becoming a speech-language pathologist?

The undergraduate program in speech and hearing sciences is a pre-professional degree, which emphasizes the normal processes of speech, hearing and language and allows you to explore other academic areas of interest.

Since the master's degree is the minimum level of preparation for persons seeking professional careers in this field, the BS degree does not qualify you to work professionally, but is designed to prepare you for graduate studies. After you earn a master's degree, you can choose to work as a trained professional who diagnoses and treats people who are unable to communicate effectively.

You would apply to the BS in speech and hearing sciences in the spring semester of your sophomore year. During your junior and senior year, you will learn about phonetics, language development, anatomy of the speech and respiratory mechanism, phonology and articulation, speech science, hearing science, audiology, aural rehabilitation, and neural processing in speech and language. During your career as a speech-language pathologist, you will have maximum patient contact and must be able to communicate effectively with individuals with disabilities. You must have a sincere interest in the handicapped population, with particular interest in communication problems.

ECU Advantage

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has gained national attention in groundbreaking research. Our faculty's findings have led to the development of devices and methods that have made a difference for people living with speech-language conditions.

The College of Allied Health Sciences is the largest university-based allied-health provider in the state of North Carolina. The college has nine departments, Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, Clinical Laboratory Science, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health Services and Information Management, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies, and offers degrees on the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

Delivering a comprehensive professional education that will prepare allied health graduates to make a difference in the health of the region, state, and nation was the primary reason for the creation of the College of Allied Health Sciences and its departments. Fueled by the growth and aging of our population, the demand for these highly skilled specialists is expected to greatly increase as health care continues to be a priority for our citizens.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Joy Kennedy (3310-AE Allied Health Sciences Building; 252-744-6146; kennedyjo15@ecu.edu)

The undergraduate program emphasizes the normal processes of speech, hearing, and language and allows the student to explore other academic areas of interest. Since the master's degree is the minimum level of preparation for persons seeking professional careers in this field, the BS degree does not qualify the student to work professionally but is designed to prepare the student for graduate studies. Admission to the university does not assure admission to the program. In order to be considered for admission to the program, the student must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and must have completed CSDI 2100 with a minimum grade of B (3.0), and be interviewed prior to formal admission into the program. These requirements are generally completed by the end of spring semester of the sophomore year. Majors must maintain a cumulative 3.2 GPA for all required CSDI courses. A major earning a D (1.0) in any CSDI course must petition the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders for probationary continuation and will be required to repeat the course.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • BIOL 1050 - General Biology
  • BIOL 1051 - General Biology Laboratory
  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra
  • PHYS 1050 - Physics and the Environment
  • PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
2. Core - 36 s.h.
  • CSDI 2100 - Introduction to Communication Disorders
  • CSDI 3010 - Phonetics
  • CSDI 3020 - Language Development
  • CSDI 3040 - Anatomy of the Speech and Respiratory Mechanism
  • CSDI 3045 - Speech Science
  • CSDI 3050 - Acquisition and Development of Phonology and Articulation
  • CSDI 3105 - Hearing Science
  • CSDI 4030 - Procedures in Clinical Management
  • CSDI 4100 - Introduction to Audiology
  • CSDI 4110 - Aural Rehabilitation
  • CSDI 4335 - Apprenticeship
  • CSDI 4440 - Neural Processing in Speech and Language
3. Cognates - 8 s.h.
  • BIOS 1500 - Introduction to Biostatistics
  • LING 3760 - Linguistic Theory for Speech and Hearing Clinicians
  • SPED 2000 - Introduction to Exceptional Children
4. Minor or electives to complete requirements for graduation.
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology
    • Audiologists
    • Speech-Language Pathologists
    • Health and Human Services
    • Education and Training
    • Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.