Communication Disorders BS

Program Purpose

The mission of the Communication Disorders Department is to advance knowledge and learning in science and clinical practice through research, teaching, and clinical service in the areas of language, speech, and hearing. The program offers both undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S.) degrees in the discipline of communication disorders. The programs prepare students who have both strong academic knowledge in the field of communication disorders and a desire to apply this knowledge to remediate communication disorders across the life span. The mission of the department thus aligns with institutional objectives of educating the minds and spirits of students, advancing truth and knowledge, and extending the blessings of this knowledge to individuals outside the university.

Curricular Structure

The undergraduate curriculum provides students with the necessary foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare them to further their education and professional training at the graduate level. The minimum requirement for entry into the field of speech-language pathology is a master's degree; a clinical doctorate is required to enter the profession of audiology. The reader is referred to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ( for more detailed information. The B.S. program consists of 51 hours of coursework.

Co-Curricular Structure

COMD 495R provides experiences outside the classroom in a mentoring environment. In addition, individual faculty members provide several mentoring activities for our undergraduates. These include formal mentoring grants provided by the University and the David O. McKay School of Education, as well as informal mentoring through undergraduate teaching and research experiences.

Further information may be obtained at the following web links:

Major Academic Plan

Undergraduate Catalog

Learning Outcomes

The goals and expected learning outcomes of the Communication Disorders B.S. program align with institutional goals and objectives. The program builds on the mission of the University while adhering to its own mission statement and learning outcomes.

Communication Disorders Mission Statement: The mission of the Communication Disorders Department is to advance knowledge and learning in science and clinical practice through research, teaching, and clinical service. The goals and outcomes of the graduate program in Communication Disorders are based on the professional preparation of students with a focus on nine key areas of clinical knowledge and skills along with additional preparation. The undergraduate program emphasizes the typical development of speech, language, and hearing and the necessary skills for understanding normal speech and language function. Unlike the graduate program, the undergraduate program specifically excludes preparation in the assessment and treatment of speech and language disorders.


Explain the processes of normal hearing, including key anatomic structures and neural systems along with their function in perceiving and interpreting environmental and speech sounds. Describe the assessment of hearing in adults and children and demonstrate the ability to create and interpret audiograms. Describe basic aspects of intervention in remediating the effects of hearing impairment.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 133 COMD 334 COMD 438 COMD 442 COMD 493R
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence

Describe the typical acquisition of language and key developmental milestones.  Describe the relationship of language to cognitive, psychological, and social development.  Describe the construct of language and language treatment approaches.  Describe atypical language use in conditions such as autism spectrum disorders, language learing disability, and developmental language disorder.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 133 COMD 330 COMD 332 COMD 350 COMD 430 COMD 493R
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence

Define and describe the anatomy and physiology of speech production and explain the scientific basis of measuring speech performance. Describe atypical speech sound production and identify appropriate intervention approaches.

Courses that Contribute: COMD 133 COMD 320 COMD 331 COMD 351 COMD 421 COMD 430 COMD 493R
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence
Scope of Practice

Program graduates will be able to analyze assessment data (i.e. case history, test scores, language sample results, parent interview information, etc.) and reach reasonable diagnostic conclusions. Program graduates will be able to generate diagnostic reports, creating appropriate treatment goals addressing diagnosed areas of weakness.  Program graduates will be able to apply principles of ethical practice to a variety of ethical situations and make reasonable recommendations to resolve ethical dilemmas using the ASHA Code of Ethics.   Program graduates will be able to use the ASHA website and other sources of information to make reasonable decisions in professional matters.  

Courses that Contribute: COMD 133 COMD 331 COMD 350 COMD 351 COMD 430 COMD 438 COMD 442 COMD 450 COMD 493R
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence, Lifelong learning

Evidence of Learning

Archiving of assessment tools for the undergraduate program include computer archiving of course grades (university level archiving) and computer archiving within the department of the Annual Alumni Survey, external reviews, Senior Survey, and the National Assessment of Student Engagement.

Assessment Tools

  1. Individual course assignments including projects and examinations.
  2. Annually, an alumni survey is reviewed by the faculty of the department.
  3. External site review for professional accreditation is completed every seven years.
  4. Courses are assessed at the end of each term.
  5. Results of major reviews, including responses and remedies, are posted on-line on the department's web site and are available to the general public, including students and other stakeholders.

Direct Measures

  1. Virtual Audiometric Suite
  2. Acoustic analysis projects in ComD 421
  3. Language projects in ComD 330, 350
  4. IPA transcription accuracy in ComD 331
  5. Writing project and Code of Ethics in ComD 450
  6. Senior Survey
  7. National Assessment of Student Engagement
  8. Annual Alumni Survey

Indirect Measures

  1. Course grades
  2. Individual course quizzes, examinations, and projects
  3. Mentoring activities

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

Program assessment data are analyzed and reviewed annually during the week preceding the first semester of the new academic year. The faculty meets to set priorities for the formulation of programmatic changes. Subsets of the faculty may be responsible for specific items. They will meet and subsequently make recommendations to the entire faculty. If changes are made, these changes are brought to the college curriculum committee and then to the university curriculum committee.

Individual course assignments and examinations are, in addition to being a measure of student learning, a measure of the student's progress towards program completion.

The annual alumni survey serves as a gauge of student attitudes and program perceptions. Information obtained from this survey is used, in part, to evaluate our effectiveness in supporting the broader goals and outcomes of the university. Frequently, we find that this information leads to "soft" adjustments within the program. For example, the availability of faculty and resources may be adjusted based on this feedback.

The National Assessment of Student Engagement provides significant information regarding the impact of our undergraduate program. The information from this survey evaluates program effectiveness over a broad range of student activities, evaluating both their attitudes and the depth of their education. It provides an indication of our ability to provide meaningful educational experiences to our students. It also allows comparison with other programs within our own university and other universities across the nation. Changes in course curriculum and student engagement activities that relate to mentoring, out of classroom experiences, and student-faculty interaction have resulted from the annual review of this document by the faculty.

Formal unit assessments which include university, college, and departmental accreditations are most helpful as we complete strategic planning, review student, faculty, and departmental policy and procedures, and work on curriculum planning. University self-studies provide information to the department that allows us to review and update faculty and student standards in broad areas and execute course corrections that help maintain a high quality of education and a strong academic environment.