• Communication Disorders
    Clinical hours give students real-world encounters
  • Communication Disorders
    MTSU's learning communities
    keep teachers informed
  • Communication Disorders
    Students at MTSU get
    hands-on experience
  • Communication Disorders
    Understanding anatomy helps in understanding communication

Communication Disorders

Whether helping a child who stutters or an adult with a hearing loss, the Communication Disorders Program in the Department of Health and Human Performance offers students the opportunity to learn about human communication; speech, language, and hearing disorders; and intervention methods for children and adults experiencing communication problems. As a national leader offering an undergraduate pre-professional degree, MTSU’s program helps prepare students for graduate study in speech-language pathology and audiology.

MTSU Speech-Language Clinic

Clinic offers hands-on experience for students

The nationally recognized MTSU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic serves children and adults who have hearing, articulation, language, voice, stuttering and other communication problems. For students, that means hands-on care under the supervision of certified faculty in a clinical setting where students can put their academic knowledge to work! This hands-on experience is unique to undergraduate programs in the state of Tennessee. Located in the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building on campus, the clinic functions within the academic semester calendar.

Alumnae Emily Thomas and Natalie George opened a private practice

Bright Beginnings for these two alumni

Alumnae Emily Thomas and Natalie George met while attending MTSU and quickly became friends. While here, they discussed one day owning a private practice together where they could impact the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Even while attending separate graduate schools and working in various settings, Emily and Natalie continued to develop skills that would help them pursue their dream. This dream came true, and Bright Beginnings in Murfreesboro is fast becoming an asset to the community.

Students in Communication Disorders focus on careers dealing with evaluation, treatment, and prevention of human communication disorders. Professionals in speech-language pathology and audiology provide clinical services in health care and education facilities and serve as consultants in business, industry, and government. Some majors become speech and hearing scientists who engage in research.

Speech and hearing professionals work in a variety of settings. Examples include

  • Hospitals and community clinics
  • Public and private schools
  • Health departments
  • Long-term care and home health facilities
  • Private and public industry
  • Private practice offices
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Universities and research laboratories


Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Bright Beginnings
  • Community Care of Rutherford County
  • Department of Defense
  • Gallaudet University
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • National Health Care
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Special Kids, Inc.
  • Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Tri Star Health Systems
  • VA Hospitals
  • Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center

Dr. Bertha Smith Clark
Professor
bertha.clark@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Rebecca M. Fischer
Program Director
rebecca.fischer@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Melinda Richards
Associate Professor
melinda.richards@mtsu.edu

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Mrs. Elizabeth Smith
Clinic Coordinator
elizabeth.smith@mtsu.edu

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Undergraduate

The Communication Disorders program in the Health and Human Performance Department at MTSU offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Speech and Theatre with a concentration in Communication Disorders. To practice as a licensed audiologist or speech-language pathologist, students must also complete a master's or doctorate program.
 
For students who have completed an undergraduate degree in another major, MTSU offers the prerequisite courses necessary for a graduate degree in speech-language pathology.
 
A minor in Communication Disorders also is offered.

Graduate

Graduate programs in the department leading to M.S. degrees are majors in Exercise Science; Health and Human Performance, which has two concentrations: Health and Physical Education; and Leisure and Sport Management, which also has two concentrations: Recreation and Leisure Services and Sport Industry.

The Health and Human Performance Department also offers a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Human Performance with a specialization in Exercise Science. 

Other Degrees Offered by HHP

Other undergraduate majors offered by the Health and Human Performance Department that lead to a B.S. include Athletic Training; Exercise Science; Health Education with two concentrations: Community and Public Health and Health Education and Lifetime Wellness; Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Studies; and Physical Education.

Undergraduate minors available through the Health and Human Performance Department are Health, Health and Physical Education, Health and Human Performance, Recreation, Athletic Coaching and Officiating, and Driver and Traffic Safety Education.

Communication Disorder B.A. Communication Disorder B.S.

An academic map is a suggested four-year schedule of courses based on degree requirements in the undergraduate catalog. This sample schedule serves as a general guideline to help build a full schedule each term. Milestones, courses, and special requirements necessary for timely progress to complete a major are designated to keep you on track to graduate in four years. Missing milestones could delay your program. 

This map based on the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog is not a substitute for academic advisement - contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements. Also see the current undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.Note: Requirements are continually under revision, and there is no guarantee they will not be changed or revoked; contact the department and/or program area for current information. 

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years (see below). NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map.

Speech and Theatre–Communication Disorders (B.A.) Academic Map

Department of Health and Human Performance
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher ENGL 1020 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4 
General elective1  CDIS 30503 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL16 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
CDIS 31503  CDIS 32003 
CDIS 3260 or minor course3  CDIS 3260 or minor course3 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  CDIS 33503 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4  General elective3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15Apply for clinical practicum
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
CDIS 33003  CDIS 45003 
CDIS 34003  CDIS 45503 
CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 3450 fall only of junior year CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 4800 spring only of junior year
General elective3  Guided elective3See advisor
MATH (Math)3  Minor course3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15File UD form
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
CDSI 45603  CDIS 4570, CDIS 4600, or CDIS 46503 
CDIS 48503  CDIS 49003 
Guided elective3See advisor Guided elective3See advisor
Minor course3` Guided elective3See advisor
Minor course3  Minor course3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 
NOTE: Students wishing to obtain a B.A. degree should plan to minor in a foreign language in order to complete the academic program in 120 hours.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher. ENGL 1020 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher.
Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4
General elective3  CDIS 30503 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL13 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
CDIS 31503  CDIS 32003 
CDIS 3260 or minor course3  CDIS 3260 or minor course3 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  Minor course3 
Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4  CDIS 33503 
MATH (Math)3  General elective1 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL13Apply for clinical practicum
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
CDIS 33003  CDIS 45003 
CDIS 34003  CDIS 45503 
CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 3450 fall only of junior year CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 4800 spring only of junior year
Minor course3  Guided elective3See advisor
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12File UD form
SENIOR SUMMER
Minor course3  General elective3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
CDIS 45603  CDIS 4570, CDIS 4600, or CDIS 46503 
CDIS 48503  CDIS 49003 
Guided elective3See advisor Guided elective3See advisor
Minor course3  Guided elective3See advisor
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 
NOTE: Students wishing to obtain a B.A. degree should plan to minor in a foreign language in order to complete the academic program in 120 hours.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed here.



Speech and Theatre–Communication Disorders (B.S.) Academic Map

Department of Health and Human Performance
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher ENGL 1020 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4 
General elective1  CDIS 30503 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL16 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
CDIS 31503  CDIS 32003 
CDIS 3260 or minor course3  CDIS 3260 or minor course3 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  CDIS 33503 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4  General elective3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15Apply for clinical practicum
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
CDIS 33003  CDIS 45003 
CDIS 34003  CDIS 45503 
CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800 or minor course3CDIS 3450 fall only of junior year CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 4800 spring only of junior year
General elective3  Guided elective3See advisor
MATH (Math)3  Minor course3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15File UD and Intent to Graduate forms
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
CDIS 45603  CDIS 4570, CDIS 4600, or CDIS 46503 
CDIS 48503  CDIS 49003 
Guided elective3See advisor Guided elective3See advisor
Minor course3` Guided elective3See advisor
Minor course3  Minor course3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher ENGL 1020 (Comm)3Must earn B- or higher
Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4
General elective3  CDIS 30503 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL13 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
CDIS 31503  CDIS 32003 
CDIS 3260 or minor course3  CDIS 3260 or minor course3 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  Minor course3 
Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4  CDIS 33503Apply for clinical practicum
MATH (Math)3  General elective1 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL13 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
CDIS 33003  CDIS 45003 
CDIS 34003  CDIS 45503 
CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 3450 fall only of junior year CDIS 3450, CDIS 4800, or minor course3CDIS 4800 spring only of junior year
Minor course3  Guided elective3See advisor
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12File UD and Intent to Graduate forms
SENIOR SUMMER
Minor course3  General elective3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
CDIS 45603  CDIS 4570, CDIS 4600, or CDIS 46503 
CDIS 48503  CDIS 49003 
Guided elective3See advisor Guided elective3See advisor
Minor course3  Guided elective3See advisor
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed here.

Communication Disorders

CDIS 3050 - Introduction to Communication Disorders
3 credit hours
Overview of the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, with emphasis on the common disorders of speech, language, and hearing and their treatment.

CDIS 3150 - Phonetics
3 credit hours
Training in the recognition and production of the sounds of speech with an analysis of their formation; extensive practice in phonetic transcription.

CDIS 3200 - Phonological Disorders
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3050 and CDIS 3150. Speech development, etiologies of phonological/articulatory problems, and approaches for assessing and remediating speech-sound errors.

CDIS 3250 - Speech and Language Development
3 credit hours
Child speech and language acquisition from birth through the early school years. Emphasizes normal linguistic development.

CDIS 3260 - Language Acquisition and Analysis
3 credit hours
Language development and procedures for analyzing child language. Semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic development explored through examining child language transcripts.

CDIS 3300 - Clinical Methods in Communication Disorders
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3050, CDIS 3150, CDIS 3200, CDIS 3260, and academic criteria established by the faculty. Planning and implementing treatment programs for individuals with speech-language disorders. A foundation for clinical practicum.

CDIS 3350 - Introduction to Audiology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CDIS 3050. The etiologies and diagnoses of hearing problems; practical experience in administering audiometric examinations.

CDIS 3400 - Anatomy and Function of the Speech Mechanism
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CDIS 3050 or permission of instructor. The structures and function of the speech mechanism.

CDIS 3450 - Fluency Disorders
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CDIS 3050. Etiologies, assessment, and treatment of fluency disorders.

CDIS 4400 - Introduction to Neurogenic Communication Disorders
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3050, CDIS 3300, and CDIS 3400.Structures and function of the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and their constituent parts. Focus on function as it impacts human communication. Includes historical perspectives in the study of the brain and development of imaging techniques.

CDIS 4500 - Intervention for Individuals with Hearing Loss
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3050, CDIS 3260, and CDIS 3350. Materials and methods employed in programs for persons with hearing loss.

CDIS 4550 - Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3300, prior semester application, and completion of academic and professional criteria established by the faculty. Supervised clinical practice in the University clinic.

CDIS 4560 - Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 4550, prior semester application, and completion of academic and professional criteria established by the faculty. Supervised clinical practice in the University clinic.

CDIS 4570 - Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 4550, CDIS 4560, prior semester application, and completion of academic and professional criteria established by the faculty. Supervised clinical practice in the University clinic.

CDIS 4580 - Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 4550, CDIS 4560, CDIS 4570, prior semester application, and completion of academic and professional criteria established by the faculty. Supervised clinical practice in the University clinic.

CDIS 4600 - Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology II
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 4550 and CDIS 4560, prior semester application, and approval by faculty. Advanced supervised clinical practice in an off-campus clinical facility.

CDIS 4620 - Applied Speech
1 credit hour
Prerequisite: Recommendation by a departmental faculty member. Study of a specific area of communication disorders to be completed through instructor-student conferences.

CDIS 4630 - Applied Speech
1 credit hour
Prerequisite: Recommendation by a departmental faculty member. Study of a specific area of communication disorders to be completed through instructor-student conferences.

CDIS 4650 - Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology III
6 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 4550 and CDIS 4560; prior semester application; and approval by faculty. Organization, management, and implementation of public school speech-language and hearing programs. Advanced supervised clinical practice in a public school setting. The School Speech-Language Teacher license requires completion of this course.

CDIS 4700 - Practicum in Audiology
1 credit hour
Prerequisites: CDIS 3350 and CDIS 4550 or permission of instructor. Laboratory course in applying principles of audiology.

CDIS 4710 - Practicum in Audiology
1 credit hour
Prerequisite: CDIS 4700. Laboratory course in applying principles of audiology.

CDIS 4720 - Practicum in Audiology
1 credit hour
Prerequisites: CDIS 4700, CDIS 4710. Laboratory course in applying principles of audiology.

CDIS 4730 - Practicum in Audiology
1 credit hour
Prerequisites: CDIS 4700, CDIS 4710, CDIS 4720. Laboratory course in applying principles of audiology.

CDIS 4750 - Advanced Audiology
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3300 and CDIS 3350 or permission of instructor. The development of advanced skills in the evaluation and remediation of hearing problems.

CDIS 4800 - Speech and Language Disorders in the Adult Population
3 credit hours
Overview of the impact of age on communication. Identification and remediation of communication problems associated with the aging process.

CDIS 4850 - Speech and Language Disorders in Childhood
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: CDIS 3400 and CDIS 4550 or permission of instructor. A comprehensive study of the speech, language, and voice difficulties experienced by children.

CDIS 4900 - Diagnostic Procedures in Speech Pathology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CDIS 4550 or permission of instructor. Basic concepts of measurement and application of diagnostic procedures used in speech-language pathology.

CDIS 4950 - Special Topics in Communication Disorders
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CDIS 3300 or permission of instructor. Advanced reading and discussion about selected topics in speech-language pathology or audiology. Content varies from semester to semester. A maximum of six semester hours may be applied toward a degree.

Mission Statement

The Communication Disorders Program in the Department of Health and Human Performance offers students the opportunity to learn about human communication; speech, language, and hearing disorders; and intervention methods for children and adults experiencing communication problems.  As a national leader offering an undergraduate pre-professional degree, the MTSU program prepares helps students prepare for graduate study in speech-language pathology and audiology.

The academic and clinical courses emphasize the following instructional principles: 

  • Understanding communication development over the life span
  • Preventing, diagnosing, and treating communication problems
  • Communicating effectively in oral and written language
  • Thinking logically, critically, and ethically
  • Supporting research and evidence-based clinical practices
  • Appreciating cultural diversity in an ever-changing society
  • Providing community services and establishing community partnerships
  • Participating in professional organizations and continuing education

View a baby with cochlear implants hearing his mother for the first time!
Watch a video of a 29-year-old woman who was born deaf but now can hear after receiving a hearing implant.

Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic

The Middle Tennessee State University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic serves children and adults who have hearing, articulation, language, voice, stuttering, and other communication problems. Client services are provided by undergraduate students under the supervision of our clinical faculty, who are certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) in speech-language pathology (CCC-SLP) or audiology (CCC-A), and are licensed by the State of Tennessee. The clinical services offered by the MTSU Clinic are based on the educational needs of the student clinicians completing the Communication Disorders major. When selecting cases, the clinical coordinator considers the client's disability, space availability, sufficient clinical staff, and scheduling policies. 

The MTSU Clinic functions within the academic semester calendar. Each semester, clients or parents obtain a parking pass from Parking Services. Services provided by the University Clinic are billed on a sliding scale at the end of each semester. Currently there is a waiting list for therapy in the University Clinic. For further information, please call 615-898-2661.

Client Forms

Case History Adult Hearing
Case History Adult Speech
Children's Pre-Evaluation Information
Release of Information

Completed forms should be returned via fax (615-898-2815), email or mail:

Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic 
MTSU Box 364 
1301 E. Main St. 
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

The Clinic Experience

In addition to the academic course work, Communication Disorders majors receive instruction in clinical management. Undergraduate programs that offer opportunities for clinical training are unique. Specialized clinic courses and experiences allow majors to combine academic knowledge with actual clinical services.

Student clinicians work in the University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic (CDIS 4550-4580) under the direct supervision of speech-language pathologists and audiologists certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. When meeting special requirements, clinicians may also engage in off-campus clinical (CDIS 4600) or school services (CDIS 4650). Through clinical practicum, students earn clock hours to apply toward the total hours required by graduate programs to fulfill national certification standards. The School Speech-Language Teacher license requires completion of CDIS 4650. Clinical materials and equipment are periodically reviewed and updated so that students receive optimal training in diagnostic methods and therapeutic management.

Prior to enrollment in clinical practicum, students must meet academic and professional eligibility criteria established by the faculty and published in the clinic manual. Academic criteria include a minimum overall GPA of 2.6 in 60 credit hours or 3.0 in the last 30 credit hours, a minimal GPA of 2.8 in the major, a minimal grade of C in each prerequisite course, mastery of phonetic features, and competence in speaking and writing. Students who do not receive a grade of B- or higher in both English composition courses (ENGL 1010 and 1020), as well as students who show unacceptable writing skills in academic or clinical course work, will be required to take an additional English writing course.

The University Clinic, located in the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building, serves children and adults who have hearing, articulation, language, voice, stuttering, and other communication problems. The University Clinic functions within the academic semester calendar.

View a video about the University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. 

Additional Information