Communication Sciences & Disorders Degree

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders’ goal is to provide an academically challenging pre-professional education in the fields of speech-language-hearing pathology and audiology in an environment that encourages intellectual and spiritual growth and preparation for graduate school.

We also encourage students to lead lives of service to individuals across the lifespan who have communication delays or disorders by providing clinical opportunities in a variety of assessment and treatment settings.

Abby Pounds“Program Director Becky Saterbak is one of the reasons I have succeeded in this program. Without her classes, I wouldn’t be as confident about this career field and going into graduate school.” –Abby Pounds, ‘22

Program Contact

Becky Saterbak-Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Becky Saterbak

Assistant Professor and Head of Communication Sciences and Disorders

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  • Communication Sciences & Disorders (B.A.)
  • Communication Sciences & Disorders (B.B.S.)
  • Communication Sciences & Disorders (B.S.)


  • Communication Sciences & Disorders

Why study Communication Sciences & Disorders at HSU?

CSD students having brunch.

Prepare for your graduate degree

Our students are provided with a strong academic foundation in preparation for assessing and treating individuals across the lifespan with communication disorders of articulation, language, voice, swallowing, and hearing in children and adults. Students interact clinically with certified and licensed Speech Language Pathologists in a variety of settings as they evaluate and treat individuals of all ages.

CSD student painting a kid's face at an HSU event.

High Acceptance Rate

95% of students are accepted and attend graduate school within one year of graduating from HSU!

CSD students doing a reading exercise.

Real-World Applications

HSU provides CSD students an excellent undergraduate liberal arts education. Foundational coursework in the field of CSD includes training in ethics as well as outreach opportunities. Small classes, caring professors, and an interactive learning process ensure that students are successful. Students complete 25 observation hours at clinical sites within Abilene. Additionally, undergraduate CSD students have an opportunity to complete 25 direct therapy hours and to prepare for graduate education.

Program Details

All courses and course descriptions for each degree type can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog:

Pre-requisites for participation in clinical courses and internship/externship placement include a minimum overall GPA of 3.0; a minimum GPA of 3.25 in CSD courses; at least 12 hours of required CSD courses must have been completed at Hardin-Simmons University; completion of specified coursework; specific site requirements (including a background check, drug testing and proof of immunization; submission of contract materials and proof of liability insurance; and permission of department head).

Students are provided with a strong academic foundation in preparation for assessing and treating individuals across the lifespan with communication disorders. Students interact clinically with certified and licensed Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists in a variety of settings as they evaluate and treat individuals of all ages with speech, language, hearing and/or swallowing problems resulting from a variety of etiologies including brain injury or stroke, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, or development delay.

With an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, graduates are eligible to become licensed in Texas as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLP-A), who work primarily in the school setting, treating students with communication disorders.

Almost all our students (>95%) continue their education by earning a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology or a doctorate in Audiology.  Once completing this additional coursework, students are eligible to become licensed Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) or Audiologists.

About half of speech-language pathologists work in the school setting.  The other half work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities (nursing homes), home health, or private practice.  Most audiologists work in a medical setting.

A few graduating students each year choose to work as an SLP-A for a short period of time prior to starting graduate school.  These students typically work with the pediatric population close to home.  HSU students have found success with the following companies:

  • Sweetwater ISD, Sweetwater, Texas
  • Angels of Care Pediatric Home Health, Fort Worth
  • West Central Texas Shared Services Arrangement, Sweetwater

Hardin-Simmons University accepted its first students to the Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program in the fall of 2021 after receiving its initial candidacy accreditation in May   2021. This program offers an automatic admit from the Hardin-Simmons CSD program and a leveling program for students interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in SLP.

The vast majority of graduating CSD students from HSU continue their education by earning a master’s degree in speech-language pathology or a doctoral degree in audiology.  Most HSU students attend graduate programs within the state of Texas.  Common schools that students attend include:

  • Texas Woman’s University in Denton
  • University of Texas in Dallas
  • University of Texas in San Antonio
  • Texas A&M in El Paso
  • Baylor University in Waco


Kylie BenaKylie Bena

“Being a CSD student was one of the best parts of college! The professors made my experience enjoyable and knowledgeable; my peers were helpful and kind, and NSSLHA was a large part of my college career. The CSD department prepared me for graduate school in many ways and I can’t wait to start this new path with the preparation I was given in undergrad.”

Julianne HouseJulianne House

Being a Communication Sciences & Disorders major at HSU isn’t just about getting through classes and making good grades so that you’ll graduate. The professors challenge their students to learn the material, think critically, problem solve, research, analyze data, and encourage a practice of life-long learning. My experience was full of challenges, successes, and failures that benefitted my educational and personal growth. I am so thankful for the environment that fostered my love for CSD and how it all led me to where I am today: a college graduate headed to graduate school!

Current Students

Kaitlyn KingKaitlyn King

“I love being a part of the HSU CSD department. The close-knit community of fellow classmates and professors promotes an uplifting and enjoyable learning environment.”

Maggie ArchinalMaggie Archinal

“I love the CSD department because it is one big family full of individuals with a shared passion.”

Samantha EberleSamantha Eberle

“My favorite thing about being a student in the CSD department is the relationships I’ve built. You become so close with the people in the program because of the small class size. I know I have made friends that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life!”

The Communication Sciences and Disorders department sponsors a pre-professional club for all majors. The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) at Hardin-Simmons University meets monthly to discuss topics vital to the field. Additionally NSSLHA sponsors several outreach activities and social events yearly.