Communicative Disorders Program Department of Special Education

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Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communicative Disorders

There are 12 core courses required for the major, constituting 36 units. The undergraduate program in Communicative Disorders is designed to provide students with the prerequisite knowledge necessary to apply to graduate study leading to the completion of a master’s degree in speech-language pathology or doctoral study in audiology. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders is not a terminal degree. Graduate degrees are necessary to practice professionally in communication sciences and disorders. Speech-Language Pathology requires a master’s degree and audiology requires a doctoral degree, the AuD. San Francisco State University is one of nearly 300 universities throughout the country that offers the master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Currently, there are 80 programs in the US that offer the AuD and an equal number of universities that offer doctoral studies in speech-language pathology. The Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education with San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley offers a Ph.D. program for those interested in studying issues related to communicative disorders within the educational context.

» Download a brochure of the Bachelor of Arts program

Required Academic Courses (36 Units)

The course titles below are linked to course descriptions in the university course bulletin, which specifies their prerequisites, units, and latest offerings.

CD651 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
CD652 Audiology
CD653 Fluency and Voice Disorders
CD654 Audiometry 
CD656 Diagnosis of Communicative Disorders
CD658 Communication Development and Disorders
CD659 Articulatory and Phonological Disorders
CD660 Communicative Disorders
CD661 Neurolinguistics 
CD663 Augmentative and Alternative Communication
CD668 Language Acquisition and Development (GWAR)
CD664 Clinical Phonetics


» Required timeline and sequence (Roadmap) for CD undergraduate major coursework

» Download a PDF of the required undergraduate timeline and sequence(Roadmap)

» More about the undergraduate program – Undergraduate Advising Handbook

Undergraduate or Transfer Students Declaring CD Major

Choosing a major is a milestone in a student's academic career. The CD Program is a challenging major. Students who are happy and successful in the CD major are those whose skills, talents, and disposition are a good fit for the Communication Sciences and Disorders field. Before declaring CD as your major, we require that you consider the following to see if CD is right for you:

1. In addition to the CD major courses, you must also complete the following :
(Note: The requirements below CANNOT be substituted by CD courses.)

  1. A course in biological sciences (Effective Fall 2016, a course in one of the following area will be required PRIOR to starting CD major courses: biology, human anatomy and physiology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, human genetics, or veterinary science.)
  2. A course in physical sciences (Effective Fall 2016, a course in Physics or Chemistry will be required PRIOR to starting CD major courses. At SFSU, Physics can be fulfilled by PHYS 101 and Chemistry can fulfilled by CHEM 101.)
  3. A Statistics course (At SFSU, this requirement can be fulfilled by MATH 124, PSY 171, or ISED 160. Effective Fall 2016, this requirement must be completed PRIOR to starting CD major courses.) (CSU Northridge also offers an online Introductory Statistics course – MATH 140 – which is open to eligible SFSU students. For more information, please visit
  4. A course in social/behavioral sciences (Effective Fall 2016, course in one of the following area will be required PRIOR to starting CD major courses: psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health.)

2. Download the Undergraduate CD Major Guide and put your initial next to each of the specified activities as you complete it.

You must bring this form to meet with a CD advisor to declare the major.

3. Bring a transcript

You must have a 2.0 GPA to declare the CD major. Please bring a transcript to your advising meeting. (An unofficial transcript is okay.)

4. Download and carefully read the Essential Functions Guide that describes the essential characteristics necessary for success in the SLP field.


5. In order to register for CD courses, you must have completed a minimum of 60 units.

If you believe CD is a good fit for you after completing the 5 steps above, or if you wish to learn more about the CD major, make an appointment with a CD advisor by calling 415.338.1001. Please bring the Undergraduate CD Major Guide that you have completed and signed to the meeting.

Undergraduate students who are entering the program from another major are required to complete a "Change of Major" form, obtained from the Special Education Office. They should make an appointment with an undergraduate adviser in CD to complete the card, have the adviser sign it, and return it to Enrollment Services in ADM 153.


Criteria for Advancement in the Program

In order to advance in the academic sequence, the student must maintain the following:

  1. An overall C average (2.0 GPA) for the program.
  2. Letter grade of C– or better in CD 660, 668, and 651 in the first semester of the CD program in order to continue in the program.

Students who do not meet these criteria cannot take ANY other CD courses. They must re-take the courses in which they received grades below C– the next time they are offered before taking additional CD courses.

"An undergraduate student who has received a grade of C or higher, or a grade of CR, may not repeat a course unless the course is described in the Bulletin as repeatable for credit. An undergraduate student who has received a grade in a course that is lower than C, including AU, IC, RD, RP, W, and WU, may repeat that course only once more" (

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