Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies

Steven Skelton, Ph.D., Chair
5310 N. Campus Drive M/S PH 80
559-278-2423 (V)
559-278-5187 (Fax)

BA in Communicative Disorders - Audiology Option, B.A.
BA in Communicative Disorders - Deaf Education Option, B.A.
BA in Communicative Disorders - Deaf Studies Option, B.A.
BA in Communicative Disorders - Interpreting Option, B.A.
BA in Communicative Disorders - Speech Pathology Option, B.A.
CRED in Special Education Mod/Sev Disab Internship
CRED in Education Specialist Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Clear Credential
CRED in Education Specialist Deaf and Hard of Hearing - Preliminary Credential
CRED in Speech-Language Pathology Services - Preliminary, Credential
MA in Communicative Disorders - Deaf Education Option, M.A.
MA in Speech-Language Pathology, M.A.
MN in Communicative Disorders, Minor

Courses Offered

The Field of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies

Audiology, speech-language pathology, deaf education and interpreting are concerned with many issues related to speech, hearing, and language. Professionals in these fields are devoted to providing diagnostic, rehabilitative, and educational services to children and adults with communicative challenges.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders provides the students with a liberal arts foundation integrated with courses designed to provide a basic understanding of speech, language, and hearing development and communicative problems. Students pursuing deaf studies have two options: deaf education and interpreting. Students majoring in deaf education and speech-language pathology can continue their options in our graduate program.

Master of Arts

Education beyond the bachelor's degree is necessary for completion of the academic, credential, and licensure requirements leading to professional employment. Two professional option areas are available to the student:

  • Deaf Education. Our deaf education program gives you a broad background in bilingual-bicultural education, total communication, and cued speech philosophies along with speech, language, auditory training, deaf culture, and American Sign Language. This program includes all of the essential elements of a good education for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. The program is nationally accredited by the Council of Education of the Deaf (CED).
  • Speech-Language Pathology. Our speech and language pathology program provides you with a broad professional background in normal speech and language development, language disorders, swallowing disorders, voice disorders, articulation disorders, and fluency disorders. The program is nationally accredited by the Council for Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

The undergraduate curriculum plus a master's degree in communicative disorders prepares you for one or more of the following: state licensure as a speech-language pathologist, national certification in speech-language pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, provisional certification in deaf education by the Council on Education of the Deaf, Levels I and II Education Specialist Credential: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Speech-Language Pathology Services Credential.

Certificate in Conversational American Sign Language

A program of study leading to a Certificate in Conversational American Sign Language has become popular to many students pursuing professional fields and other majors on campus. The demand for health and human services professionals who can communicate effectively with deaf and hard-of-hearing children, youth, and adults has made sign language skills necessary.

Communicative Disorders Minor

A Minor in Communicative Disorders is also available for students in various education and health professions (nursing, health science, physical therapy, counseling, elementary and secondary education, special education, child development, linguistics, criminology, etc.) who are interested in expanding their understanding of children and adults with communicative disorders.


As a student, you are given the opportunity to work in a well-equipped speech and hearing clinic. You can also gain practical experience in a variety of school, private practice, and hospital settings. Library facilities contain specialized collections including student access to local medical libraries. In the Anna Michelson Memorial Instructional Media Center, you have access to a wide range of therapy production materials such as films, video, clinical equipment, and professional journals.

University Speech and Hearing Clinic

The department operates an ongoing clinic that provides diagnostic, therapeutic, and counseling services to clients of all ages with a variety of different communication problems or disorders.

The clinic provides supervised clinical practice for students who are preparing to be professional speech-language pathologists and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. As a valuable community resource, the clinic serves thousands of clients each year from the Fresno metropolitan area.