Department History

Communicative Sciences & Disorders Department History The program began as one of an interest area in "speech correction" in 1937 as part of the Department of Speech and Drama at Michigan State University. It consisted of a single faculty member with interests in speech correction.

Additional faculty took up the interest area over the ensuing years, and the curriculum and course offerings expanded to include voice science, phonetics, normal and abnormal speech development, lip reading and other offerings dispersed among the broader speech and drama curriculum and courses such as public speaking, oral argumentation, teaching of speech and others.

In 1967, the "program" became the separate independent Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences in the then recently established College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Over the course of the next decades it grew in enrollment, course offerings, and faculty. It developed a separate undergraduate major, with ensuing separate master's and doctoral degrees in speech(-language) pathology, audiology, and speech and hearing sciences.

The Department gained national accreditation from the American Speech(-Language)- Hearing Association for its graduate professional degrees in speech(-language) pathology and audiology. By 1970, a master's degree was looked upon nationally as the entry-level professional degree for the professions. Further major programmatic shifts occurred in 21st Century, with the Department changing its name to Communicative Sciences and Disorders in 2006, and transitioning to a speech-language pathology, graduate-only program in 2010.

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