Communication Sciences and Disorders

Program Description Type Degree
Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pre-Speech-Language Pathology, B.S.DegreeB.S.
Communication Sciences and Disorders, Pre-Audiology, B.S.DegreeB.S.
Sign Language Interpreting, B.S.DegreeB.S.
Sign Language Studies, A.S.DegreeA.S.
Sign Language Studies, MinorMinor

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers an Associate of Science Degree in Sign Language Studies, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sign Language Interpreting, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with an emphasis in either Pre-Audiology or Pre-Speech-Language Pathology. These degrees provide the education and training necessary for individuals who wish to work in education, hospitals, clinics, governmental agencies, skilled nursing facilities, medical offices, and more.

The professions represented within the department seek to help children, youth, and adults with communication disabilities and differences that are either present at birth or acquired later in life. Curricula rich in biological and social sciences in conjunction with rigorous departmental courses in evaluation, treatment, teaching, and research lead our graduates to gainful employment and diverse career opportunities. The career path an individual takes will depend upon training and personal goals. Those who accept the challenge of these professions will find that the effort put forward to earn degrees will be rewarding.

Associate of Science Degree in Sign Language Studies

The Associate of Science Degree in Sign Language Studies is a two year degree that is primarily designed for students who wish to prepare for the Sign Language Interpreting Program or for students who wish to obtain an interim degree before entering another major, such as Deaf Education. The Sign Language Studies degree focuses on American Sign Language skills through academic courses and labs designed to provide a small group setting to facilitate instructor feedback and guidance.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Sign Language Interpreting

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Sign Language Interpreting is designed to prepare students for employment as interpreters in a variety of settings with an emphasis in K-12 environments. An associate degree in Sign Language Studies or its equivalent is required. Students are taught with a “hands on” approach as they learn about Deaf culture, how to collaborate in a professional setting, and participate in field observations culminating with an interpreting internship. Public and private education programs, local and state public health units, institutions such as the Idaho, Montana, and Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, and vocational rehabilitation agencies participate in affiliate service and training. Internship sites may require record of vaccinations and a police background check. The Bachelor of Science in Sign Language Interpreting is offered only at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, with Emphases in Pre-Audiology and in Pre-Speech-Language Pathology

The areas of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology have foundations grounded in basic communicative behavior. Included in these emphases are the study of biological and social sciences, phonetics, acoustics, neurology, development of normal speech, language, and hearing abilities as well as deviations from normal communicative processes. Students are introduced to assessment and treatment procedures at the undergraduate level. The Bachelor of Science degree emphases prepare students to apply to graduate programs in either Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. 

Idaho State University has the distinction of offering the bachelor’s degree with emphasis in Pre-Speech-Language Pathology, as well as the Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology, on both the Pocatello and Meridian campuses. The Master of Science degree is also offered online, although attendance on our campus is mandatory for 8 weeks the first summer and 1 week the second summer of the program. Many departmental classes are taught via distance learning technology with clinical and academic faculty at both sites. Students should note that admission to graduate programs is competitive.

The combined bachelor’s and master’s programs in Speech-Language Pathology and the bachelor’s and clinical doctorate programs in Audiology are designed to prepare students to meet the academic and clinical requirements for the Idaho Department of Education Certificate for Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist, state licensing, and the Certificate of Clinical Competence issued by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Both the graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology are accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation of ASHA. Additional information about the graduate programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology can be found in the Graduate Catalog, Kasiska Division of Health Sciences, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Admission to Bachelor’s Degree Programs on Meridian Campus

Students entering the bachelor’s degree programs at the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center must apply for admission because space in these programs is limited. Students planning to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders must have a GPA of 3.0 or better after completing 40 semester hours. Students planning to major in Sign Language Interpreting must have an associate degree in Sign Language Studies or its equivalent, must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher, and must have a GPA of 3.0 or better in skill courses (e.g., ASL, interpreting). For more information, call 208-373-1908 or go to the Department Webpage at

Junior Transfer Programs

It is recommended that students interested in the Meridian undergraduate program complete their general education requirements before transferring to Idaho State University-Meridian. General Education classes are not offered at the Idaho State University-Meridian Center. Junior transfer students may complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree within two years at Idaho State University. January junior transfers may complete the program requirements in two and one half years. Students interested in the undergraduate program at Idaho State University-Meridian should call (208) 373-1908 for additional information. Students wishing to transfer from the Pocatello campus to the Meridian campus should call that same number.

Pre-Professional Coursework

Students with undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than Communication Sciences and Disorders must take a series of courses that are prerequisite to entering the master’s degree program. These courses are delivered in two formats. The traditional Pre-Professional Program format involves 13 courses provided through on-campus classroom instruction over the course of two semesters and a summer. The Online Pre-Professional Program (OPP) involves delivery of 13 courses via totally online format, designed to provide nontraditional students with a means of acquiring these courses. Note that the online courses require extra fees, and the program is available to individuals seeking degrees at other institutions. The course sequence and specific aspects of the programs may be found on the Communication Science & Disorders home page at Completion of the Pre-Professional coursework does not guarantee a spot in the graduate program.

Academic Standards

Each student is responsible for completing the required coursework in the proper sequential order. Required prerequisite courses must be completed before the student can enroll in upper division departmental courses. Transfer students may submit petitions to the department for equivalent recognition of required courses. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.25 and obtain a letter grade of “C-” or better in departmental courses counting toward fulfillment of graduation requirements. A grade of “D+” in departmental courses will not be counted toward satisfaction of requirements for the major. All students must meet with their advisors each semester.

Practicum Standards

Students within the department may enroll in limited practicum activities as seniors. Specified departmental course requirements must be met before a student enrolls.

Clinical Services

The Idaho State University Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic on the Pocatello Campus and the Speech and Language Clinic at the ISU Meridian Health Sciences Center offer a variety of clinical training opportunities for students while providing valuable services to the community. Among our audiological services offered at the Pocatello campus are complete audiological and vestibular testing, hearing aid evaluation, auditory training, aural habilitation and rehabilitation, including services for individuals with cochlear implants. The Speech and Language Clinics in Pocatello and Meridian offer evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders, stuttering, voice, alternative and augmentative communication, and speech-language problems associated with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, autism, cleft palate, and stroke. Specialized group therapy is offered for preschool children with communication needs, toddlers and children with cochlear implants, and adults with aphasia. Clients served in our clinics range in age from infancy to adulthood and all clinical services are provided by experienced students under the direction of ASHA-certified clinical faculty.

CSD Faculty

CSD Courses