Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration Major Guide for 2013-2014

What is Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration

Communication Disorders is an undergraduate program that prepares students for graduate study in either Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology. The undergraduate courses are pre-professional in scope and in combination with Audiology and Speech Pathology courses and general education courses provide an interesting and broad-based education. Those students who wish to pursue careers as audiologists or speech-language pathologists must complete a graduate degree prior to practice.

Career Opportunities in Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration

Undergraduate preparation in Communication Disorders does not directly lead to a career in audiology or speech-language pathology. Rather it provides preparation for graduate school or serves as a foundation for a variety of careers. Past graduates have gone to work in areas that include early childhood education, pharmaceutical sales, and speech-language assistance. Employment opportunities after completing a graduate degree in either Audiology or Speech Pathology are excellent.

Salary Trends in Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration

Students with a M.S. in Speech Pathology or an Au.D. in Audiology are highly sought after and graduates often have job offers before they graduate. Average salaries for someone with a graduate degree in Audiology or Speech Pathology are in the mid $50k’s. For those who do not go on to graduate school, pre-professional experiences, such as internships, volunteer experiences and part-time jobs, may enhance the chances of obtaining desired employment and help to guide salary levels.

High School Preparation

Students interested in pursuing a career as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist should consider taking courses in biological sciences, physical sciences and psychology. In addition, for those interested in speech-language pathology, courses in English with an emphasis on writing and the structure of the English language are highly recommended. For those interested in audiology, high school courses in math provide an excellent foundation.

How to Major in Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration

Prospective students should seek advising through the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Office of Student Services (865-974-8194). Students apply for admission to the Communication Disorders program after completing a minimum of 60 credit hours, with Audiology and Speech Pathology 300 completed. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Requirements for Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration

Courses in Communication Disorders build upon a general education base. The first two years of a student’s program will normally consist of completing General Education and degree requirements. The junior and senior years include the introductory courses in speech pathology and audiology.

Requirements in Communication Disorders include core courses within the discipline of Audiology and Speech Pathology and, for students planning to go on to graduate school, a series of electives needed for professional certification that include general education courses in a physical science, a biological science, social science and mathematics.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Seniors who have performed well in departmental courses may be selected to participate in clinical activities within the University of Tennessee Hearing and Speech Center or in laboratory research with faculty.

Highlights of Special Education: Communication Disorders Concentration

The Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at UT is one of the largest and best recognized programs of its kind in the United States. The clinical facilities are extensive and serve diverse populations.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Ready for the World is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education website (http://international.utk.edu/) or the Ready for the World website (http://www.utk.edu/readyfortheworld/) for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities.

Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors.

Consult an academic advisor early in your academic career about the best time for you to study abroad as well as what courses you may need to take. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.


Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to http://catalog.utk.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=14&poid=5259.

For More Information

College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
Special Education Program Office
332 Bailey Education Complex
Knoxville, TN 37996-3433
(865) 974-8194


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.