Who We Are Now

Please noteIntroduction

Welcome to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. We are located on the main floor of the Edinburg Health Affairs Building West (EHABW). Our main office is EHABW 1.264. Our department offers a Master of Science (M.S.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in communication sciences and disorders as well as a minor in American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting. You can learn more about the requirements for the master’s and bachelor’s degrees and the ASL Interpreting minor by simply clicking on the appropriate link on the left-hand side of this screen.

The graduate (i.e., master’s degree) program in communication sciences and disorders requires six consecutive academic terms to complete. Studies always begin in the fall semester, then continue into the spring semester, summer I session, summer II session, fall semester and finally spring semester. A student who enters the graduate program in the fall of 2018 will graduate in May of 2020 if they graduate on time. It should be noted that we accept only students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in communication sciences and disorders or speech-language pathology. We do not offer courses for students who earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline and would like to change career path, neither do we accept into our graduate program students who have taken “leveling” courses from another institution of higher education. Prospective graduate students are urged to visit the Program Accreditation section of our web site.

For the bachelor’s degree, students begin their studies at the beginning of their junior year and continue to the senior year and then graduation. The minor in ASL Interpreting is designed to be completed within two academic years.

We hope you find the information contained within to be informative as well as motivational. If you’re the type of person who loves working with other people in a way that makes a positive impact on their lives, communication sciences and disorders may be the career path for you.

What are Communication Disorders?

Two professions comprise the field of communication disorders—audiology and speech-language pathology. Audiologists provide diagnostic hearing and balance evaluations and aural rehabilitation services. Speech-language pathologists (also known as a speech pathologists or speech therapists) work with people who have impairments of speech, language, and swallowing by diagnosing and remediating these disorders. Speech disorders may include problems with the proper pronunciation of certain speech sounds, voice and resonance disorders (such as vocal nodules or laryngectomy), and fluency disorders (such as stuttering). Language disorders can occur in children and adults. In children, language disorders may exhibit themselves in the presence or absence of other disorders such as developmental disabilities or intellectual impairment. In adults, language and swallowing problems are most likely a result of stroke or a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Clients or patients represent the entire age range from birth to the elderly and come from a wide variety of racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The majority of employment positions are in the public schools and medical settings but opportunities also exist in community agencies, free standing clinics and private practice. 

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is a speech-language pathology program only. Students desiring to become audiologists must either earn the baccalaureate degree in communication sciences and disorders at UTRGV and then transfer to a university that offers an audiology program, or enroll from the outset in a university that has an audiology program.