Why Major in Communicative Disorders?

If you're motivated to help others, consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders (COMD). Whether you're preparing for an advanced degree or you want to develop a strong foundation for employment in human services, education or health care, communicative disorders may be a good fit for you. It combines the best qualities of health care and teaching and makes for a rewarding career.

The communicative disorders field is broad and brings many different work opportunities:

  • Clients' and patients' ages may range between infancy and geriatrics.
  • Work environments consist of clinics, hospitals, schools and many other settings.
  • We work with diverse populations and are striving toward raising the percentage of bilingual speech-language pathologists and audiologists in our field.

Learn about our exciting organization, Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA), and how you can be part of it.


Transfer Credits

Do you have community college credits? Our students appreciate the number of credits that can be transferred from a community college toward our undergraduate degree program. To learn more, contact undergraduate advisor Liz Yee at eyee1@niu.edu.

Ask a Student

Want to reach a current COMD undergraduate student to learn more? Email us at comdsa@niu.edu and you'll be contacted by a student who can answer your questions.


With a B.S. degree in communicative disorders you'll gain in-depth knowledge of communication processes and the nature and impact of communication disorders. Your strong understanding of diversity and disability will be applicable to a number of interesting careers:

  • Before/after school counselor
  • Client/patient advocate 
  • Clinical intake specialist
  • College recruiter
  • Equipment/materials representative
  • Group home support staff
  • Health care interpreter
  • Hippotherapy (horse-assisted speech therapy) aide
  • Hospital patient relations specialist
  • Hospital unit coordinator
  • Independent living specialist
  • Instructional teacher's assistant
  • Job coach, developer or placement specialist
  • Medical office manager
  • Paraprofessional/teacher's aide or assistant/instructional assistant
  • Patient support specialist
  • Personal care assistant
  • Rehabilitation therapy aide/tech
  • Residential counselor
  • Therapeutic recreation aide
  • Vocational aide

With some additional examinations or certifications, you'll be prepared for the following roles:

  • Applied behavior analyst (ABA) line therapist
  • Audiology assistant
  • Early intervention specialist
  • Hearing instrument dispenser
  • Lactation specialist
  • Speech-language pathology assistant

Graduate Study

When you earn your undergraduate degree in communicative disorders, you'll need to meet additional educational requirements necessary to become an audiologist or speech-language pathologist. The undergraduate communicative disorders program provides basic information regarding communication development and disorders, hearing, disability and rehabilitation, and prepares students for entering the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) or the Master of Arts in communicative disorders program with a specialization in speech-language pathology. Both programs are offered at NIU.

Huskie Spotlight

My major is communicative disorders with an emphasis in audiology. I genuinely have a drive to help others. That being said, I also wanted to choose an area of study where I would be able to leave my mark, whether that was on a small or large scale. I also always knew I had a passion for people and, specifically, the more health-focused side of things. Putting that all together, I knew I needed something challenging, and also based around human well-being.

Diana Jarocki, ‘19

Contact Us

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders
340 Wirtz Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115


Office Hours

Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–noon, and 1–4:30 p.m.