Earn your communicative sciences and disorders bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana

Help others make strides in some of life’s most important abilities through the bachelor’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders at the University of Montana. In this campus-based or fully online program, you’ll build on a strong foundation in the science of speech, language, and hearing with real-world experiences in diverse settings.

Learn from faculty who are respected clinicians and renowned researchers in their fields. As your mentors, they can offer you opportunities to assist in their groundbreaking research within a wide range of specialized labs. You’ll have the chance to apply what you learn in various ways, such as: becoming a peer mentor for autistic students on campus; designing and conducting your own major research project; and presenting your findings at a UM research conference.

Our communicative sciences and disorders degree will prepare you to go on to your graduate school of choice or pursue a career in areas such as speech-language pathology, audiology, linguistics, neurosciences, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.


of students complete our program on time


of students pass the Praxis examination


of students are employed within 1 year of graduation

Other educational options for communicative sciences at UM

PhD Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

Post Baccalaureate Leveling Program in CSD

Speech Language Pathology Assistant Certificate

Communicative Sciences and Disorders Minor

What can you do with a communicative sciences and disorders degree?

Your UM communicative sciences and disorders degree will give you the practical knowledge and skills you need as a compassionate problem-solver who wants to make a measurable difference in the lives of those who struggle with speech, language, hearing, and other crucial aspects of communication.

You might help a preschooler say their first words or a nursing home resident with swallowing issues common with dementia. Your UM degree can also lead to careers beyond clinical work, such as public policy consultancy and early child development.

Many students in the UM communicative disorders degree program go on to a graduate program such as our on-campus or online speech-language pathology master’s degree or even a Ph.D. in speech, language, and hearing sciences.

What is speech-language pathology?

Speech-language pathology is an art and science dedicated to preventing, assessing, diagnosing and treating disorders related to speech, language, and social and cognitive communication, as well as swallowing disorders.

People in every phase of life can experience these types of disorders, and most can greatly benefit from the therapies that practitioners with a speech-language pathology degree can provide.

Jobs in the communicative sciences and disorders

An undergraduate degree in communicative sciences and disorders can qualify you for career paths that include:

  • Speech-language pathology assistant
  • Audiology assistant
  • Work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and private practice clinics
  • Roles in public policy

Your UM degree in communicative sciences and disorders can also prepare you to earn a graduate degree in speech-language pathology and/or audiology, as well as related medical and educational fields such as linguistics, education, psychology, neurosciences, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.

Salaries in the communicative sciences and disorders

According to ZipRecruiter, a speech-language pathology assistant can earn an average salary of $58,985 a year. The average audiologist assistant's salary is $56,247. Earning potential increases for those who earn their masters.

Speech-language pathologist jobs are expected to grow by 25 percent over the next five years*, a rate much faster than the national average for all careers. Because speech-language pathology assistants work closely with speech-language pathologists, these assistant positions should see similar robust job growth.

Keep in mind that a career as a speech-language pathologist typically requires a master’s degree, while a career as an audiologist typically requires a doctoral degree. If your career goals include either of these, your undergraduate communicative disorders degree from UM will serve as an excellent building block for graduate school and beyond.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Hear from Dr. Catherine Off, founder and co-director of UM’s Big Sky Aphasia Program, about how deeply rewarding it is to make a difference in the lives of stroke survivors who are relearning how to speak.

Experiential learning in the communicative sciences and disorders degree program

As a student in UM’s communicative sciences and disorders program, you will continually deepen your classroom knowledge by applying it in clinics, labs, and community work.

Community service learning in the communicative sciences and disorders degree

From the start of your program, you’ll learn by immersing in community service.

For example, our faculty supervised DeWit RiteCare Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic on the UM campus serves clients of all ages in Missoula and statewide. Here you’ll observe diagnostics and treatment ranging from children’s social skills intervention to gender affirming voice services to fiber endoscopic evaluation of swallowing.

Peer mentoring is another way to serve your community while you gain practical skills in your field and service-learning course credit. You can advocate for and support inclusivity through UM’s Mentoring, Organization, and Social Support for Autism/All Inclusion on Campus (MOSSAIC) program.

Undergraduate research experiences for the bachelor’s in communicative sciences and disorders

Assist in the research of faculty who are leaders in developmental and acquired language disorders. At UM, you’ll have the chance to work alongside your faculty mentors in on-site labs such as:

Career development in the communicative sciences and disorders program

Your education will take place in a highly supportive environment. Accomplished faculty will be your mentors as you grow through classroom learning, research opportunities, and field work. Student organizations, service-learning activities, and professional conferences will connect you with peers who share your passion for the field and with experts who can become valuable career resources.

Networking and professional development in the communicative sciences and disorders degree program

Present your Communicative Sciences and Disorders research and connect with influential speech-pathology professionals by taking part in the Montana Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Clubs and organizations for communicative sciences and disorders majors

You’ll find plenty of ways to use your program knowledge for good through the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). This student organization engages in philanthropic work to improve lives on campus and in the Missoula community. Meet like-minded, enthusiastic students, work on meaningful projects with program faculty, and attend enriching professional conferences and workshops.

Interprofessional Education (IPE) Montana can further your career preparation. This partnership between UM’s Health and Medicine and Montana State University’s College of Nursing offers a variety of undergraduate opportunities to become “collaborative practice-ready” by taking part in cross-discipline events, programs, and research to improve health outcomes.

Explore classes for the communicative sciences and disorders major

We designed this program’s curriculum to foster rich development as a practitioner helping to better the lives of those with communicative disorders. The curriculum offers deep and broad experiences to make you a standout candidate for your preferred graduate school or your future career. The program culminates in a senior capstone course that will challenge you to design and complete your own major research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Then, you can present your research at the UM Conference on Undergraduate Research.

View all classes for the communicative sciences and disorders degree.