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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Communications Sciences and Disorders faculty member pointing out graphical data on a computer screen to an older gentleman

What is COMD?

The field of Communication Sciences and Disorders (COMD) involves the scientific investigation of the communication process, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of communication.

The human communication process is multi-faceted, and includes (a) the production and perception of speech, (b) the hearing mechanism, and (c) the organization of language in the brain. Disorders of these processes can be manifested in an equally-wide variety of forms. Brain damage resulting from stroke, diseases such as Parkinson’s, hearing loss, or congenital disabilities can all result in communication difficulties. Similarly, the development of communication in children may be delayed for a wide variety of reasons.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (COMD), located in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, is at the forefront of research and clinical services in many of these areas. Two degree programs are offered, both at the graduate level. Our master's degree focuses on the clinical practice of Speech-Language Pathology (sometimes referred to as speech therapy or speech pathology). These degrees are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Graduates are eligible for national certification through ASHA, state licensure, and certification by the public schools. The other degree program is at the doctoral level and focuses on research and scholarly activities.

Opportunities to participate both in research and in clinical activities abound here. Our field is ranked as one of the top 25 by US News & World Report, and our graduates are highly-sought after following completion of their degrees.

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