Undergraduate Certificate Program Communication Sciences and Disorders

PSU communications students in class

Communication Sciences and Disorders Certificate Overview

Portland State's certificate in communication sciences and disorders — the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest — helps prepare you for a career in speech-language pathology or audiology.
In our program, you'll gain a strong foundation in the scientific and clinical aspects of human speech, language, cognition, communication, and their disorders.

Our certificate has been developed to help post-baccalaureate students who wish to pursue a career in speech-language pathology or audiology but have an undergraduate degree in another field, or other undergraduate students who are interested in fields such as psychology, education, and special education but want a solid foundation in communication sciences and disorders.

We offer:

  • Hands-on experience in Portland's only on-campus speech and hearing clinic
  • Opportunities to participate in leading-edge research in our faculty labs
  • Engaging electives that broaden your awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity

With the certificate, you'll have the knowledge, skills, and experience to apply for Oregon state licensure as a speech-language pathology assistant or continue into a top-ranked graduate program in speech-language pathology or audiology, including the M.S. at Portland State.

Degree Details

  • C
    Certificate Program
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Certificate: Why PSU?

Our certificate program in communication sciences and disorders is the first at a four-year university in Oregon that meets the licensure requirements for a speech-language pathology assistant, while also providing a competitive entry point into graduate school.

Through a mix of in-person and online courses, we offer case-based and applied learning opportunities. You'll gain a core scientific foundation in speech, language, and communication, as well as become familiar with the language and cultural characteristics of diverse populations and speech and language differences and disorders. You'll also choose from a variety of electives on topics around race, gender, and identity to help expose you to a diversity of human experiences.

We offer a variety of opportunities for you to develop your clinical skills through observation, directed clinical assistantships, and both clinical practicums and volunteer opportunities at summer camps.

Our supportive faculty engage in leading clinical research, and you'll have opportunities to work alongside them in their labs.

Our diverse, active student groups provide safe spaces to learn about the speech therapist and hearing profession, share experiences, engage in advocacy efforts, and volunteer.

What can I do with a certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders?

In recent years, as demand for speech-language pathologists increases, so has the need for support personnel such as speech-language pathology assistants. This certificate provides you with the academic and clinical requirements necessary to apply for Oregon state licensure as a speech-language pathology assistant.

It will also provide you with the learning experiences and applied clinical skills you need to pursue graduate study and professional certification in speech-language pathology and audiology, or other jobs or fields of study, including psychology and education.

Featured Courses

  • SPHR 370 Phonetics and Acoustics
  • SPHR 371 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Swallowing
  • SPHR 372U Speech and Language Development in Children
  • SPHR 461 Neurology of Speech and Hearing
  • SPHR 487 Hearing Sciences
  • SPHR 394 Guided Observation
  • SPHR 488 Clinical Audiology
  • SPHR 489 Aural Rehabilitation
  • SPHR 496 Introduction to Clinical Management


  • SPHR 480 Introduction to Sociocultural Aspects of Interactions
  • SPHR 485 Bilingualism and Communication Disorders
  • CR 312 Intercultural Conflict Resolution


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Our CSD Certificate satisfies the educational requirements for applying for a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant provisional license in Oregon.