Advancing knowledge about human communication differences and disorders

Our programs focus on all aspects of communication sciences and disorders and literacy - providing you with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the lives of children and adults.

Our department is a leader in innovative research related to language, hearing, speech, and swallowing. Our sponsored research activity has grown to more than $5.6 million per year in research and training contracts and grants.  

What we stand for

The mission of the department of communication sciences and disorders is to advance knowledge about human communication differences and disorders and to prepare graduates for success in interprofessional practice settings as speech-language pathologists, audiologists, or educators who are committed to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in providing leadership and excellence in client care.

A medical professional and a child playing a card game wearing head bands
  1. Provide an academic and clinical curriculum for graduate students in all degree programs that:
    • prepares them to become reflective practitioners with comprehensive knowledge and skills in educational and healthcare settings;
    • fosters their ability to think critically and analytically and to use the principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) in clinical decision-making;
    • develops their leadership skills;
    • instills a deep understanding and commitment to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in relation to their practice as speech-language pathologists, audiologists, or educators.
  2. Provide the necessary academic and clinical preparation needed to exceed the standards for professional certification established by accrediting organizations.
  3. Implement a scientist-practitioner model of teaching and mentorship that rewards faculty for their teaching, scholarship, and service
  4. Engage faculty and students in process of continuing education related to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  5. Engage faculty and students in a variety of collaborative interprofessional learning environments and experiences.
  6. Implement process changes that result in a more diverse student body and increased diversity of faculty and staff.
  7. Develop and disseminate research in CSD in the areas of discovery, application, and scholarship of teaching and learning.
  8. Provide affordable, accessible, and quality clinical services to the community in the areas of speech-language pathology, audiology, and literacy-focused education.

Graduate students in all CSD Department degree programs will:

  1. Demonstrate they have attained each of the skills, knowledge items, and professional practice competencies required for professional certification by accrediting organizations.
  2. Serve as effective team members and leaders in interprofessional collaborative activities
  3. Use well-developed critical and analytical thinking skills to evaluate the research base pertinent to their area of practice.
  4. Provide state-of-the-art, evidence-based, client- and family-centered services to diverse populations in multiple settings and via multiple modalities (in-person, telehealth)
  5. Use a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) framework in all aspects of their clinical practice.
  6. Apply contextual factors using social determinants of health, client/family backgrounds and features of an anti-oppressive practice (AOP) model when planning assessment and intervention in clinical practice.
  7. Develop leadership and advocacy skills that enable them to become leaders in their profession.

Executive Summary of the 2021-24 CSD Department Strategic Plan

A. Position the department for the future in order to graduate effective leaders

  • Complete and approve academic and clinical curriculum modifications to:
    • Shorten the MS-SLP program by one semester to maintain student recruitment targets and reduce educational costs for students
    • Infuse justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) topics as they relate to the professions of speech-language pathology, audiology, and/or education throughout curricula and operational procedures in all programs
    • Explore changing models of clinical education to ensure continuing access to high quality clinical education sites
  • Successfully launch new academic programs and partnerships within the CSD Department
  • Strengthen alumni relationships
  • Build enhanced relationship within MGB entities and other partners
  • Attract and graduate a diverse student body who will become life-long learners
  • Prepare in advance for succession planning

B. Increase and disseminate research/scholarship related to communication sciences differences and disorders

  • Elevate every faculty member’s scholarship profile
  • Build internal and external collaborations for research and scholarship

C. Expand local, national, and global relationships and opportunities for students and faculty

  • Expand affordable, accessible and quality clinical services to the Charlestown community and beyond
  • Expand global teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty

The CSD Department at the MGH Institute of Health Professions joins with our students and our alumni in fighting against systemic racism and oppression in health care, education, and the world. We are committed to taking action to address inequities and disparities in the professional world of speech-language pathology and in the education of speech-language pathology students.

We stand with our students and others who experience oppression, marginalization, and other forms of injustice. We come to this fight with humility and the desire to learn and grow; we strive to do better than we have until now to promote equity for and with our students and for the people that we serve as a profession.

We pledge to continuously do the work it takes to be proactively antiracist until the mission of ensuring that every member of our IHP community feels safe, welcome, and supported is fully realized and all members of our community are able to flourish and thrive.

We'd like to express our gratitude and appreciation for all of the students, staff, and faculty who share feedback, resources, and more to help us continue to learn and grow. We will make public in this forum and others the actions that we take to create change and uphold these values and beliefs.

CSD Faculty & ASHA Fellows

A majority of our faculty are research-driven, practicing clinicians, including several who are American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Fellows. This ensures you will learn the most current procedures from nationally renowned professionals.

Browse All CSD Faculty
Howard Shane, PhD, CCC-SLP

Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders

Marjorie Nicholas

Chair, Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Robert E. Hillman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Adjunct Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders Rehabilitation Sciences

Tiffany wears black top and purple glasses

Director of the SAiL Literacy Lab Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders Research: SAiL Literacy Lab

Contact us

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Our programs focus on literacy, communication disorders, and interprofessional education.