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Northwestern School of Communication

Student Experience

Its intimate size coupled with well-resourced facilities, ample and diverse faculty research interests, and exciting research opportunities ensures that both undergraduate and graduate students in the communication sciences disorders department find themselves in a deeply meaningful, fulfilling, and challenging-but-supportive community.

First-year undergraduates are eligible to apply for an Early Research Experience Award (EREA), which pairs them with a faculty member specializing in a topic of interest to the student. Students engage in at least 100 hours of research work and earn a monetary award.

Graduate Student Experience

For CSD students at the graduate level, supervised clinical practical, applied research, and capstones are a part of the educational experience, often done in partnership with the Northwestern University Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning (NUCASLL). Clinical faculty direct the residency-and-rotation teaching model founded on best practices and a comprehensive care approach that includes coordination with medical teams, educators, and families. Often students are trained in leadership, operations, organizational behavior, and policy.

These students are often involved in advocacy and research work that takes them off campus—and even out of the country. Whether its collecting and refurbishing gently used hearing aids for redistribution in the community or providing free hearing health services in a developing country, CSD graduate students maintain sharp focus on the service element of their professional mission.

For doctoral candidates in the department, developing critical thinking, scientific writing, publishing, and grant-writing skills are major emphases throughout the program. Opportunities are available to develop skills through training in related areas such as statistics, programming, big data/data science, and teaching. Students are prepared for careers in academia as well as industry, policy, and clinical practice.

Featured Co-Curricular Activities

The Student Academy of Audiology (SAA)

SAA is a national student organization that is dedicated to advancing the interests of students pursuing careers in audiology.

Northwestern's SAA chapter holds tri-quarterly meetings in which we discuss current topics in audiology and ways to advance the group. We also organize and participate in community outreach programs, sponsor relevant speakers, maintain contact with Northwestern alumni, and engage in a variety of social events. For additional information, contact Liz Meyer.

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

NSSLHA a pre-professional association for graduate and undergraduate students interested in the study of communication science and disorders.

Northwestern's NSSLHA chapter provides members with access to educational, social, and philanthropic experiences during their tenure at Northwestern University. For additional information, contact Karen Kinderman or visit