FAQ Academic Coursework Information | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Biobehavioral Sciences

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Communication Sciences & Disorders

In the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

Academic Coursework Information

Students who enroll in the program will be assigned an academic advisor in late May. Once this assignment is made, your advisor will contact you directly by email. Your academic advisor will help you determine courses for you first semester registration and will help you get started on your Program Plan, an important document that will guide your course of study. Advising sessions will occur during the summer as well as during new student orientation.

Students entering our program without a background in communication sciences and disorders typically complete the Masters degree in 2.5 years (7 semesters, including summers).  Foundational prerequisite coursework, such as Introduction to Communication Disorders, Audiology, Anatomy and Physiology, etc., will be integrated into the graduate program.

All of our course requirements can be found in the student handbook. Please note that ASHA requires that you show competency in the following subjects in addition to your graduate coursework: statistics, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences. 

Prerequisite courses completed at an accredited college prior to entering the program do not need to be repeated at TC. Assessment of previous coursework should be done with your academic advisor. For any course that is not a direct equivalent, you must provide a syllabus from the completed course for comparison.

As a general rule, most 2- and 3-credit classes meet once a week for about 2 hours. Class meeting times may be Monday – Friday and may be during the day or in the evening. Evening time slots are 5-7PM and 7-9PM. However, some classes will have alternative schedules—for example, a course may have longer sessions but meet fewer times during the semester. Days and times of class meetings will be advertised on the semester course schedule during registration.

Credits taken each semester will vary. Typically students take a larger academic course load in their first several semesters, and take fewer classes once they begin their clinical externships. In the first two semesters, you will most likely take between 12-17 credits.

This does sometimes happen in later semesters; however, it is during those semesters that you are typically registered for practicum and have an off-campus placement. Off campus placements qualify for full time “equivalency.” There is a form that you can file with the registrar to be considered a full-time student.

Yes, all students will have clinical obligations in the summer semester, and most also take academic coursework.  A 12-credit course load is not required; depending on the coursework you elect to take, you may be registered for fewer than 12 credits.  However, if you are working at an external placement, you will still be considered full-time.  See “What if I’m taking less than 12 credits in one semester?” for additional information.

There is a one-week break between semesters.  See the academic calendar for details: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/academics/resources/ .

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