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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Communication Sciences and Disorders office with computers and a mannequin wearing a hat

For Current COMD Students

This page provides resources for current students, including information specific to COMD, University links, licensing/accreditation links, and frequently used forms and documents.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders serves to fulfill its mission in educating students who will become leading clinical scientists and researchers in their work settings. Throughout this process, the department does not discriminate against any persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Students within the department are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner-that is, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran. The department complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and executive orders pertaining thereto.

COMD Information

Occasionally, students may encounter an issue related to an academic course or practicum assignment which they wish to petition or grieve. The first step is to discuss the situation with the course instructor or supervisor. If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved in the student’s view, the next step is to discuss the issue with the student’s academic advisor (academic issue) or clinical advisor (clinical issue). If the advisor is unable to resolve the issue adequately, the student should discuss it with the Graduate Director (MS-Res), the Director of Student Education (MS-DE), or the Director of External Practicum (if the problem regards an external practicum site). If the issue continues to be of concern, the student should submit in writing the petition/grievance to the Department chair.

The Department chair will take the issue to the COMD faculty and then respond with the faculty’s decision to the student in writing. Should the issue remain a concern, the student then should follow the guidelines set forth by the Arnold School of Public Health. If the decision at the School level is not to the student’s expectations,  the student may complete the form on the Graduate School website, following the directions and procedures outlined on the form and the site.

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) accredits the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.  If the grievance remains unresolved  after all levels within the university have been exhausted, graduate students may file a complaint with the CAA addressing concerns regarding either academic coursework/knowledge standards and/or clinical skill development. Complaints may be directed to

A Note to Parent: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. The FERPA law even applies to parents of students. Although you have been a supporter of your student in the past, now is the time to allow your student to manage his or her responsibilities and needs. Only the most extreme circumstances, such as those that seriously threaten the health of the student, allow for direct parental or other family involvement.

Student records are maintained for a period of at least seven years.

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is a pre-professional membership association that exists to benefit its members by continually improving the support, promotion, and advocacy of the highest quality preparation in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science. Many communication science programs form local chapters:

  • To encourage professional interest among college and university students in the study of normal and disordered human communication behavior.

  • To assist college and university departments and local organizations interested in speech, hearing, and language behavior and disorders.

  • To provide professional information.

  • To provide a vehicle for student representation in matters of professional concern.

  • To develop leadership skills for students. Many NSSLHA chapter presidents go on to assume leadership roles on the NSSLHA executive council and in ASHA or the state associations.

The USC Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is dedicated to supporting the clients served by our profession, the department, and the students enrolled. The organization participates in several endeavors focusing on outreach, research and education, and also provides events for socialization and networking among students, faculty and alumni. The department’s NSSLHA chapter has raised money for a variety of worthy causes, including:

  • National Down Syndrome Society

  • Operation Smile

  • Harvest Hope Food Bank

  • USC Angel Fund

  • Christmas gifts for needy families

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • American Heart Association

  • American Stroke Association

Other chapter pursuits include:

  • Co-sponsoring educational opportunities

  • Providing funds for student research

  • Defraying costs associated with support groups

  • Purchasing therapy materials

  • Providing support for a variety of department events and functions

  • Scheduling social events for students, faculty, staff and alumni

All students are encouraged to become NSSLHA members. Information regarding how to join will be provided during your first semester in our Master's program. University of South Carolina NSSLHA faculty advisor is Jamy Claire Archer . You can find more information on the benefits of NSSLHA here.

The Arnold School of Public Health has adopted education and health requirements for all practicuim/ internship students. Each student must submit documentation of immunization records to the Director of External Clinical Practicum. The list includes: Varicella (chicken pox), Rubella and Rubeola (measles), Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Hepatitis B (BHV). Annual screenings for Tuberculosis (TB) also will be required. Annual in-service on Bloodborne Pathogens is mandatory.

Students may complete this training online (, or they may submit evidence that they participated in an in-service provided by their employer. Students also must maintain current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training that includes both children and adults. The date of certification must not expire until the final internship has been completed.

The Director of External Clinical Practicum will maintain this documentation and will be responsible for providing to a practicum site, upon request, verification that these requirements have been met. In addition, some practicum sites will request that the student provide a “statement of good health” from a physician. A few sites will require a drug screening test.

All full-time students are required by the University to be covered by health and accident insurance. Students will automatically have University sponsored health insurance charged to their tuition unless they provide evidence of coverage by their own policy. Such evidence should be presented to the Thompson Student Health Center in order for this fee to be waived.

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders provides both professional liability insurance and workman’s compensation policies for all practicum students. You can find additional information on insurance coverage here.

View current Tuition and Fee information. 

COMD alumna Sharon G. Webber (1981) and her husband, Thomas, have built a highly successful company serving the needs of the field of communication sciences and disorders. You may have used some of their company’s products at the Speech and Hearing Center. What is the name of the company? Super Duper Publications!

The Webbers are paving the way for others who have entered the profession through an annual scholarship they have established for master’s level students in Communication Sciences & Disorders at USC. The scholarship awards the student $1,000 each semester in the fall and spring of their final year of graduate school.

“I want the fellowship to help students in financial need whose hearts have led them to the field of speech-language pathology. Hopefully, the fellowship will help relieve some of the financial pressure so students can concentrate on their studies,” Sharon said in speaking of their gift.

Students may apply for the scholarship by sending: 1) a letter to Dr. Jean Neils-Strunjas describing their academic and clinical achievements, and financial need, along with 2) a letter of support from a COMD faculty member. Students will be notified when letters of application are due.

You can read more about our alumni

University Links

Licensing/Accreditation Links

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