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Communication Disorders

Post-Baccalaureate Program in Foundations of Communication Disorders

SUNY New Paltz offers a post-baccalaureate Program in Foundations of Communication Disorders. The program is designed for students who intend to apply to graduate programs in communication disorders, but have completed a major in a different field. The key features of the program are: a core of undergraduate coursework and observation experiences in communication disorders tailored to students' backgrounds and needs, ongoing advisement, and the ability to complete the entire program in an online environment.

Students who intend to apply to communication disorders graduate programs and hold an undergraduate degree in another area must complete foundational work in communication disorders covering the sciences, normal development, and disorders. This post-baccalaureate Certificate Program will allow the student to complete the required courses and gain clinical observation experience in a planned course of study. The program provides comprehensive academic advisement including transcript evaluation and determination of course equivalencies, course planning, and securing recommendations.

Key features of the Program

The student will complete a minimum of 28 credits of communication disorders courses covering the topics required by most graduate programs in speech-language pathology, namely, the acoustic, anatomic and physiologic, linguistic, and psycholinguistic bases of communication; and the etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of communication disorders. Students will obtain the required 25 hours of directed clinical observation through the program. Additional courses may be recommended to meet the admissions requirements of particular graduate programs, or to meet additional requirements for ASHA certification (for example, mathematics and science), or Teacher Certification (e.g., a course in child development). The program may be completed in as little as one year (summer session followed by two academic semesters) if courses meet the minimum enrollment targets.

Course of Study

The Program coursework includes a minimum of 9 courses (28 credits) related to speech, language and hearing disorders at the undergraduate level. Courses that are determined to be equivalent to the New Paltz courses listed below will be accepted. Additional undergraduate courses necessary to meet requirements for ASHA certification and/or Teacher Certification may be recommended.

Required Courses

(Sample course sequence, subject to change)

Summer Session Offerings





Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism



Introduction to Communication Disorders






Academic Year Offerings



typical offering



Observations in Communication Disorders




Language Development








Diagnosis in Speech Language Pathology




Child Language Disorders




Speech Science



*Course has prerequisites

Recommended Courses

For ASHA requirements

  • College-level statistics
  • College-level non-biological science
  • Sign language course
  • College-level biological science
  • Two college-level social science courses

For students interested in working in the public school system:

  • Sociological and Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • Child Psychology and Development


Some testimonials from former students in the Post-Baccalaureate Program

I just wanted to share some good news: I've been accepted to San Francisco State University. They had 30 spots in a very competitive program, so I'm feeling extremely relieved and very honored. I am so thankful to you, not only for writing a letter of recommendation, but also for making this career change possible! I'm not being hyperbolic when I say, I don't know what I would have done if I didn't get into this program last summer! Your guidance in helping me plan and your organization in making sure I got all the classes I needed made everything fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Through the classes at New Paltz, I'm more convinced than ever that I've found my calling and I'm thrilled to be starting a masters program in August!

Many, many thanks to you!

-Meg Frost '12

If someone told me over a year ago that I’d be entering a graduate program for Communication Disorders in the fall, I would not believe them.  However I am so lucky that this is in fact true.  After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology I never thought a change in career was possible both personally and academically.  Fortunately after much consideration, I came across New Paltz’s Foundations Program which helped make my decision much easier.  I found New Paltz’s Foundations Program to be fast, convenient, and helpful.  I was able to complete it in a year and was even able to take online courses from my home, which helped with my busy schedule.  The advisement I received was extremely supportive, and I found the professors to be motivating.  Any of the insecurities I might have had about switching majors were surely gone after seeing the passion that these professors have for this field; it is truly inspiring.  I am happy I decided to follow my true dream of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist, and know it was done a little easier with the help of New Paltz’s Program.
-Lauren Hvolbeck ‘11

I highly recommend the post-baccalaureate program for Communication Disorders at SUNY New Paltz to anyone interested in Speech Language Pathology with a background in another field. I had an undergraduate degree in psychology, and was looking to continue my education. In one year (including a summer, fall, and spring semester), I was able to take 10 classes in the Communication Disorders field. These classes met the requirements to apply to all of the graduate programs I was interested in.  I will be starting graduate school this fall and because of my extensive coursework at SUNY New Paltz I will be considered an “undergraduate major” in my program--- by being considered a major I will be able to have my very own client. Most importantly, I believe the post-baccalaureate program at SUNY New Paltz prepared me for the rigorous curriculum of graduate school
-Ricki Feldman ‘11

My experience in the Communication Disorders program at SUNY New Paltz was fantastic.  The postbaccalaureate program exposed me to the core classes needed to fulfill the prerequisites for most graduate programs.  The course work was both challenging and interesting.  The dedicated faculty members were very accessible and their interest and ownership of the material made them great resources.  I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone interested in the field of Audiology or Speech Language Pathology.
-Kevin Kehoe ‘11

Admission Requirements and Application Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have completed a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum combined cumulative grade point average (gpa) of 2.8 and must submit a personal statement, all transcripts and an application fee. (Students will a lower gpa may petition for acceptance with extenuating circumstances.)

Application and additional information

There are no deadlines to apply. Completed applications are reviewed within two to three weeks after received. Students are accepted into the next available semester. You can download the application here. The directions for submission are located on the application. Only submit the materials requested on the application.  If you have questions, you can contact Nina Jeckerbyrne, Administrative Assistant at or (845) 257-2399

Additional Requirements
The required courses are presented in an online environment. Students will enter courses through Blackboard Learning Network. Students must have access to a personal computer with high-speed internet and audio sound capabilities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the tuition and is financial aid available?
The Certificate program is a non-matriculated program.  Therefore students will not be able to receive financial aid.  For tuition information, please follow this link:

May I take the courses part-time?
Most students prefer to complete the coursework within one year which would require that students take three courses in fall, spring and summer session. However, students can follow a part time plan of study to complete the course work. Student can begin the program in any semester.

Must all of the courses be completed at New Paltz to receive the certificate?
Students may take the equivalent of up to two courses at other undergraduate institutions. The advisor must determine equivalency to courses in the Certificate Program based on the course description and/or syllabus. If the course has already been completed, submit a transcript or grade report.

May the entire program be completed online?
All of the courses are held online. Students may request to be considered for seated courses.  Seated offerings will be very limited.

I am not interested in receiving a certificate. May I still enroll in one or more courses?
Yes, but you must submit an application for the Certificate Program even if you do not plan to complete all of the courses. Students cannot enroll in the online courses unless they are accepted to this program.

If I already took some or all of these courses several years ago, will they count as prerequisites to apply to a graduate program?
SUNY New Paltz will accept undergraduate courses in Communication Disorders that were taken less than ten (10) years ago if they are evaluated to be equivalent to program requirements. Courses that were completed more than 10 years ago must be taken again to meet the program requirements.

Do the courses in the Certificate Program meet the prerequisite requirements of all graduate programs in Communication Disorders?
Students who complete the Certificate Program will meet all prerequisite requirements for the Graduate Program in Communication Disorders at SUNY New Paltz, and for many other graduate programs. However, you should check the admissions requirements of the graduate programs to which you intend to apply and consult your advisor.

Are the courses rigorous?
All of the courses are offered at a level equivalent to those in the Communication Disorders major at SUNY New Paltz. The online courses use multiple formats including live voice chats, readings, online discussions, audio-annotated PowerPoint presentations, video clips, written assignments, open-book on-line quizzes, and closed-book exams at regional test centers.

Do I need to attend the online class at a scheduled time?
All courses are held asynchronously.  Therefore, expect to be online each day on your own schedule.  If a chat is scheduled, it is archived for access by students who were unable to attend.

I have never taken an online course before. Should I be concerned about my success?
SUNY New Paltz has had online offerings in the major for several years. Students are provided opportunities for faculty contact (office hours and/or online office hours, e-mail) and are given technical support for the on-line environment.

Will completing the Certificate Program guarantee admission into a graduate program?
Application for admission to graduate study in Communication Disorders is competitive. Completion of the program does not guarantee acceptance into a graduate program. Applications of students who apply to SUNY New Paltz for graduate study will be considered along with the other applicants in the pool.

May I work as a speech-language pathologist, speech teacher, or audiologist once the certificate is awarded?
No. State and Federal laws dictate that students may not work in the field until graduate course work and clinical work are completed successfully. The certificate indicates that the student has completed specified course work with satisfactory grades. It is not a degree, nor does it confer any special rights or privileges to the holder.

What grades are considered satisfactory?
Students must receive a B or higher in each course in the Certificate Program in order to be enrolled in future semesters. A 3.0 is the minimum for most graduate schools, and students generally need a higher gpa to be competitive in the admissions process. Grades obtained in approved courses taken elsewhere will be included in the computation of the gpa in the Certificate Program. Students who do not meet the minimum grade in even one course will be de-registered from subsequent semesters. Due to limited space in the program, students cannot retake courses for which they have received a low grade.

How can I contact the Certificate Program advisor?
You can contact Dr. Turk through email or telephone (845) 257-3620 or (845) 257-3521.