1.  When do I start thinking about graduate schools?
            Start to think about graduate school at the beginning of your junior year.  It is important to create a plan for applying, taking your GREs, as well as requesting recommendations.  Take your time researching schools.  Getting to know the schools before you begin to apply will help in the application process and relieve some stress during your senior year!

2.  When should I begin to study for the GREs?
            Begin to study several months in advance.  This will give you time to learn the information and become familiar with the test format.  Taking the test early will also give you the opportunity to retake the GREs if needed. Additional classes are offered to help you prepare for the GRE.

3.  What electives are relevant to CSD?
            As a CSD major there are several other departments that offer courses that are relevant to your major.  Gerontology, exceptional education, social work, as well as foreign languages, including sign language, will help to supplement your coursework. Some courses outside of these departments can also help to supplement coursework.  These classes include children's literacy, medical terminology, and physics.  This is also a great way to get noticed in your graduate school application.

4.  Who do I contact about my General Education classes? 
Do not contact your major adviser about your Gen Ed classes.  Contacting individuals from the General Education department will be much more effective. 

            Maury Room 110
            MSC 1104
            Harrisonburg, VA  22807 
            Phone:  (540) 568-2852
           Fax:      (540) 568-2913
           Website:  www.jmu.edu/gened

5.    What minors are related to CSD?
            Special Education Non-Teaching is a very popular minor for CSD students. This minor also allows for you to receive your autism certificate. 
            Other popular minors include: Family Studies, Gerontology, Spanish, Sociology, Chronic Illness, and Health Communication. For descriptions of minors, refer to https://jmu.edu/academics/undergraduate/minors/index.shtml
            Instead of declaring a minor, supplementing your education with the electives suggested above will also provide an excellent base for your graduate work. 

6.  How do I get an override? 
            An override is the permission to enroll in a course that is currently closed. Some courses have the ability to grant overrides whereas others do not.  It is in your best interest to contact the professor of the class directly, i.e. email, phone, and office hours.  In some cases attending the first day of class will help you to get an override. 

7.  How do I transfer credits from other universities?
            This JMU website will be extremely helpful in answering your questions about transfer credits.  Contact the registrar with more detailed questions about transfer credits. https://www.jmu.edu/registrar/students/transfer_credit.shtml

8.  How can I make myself look better to graduate schools?
            Get involved!  Excellent academic grades are extremely important when applying to graduate schools, however there are other ways to get noticed!  Join an organization and obtain a leadership position.  This will be a great way to learn about your leadership abilities and prove to graduate schools that you are responsible. Volunteering is another great way to add to your resume.  Try to volunteer with organizations that are related to your field.  SLP and Audiologists both work with a wide range of individuals.  Familiarizing yourself with those groups will help you in the long run! Visiting open houses for graduate programs that you are interested in is a great way to get your name out there!

9.  Who do I talk to about Graduate Schools?
            Speaking to your adviser is a great way to learn about JMU’s grad school. They can also provide information about other schools.  Dr. Rout (routax@jmu.edu) is the coordinator of the JMU Au.D. program and Dr. Timler (slp@jmu.edu) is the coordinator of the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology program.  They will be able to answer any questions you have related to JMU’s CSD graduate schools.  Many questions may also be answered on the JMU CSD Graduate Program webpage:  
             AuD: http://www.csd.jmu.edu/aud/index.html
             SLP:  http://www.csd.jmu.edu/MS-SLP/index.html 

Other Important Links for Researching and Applying to Grad Schools
  • GRE: This is the standardized test that everyone must take to be accepted into a graduate program. You can visit http://www.ets.org/gre for more information or call 1-866-473-4373 to speak with a representative.  
  • Kaplan: Looking for study materials for the GRE or another standardized test? They have everything you need in this web page from classes to computer programs to online tutoring to help you ace the test! Visit www.kaplan.com
  • National NSSLHA: Everything that members and students need to know in the fields of Communication sciences and disorders. Visit: www.nsslha.org 
  • ASHA: The American Speech-Language Hearing Association has valuable information for professionals and students. You can visit www.asha.org for more information.
  • Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia (SHAV): Information on employment opportunities, legislative details, and the graduate school in Virginia. Please visit www.shav.org to learn more.
10.  What organizations are affiliated with the CSD Major?

11.  If I am interested in Audiology which Speech classes can I skip?
             Individuals planning to pursue graduate school for Audiology may substitute Sign Language (CSD 420) in place of Organic Speech Disorders (CSD416) with the permission of their academic advisor. However, those students are encouraged to take CSD 416 and take CSD 420 as an elective course.   

12.  I know I can repeat CSD 471 with permission, but will it count for credit?
            CSD 471 is repeatable for credit.  This means that you can take it for up to 6 credits. 

13.   What are cognate courses? 
            Cognate courses are classes that are required for your major that can double count with General Education and Degree Requirements.  This does not mean that a 3-credit class can count for 6 credits.  It does mean that it will fulfill not only your CSD requirement but also the cluster that it is in for general education.

14.  What counts as a science class for my B.S.?  
            This site includes the accepted courses for the B.S. and B.A. degrees. http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/BA_and_BS_Degree_Courses.shtml

15.  How do I schedule an appointment with my advisor?
            Send your advisor an email or stop by during their office hours.  
General advising by graduate students is also available:       
     Cheyenne Taliaferro 
     Hours can be found here: 
16.  I’m not sure if I want to go into Speech or Audiology?  What can I do?
           The best way to figure out which profession is best for you is through hands on experience. Shadow a professional in a clinic or hospital. Senior CSD majors are provided an opportunity to observe and participate in the JMU Speech-Language-Hearing Applied Laboratory through the CSD 470 and 471 Methods and Observation courses. Please review the undergraduate catalog for more information about the courses and applicable prerequisite requirements. Below is a link to a great video from ASHA that can help you learn more about careers in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: 

17.  How do I drop a class?
             You can drop a class by going to mymadison.jmu.edu.  To drop a class click on enroll then click on the tab that says “drop” at the top of the page.  There will be several steps to drop your class.  Be sure to complete all steps so your class is dropped completely.

18. What are other great resources besides my advisors, graduate advisors, and the information on this blog?
  • For help with writing resumes and personal statements to supplement graduate school applications the JMU University Writing Center is great resource: 
  • For help with preparing for Graduate School, resume preparation and review, and interview preparation the Career & Academic Planning is another great resource:

19.  How do I decide if it is beneficial to repeat-forgive a class? 
          JMU's repeat-forgive policy only applies to two classes taken at JMU.  The grade from the repeated class will be used as part of your GPA calculation, however both grades will appear on your transcript.  No matter if there is improvement made during the repeated class, the second grade will be used.  It is important, when thinking about taking a class as repeat-forgive, to take this into consideration.  Using an online GPA calculator is a good way to see how your cumulative GPA will change depending upon your anticipated grade in your repeated class.  Below are websites for GPA calculators.

20.  Who can I contact if I am experiencing too much stress?
          JMU has an excellent counseling center.  They provide group and private counseling sessions.  The website contains useful information for scheduling appointments.

21.  What courses are required by ASHA in addition to the core CSD courses?
  • Biological Science: biology, human anatomy/physiology, neuroanatomy/neurophysiology, human genetics, veterinary science)
  • Physical Science: physics and/or chemistry, geology and astronomy are not recommended
  • Social/behavioral sciences: psychology, sociology, anthropology, or public health
  • Statistics
22.  What is the CSDCAS application? 
          The Communication Sciences and Disorders Central Application Service (CSDCAS) is the "Common Application" for applying to graduate school in both Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. This is a web-based application that offers applicants a convenient way to apply to any number of participating clinical education programs by completing a single application.  This application allows you to submit your GRE scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, activities from undergraduate work, and other application requirements. For more information please carefully review the instructions and FAQs on their webpage:

23.  When is it a good idea to retake a CSD class?
         Any time you receive a grade lower than a B- in a major class, it is recommended that you retake that class. 

24.  Do I need a grade of "C" or better in CSD courses at lower levels to enroll in CSD courses at higher levels in the sequence? 
         Per  JMU Undergraduate Catalog (2015-2016), a grade of "C" or better is required in CSD 207, CSD 208, and CSD 209 for a student to enroll in CSD 300 and CSD 301. However, the grade requirement is not stated as a prerequisite for courses other than CSD 300 and CSD 301.  

25. Where should I go if I am experiencing depression, anxiety, or mental health issues? 
         The counseling center on campus has many great resources for students. Look under the Services for Students tab on their website for a comprehensive list of resources or to make an appointment: https://www.jmu.edu/counselingctr/

26. Where should I go if I have experienced sexual assault or know someone who has?  
         For information related to health related resources or steps to take judicial action, please see the following site: http://www.jmu.edu/healthcenter/PreventionandEducation/ccasa.shtml
**All JMU employees are mandated reporters, meaning that they are required to report any instance of sexual assault that is brought to their attention. The only exception to this rule is the JMU counseling center (https://www.jmu.edu/counselingctr/) and Campus Assault ResponsE (CARE), a student organization on campus (http://www.jmu.edu/healthcenter/StudentOrganizations/care.shtml).