The Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders (SECD) is one of seven academic departments in the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS). Our mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs, their families, schools, and communities.

We offer three program areas: audiology, special education and speech-language pathology. The complete list of degrees and certificates offered within our programs is listed below.

Undergraduate Degrees

Communication Sciences and Disorders - Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Elementary Education & Special Education (K-6) - Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Special Education (K-6) - Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Special Education (7-12) - Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Connect with Admissions


Graduate Degrees

Audiology - Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.)

Educational Studies - Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Human Sciences - Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Special Education - Master of Arts (M.A.)

Special Education - Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Speech-Language Pathology - Master of Science (M.S.)

Graduate Certificates

Special Education Endorsements

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Student Organizations

Our department sponsors three student groups - National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA), Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) and Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC). Each of these groups participate in a variety of activities and events throughout the year, providing opportunities for service, learning and professional development outside of the classroom.

Global Exchange Opportunities

Students in SECD have a variety of opportunities to study abroad through the CEHS Global Exchange program. Three of those opportunities are led by faculty within our department - two in Costa Rica and one in Nicaragua.

The undergraduate trip to Costa Rica is open to special education and communications sciences and disorders majors. It is a two-week trip that occurs each May and is led by professors of practice Sue Kemp and Kristy Weissling. Students work with children in public and private schools in San José and the rural mountain town of Monteverde, Costa Rica. In addition, Husker students live with host families during their time in Monteverde, and also have the opportunity to meet with professionals from the Monteverde Institute to learn about challenges in ecotourism and climate sustainability.

The second trip to Costa Rica is open only to master's students in the speech-language pathology program. The students travel with lecturer Alicia Davis and associate professor of practice Judy Harvey to multiple locations near San José, Costa Rica, to provide accent modification and English-language enrichment services. Students also have the opportunity to travel to Monteverde to provide accent modification and English-language enrichment services to individuals in the hospitality industry.

The trip to Nicaragua is open to audiology students, with preference to students in the Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) program. Professor of practice Stacie Ray and assistant professor of practice Hannah Ditmars lead the students on the two-week trip in the late summer to help those in need of hearing assistance near León, Nicaragua. The focus of the trip is on the training and education necessary to build a sustainable humanitarian audiology program. The prevalence of hearing loss in Nicaragua is very high and hearing services are sparse in the country with more than six million people.