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Dept. History

The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences was established in 1926 as the Department of Speech, offering a collection of courses in effective speaking, argumentation, debate and interpretation of literature, as well as courses in modern drama and one-act plays. In the 1930’s under the direction of one of the first chairs of the department, Henry Phillip Constans, courses in speech training for radio were added. The first MA degree in the department was awarded in 1947 and the first PhD was awarded in 1953. The Constans Theater was named in Dr. Constans’ honor after nearly 25 years of serving as department head and, in particular, fostering the growth of theater on the UF campus. In the early 1960’s the Department of Speech evolved into four basic units Rhetoric and Public Address; Theater; Speech Pathology and Audiology; and the Communication Sciences Laboratory. In 1952 the UF Speech and Hearing Clinic was formed within the department. In the mid 1970’s, the Communication Sciences Laboratory became the Institute for Advanced Study of the Communication Processes(IASCP). IASCP presently serves as the research arm of the department (and includes other researchers from Linguistics, Psychology, Engineering, Medicine, and Education). Also, in the 1970’s came the departure of Theater to the College of Fine Arts and in the 1990’s Communication Studies (formerly Rhetoric and Public Address) moved to the Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication. In December 1997, the department’s name was officially changed from the Department of Communication Processes and Disorders to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the department offers a BA and MA degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, a Doctor of Audiology degree (shared with the College of Public Heath and Health Professions) and a PhD degree in the fields of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, and Communication Sciences. In addition, courses in American Sign Language are included in the department’s course offerings. Currently, there are approximately 225 undergraduate majors and approximately 120 graduate majors in the various degree programs in the department. In addition, approximately 160 students are enrolled in the Doctor of Audiology distance learning program.