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Communication Sciences & Disorders

The Honors Tutorial College (HTC) Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) aims to provide qualified students with a research-oriented undergraduate experience through individualized training in the hearing, speech, and language sciences.


As with all other HTC programs at Ohio University, the philosophy of the HTC program in CSD is based on the idea that education is aimed at intellectual growth rather than static transmission of knowledge. Students are seen as active participants of their education rather than passive receivers of instruction. They are also expected to cultivate scientific ways of thinking in addition to obtaining factual knowledge. Consequently, high motivation and intellectual independence are the qualities expected of HTC students. Compared to the traditional baccalaureate CSD program, the individualized nature of the HTC program requires the students to assume more responsibility in their own education.



In addition to coursework, HTC students are required to complete five tutorials and a thesis. The tutorials, in which faculty members meet with students individually or in small groups, are the hallmark of all HTC programs. The tutorials and thesis allow HTC students to work closely with faculty members to obtain an enriched educational experience. 


To facilitate the tutorial education, academic resources are available including priority registration, special residence hall availability, enhanced library privileges, research support, eligibility to undertake graduate work, education abroad opportunities, and scholarship availability. General Education requirements are also kept to a minimum to allow students the flexibility to explore their intellectual interests. See Degree Requirements for more information.



The HTC program in CSD starts in the spring semester of sophomore year. Prospective students apply for admission in the fall of sophomore year. The application process is very competitive and requires one recommendation from a CSD faculty member. Students with a 3.7 GPA or above are invited to an information session about the program early on in the fall semester; applications are due at the midpoint of the semester (See below for more details on the application and admission process).


During spring semester of their sophomore year, admitted students participate in a tutorial with the Director of Studies. During this tutorial, students have the opportunity to meet with individual faculty members about their research programs. Students also enroll in at least one seminar offered by the HTC to establish a meaningful connection to the HTC community. During junior and senior year, students undertake the required coursework, tutorials, and a thesis. Students receive a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders upon successful completion of the program requirements.


This design is motivated by a number of considerations. First, completion of a subset of the foundational courses is essential for students to take full advantage of the tutorial education. Second, academic performance in the foundational coursework allows both the faculty and the prospective students to evaluate the aptitude and fit for the tutorial mode of learning. Though ACT scores are strongly considered, academic performance is equally important. Finally, faculty members endorsing prospective students may serve as potential thesis advisors.



The HTC program in CSD accepts applicants from current Ohio University students only. Prospective students apply in their sophomore year. Admitted students start the HTC program in their junior year. In accordance with the on-campus transfer guidelines set forth by the Honors Tutorial College, students interested in applying for the HTC program in CSD should include the following materials in the application:

  • A current DARS.
  • A statement of purpose describing the reasons for pursuing the HTC track, the qualifications and fit for the HTC track, and the general content area for the proposed thesis research.
  • A writing sample.
  • A completed form of endorsement from an CSD faculty member who is familiar with their academic work.


Applications should be submitted by the Friday of the 7th week of the fall term to:


Dr. Chao-Yang Lee

Director of Studies

Honors Tutorial Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Ohio University

Athens, OH 45701



Applications will be reviewed by the Director of Studies and an admissions committee comprised of CSD faculty, who will make admission recommendations for final approval by the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College. Interviews with the Director of Studies and other CSD faculty members may also be required. In addition, an interview with the Dean of HTC may be arranged as part of the review process. Admission decisions are made by the end of the fall semester. Admitted students officially enroll in the HTC in the spring semester of their sophomore year.


Degree Requirements

The HTC requires all students to satisfy the University's English composition requirement, complete a series of tutorials and a thesis, and maintain a minimum of 3.5 in overall grade point average (GPA). The Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders requires HTC students to complete a minimum of five tutorials, a seminar offered by HTC (HC 2500 or 2900), a thesis, and a set of courses designed to provide an understanding of normal human communication processes and an introduction to speech-language pathology and audiology. HTC students are expected to maintain a minimum of 3.5 GPA in CSD major courses.


The coursework requirements are essentially the same as those in the traditional CSD major with a few exceptions (see Frequently Asked Questions for a comparison chart). In brief, the HTC program has fewer General Education requirements. The flexibility in coursework requirements is intended to facilitate the tutorial mode of education rather than to achieve accelerated learning. As with traditional majors, HTC students are expected to complete their undergraduate program of study in four years.


Tutorials. A minimum of five tutorials are required. The first three tutorials may include, but are not limited to, (1) a tutorial in faculty research exploration, (2) a tutorial in research methods, and (3) a tutorial in identifying a thesis topic and developing the thesis research plan with a faculty advisor. The two senior tutorials are used to carry out the thesis research.

CSD 2970T Sophomore Tutorial I

CSD 3970T Junior Tutorial I

CSD 3980T Junior Tutorial II

CSD 4970T Senior Tutorial I

CSD 4980T Senior Tutorial II


Thesis Prospectus. In preparation for thesis research, HTC requires the submission of a Thesis Prospectus at the beginning of fall semester of their senior year. The Prospectus should include the title of the thesis, introduction, research question(s) and approach, an annotated bibliography, and a completed thesis prospectus cover sheet, available at the HTC Thesis Guidelines page. Students are strongly encouraged to take a writing course offered by the HTC (HC 2900) in the spring of their junior year to prepare for the Prospectus. The writing course also satisfies the Tier I advanced English composition requirement.


Thesis. All HTC students are required to complete a thesis. They are expected to identify a faculty member as the thesis director by the end of fall of their junior year. The senior tutorials are used to carry out the thesis research, which is normally completed in the spring semester of their senior year with an oral presentation to the public. Preparation of the thesis should follow the information specified in the HTC Thesis Guidelines, available at the HTC Thesis Guidelines page.


Student Evaluation

Tutorial Evaluation. The Honors Tutorial College requires evaluation of student performance in each tutorial by faculty tutors. During the final week of a semester, faculty tutors complete a tutorial description and evaluation form and submit the evaluation to the Director of Studies, who would forward the evaluation to the Honors Tutorial College.


First-Year Portfolio Review. All HTC students are subject to a formal academic progress review at the end of their first year in the HTC. Students are required to prepare a portfolio to demonstrate academic progress. Details on the portfolio contents and sample portfolios are available at the HTC headquarters. Progress reviews will consist of a meeting between the student, the Director of Studies, and the Dean of the HTC. Input from the CSD faculty will also be considered in assessing the student's aptitude and fit for the thesis research. The review will determine if a student should remain in the HTC program or transfer to the traditional baccalaureate program.


Thesis Evaluation. Upon completion of the thesis research, students are required to give a public oral presentation. Following approval by the thesis director, the thesis will be submitted to Dean of the Honors Tutorial College for final approval.


Additional Information

Dr. Chao-Yang Lee

Director of Studies

Honors Tutorial Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Ohio University

Athens, OH 45701

(740) 593-4149

Grover Center W225


Information about the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders can be found at the School website.

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