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History

The School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (formerly, the School of Human Communication Disorders until September 1993) is one of three autonomous Schools offering professional health training in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.

The School began its operation in September 1963 as part of the Division of Audiology and Speech Pathology of the Institute of Otolaryngology at the Royal Victoria Hospital. It was one of the first university departments in Canada to offer graduate training in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Originally, the School had a two-year professional program which led to the M.Sc. (Applied) degree; for the first few years, this provided joint qualification in Audiology and Speech Pathology. However, it was decided that specialization within one or the other area was necessary and independent M.Sc. (Applied) degree programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology were developed soon after. In 1976, an additional M.Sc. (Applied) program was established in Auditory-Oral Rehabilitation and Education (AORE). 

In the early 1990s, the School strategically focused its resources on the strengths it had developed in Speech-Language Pathology; this meant the closing of the AORE program (in 1992) followed by the Audiology program (in 1994). Over the years, the student population of the School has grown from 4 to more than 60 students and the full-time faculty from 2 to 12, with two full-time Coordinators of Clinical Education as members of the academic staff.

In addition to almost 50 years of providing professional training in Speech-Language Pathology, the SCSD has long provided opportunities for advanced research training in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The SCSD was the first department in Canada to offer a Ph.D. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders; this program remains an integral part of the mission and identity of the School to this day. The success of the PhD program ensures that there will be well-qualified researchers, scholars, and clinician-scientists in Canada to train future generations of scholars in our field. Graduates of our Ph.D. program currently serve as faculty members in many of our sister departments in Canada, as well as in the USA and abroad.