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Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education

Professionals and students in Communication Sciences and Special Education focus on meeting the needs of all people who might benefit from a range of approaches to teaching, learning, or communication. Our work is guided by the four strategic principles of the Mary Frances Early College of Education, which begin with diversity, equity, and inclusion for all people and also include high quality research, instruction, and outreach. We welcome all inquiries from students, professionals, community members, and families.

Academic programs in communication sciences and disorders, special education, birth through kindergarten programs, American Sign Language, and other specialties reflect our fundamental belief that all people should be as independent as they can possibly be.


We value high-quality research that generates new knowledge and we value the best possible applications of current knowledge.


Through the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic, the Applied Behavior Analysis Clinic, and other outreach activities, we share our expertise with those who may benefit from it.


  • American Sign Language

    The department's outstanding American Sign Language (ASL) instructors include native users of sign language with expertise in linguistics, deaf culture, and the teaching of ASL as a second language.

  • Applied Behavior Analysis

    Students completing this degree are prepared to apply for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Exam and pursue careers in school, clinical, or consultative settings, serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

  • Communication Sciences and Disorders

    Degree and certificate programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders prepare students to be future leaders in speech-language pathology, audiology, and related areas.

  • Special Education

    Our special education degree programs offer opportunities for students to work in general curriculum, adapted curriculum, and birth through kindergarten areas.

Degree Programs

Double Dawgs
Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd)

Master of Education (MEd)

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Master of Arts (MA)

Master of Science (MS)

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • PhD in Special Education

    Build on your experience in special education with a Ph.D. program individualized to your goals in adapted or general curriculum or elementary education.

  • PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders

    Earn the highest level of academic achievement in the field of communication sciences and disorders through specialized study in your area of interest.

Non-Degree Programs

Certificate Programs

  • Certificate in Dyslexia (Online)

    The Certificate in Dyslexia parallels the Dyslexia Endorsement program but is designed for teachers, clinicians, researchers, or other interested individuals who reside outside of Georgia or who do not currently have nor will seek professional licensure from Georgia's Professional Standards Committee.

Endorsement/Certificate Programs

Our clinicsWe are home to the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Applied Behavior Analysis Clinic , which add depth to our programs.
Community servicesWe offer Summer programs for all ages, as well as speech and hearing screenings for children and adults in the community.
Faculty profileAssociate Professor Kevin Ayres launched the BCBA clinic following the successful start of a program to train educators in Board-Certified Behavioral Analysis.

Faculty Research Videos

Support Our Programs

Donate to a Specific Unit/Program


In addition to the following departmental scholarships, learn more about additional opportunities for financial assistance on our financial aid page .

Student Organizations

Audiology Dogs (AudDogs)

Audiology Dogs (AudDogs) focuses on connecting undergraduates with the world of audiology. At our meetings, differing people from the audiology world come to speak and answer your questions! AudDogs also raises money for the speech and hearing clinic and advocates for UGA students with hearing loss.

Faculty Advisor: Alison Morrison

AudDogs website


CommunicAID Nation was founded as a non-profit organization in Atlanta in 2012 as a means to provide resources and support for individuals with communication needs. By offering access to direct and affordable services, providing financial assistance, and by supplying assistive technology devices, CommunicAID Nation enables individuals with communication disorders to access the world around them.

We encourage people to find their voice and we advocate within the community and local government to create change. We feel strongly that everyone deserves to be heard.

Faculty Advisors: Laura Nichols , Ainsley Vergara

CommunicAID+ Nation website

Minorities in Communication Sciences and Disorders (M-CMSD)

M-CMSD strives to uplift and empower minority voices through community and advocacy to create diverse, inclusive, and culturally responsive spaces. We welcome all–minorities and allies!

Minorities in Communication Sciences and Disorders website

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA)

We provide students in the fields of human communication sciences and disorders an opportunity to share ideas in assessment and treatment; provide information; provide community service and social interaction.

Faculty Advisors: Nancy Dellaria , Nina Santus

National Student Speech Language Hearing Association website

Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC)

This professional organization promotes the advancement and education of all individuals with exceptional traits.

Faculty Advisor: Allison U. Nealy

Latest News

Faculty and Staff

Laurie Achin
Javad Anjum
Assistant Professor
Kevin M Ayres
Sheila D. Banks
Administrative Specialist I
Sandie Bass-Ringdahl
Clinical Professor
Heather Boyle
Program Coordinator IV
Jennifer A. Brown
Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator
Rachel R. Cagliani
Assistant Professor
Liang Chen
Associate Professor
Amy Childre
Clinical Assistant Professor
Thomas J. Clees
Associate Professor
Carol Darrah
Project Coordinator
Alicia B. Davis
Clinical Professor
Nancy B. Dellaria
Clinical Associate Professor
Patrick Finn
Diane Foster
Family Engagement Coordinator
Alisa Norris Fountain
Clinical Associate Professor
Bethany Hamilton-Jones
Clinical Professor and Department Head
Jessica Herrod
Part-Time Instructor
Holly Kaplan
Clinical Professor Emeritus
Hannah Krimm
Assistant Professor
Brian W Leffler
Senior Lecturer
Rebecca G. Lieberman-Betz
Associate Professor
Jennifer H. Lindstrom
Associate Professor
Anne K. Marcotte
Professor Emeritus
SoMang Moon
Clinical Assistant Professor
Leslie Elisabeth Moon
Student Affairs Professional III
Georgette Morgan
Clinical Assistant Professor
Alison Morrison
Clinical Associate Professor
Allison U. Nealy
Clinical Professor
Laura Nichols
Clinical Associate Professor and CMSD Program Coordinator
Jeannine Parry
Clinical Placement Official
Amy Peterson
Terry Jean (T.J.) Ragan
Clinical Associate Professor
Joel Ringdahl
Nina Santus
Clinical Assistant Professor
Kristin L. Sayeski
Associate Professor
Saad Sheikh
Business Manager I
Elizabeth Stewart
Clinical Assistant Professor - Limited Term
Jessica N. Torelli
Assistant Professor
Ainsley P. Vergara
Clinical Assistant Professor
Kimberly Viel-Ruma
Clinical Professor
Kelly J. Williams
Assistant Professor

Contact Info

Department Head: Bethany Hamilton-Jones
570 Aderhold Hall 110 Carlton Street Athens, Georgia 30602
© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602