Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Speech and language pathology, audiology, and education of the deaf are professions which identify, help, and study persons with communicative disorders. Those entering these professions should possess a strong motivation to help individuals with genetically, physically or psychologically-caused communication problems. Preparation involves acquiring the knowledge, competencies and skills necessary to assume responsibility for assessment, education, and rehabilitation of persons with speech, language and hearing disorders or for conducting cutting-edge research in speech, language and hearing sciences to advance the knowledge base of these fields.

The bachelor's degree serves as the basis for graduate and professional study in speech, language, and hearing sciences. In general, there are no clinical employment opportunities for holders of the bachelor's degree. A master's degree (speech-language pathology), Au.D. degree (clinical doctorate in audiology), national certification, and state licensure or school credential are needed for clinical professional practice. A Ph.D. is needed to serve as faculty at the university level.

Program Overview

The undergraduate curriculum involves coursework on normal and disordered speech, language and hearing, as well as clinical procedures. All Speech, Language and Hearing Science (SLHS) majors cover a set of general studies in early coursework before specialization.

Students interested in the Speech, Language and Hearing Science program are advised to take college-level courses in anatomy, biology, psychology, English, physiology, linguistics, physics, mathematics, and statistics. Some undergraduate research experience is also desirable. Studies leading to private practice, hospital work, industrial work, work in the public school settings, or preparation for the master's degree, Au.D., or Ph.D. are similar in many ways; it is the area of specialization that serves to differentiate courses of study.

Special Features

Facilities. The School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is housed in the Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences Building, which includes faculty offices; classrooms; and speech, language, hearing and American Sign Language research and instructional laboratories. In the laboratories, students use personal computers, diagnostic audiometers, evoked response instruments, the otoacoustic emissions instrument, a Fonix real ear analyzer, acoustic immittance equipment, hearing aid analyzers, digital spectrographs, Visipitch, phonic mirrors, ENG equipment, endoscopy, and speech acoustic analysis equipment, with ongoing new acquisitions.

The school operates a Communications Clinic (Speech-Language and Audiology clinics) in which diagnostic and habilitation services are provided to faculty, staff, students, and clients in the community. Students in the program benefit from supervised on campus practicum experiences at the Clinic, where speech, language, and hearing services are provided for the community.

Student Associations. The School sponsors student chapters of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and the National Association of Future Doctors of Audiology (NAFDA). These groups hold workshops, foster volunteerism, and work toward increasing student involvement in the professions at the local and national level.

Career Opportunities

The Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences major offers training towards careers in many public and private settings working with the speech, language, and hearing impaired, and as research faculty at the university level. Graduates with certification or licensure may work in rehabilitation centers, schools, hospitals, private agencies, private practice, and industry and, with the Ph.D., may conduct research and serve as faculty in university and research settings. Career opportunities are particularly good for speech-language pathology, especially for bilingual or bicultural persons.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.