Programs by Campus


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences


Departmental URL

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)




The graduate curriculum in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences combines training for students wishing to pursue clinical careers in speech-language pathology or audiology, as well as graduate studies in speech, language, and hearing sciences, speech-language pathology, and audiology for research or academic careers. The department is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Degrees Offered

Master of Arts in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, and Ph.D. degree plus clinical certification (Combined Ph.D. + Au.D. and Ph.D. + Clinical training in SLP). (The College of Arts and Sciences offers the Doctor of Audiology degree.)

Special Departmental Requirements

Adequate Progress

Individual student progress will be evaluated annually by program faculty. Students who are judged to be making inadequate progress based on poor grades, incomplete coursework, poor clinical performance, or insufficient research accomplishments may be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation will be offered a timetable to demonstrate progress towards meeting degree requirements and may have restricted access to coursework and clinical experiences. If deficiencies are not corrected according to the revised timetable, the student may be dismissed from the program. (See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

The department offers the M.A. with two tracks: clinical and non-clinical. The clinical track is designed to prepare students to practice as speech-language pathologists upon completion of the program. Within the clinical track, eligible students may participate in the bilingual Spanish-English training program, Speech Therapy Education, Practicum, and Services (STEPS). Students who are interested in participating in the STEPS program must have native or near-native fluency in both Spanish and English. The non-clinical degree is designed for students who wish to earn the M.A. degree but do not choose to complete clinical practicum requirements. 

Course Requirements

The clinical M.A. degree requirements include 32 credit hours of required graduate academic coursework; 4-11 credit hours of electives, with no more than 6 credit hours in S780; 4 credit hours of clinical practicum (S561, S565, S566, S567); and two 6 credit off-campus externships (S568, M550) for a total of 52-59 credit hours.

The required academic and clinical coursework includes:

  • S501 Neurological and Physiological Foundations of Speech-Language Pathology
  • S520 Phonological Disorders
  • S531 Cognitive-Communication Disorders in Brain Injury and Disease
  • S532 Language Disorders in Children
  • S537 Aphasia
  • S540 Voice Disorders
  • S544 Dysphagia
  • S550 Stuttering
  • S555 Motor Speech Disorders
  • S561 Clinical Methods and Practices I
  • S565 Clinical Methods and Practices II
  • S566 Clinical Methods and Practices III
  • S567 Clinical Methods and Practices IV
  • S568 Medical Externship
  • S580 Critical Thinking about Research in Communication Disorders
  • EDUC-M 563 Methods in Speech and Hearing Therapy
  • EDUC-M 550 Practicum: Speech and Hearing (school externship) or S568

Some of the above-mentioned required courses may be taught as S515 and will thus substitute for said courses.

Students in the STEPS program will take an advanced seminar, S515 Spanish Language Acquisition and Disorders, in lieu of S532 Language Disorders in Children.

The non-clinical M.A. degree is a minimum of 36 credit hours, with the specific course requirements to be determined in consultation with the M.A. program director and relevant academic faculty.


Optional; minimum of 3 credit hours; maximum of 6 credit hours.

Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.)

The department also offers a professional doctorate in audiology, the Au.D. This degree is conferred by the College of Arts and Sciences, not the University Graduate School. The Au.D. is currently a 3-year, 90-credit-hour degree. The curriculum and clinical requirements for this degree are described in more detail on the department’s website: 

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Course Requirements

At least 90 credit hours of graduate coursework with a grade of B (3.0) or above are required for the research Ph.D. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. This coursework must include S681, S682, S683, S685, S702, one seminar in Language Science (S674), one seminar in Speech Science (S674) one seminar in Hearing Science (S674) and courses required for an outside minor. Students must enroll in S683 at least four times, accumulating a minimum of 2 credits. In addition, students must complete at least 6 credit hours of graduate coursework in experimental design and statistics or demonstrate equivalent competency. No more than 12 credit hours of coursework in experimental design or statistics may count towards the required total of 90 credit hours for the degree. Additional required coursework may be determined by the student’s Ph.D. advisory committee.


After completing the required coursework, students must pass a qualifying exam consisting of a written component and oral defense. The written component is tailored for each student by their Ph.D. advisory committee, which also evaluates student performance. Not passing the written qualifying exam will result in remediation, such as academic probation, and include a second opportunity to complete the exam. Successful completion of the written qualifying exam will then lead to the oral defense. Once again, students who do not pass the oral defense on the first try will undergo the same procedures as described for the failing of the written exam, above. Students who do not pass after two attempts (of either written or oral exam) will be dismissed from the program.

Research and Dissertation

Each student must complete three research projects: first-year (S681), second-year (S682), and dissertation research projects. The first- and second-year projects will be evaluated by the student’s Ph.D. advisory committee after the student has presented the research in a departmental colloquium. The dissertation will be evaluated by the student’s dissertation research committee.

Combined Au.D./Ph.D.

The department offers the opportunity for students to pursue a combined Au.D./Ph.D. degree. Students must complete all the requirements for both degrees, but there is some overlap in degree requirements so that the total credit hours required may be less than the simple sum of 180 credits required for both degrees. A maximum of 30 credit hours obtained in the Au.D. program can be applied towards the 90 credit hours required for the Ph.D. Ultimately, the decision regarding which credits in the Au.D. program will count toward the Ph.D. will be made by the student’s Ph.D. advisory committee. Because the 90 credit hours in the Au.D. program are all required, so as to comply with national clinical certification requirements, Ph.D. courses cannot be substituted for required Au.D. courses. It is recommended that Au.D. students wishing to pursue the combined Au.D./ Ph.D. degree declare this interest and be admitted into the Ph.D. program no later than the end of the second academic year in the Au.D. program. Likewise, Ph.D. students wishing to pursue this combined degree should do so as soon as possible to facilitate planning but must do so no later than the end of the second academic year in the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. with Clinical Training in Speech-Language Pathology

The department offers the opportunity for students to pursue a Ph.D. wherein they can complete requirements so that they are eligible to apply for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certification in Speech-Language Pathology. To pursue this track, students must meet admission requirements for both the MA and Ph.D. programs. Students must complete all the requirements for both degrees, but this track of the Ph.D. program is designed to offer students the educational opportunities to develop clinical and research competence within a more limited timeframe than might be required by independent enrollment in the MA and Ph.D. programs separately. Because completing all course work, clinical, and research requirements in a timely manner will take careful planning, student ideally should declare their interest in clinical training when applying to the Ph.D. program or at the latest, within their first year in the Ph.D. program. 

Ph.D. Double Major in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Students who are admitted into the double major Ph.D. program must complete the requirements for Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and the other major department as specified in the University Graduate School Bulletin. The advisory committee must include at least two members from Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and two faculty members from the second major field. Qualifying examination format will be determined by the advisory committee with input from both major fields of study. A minor concentration is optional, but if a minor is undertaken, there must be one additional advisory committee member to represent that discipline. At least 30 graduate credit hours must be completed in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences or cross-listed courses for the double major.

Ph.D. Minor in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Students wishing to obtain a minor in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences must have a faculty advisor from the department. Adjunct faculty must receive approval from SLHS faculty to serve as the advisor for the student’s minor. The advisor will approve the student’s program of coursework in the minor and will serve on the student’s advisory committee, research committee, or both. The student is required to complete at least 12 credit hours of graduate coursework in the minor department with a grade of B or higher. A written qualifying examination is not required but will be administered at the request of the major department. Note that courses in American Sign Language cannot be used toward the minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate courses for the minor.

Academic Bulletins

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