Audiologists and hearing scientists study three of the body’s smallest bones and find solutions to issues affecting the sense of hearing, the second-most of the five senses that Americans will miss the most. The bones are in the middle ear – the incus, stapes, and malleus – and all three will fit on a penny’s surface. Missing their sense of hearing is a reality for millions of Americans, too, with hearing loss being the country’s third most common health issue.
Both audiologists and hearing scientists have a doctorate, although in different but related, fields of study. Note that while audiologists must secure a state-issued license, hearing scientists can practice their profession without it. Both, nonetheless, are beholden to the code of ethics of their profession, by medical industry regulations, and by concerned government agencies,
With that said, there are two educational paths for aspiring audiologists and hearing scientists.
- The clinical Doctor of Audiology (AuD) programs are for individuals interested in becoming licensed audiologists. Students must have previous education in speech and hearing science as a foundation for the advanced concepts in the doctorate program. Supervised clinical internships are requirements for graduation, and graduates must pass the licensure exam to earn the license.
- The research-centric Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Audiology or Hearing Sciences is a non-licensure track that focuses on theoretical aspects. Instead of supervised clinical internships, students must complete an approved dissertation to earn the degree. Basic and applied research skills, including data analysis, are valued in Ph.D. programs, and the research topics include the causes, symptoms, and possible treatments for hearing illnesses and injuries.
Both types of doctorate degrees are valuable to the scientific community, but the specialized training that comes with each one has different applications. Be sure to choose the right one for your career goals and personal interests since it will affect the rest of your professional life.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the typical roles and responsibilities of Audiologists?
In general, audiologists diagnose, treat and manage patients with hearing and balance problems, among other issues related to the ears. Their specific roles and responsibilities include:
- Make physical examinations of patients whose main complaints are related to their sense of hearing and balance, as well as recommend laboratory procedures
- Diagnose the specific issue/s based on the physical examination and laboratory results
- Determine the best possible treatment for the issue based on the patient’s goals
- Dispense and fit hearing aids and other related devices
- Monitor the patients’ progress through regular check-ups and make adjustments to treatment plans as needed
- Educate and provide counseling for patients and their families, including effective alternative ways of communication, such as technology, lip-reading, and sign language
- Maintain accurate and updated patient records
- Educate patients and their families about hearing loss and its causes, symptoms, and prevention
- Participate in research projects on hearing disorders and balance issues
There are also specializations within the audiology profession, and these specializations typically require additional advanced training aside from the AuD or Ph.D. degree. Audiologists, for example, may work either with children or the elderly.
What’s the typical path toward becoming an Audiologist?
First, earning an AuD degree from an accredited program is a must since the degree itself is a mandatory requirement for state licensure. Most, if not all, AuD programs take four years to complete, from the didactic coursework to the supervised clinical internships. Graduate coursework covers audiology and acoustical science, audiology equipment, auditory anatomy, amplification, and pharmacology.
As for Ph.D. programs, most are also designed for completion in four years, but students may be allowed to extend their stay depending on their dissertation’s progress. These programs may even allow students to customize their respective programs of study based on their interests and goals.
Audiologists must secure a license in whatever state they want to practice in. Each state has its specific requirements as set by its licensing board for audiologists. In the State of California, for example, an applicant for an audiology license must:
- Submit to a fingerprinting process;
- Possess a Doctor in Audiology degree or its equivalent from an accredited academic institution;
- Completed at least 300 hours of clinical internship in three different settings;
- Completed the final year of clinical internship under an AuD program;
- Pass the ETS Praxis Series exam, or the national audiology exam, with at least a 170 score (The exam results must be under five years old to qualify for licensure.)
Audiologists may also secure the CCC-A certificate or earn credentials from the American Board of Audiology.
What are the best skills and traits that Audiologists and Hearing Scientists can develop as part of their jobs?
Many of these personality traits can be developed at a young age, while others are developed due to the demands of the AuD program and internships. But every day on the job is also an opportunity to become a better professional!
- Communication skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Problem-solving skills
Indeed, technical skills may be crucial in your work, but transferable skills, as well as compassion, active listening skills, and passion for the work, are just as important.
What are the benefits of pursuing an AuD or Ph.D. in Audiology or Hearing sciences?
First, there are the financial benefits, particularly the salaries and other benefits for audiologists and hearing scientists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that audiologists earned $81,030 as the median annual wage (May 2020). Of course, each practitioner’s compensation package differs based on work experience, geographical location, and position.
In general, audiologists who worked in hospitals earned $86,940 per year on average, while audiologists in educational services earned $83,500 per year. Most work regular working hours, typically 40 hours per week (full-time), although there may be work on evenings and weekends based on patients’ needs.
Second, there will likely be no shortage of jobs for audiologists and hearing scientists, not least due to the aging population, modern lifestyle, and other factors. Job growth is projected at 16% (2020-2030), a much faster rate than average for occupations.
Are Audiologists also considered doctors?
No, they aren’t considered medical doctors per se. While audiologists have a doctorate, their education is considered at the Ph.D. level, not the medical level. Licensed audiologists didn’t get the same level and rigor of medical training as physicians – audiologists can earn their degree in four years while physicians can spend up to 11 years in their studies, including medical school, internship, and residency.
M E T H O D O L O G Y
These 20 on-campus doctorate programs were selected based on these factors:
- Accredited by a regional accreditation agency applicable to the entire university and programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) or the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).
- Reputation for academic excellence, both in quantitative and qualitative measurements
- Faculty members have the appropriate credentials, including terminal degrees
- Selective admission and small class sizes that make more personalized attention possible
- Satisfactory student services that ensure student success, such as libraries, writing centers, and career placement services
- Offers financial aid packages
These doctorate programs consist of both the clinical AuD and research-centric Ph.D. programs.
BEST DOCTOR OF AUDIOLOGY AND HEARING SCIENCES
: 2201 West End Ave, Nashville, Tennessee
Vanderbilt’s reputation as among the world’s best universities is strengthened by its AuD program’s exceptional features and outcomes! Offered by its School of Medicine, the post-baccalaureate program welcomes aspiring entry-level audiology practitioners. Note that Vanderbilt offers a Ph.D. in Audiology designed for aspiring teachers and researchers in audiology.
- This full-time program is designed exclusively for residential students (i.e., no part-time enrollment, no online courses). Students are advised to complete the degree requirements in four years according to the program’s design.
- Students must live up to high academic standards implemented by the program’s nationally-recognized faculty. Diverse clinical experiences complement the rigorous didactic and research components.
- There’s a standard program of study with specific milestones, although electives customize the degree to a certain extent.
- Students complete 37-40 credit hours during their first year with courses like measurement of hearing; acoustics, calibration and instrumentation; and psychoacoustics. Clinical case conferences and practicum also occur this early.
- In the second year, students learn about pediatric audiology, pathology of the auditory system, and aural rehabilitation in children. The first capstone project is required at this point, too.
- Third-year students are involved in advanced topics and more clinical case conferences. The fourth year is exclusively devoted to externships.
- Application requirements include a resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and transcripts.
Vanderbilt offers two specialty tracks under the AuD program, namely:
- The Early Identification and Management of Children with Hearing Loss track is a US Department of Education-funded program with an interdisciplinary design.
- The Vestibular Sciences track enables students to possess specialized skills in diagnosing peripheral and central vestibular system disorders. Students must complete a practicum at the Balance Disorders Clinic and capstone requirements and additional three courses in vestibular sciences.
Music lovers appreciate that Vanderbilt is in Nashville, the South’s cultural hub and home to Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and The Kings of Leon. A good sense of hearing is, indeed, an asset here!
University of Texas – Dallas
: 800 W Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas
UT Dallas is a young university – just 60 years old – but it’s among the world’s best universities for academic excellence and value! With its start as part of Texas Instruments, its academic business, engineering, and criminology programs are nationally recognized. The AuD program, with its advanced academics and clinical training, strengthens its enviable reputation.
- Students earn at least 100 semester hours to earn the doctorate. These credits should ideally be earned in four years, with the typical program of study consisting of 11 semesters. The courses should be taken in sequential order, and each semester has specific courses available.
- The first three years consist of formative assessments, such as written and oral exams and clinical competency evaluations. These assessments are crucial in determining whether a student is on track (i.e., satisfactory progress) with the program milestones.
- Students work with their respective faculty mentors in work related to their empirical research project. By their third year, the students must complete and present their research projects.
- There are plenty of professional development opportunities for students, from the annual colloquium series to workshops, seminars, and lectures.
- Students practice their clinical skills at Callier-Richardson and Callier-Dallas, the university’s center for CSDs. Internships are also done in hospitals, clinics, and schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area.
- Applicants with and without bachelor’s degrees in speech and hearing sciences or related fields are welcome to apply. Completion of prerequisites may be required depending on each student’s academic background and achievement.
- Admission is a highly competitive process, with applicants evaluated based on several factors. Applications must include GRE scores, official transcripts, a personal statement, and three letters of reference.
Students are challenged and motivated by their professors’ commitment to providing a comprehensive understanding of audiology, including its clinical practice. Innovation, particularly in research, is strongly encouraged.
Comets are chess champions, with its chess team a perennial presence in the Final Four Collegiate Chess Tournament. Such strategic genius may well have been part of the reason for UT Dallas being the original home of 63 companies – and counting – through its Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
: Frances Searle Building, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois
Northwestern’s AuD program is nationally-recognized because of its excellent graduate outcomes – many of its alumni are leaders in the field of audiology! Students develop their technical skills and become adept at meeting the challenges and setting the industry’s trends.
- Students must be full-time enrollees in the residential program. The curriculum involved enrolment in 3-4 courses every quarter, with each academic year consisting of four quarters.
- The first two years are spent on didactic coursework, while the third year is for a full-time externship. Students must then plan their schedules accordingly as there are no part-time shortcuts allowed.
- There’s no dissertation requirement, but students must complete three-quarters of courses with capstone projects as the culminating requirement. The capstone projects shine the spotlight on clinical cohorts and their issues.
- The diverse clinical internships are conducted at NUCASLL and in more than 30 off-campus affiliates like hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities in the Chicago area. These cover a wide range of technical skills, including the evaluation and diagnosis of hearing, the selection and installation of hearing aids and other devices, and hearing loss management.
- The faculty members are experts in audiology and hearing sciences and psychology, engineering, and neuroscience, among other professions.
- This is a selective program that admits about 18 students in each annual cohort. Students with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) are preferred, but applicants without a CSD background are welcome. Note that applicants with a master’s degree in a related field will not be accepted into the program.
Northwest also offers a dual Ph.D.-AuD program that combines clinical practice in audiology and scientific research in CSD. The program emphasizes evidence-based practice combined with strong critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills through world-class applied research. Students benefit from the continuous integrated training that allows them to take full advantage of both the clinical and theoretical perspectives.
Northwestern is known for its alumni that dominate opposite ends of the spectrum – the entertainment world with Seth Meyers and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the medical community with Charles Mayo, the founder of Mayo Clinic.
The University of Texas at Austin
: 2504A Whitis Ave. (A1100), Austin, Texas
UT Austin lives up to its motto – “What Starts Here Changes the World” – with numerous alumni who have, indeed, changed the world in their unique ways. Students in its AuD program have high expectations to meet! Kevin Durant, Walter Cronkite, Michael Dell, and Neil deGrasse Tyson come to mind.
- This four-year post-baccalaureate program consists of 100-108 credit hours beyond an appropriate bachelor’s degree.
- Students are advised to gain clinical experience before entering the AuD program, aside from completing the SLH 378 course or its equivalent. Other prerequisites to enrollment are passing the clinical handbook test and possessing professional liability insurance.
- The program gives equal weight to the academic education and clinical training for students. Students must complete 1,820 clinical hours, including an on-campus internship at the Speech and Hearing Center and off-campus externships. The latter occurs during their fourth year in the program.
- The typical course load is 12-15 credit hours for every long semester, and the credit hours consist of the didactic coursework and clinical practicum. Due to the full-time demands, students are encouraged to focus on their studies and discouraged from engaging in outside employment.
- Courses include Auditory Electrophysiology, Medical Audiology, and Hearing Conservation.
- Learning opportunities are incorporated into every course. These include simulations of patient management; Grand Rounds involving clinical presentations, and case studies.
UT Austin ensures that its students achieve a balance between work and play through various student organizations and opportunities for professional development. Students are encouraged to join the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) for socialization and networking purposes.
Students can also participate in research projects conducted in UT Austin’s state-of-the-art research laboratories for clinical audiology and CSD.
With its eight-foot diameter, the infamous Big Bertha can burst your eardrums if you stand so close next to it when it’s being banged on! UT Austin certainly loves big things with big sounds – this is Texas, after all, where everything is bigger – and Smokey The Cannon is another proof of it.
University of Iowa
: 108 Calvin Hall, Iowa City, Iowa
Part of UIowa’s prestige lies in its unparalleled writing prowess as an educational institution. Not only was it the pioneer of the Master of Fine Arts degree and home of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, but it’s also the alma mater of 17 Pulitzer Prize winners! But don’t dismiss its scientific side either, as its AuD program has produced many top educators, researchers, and leaders in the field of audiology.
- This entry-level graduate degree program is open for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science or other related fields.
- The program consists of 95 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.
- Learning outcomes include the professional ability to diagnose, prevent, and treat hearing and balance issues among children and adults. Students also train in leadership skills necessary for pioneering innovations and promoting the profession and its importance.
- Mandatory courses include Hearing Loss and Audiometry; Developmental Language Disorders; Fundamentals of Laboratory Instrumentation; and Anatomy and Physiology of Hearing. The courses must be taken in sequential order as the succeeding courses build on the knowledge and skills learned in previous courses.
- The admission is competitive to maintain small class sizes and ensure every student’s academic and clinical success. Each applicant will be evaluated based on their overall merits but will also be considered compared to other applicants’ credentials.
Students who are already enrolled in the AuD program may also pursue a Ph.D. in Audiology, a research-focused program designed for individuals interested in a career in academia and applied research. The formal request for admission into the Ph.D. program is required during the second year in the AuD/Ph.D. program. Completion time for the dual degree is seven years, on average, with a 137 credit hours degree requirement.
UIowa is a fierce football competitor with proven loyalty to its coaches – only two coaches have led the team in 41 years! Hawkeyes are a proud bunch! I-Club chapters, the alumni associations are found all across the US, too.
University at Buffalo
: 122 Cary Hall, South Campus, Buffalo, New York
UB, or SUNY Buffalo, started as a small medical school but has become the academic powerhouse today! Many superlatives are attached to its name, including the largest student population and the SUNY system’s endowment and research funding. Of its graduate programs, the AuD program stands out for its excellent training for entry-level audiologists with the potential to become expert practitioners and leaders.
- Students earn at least 75 semester hours of didactic coursework; credits for the clinical internships aren’t included in the credit count.
- The full-time clinical internship occurs during the students’ fourth year of enrollment. But students will gain over 2,000 clinical hours during their four-year stay.
- This is a full-time program where students must comply with all degree requirements within three years of enrollment.
- The minimum GPA is 3.0 for continuous enrollment. Otherwise, the concerned student will be declared under academic probation with failure to earn a minimum of 3.0 GPA in the next semester resulting in dismissal.
- Students must be on full-time residency status for at least two academic years. There’s a seven-year time limit to complete the degree requirements, and continuous registration is required until degree conferment. For the summer semester, a single credit will suffice for this purpose.
- Students must pass several milestone examinations, including the gateway, comprehensive, and ASHA (Praxis) exams.
- Completion of a clinical research project is an integral part of the program.
- Primary application criteria include overall GPA, combined GRE scores in verbal, writing, analytical parts, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.
UB allows its AuD students to earn the double degree of AuD and Master of Business Administration, a five-year program that prepares aspiring audiologists for their businesses or managerial positions.
March Madness Fever comes to the UB campus, and everybody gets crazy, in a good way, for the cowbells ringing all around! Chants accompanied by cowbells are also a tradition during football and basketball games, so prepare for ringing ears.
Indiana University Bloomington
: 107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, Indiana
IU Bloomington isn’t just the largest campus and flagship university of the IU System, but it’s also the best! As a widely recognized Public Ivy, its high academic standards rival that of the Ivy League universities. Students with the privilege of being part of its AuD program must uphold these standards, too.
- This is an accelerated program designed for completion within three years of enrollment. Students are required to enroll on full-time status for this reason.
- The minimum degree requirement is 90 credit hours consisting of 66 credit hours on academic coursework and 24 credit hours on clinical internships. The clinical practicum must be supervised and at least 2,000 logged hours to be considered complete.
- There’s a set program of study that students are advised to follow to earn the degree within the recommended period.
- The emphasis is on audiology science with topics related to the ear’s physiology, anatomy, and functions during the first year. Diagnostics, audiometry, and amplification are also discussed in depth.
- In their second year, students learn about the practical aspects of being a clinical audiologist. Topics covered include auditory disorders, pediatric audiology, and auditory rehabilitation.
- The third-year is exclusively devoted to full-time internships in off-campus facilities like hospitals and clinics. Students also take online courses in clinical audiology at this time.
IU Bloomington’s impressive learning outcomes are part of the reason for its nationally-recognized AuD program. The three-year average rates for the Praxis score pass rate and the employment/advanced education rate are 100%, meaning its alumni get the best value. The three-year average for students who complete the program within three years is just as impressive at 91%.
The university also offers a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences program, a five-year program with multiple research projects, teaching assignments, and a dissertation as degree requirements.
Dancing for 36 hours straight isn’t for the faint of heart and weak body, but the Hoosiers can do it! This is for a good cause, too, despite the risk to hearing health – a dance marathon is a fundraising event for Riley Hospital.
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
: 910 Raleigh Rd., Chapel Hill, North Carolina
UNC’s high academic standards, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and diverse student body contribute to its private university-like feel despite its public university status. There’s a balance between a sprawling urban campus and a sense of community among students, faculty, and staff, and it’s evident in its highly selective AuD program.
- Students undergo rigorous training in preparation for their career as exemplary audiologists whose evidence-based, patient-focused practice promotes the profession.
- Offered at the UNC School of Medicine and with affiliations with UNC Hospitals, the program provides students with varied clinical experiences. Students are exposed from day one of their enrollment to audiology science, including diagnostics, aural rehabilitation, and hearing devices.
- Students start their intensive clinical training at the UNC Hearing and Communication Center, an off-campus facility offering diagnostic and rehabilitative services. Interdisciplinary clinical are made possible with internships at the Children’s Cochlear Implant Center and Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities.
- All students engage in balance assessment and cochlear implant placement, each a semester in duration, to decide on their preferred specialty.
- The summer terms are dedicated to clinical practicum, wherein students rotate through seven-week clinical. This means a 7-week duty followed by a 7-week off.
- The fourth-year externships aren’t paid per se, but students receive a stipend, although the actual amount varies between students. The clinical site determines the stipend amount in most cases.
The three-year retention rate is an impressive 96.9%, but the Praxis pass rate and success rate for employment are more impressive – 100%! The rigorous curriculum combined with the challenging clinical resulted in exceptional outcomes for the students and, in the end, it’s the most important aspect.
UNC-Chapel Hill was the country’s first state university when its first classes started in 1795. As a consequence, it also has the Carolinas’ oldest collegiate athletic team. Perhaps UNC-Chapel Hill’s longest and fiercest sports rivalry is with Duke University, particularly in college basketball.
: 600 S. Paulina St., Chicago, Illinois
Rush University is one of the young ones, so to speak, with its 1972 founding. As Rush University Medical Center’s academic arm, it’s considered among the best in the country for medical training. Students in its AuD program receive stellar academic and clinical experiences across diverse settings.
- This post-baccalaureate program welcomes applicants with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences, among other related fields.
- Students earn 108 credit hours in four years of studies. Courses include anatomy and physiology of hearing, introduction to neuroscience, and amplification.
- The program adopts a teacher-practitioner model wherein students learn relevant technical and transferable skills through a combination of academics, hands-on patient care experience, and research.
- The program is designed as a three-tiered training ground for aspiring audiologists. Students progress through their academic coursework followed by clinical education consisting of a series of practicum and a year-long, full-time externship.
- Students in their third year must conduct an investigative project and pass a written comprehensive exam before their externship.
- On-campus and off-campus clinical placements are available.
- Students are expected to meet, even exceed, the clinical competencies at every level as a requirement for advancement into the next clinical level.
- The average class size is 14 students to ensure academic excellence at all levels. Students are accepted only during the fall semester.
Since 2016, the AuD program has achieved a 100% completion rate, Praxis exam pass rate, and employment rate within a year after graduation. Rush University prides itself on its superior performance in all these aspects and community service and research scholarship.
In 1847, David Jones Peck was granted the first-ever Doctor of Medicine degree to an African-American man from an American medical school.
University of Pittsburgh
: 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pitt’s reputation for outstanding academic instruction isn’t the only thing going for it, although it may well be the most important for students and alumni. Pitt Panthers also take pride in their university’s positive atmosphere, quality of life, and happy student body! Few programs can compare, much less compete, with Pitt’s AuD program, too.
- The program’s excellent track record is due to its strong commitment to applying the best academic practices, clinical experiences, and applied research. Students gain a robust theoretical framework and competent, practical skills in audiology as a result.
- Students benefit from the close mentorship of faculty members and the valuable assistance provided by externship coordinators.
- The four-point emphases of the formal training from the coursework to the externship are effective audiology practice from prevention to treatment; an interdisciplinary approach to clinical practice; management and rehabilitation of hearing and balance disorders; and critical research use.
- This four-year post-baccalaureate program meets the state licensure requirements and ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence practicum requirements.
- Students must pass comprehensive examinations and complete a research project.
- The clinical externships occur in more than 40 off-campus sites from which students can choose according to their preference. The clinical site reserves the right to accept or reject applications for externship.
- Application requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA, but a 3.5 GPA or higher is a competitive edge in admission. Completion of prerequisites is necessary for applicants with non-CSD degrees.
Pitt students can rely on their professors to become their mentors and advocates for their academic success. But students must also strive to keep up with the rigorous training that involves all fundamental aspects of audiology.
Pitt is the site where Jonas Salk created the first polio vaccine. The university’s drive for learning is embodied in the Cathedral of Learning, a tall castle-like tower on campus. The Cathedral’s top is illuminated with gold, known as victory lights, whenever the football team wins a game.
Arizona State University
: 1151 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, Arizona
Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science
ASU is a top-ranked comprehensive public research university known for its inclusive policies and emphasis on student success. But its value in society extends beyond its excellent academics – its research projects and discovery initiatives are driven by public value. Such a commendable approach also drives the learning outcomes of its Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science program!
- Students earn at least 56 semester hours of graduate-level coursework beyond a master’s degree or an AuD degree. The recommended composition is 12 hours in concentration, nine credits in research methods and statistics, and 11 in professional seminars and workshops. There should also be 12 credits in pre-dissertation research and 12 credits in dissertation research.
- But for students admitted into the program, the minimum required number is 84 semester hours.
- Every faculty member strives to provide students with personalized mentorship, particularly hands-on experiences in teaching assignments and research projects. Students identify their mentors even before applying for admission and encourage them to meet with potential mentors.
- This is an interdisciplinary program that encourages students to enroll in courses offered by several departments in the university. Students can build on their body of knowledge that will be useful in their teaching, research, and service.
Students are provided with funded doctoral training through the Department of Education’s RIDLL grant. The PRIDE Program is also an excellent venue for world-class training in advanced research in speech and hearing sciences. Presidential Graduate Assistantships are also popular for their four-year full funding, abundant professional development opportunities, and mentorship program.
ASU was founded 27 years before Arizona, which explains its original name, Arizona Territorial Normal School. ASU has become a force in education that it has even beaten MIT and Stanford in innovation through the years!
University of South Florida
: 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, PCD 1017, Tampa, Florida
AuD and Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders
USF may be among the youngest universities in the Florida System – it’s just 65 years old – it’s a force to be reckoned with in terms of academic excellence, research value, and societal impact! The combined AuD and Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders is one of the best proofs of its dominant position. Students get rigorous training in preparation for their role as leaders in research audiology, clinical audiology, and hearing science.
- Students who diligently follow the program of study will earn the dual degree in about six years, a shorter time than when taking the degrees separately.
- The total number of hours for the combined degrees is 162 credit hours. The division is 120 credit hours for the AuD degree and 42 credit hours for the Ph.D. The dual degree has 12 shared credit hours.
- Degree requirements for the combined AuD/Ph.D. program are the same as their respective individual programs, with some exceptions. The Audiology Doctoral Project requirement can be satisfied by the Ph.D. pre-dissertation research proposal and presentation but only with the approval of the AuD program director.
- Students must first be admitted to the AuD program before being considered for the AuD/Ph.D. program. Admission means meeting rigorous requirements, including completing one semester in the AuD program, demonstrating competent communication skills, letter of support, and approval by the AuD/Ph.D. Admissions Committee
The concurrent AuD /Ph.D. The program demands excellence in academics and research among its students and, thus, there’s a highly selective admissions process. Students also gain advanced skills in performing diverse diagnostic and remedial services as part of the audiology practice.
The Go Bulls hand sign isn’t related to Rocky the Bull, USF’s mascot, although it may seem like it. Instead, it was originally a good luck gesture made by the Bulls during free throw shots at basketball games. Students can also play their preferred music at the campus’ dining halls through the RockBot app.
The Ohio State University
: 1070 Carmack Rd, Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State is such an influential force in education that it’s among the handful of prestigious Public Ivies in the United States. As University System of Ohio’s flagship university, it lives up to its student-friendly reputation with over 1,000 student organizations. No wonder the Buckeyes, in its Ph.D. in Hearing Science program, only have good things to say about OSU!
- Students take courses offered by the department and other departments, including linguistics, education, and psychology. The interdisciplinary approach allows students to strengthen their broad knowledge base in readiness for a wide array of career opportunities.
- There are only a few specific degree requirements, so it initially seems there’s no set structure, which can be bewildering for some prospective students. The setup, however, means every student can create a customized program of study based on their specific interests. Faculty members act as academic advisors in this regard.
- The only specific degree requirements are at least nine credit hours in research tools and nine credit hours in non-concentration courses.
- The minimum number required for completion is 80 credit hours beyond a baccalaureate degree. At least 24 credit hours beyond a master’s degree must be completed within Ohio State.
- The online application packet must include a resume, academic transcripts, an autobiographical statement, three letters of recommendation, and official GRE scores. Copies of the thesis and published paper can be attached to the uploaded packet, too.
The program’s curriculum encourages maximum flexibility in each student’s program of study, although the rigorous research training and academic standards apply to everybody. The Ph.D. training comes from various departments, too, so students can pursue multidisciplinary projects.
OSU’s pride in its prestigious reputation is that it’s the only university with the definitive term “The” in its official name! Buckeyes being a football-crazy bunch, the Victory Bell’s ringing can be heard for nearly five miles, and it signals that the football team has won a home game.
University of Arizona
: 1131 E. 2nd Street, Tucson, Arizona
Ph.D. in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
UArizona, then-Arizona Territory’s first university, has established a reputation for world-class research in diverse fields. This isn’t surprising considering its R1 university status and membership in the Association of American Universities and Universities Research Association. In its Ph.D. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences program, the Wildcats are guaranteed outstanding support in their research projects!
- At least 36 graduate credit hours related to human communication and its disorders must be completed. These credits exclude the requirement for dissertation research and audit courses. The required credit hours may be completed through courses in and outside of the department.
- Students must choose a minor, which consists of at least nine credits, and complete 18 credits in the dissertation.
- Transfer of graduate credits in the previous ten years may be requested, but the program committee must approve.
- Students must enroll in four-course registrations, which will account for 15 credit hours. These are in Survival Skills and Ethics, Grant Writing; Seminar; and Independent Study.
- Two research rotations must be completed before the dissertation research can start. Students must submit a written report about the research rotations, which may be further developed for publication.
- A resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation, scholarly writing, and unofficial transcripts are considered during the admission process.
- The program opens its GradApp application for admission during the fall and spring semesters.
Diversity underlines UArizona’s graduate programs and, thus, candidates for the Ph.D. degree come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Students may or may not have clinical training and work experience, but all receive world-class speech, language, and hearing sciences training.
UArizona has a Bachelor of Arts in Law program, the only one of its kind in the country. But that’s not the only thing that distinguishes the university! Its Department of Geosciences has the world’s #1 mineral database, and it also produces gems in the form of Fulbright awardees – among the country’s top producers.
University of Colorado Boulder
: 2501 Kittredge Loop Drive, Boulder, Colorado
AuD and Ph.D. in Audiology and Hearing Science
CU Boulder is older than the State of Colorado itself, and it continues to put its long-standing history of pioneering work and academic excellence today. The R1 university is also an Association of American Universities member, with a robust research community. Ask the students in its AuD and Ph.D. in Audiology and Hearing Science program who enjoy strong support for their research projects.
- Offered by the Department of Speech-Language and Hearing Science, the program provides students with an abundance of opportunities for professional development. Students train in both clinical practice and audiology research in an intensive, accelerated, and rigorous program.
- Note that individuals whose research interests are outside the theory and practice of audiology are well-advised to enroll in the separate AuD and Ph.D. programs instead. But individuals whose academic and research interests have significant overlaps in audiology are encouraged to apply.
- Students must complete a minimum of 131 credit hours to earn the dual degree. The AuD curriculum has 89 credit hours, while the 42 credit hours come from the dissertation, teaching practicum, and statistics and research tools courses.
- The AuD program has a prescribed structure, but the Ph.D. program provides maximum flexibility for students. This results in a different completion timeline for each student depending on their enrollment status, research project, and other factors.
Students have several paths toward earning the dual degree:
- Simultaneous enrollment in both programs
- Enroll in the Ph.D. program after acceptance into the AuD program
- Enroll in the AuD program after admission into the Ph.D. program
No matter the method, students train to become leaders in their profession and become independent scholars, notable professors, and researchers, or certified audiologists.
CU Boulder is where many new companies have been established – more than 190 companies and counting – including Space Research Company and ShoeSense Running.
University of Florida
: 1225 Center Dr., Gainesville, Florida
UF is among the Top 5 public universities in the country, and it’s a well-deserved success cultivated over decades of hard work by its leaders, students, and stakeholders. The numbers don’t lie either – nearly 90% six-year graduation rate, over 97% retention rate, and record spending on research projects of more than $942 million in 2020. Plus, UF is known for its improved social mobility and decreasing student loans.
UF’s AuD program is among the best in its growing list of graduate programs, thanks to its emphasis on excellence in academics and research. Their diverse skills span the technical skills for diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology and the soft skills to meet the industry’s challenges. Students are also provided with vital support services to ensure their academic success and, in the future, professional success as audiologists.
- Students complete 110 credit hours in the four-year graduate program.
- Graduates are eligible to sit for the CCC-A certification exam and the Board Certification in Audiology. The training covers both didactic coursework and clinical experiences in diverse settings.
- The didactic curriculum includes basic sciences, statistics, applied audiology, neuro-otology, and programmable hearing aids.
- The clinical practicum is conducted in UF Health facilities, including The Oaks and the Health Science Center. Other sites are affiliated hospitals and clinics. There’s a year-long, full-time internship, too.
- Applicants with and without a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences are welcome to apply.
- UF has a highly selective admission rate, with each annual cohort consisting of about 15-25 students.
- Three letters of recommendation and official transcripts are among the application requirements.
- Graduate teaching assistantships are available, and these last for 9-12 months on a part-time basis with a tuition waiver and a modest stipend.
UF’s 100% completion, Praxis pass, and employment rates are its best draw for students. There’s also an AuD/Ph.D. dual degree program, which involves completing the two-year AuD curriculum followed by the Ph.D. program. While the AuD program has a prescribed structure, the Ph.D. program allows for more flexibility.
UF does many things on a big scale, and its student-run newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, is the largest.
University of Maryland
: 7251 Preinkert Dr., College Park, Maryland
UMD, a Public Ivy with a reputation for being among the Top 100 universities globally, provides strong support for its faculty and student researchers. Students in its AuD/Ph.D. program can rely on a wide array of research support services that make their time at UMD productive. The comprehensive dual degree program imparts advanced diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research skills concerning hearing issues.
- Students must complete 110 credits to earn the dual degree. The credits cover the didactic and research courses as well as the clinical internships. The pre-dissertation and dissertation components comprise 18 credits.
- The degree can be earned in 6-7 years, depending on the student’s enrollment status and progress.
- Students who have been in the AuD program for a minimum of two years and are in good academic standing can apply for the Aud/Ph.D. track. Admission is based on each student’s academic performance, the research mentor’s letter of recommendation, and other factors.
- Students are trained in the best evidence-based practices in audiology through rigorous academics and extensive clinical and research experiences. There’s also a strong emphasis on students performing cutting-edge research on the latest audiology, including assistive hearing technology and cochlear implants.
- Off-site clinical experiences are offered in prestigious facilities like the Walter Reed Military Medical Center and NIH Clinical Center.
The program has two distinct components – the AuD program and the Ph.D. program – with students earning both advanced degrees upon completion of degree requirements. The streamlined design allows students to take advantage of the specific benefits of each program, such as the clinical practice of audiology in the AuD program and the intensive research in the Ph.D. program.
Testudo, the campus mascot, currently has seven statues around the UMD campus. The latest is found at the Van Munching Hall’s west side courtyard. These statues are considered good luck among students who rub the statues’ noses before any big event, from exams to games. Offerings to Testudo are even made!
Washington University in St. Louis
: 4560 Clayton Ave., Suite 2000, St. Louis, Missouri
Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences
Wash U, a private research university, is often confused with the University of Washington, so “in St. Louis” was added to its name in 1976. But there’s no confusion or hesitation about the positive impact of its Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences program on its students, alumni, and community! This is an interdepartmental program established in 1947 and, through the years, has become one of Wash U’s highest funded research groups.
- Every student has an individualized program of study determined by their professional interests, particularly in research topics.
- The curriculum, however, emphasizes the equal importance of academic coursework with research training and teaching experiences. The culminating experience is the dissertation, which undergoes several rewrites before its final approval.
- Students engage in diverse teaching experiences that enable them to develop their effective teaching skills. Pedagogy is incorporated with in-person teaching assignments.
- The mandatory courses include Special Topics, Research in Speech and Hearing, and Dissertation Research.
- Students have a wide range of professional development opportunities, including Grand Rounds, colloquia, journal clubs, and brown-bag seminars.
- The final year is spent on the presentation and defense of the dissertation.
Student participation in curricular and extracurricular organizations is encouraged, particularly when the membership develops education, service, and leadership opportunities. Most of these organizations are organized and led by students, so there’s a robust sense of community.
These organizations include the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA), the AAA national student organization, and the School of Medicine’s Health Professions Student Leadership Council. Check out the Student’s Association of Speech and Hearing, too, for networking with undergraduates.
Wash U is a beloved university among students and alumni for its comfortable dormitories – memory foam mattress on the beds – and its attractive population. According to OKCupid, Wash U attendees are among the Top 5 most attractive students, and The Dating Ring says that its alumni are among the Top 10 best to date post-graduation.
University of Wisconsin Madison
: 1975 Willow Drive, Madison, Wisconsin
With UW–Madison being the oldest public university in Wisconsin, the impressive number of National Historic Landmarks doesn’t surprise. But it’s more than the physical facade because UW-Madison is among the best universities in the US and the world and the largest employer in the state! Many employees are in its world-class AuD program offered as a joint program between the Department of Communication Sciences at Madison and the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Stevens Point.
- Students earn 75 credits, minimum, to earn the AuD degree. There’s a sequential order of courses in the curriculum that students are advised to follow. But changes can be made in consultation with the academic adviser and clinic coordinators.
- The typical completion rate is four years for students with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. But for students with a non-related bachelor’s degree, an additional year for prerequisite coursework is recommended.
- There’s no requirement for a doctoral minor, but students can pursue it of their own volition. But students must seek approval from the AuD program advisor and the department head wherein the minor is offered.
- Students meet with the AuD program advisor once a year to discuss their satisfactory progress, including their compliance with breadth requirements.
- First-year students engage in clinical clerkship in UW-Madison’s clinic or Steven Point’s clinic, wherever they are enrolled. Both adult and pediatric services are offered in these clinics.
- Second-year students enjoy clinical clerkships in on-campus and off-campus locations. By their third year, these clerkships are exclusively off-campus. These years are also the period for the completion of a capstone research project.
- The 12-month, full-time externship occurs during the fourth year, usually at a single site, with the student choosing between an in-state or out-of-state site.
Students attend lecture classes simultaneously delivered in both Madison and Stevens Point campuses through videoconferencing technology. Summer didactic courses are conducted online, while the fall and spring terms follow the unique format.
UW-Madison is so popular that it’s estimated that 1 in every 790 living Americans possesses a degree from it! The university is also credited for the addition of Vitamin D in milk.
James Madison University
: 235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Harrisonburg, Virginia
JMU may have started as a women’s college in 1908, but it has evolved to become one of the United States’ top public universities! Social mobility, cutting-edge research at the graduate level, and public service are among its strong suits. Students in its dual AuD/Ph.D. program make significant contributions to JMU’s cutting-edge research and teaching.
- Students complete 133 credit hours to earn dual AuD and Ph.D. degrees.
- The AuD curriculum consists of 103 credits with six credits for the dissertation courses. There are also credits for core coursework, major concentration courses, research tools, teaching assistantships, and directed research.
- Recent GRE scores, official transcripts, resumes, and personal statements are required for application.
- Applicants must be willing to be interviewed by the admissions committee. Absence during your scheduled time for the mandatory on-campus interview may result in your elimination from the list.
- Students may apply for graduate assistantships, which require part-time work ranging from 15 to 20 hours per week.
JMU designed the AuD/Ph.D. program to enable students to gain advanced-level professional knowledge and skills in audiology, both in its theory through the Ph.D. side and practiced via the AuD degree.
JMU has a kissing rock! The rock is located on the Quad, and its origins date back to when men weren’t allowed to be alone with women on campus. Their solution: meet and hide behind the rock and, well, kiss! But all students whether they have kissed behind the rock or not have heard the Wilson Bell Tower play JMU’s fight song at 5 p.m. every day.