Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) offers three graduate degrees: Master of Arts (M.A.), Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The M.A. and Au.D. degrees are professional degrees that prepare students for clinical certification and State licensure in the fields of speech-language pathology (SLP) and audiology. Also, through an arrangement with the Neag School of Education, students enrolled in the M.A. program in SLHS can fulfill requirements leading to certification as an SLP for employment in Connecticut’s public schools. The M.A. is a two-year program (four semesters plus one summer) with the option of a three-year program (six semesters plus one summer) for students without pre-professional undergraduate coursework in SLHS. The Au.D. degree is a four-year post-baccalaureate program that includes three years of coursework and clinical experiences plus a one-year equivalent full-time residency. The M.A. and Au.D. degrees are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. The Ph.D. program prepares students for research and teaching careers in SLHS. Students can specialize in areas including normal processes of speech, language and hearing, disorders of speech, language and hearing both developmental and acquired, and the prevention, treatment or management of these disorders.

Master of Arts Requirements

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, a M.A. degree in Speech-Language Pathology requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 57 credits and 375 hours of clinical practicum while maintaining at least a “B” in both academic coursework and clinical work. Students must complete all required courses and clinical practicum in order to obtain both their M.A. degree, and their Certificate in Clinical Competency through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The first year of the two-year M.A. program consists of required graduate courses and clinical practicum, and the first year of the three-year M.A. program consists of required pre-professional undergraduate courses. During the final year, students complete the remaining required courses, and either GRAD 5950 or SLHS 5374. Students are also required to complete an additional six credits of course work in an area interest. At least three of the credits must be from graduate courses taken within the SLHS department. The Master of Arts required courses are listed below.

Master of Arts Clinical Practicum. SLHS 5336 each semester and SLHS 5302 in May Term/Summer I.

Master of Arts Language Disorders Required Courses: SLHS 5342, 5343, 5348, and 5349.

Master of Arts Speech Disorders Required Courses: SLHS 5335, 5345, 5346, 5353, and 5359.

Master of Arts Speech Science and Research Required Courses: SLHS 5361, 5377, and 5374 or GRAD 5950.

Master of Arts Area of Interest Courses. Students must take six credits of additional coursework in an area of interest as part of their degree requirement. These courses may vary in topics such as disabilities, diversity and multiculturalism, education, and medical speech language pathology to list a few. These courses are typically offered within the department (e.g., SLHS 5376 Language Impairments and Literacy, SLHS 5378 Augmentative Alternative Communication in Speech-Language Pathology, SLHS 5380 Advanced Topics in Medical Speech Pathology, SLHS 6123 Bilingualism in Typical and Atypical Populations; Language and Cognition). One three credit course may be taken outside the department if approval is obtained from the student’s academic advisory committee.

Doctor of Audiology Requirements

It is expected that students will earn a minimum of 1,820 clinical hours during full-time enrollment in the graduate program and a minimum of 75 credit hours. Didactic coursework and clinical experiences are designed to allow students to acquire knowledge and skills in six broad areas of audiology: foundations of practice, prevention/identification of hearing loss and balance disorders, assessment hearing and balance disorders, (re)habilitation of hearing and balance disorders, advocacy/consultation, and education/research/administration. Students are also required to complete a capstone research project and pass qualifying examinations in years one and three of the program.

Doctor of Audiology Required Courses: SLHS 5321, 5322, 5323, 5324, 5325, 5326, 5344, 5351, 5354, 5362, 5369, 5372, 5373, 5375, 5400, 5401, 6401, 6402, 6410. Students are required to take three credits of a graduate level statistics course such as EPSY 5309 and three elective credits also at the graduate level. Selection of the appropriate statistics and elective courses should be made in consultation with the major academic advisor.

Students are required to register for clinical practicum (SLHS 5337) for each semester of the first three years of the program beginning in the second semester of study. Students are required to register for GRAD 6930 or 6998 in their final year of study when they complete their clinical externship. Students are also required to complete a capstone research project taking a minimum of six credits of SLHS 6319 (Research Practicum) and pass qualifying examinations in years one and three of the program.

Doctor of Philosophy

Specific course requirements for the Ph.D. in SLHS are determined by the student’s advisory committee consistent with the minimum requirements specified by the Graduate School and the Department as noted below. SLHS does not have a foreign language requirement. Doctor of Philosophy requirements are listed below.

Foundations Courses. Students are expected to take coursework in an area of concentration. The coursework will be selected in consultation with the academic advisor and the advisory team.

Research Methodology Required Courses: SLHS 6368 or EPSY 6103; nine credits in research design, statistics, and possibly computer programming. Courses may be taken in Educational Psychology, Psychology, Statistics or other departments. Each department has a recommended three-course sequence (e.g., EPSY 5605, 5607, 5610 or 5613; STAT 5505, 5605, 5665). In addition, students will enroll each semester for at least one credit of research practicum, SLHS 6319.

Laboratory Rotations. To obtain experience in different research methodologies, each student will be required to complete two laboratory rotations, lasting a minimum of one semester. During the rotation, students will enroll in SLHS 6319. The laboratory rotation must be approved by the student’s adviser.

Projects. Students will be required to complete two research projects during their first two to three years of the program (first and second projects) and may be connected with a laboratory rotation. These projects will involve experiment design, data collection, analyses, preparation of a potentially publishable manuscript or grant application, and an oral presentation of the research findings.

General Examination. The general examination may be taken when 75% of the content coursework is completed. The examination format may vary but it will consist of both written and oral components. Both portions must be passed within two attempts.

Prospectus. Students must submit a prospectus in the form of a grant application. This is typically done at the end of the third year of the program, after successfully passing the general examination.

Dissertation. Consists of written and oral components that reflect the student’s focused area of research.

The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.