The program in speech, language and hearing sciences (SLHS) introduces concepts basic to human communication and provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of normal and disordered speech, language and hearing processes. The curriculum provides a strong academic foundation for students interested in a wide variety of careers related to the fields of disabilities and education. Additionally, it provides the appropriate background for students interested in continuing onto graduate school in speech pathology, audiology and/or special education.
SLHS students are qualified to become audiology assistants, speechlanguage pathology assistants, hearing specialists, service coordinators for those with a disability, teachers of English as a second language, early childhood specialists, literacy specialists, sign language interpreters, social workers and school psychologists.
The undergraduate major in speech, language and hearing sciences (SLHS) includes course work in three general areas: 1) characteristics, causes and treatment of disorders that impact speech, language and/or hearing (e.g., stuttering, head injury, deafness, autism, learning disabilities, etc.); 2) the science behind human communication (e.g., the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms, acoustics of sound, etc.); and 3) linguistics, specifically the normal development of language in children, phonetic transcription and the various component parts of language.
The program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. In addition to learning in the classroom about normal and disordered communication, students observe graduate students and professionals engaged in clinical work with individuals exhibiting speech, language, learning and hearing problems. Internships are optional but encouraged throughout a student’s program.
The PhD program in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado offers an exciting interdisciplinary research and learning environment that focuses on understanding the basic processes of and mechanisms underlying human speech, language and hearing.The program prepares students for research or clinical work in a broad range of areas, including both theoretical and clinical perspectives. These may include speech perception, sign language development, neurogenic disorders, neurosciences, motor speech development, speech pathology and stuttering, as well as many other areas. Students play a large role in designing their own programs. Because the science of human communication is interdisciplinary by nature, students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines related to human communication pursue their doctoral degrees at CUBoulder. Students take course work in other departments as well, such as neuroscience, linguistics, cognitive psychology and education.
The AuD is the entry level degree in clinical audiology and emphasizes both clinical competency development and evidencebased practice. Students in the AuD program complete a four-year curriculum that includes academic course work, clinical practicum and a capstone project. Students take advanced seminars in hearing science, clinical audiology and research methods as well as complete a capstone project. Students have the opportunity to pursue clinical research in both laboratory and clinical settings, with faculty in a wide range of areas, including electrophysiology, psychological acoustics, physiological acoustics, advanced amplification, speech perception in noise, assistive technologies, cochlear implants, vestibular assessment techniques and aural habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with hearing loss. Students undertake clinical practica to develop competency across the scope of practice consistent with national clinical certification and/or licensure in audiology. Students have the opportunity to complete clinical rotations in several different settings, including full use of laboratories and suites at CU Boulder. Rotations include University Hospital in Denver, the outpatient Boulder clinic, Children’s Hospital in Denver, local school districts and other clinical settings throughout the metro Boulder and Denver area. Many students complete fourth year externships in Denver hospitals as well as national settings.
The Speech, Language and Hearing Center at the University of Colorado Boulder serves as a laboratory for student training. The center also provides specialized services to the community, including speech and language evaluation and therapy. The center, offices, research labs and classrooms for the department occupy a large threestory building housing videomonitored therapy rooms with observation booths; a child learning center featuring dual remotecontrolled color video cameras; a full outdoor playground; and complete audiological and speech science facilities. In addition, faculty and graduate students use the facilities of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Aurora. Many other nonuniversity facilities also provide clinical practicum settings for graduate students.