The undergraduate major in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) at the University of Colorado Boulder includes coursework 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 (B.A.) degree. In addition to learning in the classroom about normal and disordered communication, students will observe graduate students and professionals engaged in clinical work with individuals exhibiting speech, language, learning, and hearing problems.  Internships are optional but are encouraged throughout a student’s program.

SLHS is an excellent major for students interested in obtaining future employment in agencies that serve people who have a disability.  Additionally, it provides the appropriate undergraduate background for students interested in continuing onto graduate school in speech pathology, audiology, and/or special education.  

Careers relevant to SLHS that typically require a B.A. degree include:

•    Speech-language pathology assistant
•    Audiology assistant
•    Hearing specialist
•    Pre-school teacher
•    Service coordinator (case manager) for children birth to 3 with a disability
•    Tutor
•    Para-professional (teacher’s aide) in public schools
•    Teacher of English as a second language in other countries

Work settings with a variety of different positions relevant to the SLHS B.A.:

•    Service dog centers 
•    Adaptive sport facilities
•    Developmental disability centers
•    Recreational programs for people with disabilities through Parks and Recreation
•    Non-profit and private organizations that offer summer camps to people with disabilities (e.g., Easter Seals, Adam’s Camp, etc.)
•    Public and private schools
•    Nursing homes and assisted living facilities

Careers relevant to SLHS that require a graduate degree or other further training:

•    Speech pathologist
•    Audiologist
•    Early childhood specialist
•    Teacher of deaf/hard-of-hearing students
•    Teacher of students with learning disabilities
•    Teacher of students with autism or severe special needs
•    Literacy specialist
•    Sign language interpreter
•    Social worker
•    School psychologist

Career Services ( helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work. 

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

The Speech, Language, and Hearing Center at the University of Colorado at 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 three-story building housing video-monitored therapy rooms with observation booths; a child learning center featuring dual remote-controlled 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 non-university facilities also provide clinical practicum settings for graduate students. 

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data, and present results. For more information, call UROP at 303-492-2596, or check the web at:

The experience of studying abroad can prove invaluable for enhancing your undergraduate education. The university offers more than 100 programs throughout the world that offer credit that counts as if you had taken the credit here. In some cases these credits also fulfill major and core requirements. You may spend a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program you select. 

Prior language study or other prerequisites are necessary for some programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. Further information about study abroad is available from the Office of International Education which is located in the Center for Community, 303-492-7741, or on the web at:

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.

Speech Language and Hearing Sciences 4-Year Plan
Average 30 credits per year


First Year - Fall Semester
SLHS 2000
(3): Intro to Communication Disorders
LING 2000 (3): Intro to Linguistics
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Historical Context)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Lower-Division Written Communication)
Elective/MAPS (3)

First Year - Spring Semester
PSYC 1001
(3): General Psychology (Prerequisite for SLHS 4560)
SLHS 2010 (3): Science Human Communication
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematical Skills)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: US Context)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year - Fall Semester
LING 3100
(3): Sound Structures of Language
SLHS 4560 (3): Language Development
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Natural Science Sequence 1)
CORE (1): Content Area of Study (example: Natural Science lab)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Human Diversity)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year - Spring Semester
SLHS 3106
(3): Hearing Science
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Natural Science Sequence 2)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Lower-Division Literature & the Arts)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Third Year - Fall Semester
SLHS 3116
(3): Speech Science
SLHS 4502 (3): Language Disorders: Child and Adult
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Ideals & Values)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Contemporary Societies)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Third Year - Spring Semester
SLHS 4704
(3): Audiological Evaluation
SLHS 4918 (2): Intro to Clinical Practice
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper-Division Written Communication)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Natural Science Non-Sequence)
Elective: Upper division (3)

Fourth Year - Fall Semester
SLHS 4512
(3): Speech Disorders
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper-Division Literature & the Arts)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective: Upper division (3)
Elective: Upper division (3)

Fourth Year - Spring Semester
SLHS 4714
(3): Audiological Rehabilitation
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective: Upper division (3)
Elective: Upper division (3)


Possible electives (not required)

  • Speech-Language Assistant Certificate Program (7 credits)
  • SLHS 2305 American Sign Language (4 credits)

If planning to attend to graduate school for SLHS consider taking these graduate school pre-requisite courses:

  • Statistics: EDUC 4716/5716, SOCY 2061, or MATH 2510
  • Biological Science: ANTH 2010, 2020, EBIO 1030, 1040, 1210, or 1220
  • Physics or Chemistry: PHYS 1240, 1580, 1230, or 1010 or CHEM 1011 or 1021