The Au.D. is the entry level degree in clinical audiology and emphasizes both clinical competency development and evidence-based practice. Students in the Au.D. program complete a 4-year curriculum that includes academic coursework, clinical practicum, and research experiences (capstone) and/or electives. Students take advanced seminars in hearing science, clinical audiology and research methods. Note that some of these advanced courses are often held off-campus (e.g., at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora), which provides students access to renowned professionals to teach these courses and to labs/equipment they may not otherwise have access to.

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, diagnostic evaluation and intervention procedures for newborns through geriatrics, advanced amplification, speech perception in noise, assistive technologies, cochlear implants, vestibular assessment techniques and aural habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with hearing loss. Furthermore, students undertake clinical practica to develop competency across the scope of practice consistent with national clinical certification and/or licensure in audiology. They will have the opportunity to complete clinical rotations in several different settings including full use of laboratories and suites at the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences department. Rotations include University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora and the outpatient University of Colorado Health Boulder clinic, Children’s Hospital in Denver, Denver Health, local school districts, and other clinical settings throughout the metro Boulder and Denver area. Many students complete fourth year externships in the Denver area as well as national settings. 

While during the 1st year of the AuD program, transportation beyond public transportation in Boulder may not be needed, please note that students will be required to commute to off-site clinical experiences as well as some classes beginning in the 2nd year of the program (as often as one to two days each week).

Applicants should have the necessary prerequisite coursework and content knowledge prior to the start of the program. Admitted students will be asked to submit a prerequisite form.

Required Coursework

  • University-level statistics course

Required Content Knowledge

The AuD curriculum does not address the following content knowledge. Students must have this content knowledge in order to meet ASHA 2020 Standards for Certification in Audiology.

  • Language and speech characteristics and their development for individuals with normal and impaired hearing across the lifespan
  • Identifying persons at risk for speech-language and/or cognitive disorders that may interfere with communication, health, education, and/or psychosocial function
  • Screening for comprehension and production of language, including the cognitive and social aspects of communication
  • Screening for speech production skills (e.g., articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice characteristics)

Strongly Recommended Content Knowledge

AuD courses are taught based on the assumption that students have background content knowledge described below. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to acquire this knowledge before taking related AuD coursework.

  • Pre-calculus including algebra and trigonometry
  • Audiological Evaluation - basic principles and techniques of hearing evaluation, including pure-tone, speech, immittance, and advanced audiometry; hearing conservation in hospital, school, and industrial settings; and identification and evaluation of auditory pathologies. Hands on experience in hearing screening and pure-tone audiometry.
  • Hearing Science - basic understanding of the three main aspects of the hearing process: sounds in the environment (physical acoustics), sounds encoded within the auditory system (anatomy of the auditory system; physiological acoustics) and perception of sound (psychological acoustics).
  • Phonetics - basic understanding of the production of speech sounds, transcribing speech using the International Phonetic Alphabet, analyzing the acoustic properties of speech sounds, understanding how speech sounds vary depending on the context.
  • Audiological Rehabilitation - basic principles and techniques related to the habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing: amplification, speech, language, auditory, speech reading, and educational issues.
  • Speech Science - basic understanding of the structural organization (anatomy), function (physiology), and the neural controls of the structures used to produce speech, swallowing, respiration, and related behaviors in humans.

Clinical practica are required of all students in the Au.D. Program.  These clinical experiences are:
Level I Observation and onsite clinical education – Semesters 1 and 2
Level II Part time clinical rotations – 6 semesters
Level III Externship – one year full time

Clinical education begins with work within the SLHS department. After two semesters of coursework and onsite clinical education, students progress to our on-campus clinic facility at the University of Colorado Hospital outpatient clinic in Boulder where they serve as primary clinicians who work with clinical audiologists. After competency assessment, students are able to complete rotations in Ear, Nose, and Throat clinics, other hospitals and agencies and/or public school settings. These sites rotate each semester and allow the student to gain in-depth experience in a wider range of services, including vestibular assessments, electrophysiologic procedures, and cochlear implants.

The 4th year of the program consists of a full-time (40 hours per week) externship at up to 3 different off-campus locations across a 52 week period.

In all clinical education placements, students are supervised by clinically certified and registered or licensed audiologists and do a wide variety of diagnostics and rehabilitation across the age span.

Students in the Au.D. program have access to a wide range of clinical sites within Boulder and the Denver-metro area.  Sample clinical practicum sites include:

  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • The Children’s Hospital
  • Public school districts, such as Boulder Valley School District, Jefferson County School District, Denver Public Schools, and Adams Schools
  • Rocky Mountain Ear Center
  • Denver Health Center
  • Boulder Community Hospital

Audiology Clinical Handbook