The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) studies the normal development of speech, language and hearing as well as the understanding and clinical management of disorders of these processes. The undergraduate program in SLHS prepares students to apply for graduate education in either Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology.
A speech-language pathologist is a person trained to diagnose and modify communication disorders. An audiologist is concerned with hearing and is trained to provide diagnostic audiological services, hearing aids and aural rehabilitation for the hearing impaired. Counseling for the communicatively handicapped person and parents or other family members is an important aspect of the work of both the speech-language pathologist and the audiologist.
The undergraduate concentration in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Courses in the concentration offer students basic information about normal and disordered communication. This area of study may be attractive to the student who has a strong academic background and who is comfortable in learning how to apply information from the biological, physical, and social sciences to the assessment and management of individuals with language, speech and hearing disorders.
The concentration prepares students to pursue professional education at the graduate level, providing students the opportunity to assess their interest and aptitude for graduate training in speech-language pathology and audiology. The Masters degree is the entry level into the profession; consequently students completing the undergraduate major are not prepared to work as independent professionals. The student who successfully completes the undergraduate concentration and who wishes to become professionally qualified to seek employment as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist must apply to a graduate program offering a course of study leading to a Masters degree. It is at the graduate level that professional training focuses either on speech-language pathology or audiology. The Masters or Doctoral degree is required for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Along with the Masters degree, further requirements for certification include the passing of the National Board Examination in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, and the successful completion of a Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) consisting of the equivalent of nine months of full time paid professional experience under the sponsorship of a certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist. Admission to the better graduate programs in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is competitive. Successful applicants present a consistently strong academic record, typically with an average of B or better, overall and in their major.
Undergraduate students are welcome to join the UConn chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and the UConn chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA).