Speech pathology and audiology is the study of communication challenges, including problems with the speed and regularity of speech, the quality of the speech sounds produced, the hearing and understanding of speech, or the language-processing system. These disorders may be the result of some learned behavior, an adjustment problem, or a physiological problem. A speech pathologist or an audiologist tries to understand the communication problems and then sets up a program to help individuals deal with them.
Extensive undergraduate coursework
The American Speech and Hearing Association and many states, including Ohio, require a master's degree for certification as a speech pathologist or audiologist. Therefore, Miami designed its speech pathology and audiology program to give students the coursework and practical experience that would increase their chances of being accepted into high-quality graduate schools.
Miami's program is rare in that it provides a clinical practicum at the undergraduate level. For two semesters, students provide therapy to patients with a variety of communication problems in the Miami University Speech and Hearing Clinic. Because of this hands-on experience at an early stage, Miami students are viewed favorably by the best graduate programs in the country.
Miami's speech pathology and audiology program also provides the opportunity for practical experience in other countries through national conferences and summer workshops. For example, each summer, undergraduates have met with speech pathologists in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Cyprus.
Facilities for use by speech pathology and audiology majors include sound-treated hearing suites; therapy rooms with video cameras and microphones for evaluation; a materials room for tests and play activities; a language nursery with observation facilities; and a clinical room for adults with a home environment for therapy and classes. A state-of-the-art Speech and Hearing Science Laboratory provides specialized testing and research opportunities, such as voice acoustics, aerodynamics, laryngeal videostroboscopy, and respiratory function. Miami's facilities are certified by the Council of Academic Accreditation.
Students may apply for admission to the major after taking the four pre-major courses and if they have earned a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.0 and a 3.0 in the Speech Pathology and Audiology pre-major courses.
During your first year of study at Miami University, you will take introductory communication courses. You will also begin taking the College of Arts and Science requirements, which include a foreign language.
In your sophomore year, you'll enroll in an anatomy and physiology course along with beginning coursework in audiology. You will also continue to concentrate on Global Miami Plan courses. A GPA requirement of 3.0 overall and 3.0 in the required 100 and 200 SPA courses (i.e., SPA 127, 216, 222, and 223) will be enforced for enrollment in all 300- and 400-level courses.
In your junior and senior years, you'll take advanced diagnostic speech and language courses, hearing and speech science, and school methods and practicum courses while obtaining clinical experience at Miami.
Upon completion of your bachelor's degree, you are required to pursue graduate school to become a certified speech pathologist or audiologist. Miami's speech pathology graduate program accepts 25 students, including Miami graduates as well as candidates from other universities. Our faculty will assist you in finding a graduate program suited to you.
What can I do with this major?
Certified speech pathologists and audiologists seek careers in many areas. Major employers are public schools, hospitals, private practices, cleft palate clinics, community centers, dental clinics, cerebral palsy clinics, university training programs, and mental retardation centers. As a speech pathologist and audiologist, you can develop programs for people for whom English is a second language and who want assistance with dialect modification.