Professional audiology master's degree and doctoral programs are for bachelor's degree program graduates interested in working as audiologists. A career as an audiologist's assistant is another option for students interested in studying audiology at the undergraduate level. Audiologist's assistants need to be licensed in some states, and educational requirements to take the exam vary.
Schools With Top Audiology Programs
Several educational institutions are known in the field for having strong audiology programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016, In-State)*|
|Vanderbilt University||Nashville, TN||4-year, Private||Doctorate||$44,050 (Graduate)|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$8,104 (Undergraduate), $9,696 (Graduate)|
|University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctorate||$11,074 (Graduate)|
|University of Texas, Dallas||Richardson, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Doctorate||$10,864 (Undergraduate) $11,940 (Graduate)|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Doctorate||$16,278 (Graduate)|
|Washington University, St. Louis||St. Louis, MO||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctorate||$47,620 (Graduate)|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$6,381 (Undergraduate), $12,737 (Graduate)|
|Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctorate||$49,064 (Graduate)|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$18,192 (Undergraduate), $22,060 (Graduate)|
|Rush University||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||Doctorate||$32,608 (Graduate)|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Audiology School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when selecting an audiology program:
- Look for schools or colleges accredited by ASHA, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
- Consider your career goals when selecting a program. Audiology assistant programs result in certificates, associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees; licensed audiologists must have graduate degrees and additional training.
- Some graduate schools have faculty with research specialties, such as hearing loss in children or hearing aid technology; if you want to do research in the field, find a school where you can study under someone whose interests match your own.
- Find out what the school's pass rate is on ASHA's Praxis exam.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Although a graduate degree is the minimum educational requirement for licensed audiologists, there are schools that offer Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs in speech pathology and audiology in order to prepare students for higher-level studies. In addition to general education courses, students explore the aspects of biology, psychology, physics and linguistics that underpin the field. Students may also get practical experience through clinical observations and practicums.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in audiology are relatively rare, as most aspiring audiologists choose doctoral programs in the field, but there are a few schools that confer Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degrees. Some of these programs are intended for students who want to be prepared for clinical work, while others are research-based, enabling students to write a master's thesis in a particular area of interest within the field of audiology. It is important to note that at some schools, speech-language pathology is only available as a concentration within a broader master's-level communications program.
Doctoral Degree Programs
The most common degree for aspiring clinical audiologists is the Doctorate of Audiology (AuD). This program lasts for four years and combines advanced coursework with clinical experiences in the field. Upon graduation, students have the educational background necessary to take the licensure exam and start practicing. For students who are more interested in academic careers, PhD programs are available. In these programs, students conduct independent research and write a dissertation on a specialized topic within the field of audiology. They usually go on to become university professors.
Both undergraduate and graduate-level educational opportunities are available in the field of audiology. When choosing a program, accreditation, exam pass rates and the audiology research interests of the faculty are among the important concerns for prospective students, depending on their future goals.