Pre-Speech Pathology and Audiology Preparation at UHMānoa
(Text compiled from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website www.asha.org, the American Medical Association’s Health Professions Career and Education Directory 2006-2007, the UHM 2005-2006 Catalog, the UHM 2011-2012 Catalog .)
Hawai'i Speech Pathology and Audiology program: University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Masters of Science
The Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders (or Speech Pathology and Audiology) is no longer offered at UH Manoa.
Speech Pathology and Audiology Programs
Speech Pathology and Audiology Coursework
What makes a strong candidate?
The Application Process
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology are clinical health professions under the umbrella field of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD). Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) are interrelated disciplines: Audiology is the study of human hearing and its disorders, and SLP is the study of human communication and its disorders. Both fields entail evaluating, diagnosing, and treating disorders.
Audiologists address problems with hearing, balance, and related ear problems as a result of birth trauma, viral infections, genetic disorders, exposure to loud noise, medications, or aging. Aural rehabilitation often includes counseling, training in the use of hearing instruments, and teaching communication strategies.
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) address problems with speech production, rhythm and fluency, vocal quality, and cognitive impairment as a result of stroke, brain injury, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, developmental delays, mental retardation, hearing impairment, or emotional problems. They also address swallowing difficulties and work with people who wish to improve their communication skills, by modifying an accent, for example.
Although some specialize, most Audiologists and SLPs treat a wide variety of people, from infants to senior citizens, and often collaborate with other professionals, such as teachers, physicians, social workers, and psychologists. Some Audiologists measure noise levels, develop ways to protect people’s hearing, and conduct hearing protection programs in communities or industry.
Most Audiologists and SLPs work in programs, medical centers, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. Some work in public or private practice or in administration, and a few go into research or education.
Careers in these fields require 7 to 11 years of education:
- Bachelor degree (~4 years)
- Master degree (~2 years)
- Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) (1 year)
- Doctorate (4 years)
Please note that standards in the field are changing; students will be required to meet the national standards in place at the time of their graduation and should therefore plan ahead.
Audiology programs that offer degrees at the Master level are transitioning to a clinical doctorate, the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), which will be the required entry-level degree for certification and practice as of January 1st, 2012.
SLPs enter the workforce after completing a Master of Science (M.S.) plus the Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY). UHM offers a Master of Science (MS) in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).
Students interested in research can pursue a Ph.D. in Audiology or either a Ph.D. in SLP or a Master of Science in SLP with a research focus. In both fields, a doctorate is usually required for teaching.
Students who have earned a Master degree from an accredited program and have completed their CFY at an approved setting are eligible to take a praxis examination administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Scores are submitted to the national American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as part of the application for ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-A for Audiology or CCC-SLP for Speech-Language Pathology).
Most states require Audiologists and SLPs to be licensed by ASHA, and some require a state teaching certificate to work in the schools. In Hawaii, all SLPs and Audiologists must be licensed to practice. To be become licensed in Hawaii, you must complete a degree and the CFY, obtain national ASHA certification, and then take a written state examination. To maintain certification, SLPs must pay an annual certification fee and meet ASHA re-certification requirements.
Most importantly, remember that requirements vary from program to program! You must research to create a list of all the prerequisites you will need to apply to the programs you are considering attending.
The most commonly required courses for CSD programs (whether for Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology) include:
Behavioral and/or Social Sciences
Speech Pathology and Audiology related courses such as Phonetics
Graduate programs usually require either an undergraduate degree in CSD or any Bachelor degree plus specific prerequisite courses. Some graduate programs also require observation hours; UHM’s CSD program strongly encourages students to obtain twenty-five (25) observation hours prior admission.
Students applying to UHM’s CSD program must have either a Bachelor degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology or the following prerequisite courses:
UHM Prerequisite Courses for MS: CSD
Prerequisite Course Area
|Physical Science||3||UHM: PHYS 100, CHEM 151|
|Biological Science||3||UHM: ZOOL 100, PHYL 103, PHYL 141|
|Statistics||3||UHM: MATH 115, PSY/SOCS 225, EDEP 429|
|Psychology||9||UHM: PSY 100 plus 6 cr in Developmental, Abnormal, Clinical, Social, Behavioral, or Physiological|
|Phonetics||3||UHM: LING 410; N.AZ.: SST202; Utah State: COMD 3500|
|Speech & Language Development||3||UHM: LING 470; Utah State: COMD 2500|
|Introduction to CSD||3||Utah State: COMD 2600|
|Anatomy & Physiology of Speech & Hearing Mechanism||3||N.AZ.: SST 251; Utah State: COMD 3100|
|Background course in applying principles to assessment or intervention of disordered communication (language or articulation disorders)||3||Utah State: COMD 3120, COMD 4450, or COMD 5200|
|Acoustics & Psychoacoustics related to CSD||3||Utah State: COMD 3400|
|Introduction to Testing of Hearing||3||Utah State: COMD 3700|
|Observation hours: Students can obtain observation hours through: 1) an approved course; 2) an online course that delivers observation hours through videos; or 3) apply and matriculate then complete the hours through a 699 Directed Reading/Research independent study course taken during their first semester. Students cannot enter clinical work until this requirement has been fulfilled.||25 Hours||Possible leads: Utah State: COMD 5900 (13 hours of videotape plus 12 hours arranged with someone in the local community). The U. of Vermont has an online speech pathology assistant program where they say one can get 25 observation hours (on the website), probably through courses listed as CSD 125 and CSD 126, but you would need to check. LaSalle University has an online course SLH 308, but one would need to clarify whether it includes the observation hours. Idaho State U. has an online program where they offer CSED 3315 and CSED 4425, presumably for the 25 hours, but one would need to check to be certain. Eastern New Mexico U offers online CDIS 441 for observation hours, but the course does not appear to include any instruction in clinical methods; one would need to call them to clarify.|
NOTE: Courses from Utah State and Northern Arizona University (N.AZ.) can be completed online. Other distance education options can be found by using the EdFind search engine on the ASHA website at www.asha.org/edfind/
Programs in CSD are offered only at the graduate level, which means that admission is competitive. Admissions committees are looking for applicants who have
- a strong academic record
- a strong overall GPA
- performed well on a standardized test (usually the GRE)
- completed the prerequisite courses and fulfilled all entry requirements
- excelled in CSD-related coursework
- effective written and oral communication skills
- a well-written, carefully considered personal statement
- clear career goals and who understand the field of CSD
- relevant observation hours in volunteer, school-sponsored (e.g. internships), or work experience
Applicants to UHM’s CSD program should have both an appropriate academic background and relevant experience. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate their interest and commitment.
UHM’s CSD program accepts up to 14 students in the Fall semester of each year. Requirements include:
GPA: 3.0 or higher; applicants with lower GPAs can petition for consideration.
Personal Statement: 1
Letters of Recommendation: 3
Minimum Scores Matriculant Average Old GRE New GRE Old GRE New GRE Composite: 900 --- --- Verbal: 400 (31%) 146 (31%) 505 (63%) 154 (64%) Quantitative: 400 (12%) 140 (12%) 566 (77%) 157 (77%) Analytical Writing: 3.5 (23%) 3.5 (29%) 4.1 (48%) 4.0 (485)
There are now over 240 Master level SLP programs and 72 Doctorate level Audiology programs accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (CAA). The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) maintains a website that includes a database of AuD and SLP programs, searchable via EdFind. Each program is unique in its mission, philosophy, criteria, and strengths, which means that students must research carefully to find programs that will work well for them.
Although there are resources that “rank” schools (The Gourman Report, U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, etc.), the rankings are rarely pertinent to specific graduate programs or for individual applicants. More important is whether there is a good match between you and your program.
To find programs that are a good match for you (PAC peer advisors can help with this process):
- Assess your individual strengths and weaknesses, your professional interests, learning style, and personality;
- Start with a list of all programs you would consider attending, which usually includes all programs;
- Using the links through ASHA, create your “Long List” by omitting the programs that do not match your professional interests, learning style, and personality (PAC offers a list of 7 factors to consider, found here: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/pac/Choosing%20a%20School%20Handout.pdf );
- Once you have your exam scores, create your “Short List” by categorizing programs on your Long List into ‘Reach,’ ‘Match,’ and ‘Safety’. Next, rank the programs by preference, and then decide how many programs you can afford to apply to. Be sure to apply to programs in all 3 categories (‘Reach’, ‘Match’, and ‘Safety’);
- If possible, visit the programs to see the facilities, talk to the Admissions Directors, and chat with students.
Most accredited CSD programs require applicants to take a standardized test called the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).
GRE Overview: The GRE has a General Test for all students and Subject Tests for certain fields; most students take only the General Test.
The GRE can be scheduled for almost any day of the year and is available only in computer-based format. The test requires approximately 4 hours to complete and assess your skills in Verbal Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and Quantitative Reasoning.
Appointments are scheduled first-come, first served basis. You can register three ways:
1) via telephone, at 1-800-473-2255 or 1-443-751-4820 or by calling the test center directly, using a credit/debit card;
2) via online at www.gre.org, using a credit/debit card; or
3) via mail, by sending a completed Authorization Voucher Request Form (found in the GRE Registration Bulletin) and registration fee payment to the designated address.
The GRE now includes new types of questions featuring real life scenarios and allows you to edit, change your answers, and skip questions within a section.
GRE Scoring: Scores for the Verbal and Quantitative sections range from 130 to 170 in one-point increments, with 170 being highest; scores for the writing section range from 0 to 6 in half-point increments, with 6 being highest. Your score report will be mailed to you, and will include not only your scores but also your percentile ranking. After November 29, 2011, you will receive your scores within 10-15 days.
Preparation: Your most important preparation for the GRE is your undergraduate courses, many of which sharpen your writing and verbal reasoning skills.
Many programs now use a centralized application service, the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service, or CSDCAS, for both AuD and SLP programs. CSDCAS applications open in September; apply early to ensure timely processing and avoid costly delays! Once CSDCAS verifies that your application is complete, it can take up four weeks for your application to be processed and mailed to the programs you designated. To ensure your application is mailed on time, all materials should arrive at CSDCAS at least four weeks prior to your earliest deadline.
If you will be applying through CSDCAS, there will be two main stages in the application process: the “primary” application through CSDCAS; and the “secondary” application(s) or supplementary materials sent directly to individual programs. If you are applying to programs that do not use CSDCAS, you will only submit applications directly to individual programs.
While many CSD programs do not require interviews, an interview is required as part of the application process for the University of Hawaii CSD program.
Primary Application: The CSDCAS application requires:
- Official transcripts;
- Test scores (check whether your scores should be sent to CSDCAS, to individual programs, or both);
- Personal statement or essay;
- 3-5 letters of reference (check what each program requires); and
- An application, which includes:
- Contact and personal information,
- Colleges and universities attended,
- Honors and awards,
- Community and volunteer experience,
- Research and work experience,
- Transcripts, and a
- Resume (required by only some programs).
Secondary Applications or Supplementary Materials: Programs may request another application, an additional essay or essays, additional letters of recommendation, additional copies of transcripts, and additional test scores. All secondary applications are submitted directly to the individual program(s).
UHM’s CSD program participates in CSDCAS. Students must submit two separate applications and two separate application fees: one to CSDCAS (along with its application fee), AND one to UHM’s Graduate Division (along with its application fee). Complete applications to both CSDCAS and UHM’s Graduate Division must be submitted with appropriate fees by the February 1st deadline. For instructions on applying, visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu/csd/students/prospective-csd-students/how-to-apply/
Communication Sciences and Disorders Department:
677 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 625
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone - 808-692-1581
UH Speech and Hearing Clinic:
Phone - 808-692-1580
For more information: visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu/csd/students/prospective-csd-students/ and read through the website thoroughly prior to calling the department at (808) 692-1581.
UHM’s Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center (PAC) has reference books, academic planning worksheets, and one-on-one advising by peers who can help you prepare for your Audiology or SPL program.
|UHM's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders||http://www.manoa.hawaii.edu/csd/|
UHM’s Graduate Division
Communication Science and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS)
|National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA)||http://www.nsslha.org|
|American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)||http://www.asha.org|
|Edfind – ASHA SPA Schools Database||http://www.asha.org/edfind.htm|
|Hawai’i Speech-Language-Hearing Association (HSHA)||http://www.hsha.org|
|Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Websites||http://www.slpwebsites.com|
|Hawaiʻi State Licensing Board||http://www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/pvl/boards/speech|
|Preparing for Graduate School by the Honors Program||http://preparingforgraduateschool.weebly.com/|