Speech pathologists and audiologists evaluate the communication skills of people with speech, language, and hearing disorders, and develop and implement appropriate treatment plans. Clinical practitioners may work in school settings, hospitals, community clinics, rehabilitation facilities, or in private practice.

The undergraduate major in speech and hearing science emphasizes the normal processes of speech, hearing, and language. Course work for the major prepares students to enroll in either a master's degree program in speech-language pathology or a clinical doctorate program in audiology (Au.D.). The undergraduate BA degree does not qualify an individual to work professionally in the field.

Why Iowa?

Iowa has long been a leader in the professional education of speech pathologists and audiologists. It was the first university to undertake a systematic program of teaching and research in this field and one of the first two universities to award a degree based on a curriculum in speech-language pathology.

All of the professional programs in Iowa's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program in speech and hearing science prepares students to pursue advanced degrees in this field, which the department also offers. A master's degree is the minimum requirement for professional qualification as a speech pathologist, while a doctorate of audiology is required for professional qualification as an audiologist.

Iowa's graduate programs in speech pathology and audiology are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this program need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 Information

Major(s)
Speech and Hearing Science
BA
Minor(s)
Communication Sciences and Disorders
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our  Pomerantz Career Center  offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

The speech and hearing science program at Iowa provides excellent preparation for a career as a speech pathologist or audiologist. There continues to be a strong demand for professionals in these fields, and both speech pathology and audiology are consistently ranked highly in “best job” surveys.

Advanced degree holders may work in an academic setting as a teacher and/or researcher in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500  student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100  study abroad  programs and multiple  undergraduate research opportunities

  Scholarships

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Course Work

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in speech and hearing sciences provides the foundation education students need to pursue the advanced degrees necessary for professional certification in speech pathology or audiology.

In addition to classes in biology, chemistry, education, linguistics, mathematics, psychology, physics, and statistics, the curriculum includes courses in:

  • Speech and hearing processes and disorders
  • Theory and applications in phonetics
  • Acoustics for speech and hearing
  • Anatomy and physiology of speech production
  • Hearing science
  • Hearing loss and audiometry
  • Basic neuroscience for speech and hearing
  • Psychology of language
  • Language acquisition
  • Developmental speech and language disorders
  • Rehabilitative Audiology

Students also must complete the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core program. 

See Speech and Hearing Science BA in the UI General Catalog for more information about the major and graduating with honors.

Minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders

To learn about required course work for this minor, see Communication Sciences and Disorders in the UI General Catalog.