Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology offers a Bachelor of Science in Speech & Hearing Sciences that readies the graduate for a variety of career and educational options based on the knowledge gained from this degree and individual interests and skills, including the three graduate degrees offered through the department. Students learn about normal human communication, the development of communication, and communication disorders. The undergraduate program prepares students to think critically and work in teams. It exposes them to interprofessional research and collaboration, and cultural competency.

▼   Skills Acquired With Bachelor's Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences

General Knowledge, Skills, Aptitudes, and Experiences

  • Critical thinking, problem solving, logical reasoning skills
  • Exposure to the scientific method and opportunities for research experiences
  • Exposure to the culture of science (e.g., ethics, interdisciplinary research, team science)
  • Exposure to other disciplines and professional/scientific organizations
  • Opportunities for interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborative learning
  • Exposure to "evidence-informed decision making" as a lifelong learning journey
  • Cultural competence
  • Competencies in oral and written communication (e.g., reading, writing, listening, speaking)

Social, Behavioral, Biological, and Physical Science Foundations

  • Biology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Linguistics
  • Math and statistics
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics and acoustics
  • Psychology and cognitive science
  • Exposure to research contributions across fields

Communication Sciences & Disorders Content Knowledge, Skills, Aptitudes, and Experiences

  • Historical and philosophical tenets of the professions
  • Normal communication (speech, language, hearing, cognition) across the lifespan
  • Overview of hearing and balance disorders
  • Overview of speech, language, and swallowing disorders
  • Overview of the clinical process, continuum of service delivery, and evidence-based practices
  • Co-curricular experiences, such as grand rounds and colloquia, service learning, and undergraduate research
  • Exposure to health and education policy and advocacy
  • Knowledge of how to work in teams
  • Knowledge of clinical, academic, and research careers, including faculty and graduate student research

Retrieved from - ASHA webpage

▼   Career Options
  • Activity Coordinator in Nursing Home
  • Rehabilitation Aide
  • English as a Second Language Teacher
  • Fundraising/Volunteer Coordinator for Nonprofit Organizations
    • Special Olympics, Autism Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, etc.
  • Developing, Marketing, and Selling Therapy Materials in the Corporate Environment
    • Super Duper Publications, Linguisystems, hearing aid manufacturers, Tobii DynaVox, Pearson Assessments, etc.
  • Occupational Hearing Conservationist
    • Requires a 20 hour course and a passing exam score
  • Speech-Language Pathology Assistant or Audiology Assistant
  • Medical Sales and Publications
  • Research Assistant in the University Setting
  • Hospital Unit Coordinator/Healthcare Administration
▼   Additional Education

Potential Certifications

  • American Sign Language/English Interpreting Certificate (IUPUI)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education
  • Special Education

Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Radiology Technician

Master’s or Doctoral Degrees

  • Master’s of Speech-Language Pathology
  • Master’s of Social Work
  • Master’s degree in Special Education
  • Master’s of Counseling
  • Linguistics
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Doctor of Audiology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Graduate Certificate of Gerontology
▼   Application Information

Individuals interested in applying for the undergraduate program in Speech and Hearing Sciences can obtain an application and instructions through the University's Undergraduate Admissions web page below. Application deadlines are based on the semester the applicant intends to enter the university.

▼   Degree Requirements and Course Descriptions

Please see the USA Bulletin for the Degree Requirements and the Course Descriptions.

▼   Model Curriculum/Graduation Plan

Please see the USA Bulletin for the Model Curriculum/Graduation Pan.

▼   Departmental Honors Program

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences degree program may complete requirements to earn the Departmental Honors designation. Students will work with a faculty mentor from the Speech and Hearing Sciences program and two other faculty members to complete a Senior Honors Thesis project. Specific criteria for the program can be found in the following .pdf.

▼   General Admission FAQs

Please see the FAQs for answers to General Admissions Questions.

 

Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) FAQs

▼   I am majoring in SHS but would like to add a minor degree. What are good minor degree options?

There are many great minor degree programs that fit well with the SHS major depending on your interest. These include psychology, sociology, interdisciplinary studies, health & wellness, communications, gerontology, music, and linguistics, among others.

▼   I am not a Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) major but am interested in speech and hearing. Can I take SHS courses if I am not a SHS major?
  • The SHS minor is a great option if you are interested in speech and hearing, but would like to major in a different area. There are only 3 required courses and then 9 additional credits to meet the minor requirement. Visit the SHS minor webpage for more information on the program.
  • It is possible to take SHS courses if you are not a SHS major or minor, but will require permission from the course instructor.
▼   What’s the difference between SHS 480 and SHS 481?

Both courses provide an introduction to the clinical setting including documentation procedures and guidelines; organizations and statutes that govern professional service; instrumentation, procedures, and approaches to remediation. SHS 480 provides opportunities to observe therapy through in-class video, while SHS 481 provides opportunity for observation of live therapy and through in-class video, and participation as a clinical aide. An application process and special permission is required from the instructor may be required for entry into SHS 481.

▼   I am interested in shadowing an audiologist or speech-language pathologist. What is the best way to go about doing this?

Students can arrange shadowing experiences by contacting speech-language pathology or audiology practices in the community. Most clinicians are happy to have students shadow them. Shadowing experiences are not arranged by SHS faculty; however observation is built into the SHS 480 and SHS 481 courses.

▼   How do I get involved in research?
  • Visit the "Research" tab on the SPA Department’s main webpage to learn more about the research being conducted in the SPA Department. Contact the faculty to see if they are accepting research volunteers or assistants in their research labs. The same can be done for other departments like psychology.
  • You can also visit the University of South Alabama Office of Undergraduate Research webpage for details about participating in research across campus.
▼   What can I do to be a competitive graduate school applicant?
  • Maintain a strong GPA and earn a competitive Graduate Readiness Exam (GRE) score. These will vary based on the program you are applying to. Most programs list preferred minimum GPAs and GRE scores on their websites. Visit the USA’s SLP and AUD graduate admissions FAQ page which has more information about graduate program applications.
  • Engage in activities that foster leadership skills and provide experiences that allow you to engage with diverse groups of people.
  • The American Speech Language Hearing Association also offers some great tips.
▼   What makes a good candidate for graduate school?
  • Each graduate program develops admissions criteria of their own. You can access that information, typically on their websites, and consider if you are a good fit for that program based on these expected qualifications.
  • Many graduate programs look for qualities that are similar to what employers are seeking: teamwork/collaboration, writing, and critical thinking skills.
  • Other skills that good graduate school candidates have include professionalism and time management skills.
▼   What resources are available for GRE preparation?
▼   When should I take the GRE in preparation for applying to graduate school?

Students often take the GRE during the summer before their senior year or during the fall semester of their senior year. The benefit of taking the GRE in the summer is that it allows students time to take the exam again if they would like to improve their score.

▼   When should I ask for letters of recommendation and from whom?

Students should request letters of recommendation about one semester before their graduate applications are due. For January due dates, it is best to request letters of recommendations early in the fall semester of the senior year. Many graduate programs, including South's, require 3 letters with at least 2 from academic faculty. Be sure to check the requirements of the schools you are applying to. The schools may vary on how many letters are required, the due dates, and how the letter needs to be submitted.

▼   What can I do with the SHS degree if I don’t want to go to graduate school to become an audiologist or speech-language pathologist?
  • SLP and AUD assistants visit ASHA Assistants Program
  • Activity Coordinator in Nursing Home
  • Rehabilitation Aide
  • English as a Second Language Teacher
  • Paraprofessional
  • Fundraising/Volunteer Coordinator for Nonprofit Organizations
    • Special Olympics, Autism Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, etc.
  • Developing, Marketing, and Selling Therapy Materials in the Corporate Environment
    • Super Duper Publications, Linguisystems, hearing aid manufacturers, Tobii DynaVox, Pearson Assessments, etc.
  • Occupational Hearing Conservationist
    • Requires a 20 hour course and a passing exam score/li>
  • Medical Sales and Publications
  • Research Assistant in the University Setting
  • Hospital Unit Coordinator/Healthcare Administration
▼   How do I apply to be an SLP or AUD Assistant?