Audiology is all about the study and practice of diagnosing and treating human hearing disorders. Audiologists can handle patients of any age and may even have patients from their infancy to adulthood.
In choosing an audiology school, it is important for the school to be accredited in the state by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Only those who completed the program can be eligible for taking the licensure exam in some states.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders or audiology, one needs to proceed with a master’s degree program and get the necessary training and certification. Before 2012, audiologists with a master’s degree are allowed to practice. Since then, aspiring audiologists must have a Doctor of Audiology degree first before practicing in the field.
Among the biggest factors to consider in picking an audiology school is where the research interest of the school and its faculty lies. It could be in hearing aid technology or hearing loss in children, among others.
To get the best education as a future audiologist, one has to choose from several schools. The school with the leading audiology program is Vanderbilt University. The school’s Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences program started in 1951 and is one of the university’s largest programs. Their audiology program ranked first in the United States, while their speech-language-pathology Master of Science degree ranked third place. Vanderbilt University also offers Doctor of Audiology, Master of Science of Speech-Language-Pathology, Master of Education of the Deaf, or a Doctoral Degree program.
The University of Iowa ranked second for having a great audiology program. The students will get their degree, as awarded by The Department of Communication and Disorders. The school’s programs in Speech Pathology and Audiology placed first and second. They also offer degrees in Clinical Doctorate in Audiology, Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology, Doctor of Philosophy, and a combined Ph.D./Au.D.
The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill offers an audiology program under the School of Medicine, which has links to the University of North Carolina hospitals. This allows the students to enjoy hands-on experience in pediatric audiology and diagnostic audiology, cochlear implants, aural habitation, and hearing aids.
The University of Texas – Dallas establishes one of the first Doctor of Audiology programs in the US. Students are exposed to clinical experience as they perform clinical rotations at the two UT Dallas Collier campus sites, hospitals, clinics, school systems, and private practices in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The University of Washington offers a four-year Doctor of Audiology program. The first three years are devoted to classroom instructions, teaching students how to diagnose and treat balance and hearing disorders, while allowing them to focus on a practice area and complete a clinical research project. The fourth year is spent in the clinical setting.
Read more about What does an audiologist do.
The other schools in the US with a great audiology program include Washington University in St. Louis, University of Florida, Northwestern University, Rush University Medical Center, and Ohio State University.
Audiologist Online Education
There are online courses offered by a few universities and colleges in the US. They may be offered as a part of the bachelor’s degree at the undergraduate level, particularly those who major in communicative disorders. This will gear the students for graduate study. Typical online courses in this program include language, speech and hearing development; sign language, developmental phonology; and basic audiology.
Online pre-professional programs are also offered online to prepare the students for their master’s or doctoral degree. However, they do not get any degree from these programs and they require a bachelor’s degree.
For those looking for graduate study programs online, a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology is offered online. Some programs are a combination of on-campus classes and distance education.
Students have to log in to the online school’s content management system to find video demonstrations, lectures, clinical projects, and required readings. Tests and assignments are handled to the teachers online. Online discussion boards and emails are the main lines of communications between the instructors and students. Textbooks may be required in some cases to supplement the reading materials found online.