You are here

Why Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

"It's basic. When you look at communication, it's the essential element of being human."

About Us

The Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences offers internationally-recognized programs in speech-language-hearing sciences, audiology, and speech-language pathology that provide outstanding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue rewarding and meaningful careers.

Our undergraduate program offers students a broad background in basic human communication processes and introductions to the nature and treatment of disorders of speech, language, and hearing across the lifespan. Our major allows students to explore the discipline through classes, research laboratories, and clinical observations. The major project course offers students a service learning opportunity with hands-on experience and an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to a real-world setting. Students will work with any of over 300 non-profit organizations in the community.

Our graduate programs have many opportunities for both master’s and doctoral students to work closely with faculty in all aspects of research, teaching, and clinical service delivery. Our accredited professional degree programs in speech-language pathology (MA–SLP) and audiology (AuD) are highly ranked nationally, and the outlook for employment is outstanding. Our PhD programs prepare leaders in the field who are well-positioned for jobs in academia, industry, and clinical settings.

We believe that learning is best supported in a collaborative environment, which has assisted both our students and faculty in a high level of success in publication and grant activities. Our programs have affiliate agreements with a broad range of off-campus sites for clinical training.

Understanding the critical need to serve and partner with diverse populations, we have developed curricula aimed at providing graduate students multiple opportunities to develop a deep understanding of speech, language, and hearing across ages and abilities within the context of cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity.

Our award-winning faculty excel in teaching, cutting-edge research, multidisciplinary and cross-departmental education and research initiatives, partnering with industry, and providing service and outreach to local communities.

In all programs, we strive to serve scholars within the University and broader community with interwoven coursework and opportunities for clinical and research experiences. These enable students to better understand the complexities of human communication across the lifespan, and to be sensitive to the personal, social, academic, and vocational consequences of difficulties in communication.

Strategic Plan

For an executive summary of our department's strategic plan, click here

Our department's strategic plan guides all aspects of our department, including our undergraduate, MA-SLP, AuD, and PhD programs.  The strategic plan serves to protect and foster our core values. We are a community of teachers, scholars, and learners who endeavor to make the world better for individuals with communication disorders.  We achieve this through activities in three broad areas:

1) Contributing to the research base through cutting-edge scholarship by world-renowned researchers partnering with students and members of the community

Members of our department conduct and disseminate cutting-edge studies of speech, language, and hearing abilities across the lifespan.  This includes both basic research and applied scholarship in speech-language pathology and audiology.  Our work encompasses the full range of human behavior, from neural planning to real-world human behavior.  We conduct work in our home discipline and in collaboration across across different traditional disciplinary divides.


2) Maintaining academic excellence through creative, challenging, and intellectually stimulating teaching and learning

The Department of SLHS offers 4 degrees: a BA in speech-language-hearing sciences, an MA in speech-language pathology, an AuD in audiology, and a PhD in speech-language-hearing sciences. We foster intellectual growth in a variety of settings: classrooms, research laboratories, clinics, and in the community.  The education that we provide prepares our students for top careers in educational and clinical service, academia, and industry.  Our focus on the full spectrum of human communication prepares students to work in a variety of fields.


3) Engaging with communities outside the university and around the world

Our faculty, staff, and students are engaged with many different communities, including those on campus, in the Twin Cities, in greater Minnesota, and across the world. Our faculty share their knowledge and skills through community partnerships and collaborative research in academia, in government, and in the private sector.  Our students learn evidence-based, innovative skills in speech-language pathology and audiology in clinical sites around the entire country. Hands on learning occurs through extensive collaboration with schools, clinics, hospitals and private practices locally, regionally and nationally.  The department's community engagement activities help prepare students to be future leaders in clinical service delivery, research, and advocacy for our discipline.