We are committed to the science of communication

The field of speech and hearing sciences involves the study of all aspects of typical and impaired human communication, and the top-ranked University of Washington, Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences (SPHSC) is committed to understanding the fundamental processes and mechanisms involved in typical l and disordered processes of speech, language, hearing, and swallowing, and to improving the quality of life for individuals affected by communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan.

The Department has a superb record of research achievement and acquisition of outside grant funds, which clearly speaks to the Department's commitment to scientific inquiry. We have an outstanding faculty, engaged in a variety of teaching and research activities, as well as community and University service. They are dedicated to understanding the scientific and theoretical frameworks of human communication and its disorders, including the roles of biology, cognition, environment, and culture. A number of faculty are national and international leaders in their fields and present a high profile for the University as a whole.   

The Department also has a rich tradition of graduate education. Graduates are counted among the finest clinicians and researchers in the country, many of whom head university programs as creative and productive leaders in our profession. We operate the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic, a clinical training facility that is integral to theDepartment and serves those affected by communication disorders within our community.  In the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings of graduate programs our Master of Science programs are ranked tenth. Our clinical graduate programs are also accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

We are committed to teaching, research, & clinical excellence

We have a commitment to excellence that is achieved through outstanding undergraduate offerings and graduate offerings, research programs, clinical education programs, and innovative instructional activities, and our program attributes allow students to realize meaningful scholarly growth during their studies.The Department's research, teaching, and clinical activities are focused in four major areas:

1) the nature of language, speech, and hearing as related to the characteristics of biological systems from which they evolve and the development of these processes;

2) the nature and characteristics of individual human communication disorders specifically related to speech, language, and hearing;

3) the processes and procedures involved in identifying, preventing, and remediating these disorders; and

4) the problems of human/machine communication including speaker identification and speech recognition. 

We are committed to academic innovation

We provide our students with a research-based, academic foundation in the concepts and principles of speech, hearing, language,swallowing, and their associated disorders across the life span, and a foundation in the clinical processes used to identify, prevent, and treat individuals with communication and swallowing disorders. Located on our Seattle campus, we offer 3 degrees; Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Students can choose from one of the 6 educational programs below that support the development of critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and an in-depth understanding of the field.   

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Speech & Hearing Sciences

  • Undergraduate major program
  • Postbaccalaureate program

Master of Science (M.S.)

  • Clinical Research Speech-Language Pathology (CoreSLP)
  • Medical Speech-Language Pathology (MedSLP)
  • Educational Speech-Language Pathology (EdSLP)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Speech & Hearing Sciences


Learn more about our research, students, and faculty from our fact sheet.