The Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences has the responsibility to ensure that its graduates can become fully competent and caring audiologists who function in a broad variety of clinical situations and render a wide spectrum of patient care. It is important that persons admitted possess the intelligence, integrity, compassion, humanitarian concern, and physical and emotional capacity necessary to practice in the profession.

Admission to the Doctor of Audiology degree program is based not only on academic achievement, but also on nonacademic factors that ensure that candidates can complete the essential functions of the academic program as required for graduation. The Department’s “Essential Functions” document outlines the five areas of essential skills and attributes candidates are expected to posses. All applicants should carefully review these essential abilities before completing the admission materials.

Enrollment in the Doctor of Audiology program is limited to approximately 12 students each year, and the application process is competitive. Candidates must meet the following entrance requirements to apply and should also review the UW Graduate School Admissions Requirements before applying.

1. Citizenship & Visa Status

The Graduate School and the Department accept applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents (green card holders), immigrants and international applicants. Graduate School admission requirements and application procedures are the same for all applicants regardless of residency, citizenship and visa status.

International students must have a visa status that allows academic study at the UW. This status includes temporary U.S. visas such as F-1 student visas, J-1 exchange visitors, H-1 temporary worker, dependent visas or any other nonimmigrant classifications. Students who will study on an F-1 or J-1 visa will be required to complete additional steps after confirming their intention to enroll before the Graduate School can process their visa paperwork. Consult the Graduate School Admissions website to find out more about minimum eligibility requirements and required materials for international applicants.

Please note, in order for students to be considered state residents for tuition purposes, they first must be able to prove that they are U.S. citizens, have U.S. permanent resident cards, or have a qualifying visa (A, E, G, H1, I, K or L). For questions concerning how to establish residency in Washington State, please contact the Residence Classification Office at 206-543-5932, or visit the UW Residency Office Website.

2. Bachelors’ Degree

All applicants MUST have a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

3. National Criminal Background Check

All graduate students in the department are required to complete and successfully pass a national criminal background check as a condition of admission. Instructions are provided to new students and the background check must be completed within 30 days of accepting the department’s offer of admission. The background check fee is paid directly to the department’s vendor, Verified Credentials. In addition, students in the Au.D. program are required to complete two other background checks; a Washington state background check at the start of their third year in the program, as well as a full national background check prior to the start of their year-long clinical externship.

It is important that students in our programs receive certification that there is no evidence of a Child and Adult Abuse Law (CAAL) conviction or criminal history. If there is a conviction that would prevent the student from completing the required clinical experiences in our programs, and thus prevent him/her from fulfilling the program requirements, he/she will be denied admission. A non-CAAL conviction/criminal history record, however, does not necessarily disqualify an individual for admission. When considering individuals for admission, conviction/criminal history records are reviewed as they relate to the content and nature of the curriculum and the safety and security of clients and the public.Should the background check provide evidence of a positive criminal history or raise any areas of concern related to a student’s participation in a graduate program, he/she will be contacted by a representative of the Speech & Hearing Sciences Department.

4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Applicants are required to submit scores earned within the last five years from the General Test portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The General Test of the GRE measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and writing skills. The test is available year round in a computer-based format. Advance registration is required and students should plan ahead in order for scores to be reported in a timely manner. We recommend that applicants take the test no later than November 1st to ensure scores are reported by the application deadline.

There is no minimum score required. If you take the GRE more than once, you may report the scores of your “best” exam, but you can’t pick-and-choose scores across exams. Applicants are asked to self-report scores on their application and must also submit an official GRE score report to the University of Washington (score report code 4854). Those who have taken the test in the past or on multiple occasions should inquire early to be sure scores are reported properly and in a timely manner.

Effective August 1, 2011, ETS has changed the GRE test. The department and University will continue to accept GRE scores from the "old" format (taken prior to 8/1/11) as long as the scores are earned within the last 5 years. Anyone taking the GRE on or after August 1, 2011 will submit GRE scores from the new test format.

To obtain score reports, contact Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000, telephone 1-800-537-3160 or by email at The GRE website is at

5. English Language Proficiency

All applicants to the Doctor of Audiology program whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. No waivers of this requirement can be granted. This prerequisite knowledge is necessary for providing ethical and effective services to individuals with communication impairments, and is necessary for successful implementation of clinical services with clients and exchange of information with other professionals (see Essential Functions).

Admissions into the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences will follow the University of Washington Graduate School policies and guidelines for individuals who are nonnative speakers of English. Applicants will be reviewed by the Department's Graduate Admissions Committee and evaluated on a variety of criteria without regard to language proficiency.  Applicants should review the UW Graduate School's Understanding the Application Process, which outlines each of the three required minimum admission requirements for Degree, GPA, and English Proficiency. 

To be admitted to the program unconditionally, all non-native English speakers are required to submit evidence of one of the following:

  1. A bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in one of the following English-speaking countries: the United States, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom.
  2. If an applicant attended an institution in a country other those listed in #1, he/she must provide official documentation from the institution verifying that all instruction was in English and that the degree is equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree. This documentation must be provided directly to the Graduate School.
  3. The following minimum test scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Department will accept scores from any of the TOEFL tests, but the Internet Based version (TOEFLiBT) is preferred as it assesses proficiency across all four communication domains (listening, reading, writing and speaking). Please note the department does not accept iELTS scores or scores falling below these minimums. We also do not grant provisional admission for applicants with scores falling below the minimums nor do we make exceptions to these TOEFL requirements. Additional information about the TOEFL can be found at
    • 92 or above on the TOEFL iBT
    • 580  or above on the TOEFL pBT

6. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

To be considered for admission, applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 during the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credit hours of study. The department does not make exceptions to this requirement. 

7. Prerequisite Coursework

There are no specific undergraduate coursework prerequisites for the Doctor of Audiology program. Students holding a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited College or University who meet the GRE, English language and grade point average requirements are eligible to apply and be granted admission into the Doctor of Audiology program. Applicants ARE NOT required to have coursework in speech and hearing sciences.

While there are no coursework prerequisites for admission to the Doctor of Audiology program, the curriculum does adhere to the standards and guidelines set by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. As a result, there are several ASHA-mandated undergraduate coursework requirements for clinical certification in audiology of which applicants should be aware:

1) ASHA Basic Science and Math Coursework

Graduates of any Doctor of Audiology program must complete a minimum of 1 undergraduate course in each of the following areas in order to be eligible for ASHA certification:

  • Biological science (e.g., zoology, biology)
  • Behavioral science (e.g., psychology, sociology)
  • Physical science (e.g., physics, chemistry)
  • Mathematics (nonremedial) or Statistics

Courses used to fulfill these requirements must have the following attributes:

  • They must be taken outside the Speech & Hearing Sciences or Communication Disorders department.
  • They must appear by name/number on your official college transcript with a final grade.
  • They can consist of any number of credits.
  • They can be taken for a grade, credit/no credit, pass/fail, or satisfactory/unsatisfactory, but students must achieve a “credit”, “pass”, “satisfactory” or numeric grade of at least 0.7 (D).

The Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders website provides a list of courses that satisfy these ASHA undergraduate coursework requirements. All applicants should take the time to identify whether they have courses that meet these requirements in advance of applying to graduate school.

2) Speech & Hearing Sciences Coursework

Graduates of the Doctor of Audiology program must also complete undergraduate, coursework that covers the following foundational areas in order to be eligible for ASHA certification:

  • Normal development of speech and language
  • Language and speech disorders across the life span

At the University of Washington, any of the following speech and language courses satisfy this ASHA requirement:

  • SPHSC 250: Human Communication and Its Disorders
  • SPHSC 304: Developmental Aspects of Communication
  • SPHSC 305: Speech and Language Disorders
  • SPHSC 425: Hearing, Speech, Language and the Brain

How and When To Complete Undergraduate Requirements for ASHA Certification
We strongly encourage applicants to complete the ASHA required courses prior to entry into the graduate program if possible. Due to the rigorous graduate curriculum it can be challenging for students to complete ASHA undergraduate coursework requirements in tandem with graduate coursework.

Individuals interested in completing some/all of the ASHA undergraduate science, math and/or speech and hearing coursework requirements prior to entering the graduate program have two options:

  1. Complete coursework at another College or University. The coursework can be at the institution granting your Bachelor’s degree, a community college, an online institution, etc. The requirement is only that the courses meet the attributes identified by ASHA and listed above.
  2. Complete coursework at the University of Washington during Summer quarter. Individuals accepted into the graduate program can enroll as a Non-Matriculated (NM) student at the University of Washington to take courses. The department offers “SPHSC 250: Human Communication and Its Disorders” during Summer quarter and it does meet the ASHA speech and hearing course requirement.

We also encourage those without a background in Speech and Hearing to consider taking “SPHSC 371: Hearing Disorders” in our department as a non-matriculated student. The course is also offered during the Summer quarter. It is not a requirement, but an option for those looking to familiarize themselves with audiologic concepts and terminology prior to graduate study.

While we recommend that students who have been accepted into the Doctor of Audiology program take the ASHA required coursework prior to the start of the graduate program, it is not a requirement. Every student accepted into the program will meet with an advisor in the Autumn to discuss their undergraduate coursework and identify any deficits. Students needing to complete undergraduate courses can take them as electives while in the Doctor of Audiology program. Applicants should be aware, however, that completing undergraduate coursework requirements during graduate study could possibly extend the duration of the graduate program beyond 4 years.