What degree will I earn by completing the SPHSC major?

Upon successful completion of the SPHSC major, you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences.

When am I eligible to apply to the major as a transfer student?

You must have completed at least 75 credits as well as hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 to be considered for the major. Please note that demonstration of the minimum GPA guarantees consideration, but not always admission, to the major.

Are there course prerequisites to apply to the major?

No, however, there are some out of department requirements you can complete while studying elsewhere. These requirements must be completed prior to graduation and we typically advise students to complete them before initiating the major. A grade of 2.0 must be earned in each of the following courses:

  1. One 3 - 5 credit college-level Statistics course (excluding Math). You cannot use any remedial, historical, or methodology Stats course to meet this requirement.
  2. One 3 - 5 credit Biological Science course related to human or animal sciences. We recommend Anatomy & Physiology. You may also take any introductory course related to human or animal sciences (e.g., neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, human genetics, veterinary science, etc.). You do not need a lab.
  3. One 3 - 5 credit Physical Science course that is either Physics or Chemistry. Any introductory course will satisfy the requirement. You do not need a lab.
  4. One 3 - 5 credit Social/Behavioral science course in the areas of Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, or Public Health (excluding all Linguistics courses).
What if I’m about to finish my study at another institution and I haven’t completed the out-of-department requirements?

You can complete the out of department requirements at the UW. For more information on recommended UW courses that will satisfy these requirements, visit our undergraduate curriculum web page.

What should I do if I already completed the out-of-department requirements?

In addition to out of department courses, you can work on general education requirements. Use this Requirements Worksheet to help you plan a course schedule according to the UW’s Bachelor’s degree requirements. If you are a Washington State community college or technical college student, you can use this course equivalency guide to plan your schedule.

Will my courses transfer to the UW?

UW Admissions and SPHSC staffs do not have the resources to complete a transfer evaluation before you are admitted. An evaluation of your coursework will be done, however, once you are granted admission to the UW, have accepted the offer, and paid the confirmation fee.

Generally, the UW will accept most college level academic coursework. There are some types of credit that do not transfer such as remedial coursework (by UW standards this is coursework under 100 level) and religious doctrine coursework. Additionally, Physical Education credit is capped at 3 credits.

Will I be given preference if I have my Associate’s degree?

The UW and the SPHSC department don’t give preference to students who complete an AA degree. Find out more information about courses and Associate’s degrees by visiting UW Admissions’ page on course planning for transfer students.

When is the best time to apply to the major?

The best time to apply to the major is during your sophomore/second year. Applicants should apply by the February transfer application deadline for admission to the major in Autumn quarter (September) of junior year. SPHSC courses are offered once a year and in sequence. The curriculum is established so students start Autumn of their junior year and complete major requirements by spring of their senior year.

How do I apply?

Please note that transfer students must simultaneously apply to both the SPHSC major and the UW Office of Admissions. Visit our Apply to the Major - Transfer web page to learn about the departmental application instructions. Visit UW Admissions to learn more about applying to the university. Please note that your acceptance to the major is contingent upon your acceptance to the UW.

What is the application deadline?

Transfer students can only be admitted to the UW and the SPHSC major during Autumn (September-December) and Winter (January – March) quarters. The UW does not admit transfer students during Spring quarter. The SPHSC department does not admit students into major during Summer quarter. Please review the UW Office of Admissions website closely for the most accurate UW Admissions deadlines.

When will I hear whether I’m accepted to the UW and SPHSC?

The UW Office of Admissions and SPHSC department will notify you separately and on different timelines. Due to the heavy volume of applications, UW Admissions will notify applicants within two-three months of applying to the university. The SPHSC department will notify you via email in April for Autumn quarter admissions and November for Winter quarter admissions.

What is the average GPA of students accepted into the major?

Typically, GPAs of admitted students range between 3.0 and 4.0. It is best that your GPA is 3.5 or above when considering your long-term plans. Top graduate programs in this field accept students with average GPAs 3.6 or higher.

Besides coursework, is there anything else I can do to prepare for the major?

Although it is not required, it may be useful to acquaint yourself with the field of Speech and Hearing Sciences by volunteering in SPHSC research labs or clinical facilities that provide speech-language pathology and audiology services. You can use ASHA (www.asha.org) as a resource to locate local clinics, hospitals, and practices where you can inquire about volunteer opportunities. Please note that we are unable to arrange these opportunities for students.

As a SPHSC student, can I volunteer in the SPHSC Department or Clinic?

No. Unfortunately, there are no volunteer positions available in the department or clinic.

Once I’m in the major, what courses should I take?

After you are admitted to the major the Undergraduate Advisor will meet with you to determine your course schedule until graduation. Your SPHSC course schedule will be set and any gaps can be filled with other general education courses. Visit our undergraduate curriculum web page to learn about courses in the major.

Is there any flexibility with the SPHSC course schedule?

No. SPHSC majors follow a standard course schedule as courses are offered in sequence to accommodate prerequisites courses in the major. Most courses are offered once a year.

Students who start major courses late may be able to complete a few required courses during Summer quarter. In general, however, students who start the major late will have their program of study extended.

In addition, students who opt to minor, double major, or double degree in another field often need to extend their program due to course scheduling challenges across departments and majors.

Can I use the UW Course Catalog to create my own SPHSC course schedule?

No. Although the UW Course Catalog lists the all of the SPHSC courses offered in our department, actual course offerings vary year to year. Refer to our SPHSC visual course schedules for planning purposes as it contains the most up-to-date information.

I heard that I need to observe clinical services in order to become a certified professional. Can I observe in the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic?

Yes. There is a clinical observation requirement of 25 hours for students planning to attend graduate school for speech-language pathology and work as a certified SLP. Students who are admitted to the major have access to the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic to complete all of these required observations. Observations cannot be completed in the clinic, however, until students are officially accepted into the major.

Note that there is no clinical observation requirement for certification in audiology, although completion of audiology observations is strongly recommended for anyone planning to attend graduate school to purse a Doctor of Audiology degree. d. These observations can also be completed in our clinic.

For more information on observing in the clinic, visit our clinical observations web page.

What are the SPHSC core courses and do I have to take them all?

The SPHSC major requires students to complete eight core courses. These courses provide a foundation in speech and hearing sciences and are completed during the first 3 quarters of the major. Visit our undergraduate curriculum web page for a complete list of the courses.

Majors must take all of these courses, with one exception. Majors who have successfully completed Linguistics 200, 203, or 400 may obtain permission from the Undergraduate Advisor to waive out of SPHSC 303 Language Science.

What are the SPHSC Option 1 and Option 2 pathways and how do they differ?

There are two pathway options in the major; Option 1: General Academic and Option 2: Pre-Professional. The primary difference between Options 1 and 2 is related to the number of required courses and credits. Both options prepare students for graduate study in speech and hearing sciences.

Option 1 requires 22 credits and is tailored to students with a double major/degree or who plan to attend graduate study in a field outside speech and hearing sciences. The credit requirement provides students with more space in their undergraduate schedule to complete the requirements for multiple areas of interest.

Option 2 requires 31 credits and involves more upper division coursework, particularly in the treatment and evaluation of hearing disorders. Additionally, Option 2 requires students to maintain a quarterly GPA of 3.0.

Do I get to choose between Option 1 and Option 2?

Not typically. After completing the eight SPHSC core courses, majors are placed into one of the major options by the department based on their GPA and interests.

Students who plan to become a professional SLP or audiologist, and who achieved a GPA of at least a 3.0 in their SPHSC core courses, will be automatically placed in Option 2. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement will be automatically placed into Option 1.

The only students who have a choice are those planning to pursue a double major/degree. These students may choose between Options 1 and 2 depending on their credit preference. However, the 3.0 GPA prerequisite for Option 2 still applies.

Is there a GPA requirement to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in SPHSC?

Yes. In accordance with UW and College of Arts and Sciences policy, students must meet the following requirements to receive a B.S. in SPHSC:

  • Maintain a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA for all coursework done in residence at the UW
  • Achieve a 2.0 minimum GPA in the SPHSC major at the time of graduation

Additionally, the SPHSC Department has a separate academic progress requirement for all students enrolled in the Option 2: Pre-Professional major. Students enrolled in this option must maintain a 3.0 minimum quarterly GPA in the SPHSC major. Students who do not meet this requirement will be moved to the Option 1: General Academic major pathway.

Is it possible to work as an independent clinical practitioner with my Bachelor’s degree in this field?

No. Within the field of speech and hearing sciences, a graduate degree is required to practice as an independent clinical professional in speech-language pathology or audiology, and to conduct research in the field. A master’s degree is required to practice as an SLP, a clinical doctorate is required to practice as an audiologist, and a PhD is required for a career in research and teaching.

It is possible, however, to work as a speech-language pathology or audiology assistant (often called paraprofessionals) with a Bachelor’s degree. These positions can be found in the public schools, clinics, and hospitals/rehabilitation settings. Our degree is not intended to specifically prepare you for those types of positions, but some graduates do pursue this career path and are eligible for employment. Additional information about SLP and audiology assistants can be found on the ASHA web site.

How do I become a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or audiologist who is certified to practice as a clinical professional?

To become a certified SLP you need to:

  1. Obtain a master’s degree in speech-language pathology (2 year program)
  2. Obtain a passing score on the national Praxis exam in speech-language pathology
  3. Complete a post-graduation, mentored Clinical Fellowship with an ASHA-certified professional (36 weeks, full-time employment)
  4. Obtain a license or school credential, in accordance with your state’s requirements
  5. Obtain your Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA*

To become a certified Audiologist you need to:

  1. Obtain a doctoral degree in audiology (3-4 year program), which includes a year-long mentored Externship with an ASHA-certified professional
  2. Obtain a passing score on the national Praxis exam in audiology
  3. Obtain a license or school credential, in accordance with your state’s requirements
  4. Obtain your Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA*

* The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) awards clinical certification in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology. Visit ASHA’s certification page to learn more. Certification through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is optional, but most professionals obtain this certification as it is required for licensure and insurance reimbursement in most states.

How can I best prepare myself for graduate study in speech and hearing sciences?
  1. Consider the elements of the graduate application- Graduate programs assess your application according to a variety of factors. Admissions committees typically request and evaluate applicant grades, GRE scores, undergraduate coursework/transcripts, relevant experiences in the field, and letters of recommendation. The strength of a student’s application is directly related to strength of each of these components.
  2. Evaluate your academic achievements–The courses required for SPHSC majors give you the foundational knowledge needed for graduate study and your performance in these courses will be important to graduate programs. To apply to the UW Graduate School, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 90 graded quarter credits, and other graduate programs will likely have similar admission requirements. When evaluating your academic progress, it’s important to assess whether your coursework approximates the 3.0 benchmark; particularly the SPHSC, statistics, and science coursework. To be considered for highly ranked graduate programs, such as the ones at the UW, your grades should be above the established minimums. Most programs publish entrance statistics for prospective students to view in evaluating the strength of their applications (see MS Program Statistics and AuD Program Statistics).
  3. Volunteer- Volunteering in a clinical setting or with individuals with disabilities or disorders, is another good way to prepare for graduate study. Clinical graduate degree programs consider community service in admissions. Consider volunteering at a hospital, clinic, or school to gain experience working with individuals with communication disorders and the professionals who assess, diagnose, and treat them.
  4. Participate in Research- If you are interested in scientific inquiry, particularly as a career in research, take advantage of opportunities to volunteer or work in research laboratories and/or complete independent study for credit. Doctoral degree programs will see such experiences as a reinforcement of your interest in a research career. As an undergraduate major, you can register for SPHSC 499 independent study credits under the supervision of professorial faculty. If you meet the qualifications to enroll in the departmental Honors Program, you can also conduct research and receive Honors credit for successful completion of your work. Use our directory to ascertain faculty areas of expertise and contact them to request to work with them.
  5. Participate in SPHSC student organizations and activities- Being active in the department can also be helpful. One way to do this is to become a member of the UW National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) or the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA).
How do I find out more about job prospects for SLPs and audiologists?

Although no one can predict economic conditions, many demographic factors indicate that employment opportunities for speech-language pathologists and audiologists will continue to be plentiful. Please review our department’s M.S. and Au.D. Program Statistics web pages for data about our students' specific post-graduation employment.

For other information about employment and the current job market for clinical professionals:

Who should I contact if I have general questions about transferring to the UW?

General questions regarding transfer admissions are best answered by the Office of Admissions and Undergraduate Academic Advising. Browse their websites to contact them and set up an appointment for Transfer Thursdays.