The undergraduate program in Speech and Hearing Sciences is pre-professional and grounded in the liberal arts. The course of study emphasizes physiological, neurological, behavioral, and psychological dimensions of normal development, fundamental communication processes, and disorders of communication.

The academic teaching and learning philosophy is student-centered, research-based, and writing intensive. Students in the undergraduate program prepare for study in the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology and are encouraged to infuse science and research into clinical practice. Students learn to understand the diagnostic and therapy needs of individuals of all ages seen with a wide variety of speech, language, learning, and hearing problems.

The Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences offers unique clinical and research experiences in speech-language pathology.

Enhancing Employability

In addition to your degree program, specialized course work and/or experience can greatly enhance your employability.

Increasingly, a wide array of occupations demand some familiarity with computer applications and technology.

Depending on your area of interest, course work in technical writing, statistics, business, foreign language, mathematics, or other specialty area can complement the skills of your academic major.

An internship or summer job provides applied learning, work experience, references, and potential mentors and contacts for your job search.

Membership in student organizations and professional associations also provides valuable experience and networking opportunities.



Individuals wishing to study Speech and Hearing Sciences at WSU Spokane should keep the following suggestions in mind during preparation studies:

  • A strong and broad high school background in humanities, social sciences, languages, and math and sciences is strongly suggested and highly beneficial.
  • A student may certify as a major after earning 24 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  • Students wishing to apply to the graduate program—which leads to certification as a speech-language pathologist—must carry a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Consultation with an advisor within the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences should occur as early as possible in academic planning.

Preparing to Study

The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences has moved to WSU Spokane. As of fall 2011, undergraduate students wanting to pursue a degree in speech and hearing sciences must take UCORE and electives on the WSU Pullman campus or at another institution prior to transitioning to Spokane to complete upper-division degree requirements. In addition, students starting out at WSU Pullman must also take SHS 205 (Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology) before moving to Spokane. With the exception of the Tier III requirement, UCOREs are not offered at WSU Spokane. Some limited online course options may be available.

Undergraduate students should complete the following prerequisites or their equivalents prior to starting the program: Biology 106 (L) or Biology 102 (L), Chemistry 101 (L) or Physics 101 (L), Psychology 105 and Stats/Math 212. Please contact the department for more information.

Students completing their degree in speech and hearing sciences at WSU Spokane may start their upper-division course work in the fall semester only.

At least 45 of the total hours required for the bachelor's degree in this program must be in 300- to 400-level courses. Students must fulfill the university requirement of completing two Writing in the Major courses, designated [M]. Both SHS 473 and SHS 482 carry [M] designation.


SHS 201: American Sign Language I
SHS 202: American Sign Language II
SHS 205: Intro to Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
SHS 371: Language Development
SHS 372: Hearing and Hearing Disorders
SHS 375: Phonetics
SHS 376: Speech Sound Disorders
SHS 377: Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Production
SHS 378: Speech and Hearing Sciences
SHS 451: Neurogenic Communication Disorders
SHS 461: Clinical Methods
SHS 471: Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in Schools
SHS 472: Audiometry
SHS 473: Language and Literacy
SHS 477: Aural Rehabilitation
SHS 478: Language Impairment
SHS 479: Neuroanatomy
SHS 480: Senior Seminar
SHS 482: Assessment of Speech and Language

Go to the Course of Study tab to see courses taken by year/semester.


SHS electives (15 credits required) include any course 200-level or above, in consultation with your advisor, that will support a good foundation in speech-language pathology or audiology.  Students are highly encouraged to complete their electives before transferring to Spokane, as most of these courses are only available in Pullman.

Pass/Fail Grading

All courses taken in the major field or courses needed to meet departmental requirements may NOT be taken on a pass/fail basis, with the exception of the foreign language requirement. Electives also may NOT be taken on a pass/fail basis.


The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences is committed to ensuring equal opportunity and access to programs for all students. Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a documented disability. Accommodations must be approved through Liz West, assistant director of Student Affairs, Academic Center 130, 509-358-7534 or liz.west@wsu.edu. For more information, go to the WSU Spokane disability resources page.



Junior Year


Course Name

  Intro to Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
(online course for transfer students)
  Language Development
  Hearing & Hearing Disorders
  Anatomy & Physiology of Speech Production
  Total credits


Spring Semester

Course Name
  Speech Sound Disorders
  Speech & Hearing Sciences
  Language Impairment
  SHS Elective
  Total credits


Senior Year


Course Name

  Speech-Lang. Pathology & Audiology in Schools
  Aural Rehabilitation
  Assessment of Speech & Language
  American Sign Language I
  Total credits



Course Name

  American Sign Language II
  Neurogenic Communication Disorders
  Clinical Methods
  Language & Literacy
  Senior Seminar (CAPS)
  Total credits


SHS 201 American Sign Language I (4 credits)
Instruction and practical training in sign language for communication with persons who are deaf; deaf culture; beginning conversation skills.

SHS 202 American Sign Language II (4 credits)
Prereq SHS 201. Sign language systems; vocabulary and skill development in signing and interpreting signs; intermediate conversation skills.

SHS 205 Introduction to Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (3 credits)
Overview of deficits of speech, language, and hearing and the role of speech-language pathologist and the audiologist.

SHS 371 Language Development (3 credits)
Normal development of the cognitive, linguistic, and pragmatic components of language; introduction to language disorders in children.

SHS 372 Hearing and Hearing Disorders (3 credits)
Acoustic and psychophysiologic aspects of normal hearing and speech perception, and the nature and consequences of hearing disorders.

SHS 375 Phonetics (3 credits)
Description and classification of American English speech sounds; practice using the International Phonetic Alphabet to transcribe normal and disordered speech sounds.

SHS 376 Speech Sound Disorders (3 credits)
Prereq SHS 375 Clinical phonetics and transcription; evaluation and treatment of atriculatory disorders; delayed phonological acquisition; dysarthria; and dyspraxia.

SHS 377 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Production (3 credits)
Anatomical and physiological basis of speech production and the pathologies and aberrations that require the services of a communication disorders specialist.

SHS 378 Speech and Hearing Sciences (3 credits)
Basis of acoustics, acoustic phonetics, psychoacoustics, and speech perception, and instrumentation for measurement of related phenomena.

SHS 450 Special Topics in Speech and Hearing Sciences (variable, 1-3 credits)
May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Study of specialized topics in speech and hearing sciences.

SHS 451 Neurogenic Communication Disorders (3 credits)
Prereq SHS 479. Introduction to the etiology, assessment and intervention of communication disorders associated with neurological disorders.

SHS 460 Special Topics in Speech and Hearing Sciences (variable, 1-3 credits)
May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Study of specialized topics in speech and hearing sciences.

SHS 461 Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (2 credits)
Pre-practicum preparation; observation of and assisting in therapy; state laws; clinical methods.

SHS 471 Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in Schools (2 credits)
Therapy methods and procedures in speech-language pathology and audiology; state/federal laws affecting public school therapy.

SHS 472 Audiometry (3 credits)
Prereq SHS 372. Principles and procedures in basic identification and assessment of hearing impairment; introduction to differential diagnosis of auditory pathologies.

SHS 473 [M] Language and Literacy (3 credits)
Diagnosis and remediation of language and learning disabilities in individuals manifesting disorders in understanding or using spoken/written language.

SHS 477 Aural Rehabilitation (3 credits)
Theories and methods in aural rehabilitation for persons who are hearing-impaired; amplification; educational audiology; counseling techniques.

SHS 478 Language Impairment (3 credits)
Prereq SHS 371. Assessment and habilitation for the preschool and elementary-age child with language disorders.

SHS 479 Neuroanatomy (3 credits)
Neuroanatomical and neurophysiological bases of speech production and audition; neuropathologies of speech, language, and audition.

SHS 480 Senior Seminar (3 credits)
Synthesis of theory and evidence underlying professional principles and practices inclusive of multicultural populations in speech-language pathology and audiology.

SHS 482 [M] Assessment of Speech and Language (3 credits)
Prereq SHS 376 or c//; 478. Principles, techniques, and materials involved in exploring the nature of speech and language disorders; planning programs of therapy.

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  1. Identify needs or issues in clinical service delivery. (WSU Learning Goals: Critical and Creative Thinking and Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning)
  2. Identify contextual factors to consider in addressing clinical service delivery needs/issues. (WSU Learning Goal: Scientific Literacy)
  3. Identify and consider various perspectives important to analysis of the needs/issues and underlying assumptions associated with each. (WSU Learning Goals: Scientific Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Diversity)
  4. Identify and assess the quality of evidence supporting particular service delivery practices. (WSU Learning Goals: Information Literacy and Quantitative Reasoning)
  5. Identify and assess conclusions, implications, and consequences associated with examination of the needs/issues. (WSU Learning Goals: Critical and Creative Thinking and Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning)
  6. Provide informed leadership to achieve desired social outcomes. (WSU Learning Goals: Communication and Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning)


The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences is proud to offer the following annual awards to undergraduate speech & hearing sciences students.

Edward Gwin Scholarship in Speech and Hearing Sciences

The Edward Gwin Scholarship in Speech and Hearing Sciences is awarded to a junior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4, demonstrating leadership potential and considered by the Speech and Hearing Sciences faculty to present great potential for success in the areas of clinical practice or research within the field of communication sciences and disorders.

2014: Jessica Jones
2013: McKenzie Dejarlais

Maynard L. Daggy Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a junior majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences, who is selected by faculty based on a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above with consideration given to the student's general service to the department as well as financial need.

2014: Hannah Matalone
2013: Sarah Story
2012: Hannah Visscher
2011: Belinda Crowson
2010: Krista Meyer
2009: Kathleen Martell
2008: Ainsley Nix
2007: Kayla Kilpatrick
2006: Linsey Baker
2005: Megan Gumke
2004: Carey Olson
2003: Tracy Behler
2002: Amy Williams
2001: Karla Compton
2000: Andrea Schmick
1999: Kaari Smith
1998: Amy Lynn Boyden
1997: Jennifer M. Ware
1996: Nicole Archambault
1995: Janet Jean Mundell
1994: Suzanne Marie Sauer
1993: Suzanne Jane Steffens
1992: Erin Kay Davies

Lynn B. Larrigan Scholarship (1992-2010)

This award recognizes an outstanding senior clinician in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences who exhibits well-rounded clinical, academic, and extracurricular activities. The amount of this scholarship varies annually and is funded in part by the local National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) chapter. The recipient is chosen by the local NSSLHA chapter members with guidance provided by faculty members.

2010: Elizabeth Van Hollebeke (Aud.), Stacie Schultz (SLP)
2009: Danielle Nelson
2008: Malorie Olson (Aud.), Krista Burton (SLP)
2007: Carmen Sorweide, Jessica Flikke
2006: Anne McGrew
2005: Kevin Liebe (Aud.), Maurita Birkland (SLP)
2004: Kerry Hansen
2003: Lisa Barbre
2002: Ronee Deahl
2001: Britt Elstrom
2000: Elizabeth Krucker
1999: Amy M. Moore
1998: Jenifer Hankins
1997: Renee Dempsey
1995: Sommer Kleweno
1994: Aaron Stanton
1993: Rachel Tapper
1992: Candace Ackerman


The Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) undergraduate completion degree provides a versatile background for a variety of careers. Graduates are qualified for a wide range of entry-level jobs.
Marketable Skills

Because of their specialized pre-professional education, SHS graduates possess a number of skills in the following areas:

  • Understanding human behavior
    Recognizing normal emotional and psychological growth and behavior; analyzing and comparing the behavior of individuals and groups; recognizing factors that influence behavior; gathering, analyzing, and interpreting historical data.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
    Observing, comparing, and contrasting; analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating; generalizing, summarizing, and synthesizing; leading listeners, readers, or viewers logically from one point to another; knowing historical perspectives.
  • Oral and written communication
    Active listening; reading and interpreting technical descriptions, articles, policies, and rules; listening and recording information; observing, reporting, and analyzing nonverbal messages and voice tones; controlling emotions; sharing emotions; leading discussions; providing verbal and nonverbal feedback; interpreting and summarizing research reports; reporting and editing; writing technical reports.
  • Organization
    Collecting, retaining, and organizing information; classifying and assessing materials; defining problems; producing on time.
  • Human services
    Providing support; assessing individual special needs; interviewing clients.
  • Research
    Asking questions; using libraries, abstracts, indexes, and references.
  • Computer literacy
    Using a variety of software, including word processing, on-line databases, and the Internet.

Related Job Titles

The following are examples of occupations that utilize the knowledge and skills developed by this degree program. Some may require additional specialized education or training beyond the bachelor's degree.

  • Case aide
  • Child welfare caseworker
  • Clinical intake specialist
  • Community service agency worker
  • Counselor
  • Day care specialist
  • Fundraiser
  • Group home staff
  • Human resource technician
  • Interpreter
  • Medical assistant
  • Peace Corps/VISTA worker
  • Personnel manager
  • Public relations representative
  • Rehabilitation counselor
  • Residence counselor
  • Sales representative
  • School counselor
  • Specification writer
  • Speech-language pathology aide
  • Summer camp director
  • Teacher aide
  • Teacher of English as a Second Language
  • Technical writer
  • Technology support staff
  • Youth organization worker

Additional News on SHS Careers

Speech-language pathology and audiology will be among the hottest professions in the country in the next decade, according to recent employment growth projections in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Speech-Language Pathology

The profession of speech-language pathologist is cited as #14 of the top 25 jobs!

In a recent report by US News & World Report, the profession of speech-language pathology was cited as one of the fastest growing jobs, predicting approximately 28,000 new therapist positions in the workplace by 2020.

U.S. News & World Report, 2012: Speech-Language Pathologist: #14 of Top 25 Jobs in 2012.

Speech-Language Pathologist: Job Profile & Salary »

Speech-Language Pathologists topped CNN Money’s list as the #1 Best job for Working Parents. The occupation of speech-language pathologist is rated as a fulfilling, high-paying profession, offering flexible schedules to accommodate working parents and rated #29 out of 100 best jobs for 2012! (CNN Money, October 2011)

Best jobs in America: 29. Speech-Language Pathologist »

Gabby Giffords’ Road to Recovery: An amazing example of the work speech-language pathologists do!
See this example of therapy in action, having an impact at the national level. The nation looked on as a speech-language pathologist helped Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Gifford regain her ability to speak.

Employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. View the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ».

The BLS cites the following factors contributing to the growth in employment within the profession of speech-language pathology:

  • The aging of the baby-boomer population, which will increase the instances of health conditions that cause speech or language impairments, such as stroke or hearing loss
  • Increased awareness of speech and language disorders, in younger children should also lead to a need for more speech-language pathologists treating that age group
  • Medical advances are improving the survival rate of premature infants and survivors of trauma (head/brain injuries) and stroke, many of whom need specialized therapy from a speech-language pathologist


Employment of audiologists is expected to grow by 37 percent from 2012 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. (U.S. BLS 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook)

The following factors were cited by the BLS as reasons for job growth within the profession of audiology:

  • Early identification and diagnosis of hearing disorders in infants contributing to an increase need for audiological evaluation and treatment
  • Advances in hearing aid design which may be more appealing now as a means to minimize hearing loss
  • The aging population, specifically those ages 55 and older, which will result in an increased need for hearing evaluations and assistive listening devices


Each year, one student in the Speech & Hearing Sciences program is recognized as an outstanding senior.

The following students were
selected by the SHS faculty to
receive this award.

2014 Recipient

Bianca Verdusco

Bianca Verdusco

Past Outstanding Senior Recipients

2013: Hannah Visscher
2012: Alyssa Anderson
2011: Krista Meyer
2010: Sarah Weber
2009: Emily Wilson
2008: Tara Garland
2007: Linsey Baker
2006: Megan Gumke
2005: Abby Sudbery
2004: Tracy Behler
2003: Amy Williams


Main Office:
Health Sciences Building, room 125X
Fax: 509-358-7600

Undergraduate Program

Graduate Program