Director of Undergraduate Studies
The B.A. degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences offers students a broad liberal arts education in an interdisciplinary field of study. The coursework provides a background in human communication including the production and understanding of speech and language. These complex processes are ones that we often take for granted, but a disorder of one of these processes caused by disease, a problem at birth, or aging can have a profound effect on a person's life. The field of speech-language-hearing sciences defines normal and disordered communication and provides the research foundation for diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders.
Conditions that interfere with communication are caused by a number of conditions including: autism, stuttering, severe hearing loss, stroke, growth on the vocal folds of a cheerleader or singer, cleft palate, and cerebral palsy. This limited list, shows the diversity of problems across the life span that are addressed in this field of study. As a consequence, speech, language and hearing science draws its knowledge from many disciplines, as shown above.
Upper division classes in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences have smaller enrollments compared with class sizes in some other majors. This provides students with more opportunities to interact with faculty and, for students with an interest in learning about research, there are often opportunities to work with a faculty member or their research team in a laboratory.
Students who are interested in pursuing study beyond the bachelor's degree can become a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, or a speech, language or hearing scientist. Population trends predict a growing demand for professionals who can treat speech, language and hearing disorders.