Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

The Profession

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Who They Are

Speech pathologists and audiologists help clients identify what problems exist and how best to help them hear better and speak more clearly. The audiologist can diagnose hearing problems by using a series of hearing tests and determine if their client would benefit from a hearing aid or other assistive listening device.

What They Do

Speech pathologists can complete evaluations and treatment for a wide variety of disorders of speech and language, including things like stuttering, lisping, and voice problems. They may also determine the factors contributing to the problem and suggest treatment options. Clients may have problems due to strokes, developmental delay, syndromes, physical impairments, and more.

Where They Work

They can work in a wide range of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, geriatric facilities, and more. Audiologists work in hospitals, schools, clinics, and industry.


Employment as a speech-language pathologist and audiologist are both growing much faster than average. In the next ten years, speech-language pathologist careers are expected to increase by 27%, and audiology careers are expected to increase by 16%. Speech-Language Pathology Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Audiology Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Individuals can receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language-Hearing sciences, or pursue graduate education in the field. There are many options for people with a bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Science. There are opportunities in social service careers such as case management, careers in business focusing on communication skills, hearing aid sales, as well as graduate research and educational opportunities.

Students will need to have a Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology or or a Doctor of Audiology and pass a licensing exam in order to practice in the state of Minnesota as a speech-language pathologist or an audiologist. At the U of M, a Master of Arts in speech-language pathology and a doctoral program in audiology are offered.

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