Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) offers an undergraduate major focusing on the research, evaluation, and treatment of human communication and its disorders.  Students in SLHS gain a firm foundation for future graduate studies in audiology, speech-language pathology, and many other fields, as well as a well-rounded education that prepares them for life. Eligible students may also earn course credit working as research assistants under the supervision of department faculty. Students who qualify also have the opportunity to participate in clinical observation during the latter stages of their program.

SLHS is housed in our state-of-the-art interprofessional health care facility (Lyles-Porter Hall) where undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff from various departments (Health & Kinesiology, Nursing, Nutrition Science, Psychological Sciences, and SLHS) see approximately 3,000 patients each year. Our undergraduate program provides a firm foundation for future graduate study in the speech, language, and hearing sciences within the framework of a well-rounded and comprehensive undergraduate education; the graduate school acceptance rate for SLHS graduates is typically above 90%. Purdue’s graduate program in Audiology has been ranked #13 and the Speech-Language Pathology program has been ranked #5 by U.S. News & World Report.

Career Options

  • Speech-language pathologist (SLP) - treats disorders such as stuttering, delayed language development, aphasia, and voice articulation problems. SLPs work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and school systems. Employment as an SLP requires completion of a master’s degree, supervised professional experience, and passing a national examination.
  • Audiologist (AUD) - specializes in the prevention, assessment, and rehabilitation of hearing disorders. An Audiologist evaluates patients, provides communication training, and dispenses hearing aids and other devices in settings such as private practice, hospitals, nursing homes, or for physicians and corporations. Employment as an AUD requires completion of a four-year doctoral degree, including an internship, and passing national examination.
  • Speech scientist - researches processes involved in normal and impaired speech production, perception, and alternative augmentative communication.
  • Hearing scientist - investigates mechanisms of normal and impaired hearing as well as how to improve hearing aid technology.
  • Language scientist (linguist) - explores aspects of language structure, both spoken and signed.
  • Applied Behavior Analyst – help children and families, especially children with autism, improve language skills and self-help skills.
  • Learn more about career options with a degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Experiential Learning

  • Opportunity to perform observation hours during Introduction to Clinical Practice and Communication Disorders (SLHS 44900) within Lyles-Porter Hall
  • Travel with SLHS faculty to study abroad in Zambia or at Trinity College in Ireland
  • Join a student organization specifically dedicated to the study of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Coursework

  • Anatomy of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms
  • Auditory Systems
  • Communicative Disorders
  • Developmental Speech and Language Disorders
  • Foreign Language/American Sign Language
  • Hearing Science
  • Language Development
  • Linguistics and Phonetics
  • Speech-Language Disorders in Healthcare Settings
  • Understanding Autism

Take a Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of Lyles-Porter Hall – the home of SLHS!

Sample Degree Requirements

How do I switch my major?

If you are interested in switching your major to Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, please visit the Change of Degree Objective (CODO) page to learn more about the process to enter the College of Health & Human Sciences.

How do I transfer to Purdue?

If you are interested in transferring to Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences from another college or university, please visit the Future Transfer Students page to learn more about the steps needed to finish your degree at Purdue University.

Apply Now!

Visit HHS

Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Lyles-Porter Hall, 715 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2122, PH: (765) 494-3789

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