sealPurdue News

February 27, 2003

Purdue, IU collaboration makes audiology degree possible

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Audiology students will have the opportunity to take part in more clinical experiences and applied research thanks to a partnership between Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Download Photo Here
Photo caption below

The new joint clinical doctoral degree will offer Purdue audiology students the chance to work in special clinical settings, such as Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Here, the audiology students will have the opportunity to work with hearing-impaired infants and young children, with children and adults in the IU cochlear implant program, and in the operating room doing intra-operative monitoring of neurosurgery patients. These experiences do not exist for students in the Greater Lafayette area.

"The audiologists who emerge from the doctor of audiology program will be better prepared to handle more complicated cases and to work in the growing hearing health care industry," said Robert Novak, professor of audiology in the Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences in Purdue's School of Liberal Arts. "These students also will be the only audiology graduates in the country who have a consistent academic experience working with engineers to develop new assistive devices and hearing health care technology."

This doctor of audiology program is one of only four programs in the country designed and conducted jointly by a university audiology program and a school of medicine department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, said Novak, also director of Clinical Education in Audiology at Purdue.

A kickoff dinner for the program will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 4 at the Lafayette Country Club.

The degree is offered in partnership with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine-Indianapolis. Students are admitted to and receive the degree from Purdue, but a variety of courses are taught by IU Medical Center faculty. Two IU School of Medicine faculty will have joint appointments at Purdue. Other academic instruction will include two-way audiovisual classes so Purdue students can learn in their West Lafayette classrooms.

"I sit on the Indiana Speech and Hearing Licensing Board, and I have seen a great variability in audiology students' clinical experiences, and many students lack access to work with unique patient populations," said Dr. Richard Miyamoto, chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. "We are combining the excellent academic experience in the Purdue graduate program with the opportunity to participate in special patient populations' clinical cases at the School of Medicine."

Audiology students also participate in research and develop team projects with the Purdue University Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program, interact with hearing aid manufacturers and participate in an applied research activity.

The EPICS component makes Purdue the only program in the country providing audiology students a consistent experience working with engineering students to develop products, Novak said.

"Not only will these graduates be excellent clinicians, but they also will be valuable to the hearing aid industry in new product development," Novak said.

The doctor of audiology is a clinical post-baccalaureate degree to prepare clinicians for audiology practice and clinical science. The previously existing doctor of philosophy in audiology program prepares graduates for careers in research. These two tracks overlap during the first two years of the doctoral program to provide students flexibility.

Students admitted to the joint four-year post-baccalaureate doctor of audiology program will receive their master's degree after the first two years. At that time, the majority will go on to complete the doctor of audiology degree, but a smaller number may decide to pursue the doctor of philosophy in audiology. In the Purdue audiology program, it will be possible for students to obtain the clinical emphasis doctor of audiology, the research emphasis doctor of philosophy or both degrees. The latter would require a minimum of six years.

The program is accepting students for fall.

The undergraduate program of the Purdue Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences also offers a preprofessional bachelor's degree in audiology and speech sciences.

Since 2001, the Purdue Speech-Language Pathology program has been ranked in the top five nationally by U.S. World News and Report.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Robert Novak, (765) 494-1534,

Dr. Richard Miyamoto, (317) 274-3556,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Related Web sites
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


James Wilson, a second-year master's student in audiology and speech sciences at Purdue University from Elkhart, Ind., tests hearing sensitivity at his externship at Arnett Clinic. In the new joint clinical doctoral degree between Purdue's Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences and the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine-Indianapolis, students will have the opportunity to take part in more clinical experiences and applied research. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page