Nov 28, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

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Laura DeThorne, Chair
Main Office:  4476 CHHS (Oakland Campus)
Telephone:  (269) 387-8045
Fax:  (269) 387-8044

Judith Seymour, Administrative Assistant II
4476 CHHS (Oakland Campus)

Jan Bedrosian
Cary Cekola
Robin Criter
Teresa Crumpton
Suma Devanga
Heidi Douglas-Vogley 
Alyssa Eminhizer
Hope Gerlach
Yvette Hyter
Bharti Katbamna
Jing Shen
Stephen Tasko
Ann Tyler

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Undergraduate Pre-Professional Program

Communication is the most complex aspect of human behavior. Impairments in the processes of communication - speech, language, and hearing - can significantly affect the lives of children and adults across the age span. Speech-language pathology and audiology are the areas of professional specialization that have developed out of concern for individuals with disorders of communication.

The mission of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is to educate speech, language, and hearing professionals for a diverse and changing population, to advance knowledge through research, to deliver quality clinical services, and to serve as a resource for the community and professions. It is the vision of the department to continue recognition as a national leader for advancing knowledge in human hearing and communication processes and disorders through education, research, and service.

The undergraduate major in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is a pre-professional curriculum designed to prepare students for graduate professional education in speech-language pathology, audiology, or related disciplines. Students must earn a graduate degree to be employed as an audiologist (AuD) or speech-language pathologist (MA or MS). Students entering the professions of speech-language pathology or audiology must adhere to a code of conduct and professional standards.

National data suggest that admission to a graduate program typically requires a grade point average higher than the minimum for the undergraduate major, as well as a similar grade point average in the cumulative undergraduate GPA. Information about the professions and current admission statistics can be obtained from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: or, and the Academy of Audiology:


Students who wish to major in speech pathology and audiology will declare the pre-speech (PRSA) major at the time of admission to the University. Declaring the pre-speech major does not guarantee admission to the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences major, as admission is competitive and the strongest applicants are admitted to the major. Information necessary for admission includes the following documents:

  • Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Undergraduate Application
  • All academic transcripts

All applications are submitted to the undergraduate advisor of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. The deadline for submitting applications is February 1 of each year. Selection of students to be admitted to the major occurs after review of all applications by the Department Admissions Committee. This admission process is competitive, and students with the strongest academic record are admitted each year. Selection of candidates is based on the following criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for all coursework after high school
  • Grade in an introductory course in communication disorders, and grades in required non-departmental coursework (college-level writing course, college-level biology/anatomy course, college-level general physics course, required math course, college-level statistics course)
  • Participation in observation and volunteer experiences

Students must be advised by the College of Health and Human Services undergraduate department advisor prior to application. For an advising appointment call (269) 387-2656.

Transfer Students

It is recommended that transfer students enroll at Western at the beginning of the first semester of the sophomore year. Those applicants who enroll at a later stage may find that an additional period of study will be required to complete the undergraduate curriculum.

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