Speech Pathology and Audiology

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Speech Pathology & Audiology - Undergraduate Program words

Undergraduate Overview

The best way to get to know our program is to visit us in person. We invite all prospective students to campus for an individual visit or to attend our open house.

The Speech Pathology & Audiology (SPA) undergraduate program's initial coursework provides students with a thorough understanding of the scientific, developmental, and multicultural aspects of speech, language, and hearing. Upper division courses explore the nature, assessment, and treatment of various disorders of speech, language, and hearing, culminating in clinical practicum classes where students work directly with clients in the WIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. SPA undergraduate class sizes average 30-35 students.

SPA undergraduate students must complete general education requirements, 35 semester hours of "core courses" and nine semester hours in the major, 16 to 20 semester hours of approved minor, and electives or teacher certification course requirements for a minimum of 120 semester hours. Typically, SPA students enroll in clinical practicum for one or two semesters. While clinical experiences at most universities are reserved for graduate students, the undergraduate program at WIU takes pride in the fact that seniors will have their first clinical experience after completion of a 30 clock-hour observation program and completion of certain prerequisite courses and requirements.

Undergraduate Program Academic Advisor


Jennifer Grimm
B.A., M.S.
Academic Advisor
Office: 335C Memorial Hall
Phone: (309) 298-1938
Email: JK-Grimm@wiu.edu

Admissions to the Undergraduate Program

The Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Undergraduates in Speech Pathology and Audiology study speech and language development; anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing; speech and hearing science; speech, language, and hearing disorders; and evaluation and treatment procedures.

Most undergraduates plan to apply to graduate school and pursue careers as speech language pathologists or audiologists. The undergraduate program in Speech Pathology and Audiology provides the foundation for graduate work in either speech-language pathology or audiology. For students who plan to seek employment immediately after graduation, the major provides a solid background in disability, typical and atypical communication, professional report writing, and scientific thinking, all of which are useful in many professional settings.

Students have the opportunity to double major in Speech Pathology and Audiology and Foreign Languages and Cultures. A second major in Foreign Languages and Cultures will provide students the opportunity to reach a proficiency level that would allow for in-depth study of Spanish or French. Proficiency in a second language and culture provides the foundation to later becoming a bilingual speech-language pathologist or audiologist.

GradTrac is available to Speech Pathology and Audiology majors. See more information about GradTrac.

Honors Curriculum —Academically qualified students in this department are encouraged to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Departmental Honors, or General Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). General Honors includes General Honors coursework. Departmental Honors includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Departmental and General Honors. For more information about honors curricula see the Centennial Honors College page of the catalog or visit the Centennial Honors College website at wiu.edu/Honors.

Undergraduate Degree Requirement

Bachelor of Science - Speech Pathology and Audiology

All students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology must complete I, II, III, IV, and V. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 43 s.h.
  2. Core Course: 45 s.h.
    SPA 100, 121, 210, 212, 311, 312, 381, 383, 385, 386, 390, 472, 481†, 482, 494
  3. Any Approved Minor*: 16–20 s.h.
  4. Open Electives*: 11–15 s.h.
  5. Other: 14 s.h.
    1. PSY 100
    2. STAT 171
    3. One of: BIOL 100, 101, 204; ZOOL 200
    4. One of: PHYS 100, 114, 115, 211; CHEM 101, 102, 150, 201, 202
      NOTE: 3 s.h. of Category A and 10 s.h. of Categories B–D may count toward the University General Education Curriculum requirement.

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved study abroad program.

†SPA 481 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

*Categories III and IV must provide a minimum of 31 s.h. A range of semester hours is listed for each of these categories because the breakdown depends on the student’s choice of minor.

Undergraduate Program Course Descriptions

100 Introduction to Speech Pathology & Audiology. (3)
Overview of the major areas of the field including speech-language development and pathologies and audiology. Orientation to career opportunities and professional affairs. Opportunity to observe clinical procedures.

121 Sign Language I. (3)
Introduction to sign language with special focus on topics dealing with the Deaf community’s culture, heritage, and language.

210 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms (3)
Study of the anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the human speech and auditory mechanisms. Consideration of the processes of respiration, phonation, resonation, and audition.

212 Phonetics. (3)
Study of the articulatory and acoustical nature of speech sounds used in English and other phonetic-phonemic phenomena. Instruction in using the International Phonetic Alphabet for transcription. Some attention to dialectal differences.

311 Speech and Hearing Science. (3)
Introduction to the acoustical nature of speech and orientation to the basic instrumentation used in measurement and analysis.

312 Normal Development of Speech and Language. (3)
Study of the development of speech and language from birth through six years of age.

381 Speech Sound Disorders. (3)
Study of speech sound developmnet of General American English. Investigation of production, perception, evaluation, and treatment of children's articulatory and phonological disorders and childhood apraxia of speech. Cleft lip and palate and its effects on speech sounds will be included.

383 Neuroscience for Speech, Language, and Hearing. (3)
Overview of the neuro-anatomy and neuro-physiology related to speech, language, and hearing. Emphasis will be placed on both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Prerequisite: SPA 210.

385 Developmental Communication Disorders. (3)
Study of the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and treatment of developmental communication disorders. Topics will include speech sound disorders, cranio-facial disorders, autism, fluency, developmental syndromes, and child language disorders. Prerequisites: SPA 212 and 312.

386 Acquired Communication Disorders. (3)
Study of the characteristics, etiology, assessment, and treatment of acquired communication disorders. Topics will include aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, voice disorders, and dementia. Prerequisite: SPA 383.

390 Audiometry and Hearing Disorders. (3)
The study of the problem of hearing loss, diagnosis, and audiological testing. Prerequisite: SPA 210, 211, or consent of instructor.

400 Senior Honors Thesis Research. (3)
Bibliographic and other preliminary work in preparation for a senior honors thesis (see SPA 401). Students will produce a final, graded project for this course. This course may not be taken concurrently with SPA 401. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; students must be in good standing in the Centennial Honors College and must be second-semester juniors or firstsemester seniors majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

401 Honors Thesis. (3)
Students will write a senior honors thesis. This course may not be taken concurrently with SPA 400. Prerequisites: SPA 400; ENG 180 and 280; students must be in good standing in the Centennial Honors College and must be seniors majoring in Speech Pathology & Audiology.

418 Independent Research in Communication. (1–6, repeatable to 6)
Individual reading or research under supervision of the faculty. Open to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated competence in speechlanguage- hearing sciences. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; consent of instructor and department chairperson.

472 Scientific Thinking in Communication Sciences and Disorders. (3)
Overview of the scientific method and interpretation of research literature in the field of Speech Pathology & Audiology. Emphasis will also be placed on the use of evidence based practice in the fields of audiology and speechlanguage pathology. Prerequisites: ENG 280 and STAT 171 and either junior or senior standing in SPA or permission of instructor.

481 Evaluation Procedures in Speech-Language Pathology. (3)
Consideration of the general role of evaluation in speech and language therapy with intensive study of diagnostic tests and procedures used to assess communication disorders. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; SPA 390.

482 Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology. (3)
Study of the clinical management of communication disorders with particular emphasis on intervention methods such as developing treatment plans and monitoring treatment progress. Interviewing and counseling skills will also be addressed. Prerequisites: SPA 385 and 386.

488 Clinical Practicum in Speech-Language Pathology. (1, repeatable to 3)
Supervised clinical practice with children and adults having speech or language disorders. Students must meet academic and observation hour requirement. Prerequisites: SPA 385 and 386; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in SPA coursework.

494 Aural Rehabilitation. (3)
History and development of methods of speech reading and auditory training. Multisensory approach to rehabilitation emphasized including specific procedures for handling impaired students in the classroom. Prerequisites: SPA 390; ENG 180 and 280.

499 Clinical Practicum in Audiology. (1, repeatable to 3)
Supervised clinical practice in the Speech- Language-Hearing Clinic with children and adults having hearing disorders. Students must meet academic and clinic observation hour requirements. Prerequisites: SPA 390; 30 clinical observation hours; minimum GPA of 3.0 in SPA coursework.

4-Year Course Sequence for Bachelor of Science Degree

Year 1
Fall Spring
SPA 100 SPA 212
SPA 121 Humanities Elective
English 180 Comm 241
Biology 100 CHEM/PHYS Lab
Social Science Elective Health Elective
Year 2
Fall Spring
SPA 210 SPA 381
SPA 312 SPA 383
STAT 171 SPA 385
English 280 Humanities Elective
Social Sciences Elective Multicultural Elective
Year 3
Fall Spring
SPA 311 SPA 386
Minor Elective SPA 390

SPA 472
Health Elective Humanities Elective
Social Science Elective Minor Elective
Year 4
Fall Spring
SPA 482 SPA 481
SPA 499 SPA 494

SPA 488
Minor Elective Minor Elective
Minor Elective Foreign Language/Global Issues Elective

2-year (Transfers) Course Sequence for Bachelor of Science Degree

Year 1
Fall Spring
SPA 100 SPA 212
SPA 121 SPA 381
SPA 210 SPA 383
SPA 312 SPA 385

SPA 390
Year 2
Fall Spring
SPA 311 SPA 386
SPA 482 SPA 472
SPA 499 SPA 481

SPA 488

SPA 494
Minor Elective Minor Elective


Maureen G. Marx Undergraduate SPA Excellence Scholarship

For more information, please visit Maureen G. Marx Undergraduate SPA Excellence Scholarship.

Honors Scholarships

The 2019 honors scholarship application is now available. The application deadline is April 21, 2019. There are also a number of private scholarships available to Honors Students. View private scholarships. Contact the Honors College if you have any questions. 298-2228, honors@wiu.edu.

For more information, please visit Centennial Honors College - Honors Scholarships.

Western Commitment Scholarships

Minimum 3.0/4.0 GPA

Incoming freshmen with at least a 1030 SAT/20 ACT and a 3.0/4.0 GPA are automatically awarded the Western Commitment scholarship. Awards are renewable up to eight semesters (contingent on renewal criteria and total direct cost).

For more information, please visit Western Commitment Scholarships.

Incoming Freshman - General Foundation Scholarships

To apply for 2019-20 New Freshman Scholarships, accepted students should sign on to the WIU Scholarship Portal and complete the General Application. This application will automatically consider you for most new freshmen scholarships and recommend others that require you to answer additional questions.

For more information, please visit Incoming Freshman - General Foundation Scholarships.

All Scholarships Opportunities

The WIU Scholarship Portal is now open for select new freshmen, new transfer, and current student scholarships. Scroll down to view a complete list of available scholarships, or click on the 2019-20 links below to view scholarships according to applicant groups.

For more information, please visit WIU Scholarship Portal .

Campus Visit

Interested in an undergraduate degree in speech pathology and audiology? We have many opportunities for students to visit our program through Discover Western Events or an individual visit to our department.

For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact:

Jennifer Grimm, Academic Advisor
Email: JK-Grimm@wiu.edu
Office Phone: (309) 298-1938

Centennial Honors & Undergraduate Research Day

Many of our SPA students are also eligible to participate in the Honors College. Explore your options in the Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University to enhance your experience.

Undergraduate students who meet the GPA requirements for the Honors College have the option to conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member to earn Departmental Honors. This research culminates near the end of the students' final spring semester when they present their research as a poster at Undergraduate Research Day hosted by the Centennial Honors College and complete a thesis. Students in the SPA department are also asked to present their research to their peers for our own SPA Undergraduate Research Day. This is in conjunction with SPA 472: Scientific Thinking, and is a chance to show off your work to other undergraduates who may considering writing a thesis.