St. Mary's College of Maryland

SLP and Audiology: The Basics

  1. Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)
    • SLPs evaluate, diagnose, and treat people of all ages with speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders.
    • You must have a clinical Master's degree, with certification from ASHA, in order to be a practicing SLP.
    • Once you earn the degree and ASHA certification, you are qualified to work in any setting (hospital, school, nursing home, clinic, etc.) with any age group.
    • SLP Master's programs are typically two years if you have completed the prerequisite coursework.
    • Otherwise (as will probably be the case for most St. Mary's grads), the programs are typically three years.
      • In this case, the first year of the program is usually comprised of the undergraduate coursework.
      • The undergraduate coursework is then streamlined into the graduate coursework for the second and third years.
      • Note that not all schools offer a three-year program. Make sure you do your research before choosing the schools you will apply to!
      • You can also choose to pursue a post-bac, or take undergraduate classes part-time, and then apply to a two-year graduate program once you are finished the prerequisites.
      • [Be aware that doing the coursework on your own may be difficult logistically, as you may not get access to / priority for classes as a part-time student.]

  2. Audiology
    • Audiologists identify, evaluate, and manage patients with disorders of the hearing or vestibular system (resulting in hearing and/or balance problems).
    • You must have a Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology), with certification from ASHA, in order to be a practicing audiologist.
      • Typical Program Length: 4 years full time, including summers.
    • There are also combined Au.D. / Ph.D. programs with an additional focus on research, for those looking for both clinical and research opportunities.
      • Typical Program Length: 6-7 years full time, including summers.
    • If you are looking solely into audiology research without the clinical component, you can opt for a straight Ph.D. program.
    • This is a great resource for deciding which type of audiology program you should pursue:'s resource for students
    • Once you complete the program and obtain ASHA certification, you are eligible to work in a variety of settings.
    • Many programs have prerequisites, and these prerequisites are not available at St. Mary's. Click here for a listing of some of the common required courses.

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