Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate students at Western Michigan University have the option of working on an academic major in speech pathology and audiology or an academic minor in speech and hearing processes.

Bachelor of Science

Completion of the undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology and audiology prepares the student for the graduate level education needed to work in either field. A master's degree in speech-language pathology or a doctoral degree in audiology is the entry-level requirement for certification as a professional.

In the first year of study, students focus primarily on the basic university educational requirements for the granting of a bachelor's degree. Examples of coursework that may be taken beginning at the start of the freshman year are:

  • Introductory level courses in animal biology, mathematics and physics
  • Linguistics and technical compositional writing
  • Basic psychology and at least one additional psychology course, such as abnormal psychology or child psychology

Students are encouraged to begin Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology coursework at the start of their junior year in order to complete the required sequence of courses within four years. Additional time may be required for those students who begin the program after the start of their third year. Once students are admitted to the undergraduate program, they will take introductory coursework in speech, language and hearing. Courses relate to anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism, hearing science, speech science, articulation, hearing, language and fluency disorders, and aural rehabilitation. The capstone course, Special Studies in Speech-Language Pathology, meets the University graduation requirements as a writing intensive course.

Videotaped and live observation experiences are a required part of the undergraduate program. Opportunities are provided for supervised clinical practicum experiences at the undergraduate level at the Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic. Observation of clinical activities precedes actual participation in clinical assignments. Early and frequent advising by the department undergraduate advisor is necessary because coursework, both inside and out of the department is sequential, with many prerequisite requirements.

Further information about the undergraduate curriculum appears in the University undergraduate catalog.