Fast Facts


  • Western Michigan University's speech pathology and audiology program was one of the first two such programs in the country.
  • WMU's program was founded by the famed Dr. Charles Van Riper who, until his retirement in 1966, was the most published author and researcher in the field.
  • The program was the first in Michigan and one of the first six in the nation—of approximately 172 programs—to become accredited.


  • B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.)

Did you know?

  • The speech-language pathology and audiology programs at WMU are regularly ranked among the top 50 in the nation.
  • Over the past three years, graduates of WMU's M.A. and Au.D. programs had a 100 percent pass rate on the national certification exam.
  • The Carls Foundation of Detroit recently awarded more than $600,000 to the Van Riper Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic to assist with the prevention and treatment of hearing loss in young children in the Kalamazoo area.
  • The Van Riper Lecture Series, offered annually, allows national experts from a variety of specialty research and clinical areas to offer presentations that enhance the reputation of the department, college and University.

Enrollment and graduates

  • The graduation rate for undergraduate majors is 90 percent.
  • Both graduate programs attract high quality students.

Average salary

  • The median salary for an audiologist is $67,137, and the median salary for a speech-language pathologist is $66,920.
  • Both professions are ranked in the top-25 best careers, with projected growth over the next seven to 10 years.

Research, community service, teaching highlights

  • Both programs have demonstrated excellent research productivity. Faculty members often have federally funded grants from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Educational Sciences, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • The Van Riper Language, Speech, and Hearing Clinic, located in the Unified Clinics, provides excellent service to the southwest Michigan area for persons with a large variety of communication problems. The clinic directly serves about 800 clients each year.
  • Specialty clinics in voice pathologies, preschool language intervention, assistive technology, neuromotor and stroke related disorders, infant hearing screening, and hearing aid evaluation and dispensing have a strong reputation of excellence in the community.
  • The excellence of the faculty is reflected in the receipt of numerous national awards. The faculty have also received notable awards from WMU, including the Distinguished Researcher Award and Distinguished Service Award.