University of Maryland at College Park offers a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) in Hearing and Speech Sciences. This is the first degree for audiologists and is now becoming a matter of state licensure. The master’s degree used to be the standard for this profession, but within the last ten years more education was stressed. There is now a doctorate level degree known as the Au.D, which is a post-baccalaureate degree, the highest achievement for students. This is not the same as a Ph.D. degree, since the accolade concerns academic achievements. This is a degree for a practicing audiologist.
What the UMD School Offers for Au.D. Training
The Hearing and Speech Sciences Department offers advanced study in this profession, specifically dealing with science and with disorder topics. Students interested in this program of study with specialization in the subject of audiology, one of two doctorate level degrees; this one in particular covers subject matter that meets the standards of the industry; namely, the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology from the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA – www.asha.org).
This is quickly becoming the minimum standard for state licensing. UMCP training has 57 hours of graduate work with six credit hours devoted to a research assignment, 14 going to clinic practicum, and 18 more to an internship, which makes 95 credit hours in the final tally, and about four years of full-time training. There is also a fast track option for students who previously earned a Master of Arts in the same field. In this case, there are 30 credit hours for graduate work and six hours for research.
Admissions at UMD
The Au.D. in hearing and speech sciences is a competitive scholastic challenge for sure. This is why the school only accepts students that match a mentor, and one that personally approves the student’s profile. Mentoring is important; the most common scrutinized aspects are grades (GPA as well as GRE) and letters of recommendation from a trusted educator. Students must also submit statements of purpose and an essay.
The Facility at UMD
Students who want to excel in the hearing and speech sciences field will be able to make use of the school’s facilities. This includes many high-tech supplies and equipment of interest to future doctors. These might include cutting-edge labs, phonetic equipment, psychoacoustics, electrophysiology tools and many other devices. Within the grounds, there are four sound-attenuating chambers, not to mention chambers for research help. There are computers and peripheral equipment as well as an online archive. Students can also seek opportunities and training at an on-site library, a clinic, and test rooms.
There are ten therapy rooms that can help with learning observation and diagnostic testing. With this nice location, UMD offers students the chance to work in major facilities within the city, including the University Hospital in Baltimore. Students may do rotation work or even externship assignments. You will be working right away, as there are many externally-funded research projects that are ordered within UMD.
Lastly, check out fellowships and assistantships from the university, or perhaps federally-sponsored channels, such as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (www.ashfoundation.org) or the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov).
You can pursue a career in your favorite subject and become a respected member of your community!