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The field of speech and hearing sciences involves the study of all aspects of normal and impaired human communication. The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences is committed to understanding the basic processes and mechanisms involved in normal processes of speech, language, hearing, swallowing, and their disorders, and to improving the quality of life for individuals affected by communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan.



The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences’ graduate program was ranked number ten in Speech-Language Pathology in the most recent rankings of U.S. News and World Report (2021).

The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks UW Speech and Hearing Sciences number two in the country on their Faculty Productivity Index.


Undergraduate majors


The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, a Master of Science in Medical Speech-Language Pathology, and a Doctor of Philosophy. The Master of Science degree programs are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

Doctoral students have also competed successfully for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards from NIH, and scholarships from the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Audiology, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


Autumn 2023

  • 93 Bachelor of Science (BS) students
  • 127 Master of Science (MS) students
  • 20 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students

Degrees Awarded

2022 - 2023

  • 53 BS degrees
  • 50 MS degrees
  • 1 PhD degree

Student Honors

2022 - 2023

  • 1 WSHLA Graduate Scholarship
  • 2 UW Graduate School Top Scholar Awards
  • 2 UW GSEE Graduate Tuition Awards
  • 6 Collaborating Across Special Education (CASE) Scholars
  • 4 Partnership for Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Educators and Speech-Language Pathologists (PIECES) Scholars
  • 2 Leadership in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) Scholars
  • 4 Continuing SLP Student Scholarships 
  • 2 SLP Public School Awards
  • 2 Scottish Rite John D. Blankenship Awards
  • 2 Opal Hicks Graduate Scholarships
  • 2 Non-Resident Educational SLP Tuition Scholarships
  • 1 Medical SLP Scholarship
  • 1 Speech & Hearing Sciences Fellowship
  • 1 Phillip Yantis Endowment Fellowship
  • 1 Kim Bassett Diversity Equity and Inclusion Graduate Fellowship
  • 1 ASHA SPARC (Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers) Award
  • 1 Katy Straalsund Endowed Memorial Scholarship
  • 1 Carrel-Miner Clinical Achievement Award
  • 1 Siva Undergraduate Achievement Award
  • 2 SPHSC Social Justice Awards


People interacting with child

Autumn 2023

  • 6 Professors
  • 4 Associate Professors
  • 8 Associate Teaching Professors
  • 2 Assistant Professors
  • 3 Assistant Teaching Professors
  • 2 Lecturers, full time
  • 7 Lecturers, part time
  • 1 Research Professor
  • 1 Research Associate Professor
  • 1 Research Assistant Professor
  • 8 Affiliate Appointments
  • 19 Emeritus Faculty
  • 13 Clinical Associates

Faculty honors include:

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows
  • American Institute of Physics Gold Medal
  • Acoustical Society of America (ASA): President; Fellows; Silver Medal
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): Presidents; Board of Directors; Fellows; Honors of the Association
  • American Speech and Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation): Presidents; New Investigator Award; New Century Scholar Research Award
  • IPSEN Foundation’s Jean-Louis Signoret Neuropsychology Prize
  • University of Washington: Distinguished Teaching Award; David B. Thorud​ Leadership Award; William P. & Ruth Gerberding Professor; Marsha Landolt Graduate Mentor Award
  • Washington Speech-Language-Hearing Association (WSLHA): Presidents; Board of Directors; Clinical Achievement Awards; Honors of the Association


The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences has many ties with other disciplines at the UW and beyond. A few examples:

  • Several SPHSC faculty have clinical appointments and laboratory space in the UW’s Center for Human Development and Disability (CHDD); SPHSC graduate students in speech-language pathology and audiology fulfill part of their curriculum requirements during clinical rotations at the CHDD.
  • The UW Autism Center, directed by an SPHSC faculty member, is an interdisciplinary clinic, research, and training facility with faculty from three UW Schools and Colleges.
  • SPHSC and the College of Education collaborate on research into social communication in the Experimental Education Unit (EEU)—a model demonstration school that provides integrated classrooms for nearly 200 infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities and their typically developing peers.
  • Twelve SPHSC faculty members are affiliate professors and two are on the board of advisors at the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center. The Bloedel Center, in the UW School of Medicine, is the largest hearing research group in the U.S.
  • The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS), co-directed by an SPHSC faculty member, is an interdisciplinary research center that draws research faculty from SPHSC and other departments across five UW schools and colleges.

Areas of Research Include: 

  • Acquired Language Disorders
  • Adult & Pediatric Audiology
  • Aphasia
  • Auditory Development in Infants & Children
  • Auditory Assessment & Electrophysiology
  • Auditory Attention & Neuroscience
  • Auditory Perception
  • Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Cognitive-Communication Disorders
  • Cognitive Neuroimaging
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Language Development & Disorders in Children
  • Motor Speech Disorders in Adults
  • Stuttering, Fluency & Sensorimotor Control
  • Social Communication
  • Speech Development, Perception & Production
  • Voice Disorders in Adults & Children


Department faculty and students take part in a number of local, state, national, and international outreach activities that include:

  • Providing undergraduate peer mentorship to UW students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Student mentors provide customized coaching and facilitate problem solving for social challenges as young adults with ASD navigate the Seattle campus and collegiate system.
  • Working with preschools and elementary schools in western Washington to screen children for hearing loss, as well as speech and language delays and disorders.
  • Developing, with the Washington Corrections Center for Women, “The Partnership for Healthy Parenting” program for Washington state incarcerated women who are mothers with newborn children to facilitate early communication development and parenting skills.
  • Directing the “Healthy Hearing” program through the Special Olympics Washington Health Athlete Initiative, screening athletes annually for permanent medically significant hearing loss.
  • Providing community-based support groups for individuals with developmental and acquired neurologic communication disorders and their families and caregivers. Through our on-campus clinic and in the community, we focus on helping individuals and families navigate life through educational sessions, access to local experts in the community, transitional life skills development, and opportunities to share with others with similar life experiences.
  • Offering a Hearing Aid Assistance Program (HAAP) to those in our community who are otherwise unable to obtain services and hearing amplification due to financial limitations, which also provides a clinical learning environment for our AuD students. Our clinic also serves as the state-wide hearing aid bank to recycle and reuse donated hearing aids.
  • Implementing a Communication for Life (CFL) program for young adults with developmental disabilities, with weekly classes focused on communication skills critical for the transition from high school to adulthood. The program focuses on several functional themes: vocation, health, safety and self-advocacy, social life, and leisure.
  • Organizing annual fundraising events to support our Uncompensated Care program within the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic, which supports the needs of individuals and families in our community and provides clinical learning resources.
  • Collaborating annually with the philanthropic organizations “Hearts in Motion” and “Healing the Children” to bring much needed adult and pediatric speech, language, swallowing, and audiology services to underserved areas in Central America.


Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
1417 NE 42nd Street
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 685-7400
email: ​


last update: November 2023