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Doctor of Audiology FAQ

What is an Au.D. degree?

The Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) is an advanced clinical doctoral degree from an accredited university graduate program and is the standard credential for audiologists entering the profession. Educational programs emphasize the application of basic science and technology and provide advanced professional training. Audiologists develop competency in the prevention, diagnosis, and habilitation/rehabilitation of hearing and balance disabilities, related communication and educational disabilities, and patient-centered practice that spans birth through adulthood.


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What are the employment opportunities after completion of the Au.D. degree?

The profession of audiology began following the Second World War. The field has increased dramatically because of technology and new information about auditory function and disabilities, communication and communication disabilities, diagnostic technology and techniques, amplification technology, and rehabilitative strategies. According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics employment opportunities for audiologists will be spurred by the rapid growth of the aging population with hearing and balance problems, medical advances that improve survival rates, advances in biomedical technologies, and new programs in early identification and detection of infant hearing loss.

Audiologists are owners, managers, employees, and consultants in a variety of service delivery models including:

Service Delivery Models

  • Independent Private Practice
  • Hospital, Medical Clinic, or HMO's
  • Otolaryngologist Based Practice
  • State Funded Facility for the Hearing-Impaired
  • Hearing Aid Manufacturing Industry
  • Academic University and Research Based
  • Consultant
  • Rehabilitation and Long-term Care Facilities
  • Educational Audiology—Public and Private Schools
  • Public Health Services
  • Armed Forces
  • Industrial Hearing Conservation and Forensic Audiology

Additional information about the career and employment settings are available at:

Additional Information


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What characterizes the Illinois Au.D. program?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign audiology program provides courses and clinical experiences that prepare students to work independently in audiology. An active on-site Audiology Clinic and a wide variety of other off-site clinical experiences provide many services to various populations. Students have the opportunity to participate with faculty in research that is performed in state-of-the-art laboratories. The program size permits excellent low student-to-instructor ratios.

The Doctor of Audiology program at the University of Illinois is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.


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What are the requirements and structure of the Illinois Au.D. Program?

The Illinois Au.D. program is a four-year, post-baccalaureate degree program that features:

Features

  • Integration of classroom and clinical experiences to provide comprehensive coverage of diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology, basic science, applied statistics, and research methods;
  • Design, development, and completion of a capstone research project;
  • Flexibility for some elective courses in related/special areas of interest
  • Completion of a mentored clinical externship during the fourth year

Further information on the Audiology Program


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How closely will coursework coordinate with clinical experiences?

Coursework and clinical practicum experiences for Au.D. students are closely coordinated throughout the program. Students receive instruction in the classroom in conjunction with hands-on lab experiences in preparation for clinical experiences. As students progress in the program's course work, their clinical experiences become more advanced.


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What is the involvement of Au.D. students in providing clinical services?

Students observe diagnostic audiological and hearing aid procedures in the Audiology Clinic as they are learning about these topics in first semester classes. Students begin on-site clinical experiences during the second semester of their first year and continue in this setting for at least five semesters/summer terms. Enrollment in off-site clinical placements begins during the summer of the first year and continues throughout the second, third, and fourth years. The fourth year is spent in full-time clinical placement off-site. Both the coursework and clinical experiences are competency based.


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What types of clinical experiences are available?

Clinical experiences involve infant, pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations. Audiological experiences include basic diagnostics, neonatal/infant screening and evaluation, auditory evoked potential testing, otoacoustic emission testing, industrial/hearing conservation testing and training, hearing aid and assistive listening device fitting and dispensing, cochlear implant testing and mapping, educational audiology, and vestibular/balance testing and management.


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Where is the clinical experience obtained/completed?

Initially students are placed at external clinical sites in local and surrounding communities. Off-site placements include hospitals and clinics, public schools, private practices, physicians' offices, and other facilities. During clinical placements students will interact with audiologists and other professionals such as speech-language-pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, and physicians. External clinical sites include central Illinois, Chicago, St. Louis, and out-of-state locations. Out-of-state clinical experiences can be arranged for individual students on the basis of the student's interests or geographic preference. Examples of external clinical sites follow.

External Clinical Sites

  • Advanced Hearing Healthcare, Freeport, IL
  • Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, IL
  • Carle Physicians Group Urbana, IL
  • Carle ECHO Program (Expanding Children's Hearing Opportunities), Urbana, IL
  • Central Area Special Education (CASE)–Public Schools, Champaign, IL
  • Central Illinois Hearing, Ltd., Springfield, IL
  • Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
  • Christie Clinic, Champaign, IL
  • Denver Ear Associates, Englewood, CO
  • Eastern Illinois Area Special Education (EIASE)–Public Schools, Charleston, IL
  • ENTA Allergy, Head, and Neck Institute
  • ENT Surgical Assoc. of Central Illinois, Normal, IL
  • Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital, Columbia, MO
  • Hearing Health Center, Oak Brook, IL
  • Hearing Center, Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL
  • Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Jerry L. House, M.D., Indianapolis, IN
  • Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
  • Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL
  • MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL
  • Marion Downs Hearing Center, Aurora, CO
  • OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, IL
  • Nelson Audiology, Ltd., Litchfield, IL
  • Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon, IL
  • Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center, Palos Hills, IL
  • Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center, Romeoville, IL
  • Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center, Homewood, IL
  • Southern Illinois University Medical School Springfield, IL
  • Shohet Ear Associates, Newport Beach, CA
  • University of Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary, Chicago, IL
  • Vermillion Area Special Education (VASE)–Public Schools, Danville, IL
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center, Danville, IL
  • Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

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Who arranges clinical experience assignments?

The Clinical Instructors in the Audiology Clinic work closely with external clinical sites to match individual Au.D. students to experiences that are appropriate for their level of expertise and interest. Students discuss placement sites with the Clinical Instructors that they are interested in pursuing as a fourth year site. Students are placed locally and in surrounding communities, in St. Louis and Chicago, and throughout the country based interests and geographical preference.


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What are the admission requirements for the Au.D. program at Illinois?

Information on admissions to the Illinois Au.D. program is available at Admissions.


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What are the prerequisites for entering the Au.D. program at Illinois?

Applicants must have prerequisite skills in oral and written or other forms of communication and have successfully completed coursework in the life sciences, physical sciences, behavioral sciences, and mathematics. Appropriate undergraduate study for the Au.D. includes coursework in general phonetics, speech science—anatomy, speech science—physiology, acoustics and hearing science, the development of spoken language, language disorders, sign language, introduction to audiology and hearing disorders, and aural habilitation/rehabilitation.

Students who do not have a background in speech and hearing science (e.g. biology, pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, and others) are encouraged to apply. The audiology faculty will advise these students regarding the acquisition of prerequisite requirements. Course plans and sequences may vary based on a student’s background and experience. In some cases, individuals without a background in speech and hearing science may require additional time in the program to complete prerequisites and degree requirements.


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Is financial aid available?

The Department funds as many Au.D. students as possible in the form of teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and hourly positions. Teaching and research assistantships and fellowships may carry tuition waivers and financial stipends. The Department will continue to develop resources for Au.D. student financial support.


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What are the Illinois AuD program objectives for graduates?

The objective of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program is to prepare Au.D. students for the practice of audiology in the 21st century. Upon successfully completing the Illinois Au.D. program, graduates will be able to:

Objectives

  • Identify, assess, and manage disorders of the auditory, balance, and other neural systems
  • Obtain and evaluate behavioral and physiologic measures of these systems
  • Provide aural habilitation/rehabilitation to children and adults across the age span
  • Select, fit, and dispense amplification systems such as hearing aids and related devices
  • Become leading members of multi-disciplinary teams involved in the assessment and application of state-of-the-art technology such as cochlear and middle-ear implants
  • Prevent hearing loss through the provision and fitting of hearing protective devices, provide consultation on the effects of noise on hearing, and provide consumer education
  • Become involved in auditory and related areas of basic and applied research in human and animal models that are pertinent to the prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss and auditory processing disorders, tinnitus, balance system dysfunction, and related communication disorders and educational problems
  • Serve as expert witnesses in litigation related to their areas of expertise
  • Provide services in a variety of settings including private practice, medical, community, industry, military, home health, rehabilitative, and school settings, and subacute, long-term, and intermediate-care facilities
  • Provide academic education and research training in universities to students and practitioners, to medical and surgical students and residents, and to other health care professionals
  • Deliver their services as autonomous practitioners and scientists
  • Qualify for national certification in audiology as well as for licensure in audiology as required in most states

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