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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Hearing and Speech Sciences (HESP)

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
0100 LeFrak Hall, 301-405-4213
Chair: R. Newman
Director: K. Skinker (Dir of Undergraduate Studies)
Professors: J. Edwards (Res Prof), S. Gordon-Salant (Dir of Graduate Studies), N. Ratner
Associate Professors: Y. Shah
Assistant Professors: S. Anderson, M. Goupell, Y. Huang, J. Novick
Senior Lecturer: T. O'Brien (Senior Lecturer)
Lecturers: R. Caruso (Lecturer), J. Cohen (Lecturer), K. King (Lecturer), T. Williams Walker (Lecturer), C. Zalewski (Lecturer)
Adjunct Professors: W. Gaillard
Adjunct Associate Professors: A. Braun
Clinical Professor: M. McCabe (Dir of Audiology Services), V. Sisskin (Clin Prof), C. Worthington (Dir of Speech-Language Services)
Assistant Clinical Professor: K. Dow-Burger (Clin Asst Prof), R. Lower (Clin Asst Prof), E. Mont (Clin Asst Prof), S. Palmer (Clin Asst Prof), L. Rickard (Clin Asst Prof), P. Schauer (Clin Asst Prof), K. Slawson (Clin Asst Prof)
Research Professor: P. Fitzgibbons (Res Prof)
Professors Emeriti: F. Roth, G. Yeni-Komshian

The Major

Hearing and speech sciences is an inherently interdisciplinary field, integrating knowledge from the physical and biological sciences, medicine, psychology, linguistics, and education in order to understand human communication and its disorders. The department curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. An undergraduate major in this field provides appropriate background for graduate training in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology, as well as for graduate work in other disciplines requiring a knowledge of normal or disordered speech, language, or hearing. The student who wishes to work professionally as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist must obtain a graduate degree in order to meet national certification requirements, and most state licensure laws.

The hearing and speech sciences curriculum is designed in part to provide supporting course work for majors in related fields, so most course offerings are available to both departmental majors and non-majors. Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: HESP. Permission of an instructor may be obtained to waive course prerequisites for non-majors wishing to take hearing and speech courses of interest.

Program Objectives

The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences strives to provide state-of-the-art teaching, research, and clinical services in the areas of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

Program Learning Outcomes

The undergraduate curriculum in Hearing and Speech Sciences is structured to provide a strong background for graduate training in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology and Hearing, Language or Speech Sciences. Although required courses at the undergraduate level are identical for all undergraduate majors, emphasis can be given to individual curricula through the selection of elective courses. Having completed the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  • Students will demonstrate application of fundamental concepts of basic sciences (i.e., biological, physical, mathematics/statistics, behavioral and social sciences) to the hearing and speech sciences discipline.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of basic communication processes.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of speech, language, and hearing disorders and differences, including etiologies and characteristics, prevention, assessment, and intervention.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences offers students numerous opportunities to interact with faculty in teaching, research and clinical experiences. Faculty welcome the participation of undergraduates in their research laboratories. The Hearing and Speech Clinic as well as the Language Learning Early Advantage Program (LEAP preschool) in Lefrak Hall allow students to observe the interaction between clinical and research efforts.

Admission to the Major

The undergraduate curriculum in HESP is not a limited enrollment major. The program is structured to provide adequate background for graduate training in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology and Speech, and Language or Hearing Sciences. It is considered to be a pre-professional program. It is important for HESP students to understand that this major requires a graduate degree in order to pursue a career in this field. Students should be advised that graduate school admissions are highly competitive; therefore students must perform to the best of their ability throughout the entire undergraduate curriculum in order to be considered for admittance into a graduate program. Due to the nature of the coursework, students who change their major or transfer to the University made not be able to complete this major in just two years.

Requirements for the Major

Students majoring in hearing and speech sciences must complete 33 semester hours of required courses satisfy major course requirements. No course with a grade less than "C-" may count toward major course requirements. In addition to the 33 semester hours needed for a major, 12 semester hours of supporting courses in statistics and other related fields are required. For these 12 hours, a "C-" average is required. In addition, when a HESP course has a listed pre-requisite, this pre-requisite must have been completed with a grade of "C-" or better before registration in the subsequent course will be approved.

A guide to the major is available through the department office in room 0100 Lefrak Hall or on the departmental website at www.bsos.umd.edu/hesp/

Course sequencing is extremely important within this major. Advising for majors is mandatory.

  Required Courses Credits
HESP120Introduction to Linguistics 3
HESP202Introduction to Hearing and Speech Sciences 3
HESP300Introduction to Psycholinguistics 3
HESP305Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism 3
HESP311Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology of the Auditory System 3
HESP400Speech and Language Development in Children 3
HESP403Introduction to Phonetic Science 3
HESPxxAny one of: HESP 402, 404, 406, 410 3
HESP407Bases of Hearing Science 3
HESP411Introduction to Audiology 3
 Students must take one course from the following offerings:  
HESP386Experiential Learning 3
HESP388Undergraduate Research Internship  
HESP389LEAP Classroom Internship  
HESP402Speech Pathology I: Language Disorders in Children  3
HESP404Speech Pathology II: Voice and Fluency Disorders  3
HESP406Speech Pathology III: Aphasia and Neuromotor Disorders  3
HESP410Organic Speech Disorders  3
HESP413Aural Rehabilitation/Habilitation  3
HESP417Principles and Methods in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology 3
HESP418Clinical Practice in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology 3
HESP420Deafness and sign language 3
HESP422Neurological bases of human communication 3
HESP469Honors thesis research 3
HESP498Seminar in Hearing and Speech Sciences (topics vary) 3
HESP499Independent Study 3
 Allied/Related Fields (12 credits) 
  In addition to a required statistics course, the student will take nine credits from course offerings in Allied/Related Fields and PSYC 100. A more complete list of these courses can be found on the Hearing and Speech Department website.
PSYC100Introduction to Psychology 3
STATone Statistics course from EDMS451, PSYC200, or BIOM301 3
ELECTtwo courses from Allied/Related Fields 6

Finally, HESP majors must complete BOTH a biological and a physical science to satisfy national certification standards for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Specifically, to meet the general education requirements of the university and the requirements for the major, HESP majors must complete PHYS102/103 lab as the physical science requirement and a life science course that is based on the biology of the human system and not plants or insects.

Other Requirements for the Major

It is important for students to understand that coursework in Hearing and Speech Sciences requires careful sequencing. The material in early courses provides the foundation for later courses. For this reason most HESP courses have required pre-requisites and academic advising is crucial. Students are also required to earn a grade of "C-" or higher in each course required for the major.  Students will not be allowed to take any course until they have earned a "C-" or higher in the pre-requisite for that course. All HESP students are required to meet with the department advisor prior to enrolling for the following semester.

Requirements for the Minor

Requirements for the HESP minor include the following coursework:

HESP202-Introduction to Hearing and Speech Sciences

HESP300-Introduction to Psycholinguistics

HESP400-Child Language Acquisition


HESP407-Hearing Science

PLUS 2 courses in one of the two elective areas:

Elective option 1 (Speech-Language Pathology Focus)

HESP305-Anatomy/Physiology of the Speech Mechanism, and

HESP402, 404, 406, 410

Elective option 2 (Audiology focus)

HESP311-Anatomy/Physiology/Pathology of the Auditory Mechanism, and

HESP411-Introduction to Audiology


All classes must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better; as with HESP majors, students must obtain a grade of "C-" or better in a class in order to enroll in any courses that require that class as a pre-requisite.

This course sequence acquaints the student with the primary basic science background in the speech, language and hearing sciences, and permits the student to select two courses in the specific professional areas of speech, language or hearing, based on the student's primary interest area.

This minor is designed for the student in other majors (such as Psychology, Education, Linguistics, FOLA, etc.) who may have plans to attend graduate school in the fields of Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. These courses are widely viewed as pre-requisite for admission to such programs and constitute a proportion (but not the full extent) of classwork required for eventual post M.A. or post-Au. D. certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as either a Speech- Language Pathologist or Audiologist. Because both graduate programs and ASHA may require additional coursework, the student pursuing the HESP minor is strongly encouraged to meet with a HESP academic advisor to ensure that eventual educational goals are properly addressed. The HESP minor does not qualify an individual to work professionally as a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist, but does provide a proportion of the coursework required to practice in the State of Maryland as a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant.


Advising for HESP undergraduate majors is MANDATORY before registration each semester. Students will be notified by e-mail of their registration date or they may check their registration status by going to Testudo and clicking on “Appointment and Registration status”. Students should schedule an advising meeting no sooner than one week prior to their registration date as this prevents students from having to return for another appointment due to closed classes.  Advising appointments may be made by going to  http://hespadvisingcalendar.umd.edu/  .  Advising is always available to students regarding academic and major choices, career planning, and/or academic concerns.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Undergraduates are encouraged to work with a faculty member in the Hearing and Speech Sciences Department. This can be facilitated through the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research, the Emerging Behavioral and Social Science Scholars Program or by exploring research topics listed by faculty members on the HESP website. Students may work with faculty members on a one-to-one basis as a volunteer research assistant or receive credit for their experience. The number of credits that a student may earn is determined by the faculty researcher.  Typically the student is expected to work 3 hours for each credit received in a semester. Unless the student is involved in true independent research, they should enroll in HESP499 with the Pass/Fail grade option. Please note that individual professors may have special requirements for participation in the program. You will need to contact the professor that you wish to work with before enrolling in HESP499 to obtain their permission and their individual section number needed to register.  The University limit for 499 credits is six.


Internships (even if they are not directly related to Hearing and Speech) are an excellent way to obtain experience in the workplace. Although internships are not typically a part of the HESP curriculum, students are encouraged to explore related experiences through the BSOS Social Science Internship Practicum or BSOS Experiential Learning programs.

Honors Program

The objective of the HESP Honors program is to encourage and recognize superior academic achievement and scholarship by providing opportunities for interested, capable, and energetic undergraduates to engage in independent study. A research project will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor and will result in an Honors thesis.

Program Goals

The goals of the HESP Honors program are as follows:

  • Educate students to think independently on a broad range of ideas and issues related to the study of Hearing and Speech Sciences.
  • Provide opportunities for in depth, scholarly and scientific analysis of significant and current topics in the Hearing and Speech Sciences.
  • Provide students with the experience of undertaking a research project.

Benefits of the Program

Honors students get the opportunity to work closely with faculty and participate in outside-the-classroom learning experiences.

Graduating from the Honors program is an excellent way to stand out as an exceptional candidate for graduate school, and thesis-writing experience will help you once you get there!

Additionally, Honors students may take graduate courses and apply the credits toward their undergraduate degree.

Program Overview

1.  The HESP Honors program is a three semester sequence, typically spanning from the Fall of Junior year until the Fall of Senior year.

2.  Interested students must apply to be considered for the HESP Honors Program by the deadline posted.

3.  Students must complete 9 credits of HONR seminars or HESP graduate courses in a subject that supports the proposed course of study or some combination of the two. One of the required HONR seminars towards these 9 credits is HESP499H (3 credits).

4.  Students will be expected to complete an Honors Thesis with the assistance of a thesis advisor.  The thesis culminates in an oral defense. Students must complete 6 credits of HESP Honors research (HESP469A and B) for the thesis. For students under CORE requirements, three of the HESP Honors research credits may be used to fulfill the CORE Advanced Studies requirement upon successful completion of the thesis defense.

Please meet with the Director of the HESP Honors program for more information on the HESP Honors program.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

There are two organizations that hearing and speech science majors are invited to join. They are the University of Maryland's Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA). Both organizations are involved in fund raising, sponsoring educational speakers and participating in community service activities. Further information may be obtained on the department website, www.hesp.umd.edu .

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .  Unfortunately, there is no undergaduate financial assistance given by the department.

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