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Graduate Studies - Hearing and Speech Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions - Au.D.

 

  1. How does the Vanderbilt Au.D. program compare to others?
  2. What are the entrance requirements for the Vanderbilt Au.D. Program?
  3. What undergraduate classes should I take to prepare for the Au.D. program?
  4. What courses would I take at Vanderbilt for the Au.D. degree?
  5. Does the faculty have experience as clinicians?
  6. What kind of clinical training is available?
  7. Do the clinical placements offer training in all the areas of audiology?
  8. What if I already have a Master’s degree in Audiology?
  9. Can I specialize in a particular area of audiology?
  10. How early in the program can I begin clinical work?
  11. What is the cost of tuition?
  12. Are scholarships available?
  13. Is financial aid available?
  14. Are part-time students accepted?
  15. Is it possible to work while obtaining the degree?
  16. Is it possible to become involved in research projects?
  17. Are research projects required for completion of the Au.D.?
  18. If I’m in the Au.D. program, is it possible to transfer into the Vanderbilt Ph.D. program if I become interested in research?
  19. What placement sites are available for the 4th year?
  20. Are students paid for the 4th year of placement?
  21. Does the department assist the students in finding employment after graduation?
  22. Can I visit the department?

1. How does the Vanderbilt Au.D. program compare to others? The 2009 US News and World Report ranked our Au.D. program #1 in the Nation. In addition, in 2005 we moved into one of the finest facilities in the nation - if not the finest.  The majority of our faculty are nationally recognized for their significant contributions to audiology.  The fact that Nashville is a regional medical referral center, and the program is housed in a nationally ranked medical center, which includes a nationally ranked otolaryngology program, affords our students many outstanding professional and clinical experiences.
2. What are the entrance requirements for the Vanderbilt Au.D. Program? We encourage applicants with backgrounds in such areas as communication disorders and other health related professions, biomedical sciences, psychology and psycholinguistics. All students must possess GRE scores consistent with Vanderbilt standards; a strong record of past academic achievement; a commitment to hearing healthcare; excellent oral and written skills; a willingness to work collaboratively; a strong work ethic; perseverance; and organizational and time management skills.
3. What undergraduate classes should I take to prepare for the Au.D. program?  New standards for audiology no longer require pre-requisites.  One course that would be extremely helpful to have is a course in Normal Language Development, typically offered in a Department of Communication Sciences. On occasion, a Linguistics department will have such a course, but it would have to address language development or acquisition in the normal child. Taking it at the undergraduate level would allow you to omit this graduate level course during the Au.D curriculum.
4. What courses would I take at Vanderbilt for the Au.D. degree?  A sample curriculum is provided in a separate link on our Au.D. program page.
5. Does the faculty have experience as clinicians? Most definitely – in fact, we consider this to be one of the strengths of the program. Of the 13 Ph.D. audiology faculty members, nearly all have worked as clinicians at one time in their careers, approximately one-half currently are involved in direct clinical patient care activities. Moreover, several adjunct faculty members in the audiology program on the Vanderbilt campus are involved in direct clinical care. Finally, students will work with a large clinical staff whose only responsibility is clinical care.
6. What kind of clinical training is available? The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences is part of the Vanderbilt Medical Center complex and consequently offers a variety of clinical settings listed in the Clinical Education Placements - Au.D. section of this website. 
7. Do the clinical placements offer training in all the areas of audiology? Yes. We are proud to say that without leaving the Vanderbilt campus, training in all major areas of clinical audiology are available. See the summary of these sites in the answer to Question #5.
8. What if I already have a Master’s degree in Audiology? The overall program and course sequencing of Vanderbilt’s Au.D. is geared for the four-year student, who enters after completion of their undergraduate degree. At present, only students who intend to complete the entire 4-year Au.D. program at Vanderbilt will be considered for admission to Vanderbilt’s Au.D. program.
9. Can I specialize in a particular area of audiology? The Au.D. degree is considered a generalist degree and students will therefore be expected to be proficient in all general areas of clinical audiology. Students, however, will have the opportunity to specialize to some extent through elective courses, selection of their Capstone topic and their 4th year training site(s).
10. How early in the program can I begin clinical work? We believe that our students should become involved in direct patient care as soon as possible. For this reason, beginning the first semester, students work with clinicians and participate in our weekly clinical case conferences.
11. What is the cost of tuition? Tuition averages $27,054 per year over the four year period -- $33,840 per year from Years 1-3 and $6,696 for year 4 (academic year 2013-2014)
12. Are scholarships available? Many (up to 70%) of our graduate students receive some level of financial support. For the practitioner degrees (M.S. in SLP and Au.D.), such support comes in the form of remitted tuition, ranging from 25% to 100%. Financial awards – which are competitive in nature - are offered at or around the time we let students know of acceptance, wait lists, etc., which is generally around the second week of March. Given that 100% of graduate students need financial assistance, need is not a factor; financial awards are offered on the basis of merit, using criteria very similar to that used to judge acceptance into the program.
13. Is financial aid available? Yes. Our department supports a financial aid department that is committed to assisting students with financial aid/loans.
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST
303 Light Hall
Nashville, TN 37232-0740
(615) 322-2145
(615) 343-2312 (FAX)
medfinaid@vanderbilt.edu
14. Are part-time students accepted? No. The Au.D. program at Vanderbilt University is for full-time residential students only.
15. Is it possible to work while obtaining the degree? Yes. It is possible for students to work provided they are making satisfactory academic and clinical progress in the program. It is, however, strongly encouraged that such work be part-time and towards the end (rather than beginning) of the Au.D.
16. Is it possible to become involved in research projects? The audiology program at Vanderbilt is one of the leading audiology research programs in the Country – consequently there are many ongoing research projects that would provide students the opportunity to participate if they desired. Many of these projects have direct clinical application and directly correspond to clinical coursework.
17. Are research projects required for completion of the Au.D.? In the 3rd year, students complete a Capstone Project. This project could involve a traditional research design, or could be an in-depth review of a particular topic.
18. If I’m in the Au.D. program, is it possible to transfer into the Vanderbilt Ph.D. program if I become interested in research? Yes, it would be possible. However, since the Ph.D. is a research (not practitioner) degree, much of the coursework is different.
19. What placement sites are available for the 4th year? Several sites will be within the many facilities located on the Vanderbilt campus – see review in answer for Question #3. Other nationally recognized and geographically diverse sites are available. Students will be “matched” to specific training sites based on their training needs and clinical interests.
20. Are students paid for the 4th year of placement? Many 4th-year externships offer stipends or salary of varying levels. Regardless of the level of support during the 4th year, students are responsible for their tuition and other applicable fees. Tuition support received from the department during the first three years does not extend through the fourth year. Departmental faculty who assist in arranging 4th-year externships will also assist students in determining which sites offer remuneration and at what levels.
21. Does the department assist the students in finding employment after graduation? Most definitely – faculty play an active role in helping students identify potential job opportunities, they assist students with making contact with potential employers and offer letters of support. The majority of the faculty serve on national boards, committee and working groups and consequently they are well “connected” to the job market across the U.S. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, because of the national reputation of the Vanderbilt audiology program, many prospective employers contact Vanderbilt when job openings are available.
22. Can I visit the department? Of course! We see visiting students (depending upon availability of faculty and by appointment only) on Monday’s and Friday’s at 9:00 a.m. central time. During these visits you will meet faculty, staff and students as well as see some of our facilities. In order to schedule a visit, email our Education Assistant, Carol Modos at carol.modos@vanderbilt.edu.

 

 

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