About Us

A Commitment to Excellence

The graduate program in speech and hearing at UNC was established by Dr. Robert Peters nearly 40 years ago in response to a need for well-educated professionals, able to treat a broad array of communication disorders. From its inception, the program has been committed to the highest standards of educational preparation for future speech-language pathologists and audiologists, while providing vision and leadership in our professional disciplines. Established in 1969 as the Institute for Speech and Hearing Sciences, the program became the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences in 1980 and is now one of seven divisions in the School of Medicine’s Department of Allied Health Sciences. Three degree programs are offered: a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences (clinical and non-clinical track), a Clinical Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) for students seeking a career in academic teaching and research. We also offer a distance education certificate program, First Years, for practicing professionals who work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Over 20 full and part-time faculty hold appointments in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and many others serve as clinical preceptors and research mentors.

In the past 10 years, every student in the two clinical programs at the University of North Carolina, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, has passed the Praxis Exam. All but one AuD student entering  the program since it began in the fall of 2002 have completed their program of study and have graduated or are expected to graduate on time. The Master’s program in Speech and Hearing Sciences also has a very high rate of student retention and on time graduation. In the previous 10 years, 100% of the 275 students have completed the program.


Students in both the AuD and the SLP graduate programs receive excellent clinical educations. As a result, our students are heavily recruited by employers in a wide range of settings from all across the country. Every student who wants to be employed has been successful in finding a job within a short time after graduation. In fact, many students have employment waiting for them as soon as they graduate.

Our Mission Statement

We engage in evidence-based teaching, research, and service aimed at understanding, preventing, diagnosing and treating disorders of speech, language, hearing, and balance. We strive to facilitate and enhance communication and quality of life for individuals and families affected by these disorders. 

To accomplish this mission we:

  • Educate students to:
    • Be clinical practitioners, teachers and researchers in human communication sciences and disorders
    • Develop and maintain the highest ethical standards of quality in the compassionate provision of clinical services
    • Be knowledgeable and respectful of individual and cultural differences in the provision of care for individuals, families, and communities
    • Influence policy and promote the general welfare of all persons with disorders of speech, language, hearing, or balance
    • Evaluate evidence regarding treatment efficacy and strive to continually deliver evidence-based practice  
  • Conduct and disseminate scholarly research to:
    • Contribute to the theoretical and applied understanding of speech, language, hearing, and balance
    • Provide empirical evidence to inform the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of speech, language, hearing, and balance
    • Engage with the community to improve the translation between research and clinical practice 
  • Provide service to:
    • Promote care of the highest quality to the citizens of North Carolina and  beyond through exemplary models of best practice
    • Collaborate with clinical providers in the community to assure best practice training opportunities for students
    • Support ongoing professional development through the provision of continuing education programs