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

The Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences prepares clinical practitioners in speech-language pathology and audiology to be scholars, teachers, and researchers in both the theoretical and applied aspects of human communication sciences and disorders.  To accomplish this mission the Division:

  • Engages in teaching, research, and service aimed at the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of speech, language, hearing, and balance disorders.
  • Educates practitioners and researchers to develop and maintain the highest ethical standards of quality in the provision of speech-language pathology and audiology services.
  • Prepares clinical practitioners who are knowledgeable about cultural diversity and who provide culturally sensitive approaches to cost-effective care for individuals, families, and the community.
  • Prepares leaders to influence policy and promote the general welfare of all persons with disorders of speech, language, or hearing.