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Top audiology schools in the United States

Contributed by , staff writer

If you love science and have a desire to help people hear better, you may want to investigate a career in audiology. Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing impairment and balance disorders in people of all ages and usually work in a hospital, physician's office or audiology clinic. Audiologists need a doctoral degree and must be licensed in all states.

Here's a summary of the top 12 audiology programs as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2012.

Vanderbilt University

Established in 1951, the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences graduate program is one of the largest graduate programs in the Vanderbilt School of Medicine as well as one of the largest programs at Vanderbilt University. The audiology program is ranked number one in the nation and the speech-language-pathology Master of Science degree is ranked third. Students can choose to study for a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Master of Education of the Deaf (MDE), Master of Science of Speech-Language-Pathology (MS-SLP), or a Doctoral Degree program (Ph.D.). The Ph.D. degree is administered through the graduate school while the M.S.-SLP, M.D.E. and Au.D. degrees are administered through the School of Medicine.

Vanderbilt University ranks top among schools
for audiology programs. 

University of Iowa

Students accepted into the audiology program at the University of Iowa will receive their degree from The Department of Communication and Disorders, which has been training students and serving clients with speech, language and hearing disorders for more than 60 years. The graduate programs in Speech Pathology and Audiology are ranked #1 and #2 and offer degrees in Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology, Clinical Doctorate in Audiology, Doctor of Philosophy, and a combined Au.D./Ph.D.

100 percent of graduates found employment in the 2012/2013 academic year and passed the Praxis national examination; 71 percent of the students completed the program.

University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill

This university's audiology program is administered through their School of Medicine which has close ties to University of North Carolina hospitals. Because of this, students receive hands on experience in diagnostic and pediatric audiology, hearing aids, cochlear implants and aural habilitation. The Clinical Doctorate in Audiology program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) as well as the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). The university also offers a Masters of Science in Speech-Language-Pathology (MS-SLP) and PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences.

In the 2011/2012 academic year, 100 percent of graduates passed the Praxis national examination and found employment.

University of Texas -- Dallas

The Doctor of Audiology program at the University of Texas is one of the first in the nation. The four year program requires 100 semester hours in four core areas. Students are given clinical experience at the two UT Dallas Collier campus sites as well as with various clinical, hospital, private practice and school systems in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This gives students a broad range of experience with hearing loss, from children to adult. Graduates have a 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis national  examination.

University of Washington

The university's Doctor of Audiology program is a full-time, four year degree program. Students spend the first three years in the classroom learning how to diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders, specializing in a practice area and completing a clinical research project. During the fourth year, students are placed in a full-time clinical setting. In the past three years, 92.6 percent of graduates have passed the Praxis national examination and 100 percent of them have found employment.

Washington University in St. Louis

The Program in Audiology and Communication Services (PACS) offers a Doctor in Audiology degree accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education and the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The program, established in 1947, is administered through the Washington University School of Medicine. The university also offers a Master of Science in Deaf Education and a Doctor of Philosophy.

University of Florida

Graduate programs in Audiology and Speech-Language-Pathology are offered through the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. The four-year graduate degree program is accredited by the Counsel on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The 125 semester hours includes 78 hours of course work and 47 hours of clinical experience at the campus clinic.

Northwestern University

Only 12 students are admitted each year in the Doctor of Audiology program in Northwestern University's School of Communication. Students work closely with faculty in academic courses, a supervised practicum, and a mentored clinical research project. 100 percent of graduates have passed the Praxis exam and 98 percent have found employment in the profession in the past three years.

Rush University Medical Center

The audiology program at Rush University Medical Center is set in an urban setting and is completed in 15 quarters, which is approximately four years. On the average, 35-40 full-time students are enrolled in the program, with 8-12 in each class. Students progress through three levels of clinical education, including practica, internships and a full time externship and participate in all audiology services for infants to adults. 100 percent of graduates pass the Praxis national examination and find employment within one year; 91 percent complete the 15 quarters of education.

Ohio State University

Audiology students at Ohio State University are admitted into the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences in the College of Health Sciences and Professions. The four year, full-time doctoral program in audiology is accredited by the Counsel on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and has three components: coursework, clinical practicum and research training. The college also offers a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology, a combined MA-PhD program, and a PhD in Hearing Science or Speech-Language Science.

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