The undergraduate major in speech, language and hearing sciences (SLHS) at CU Boulder includes coursework in three general areas:

  • Characteristics, causes and treatment of disorders that impact speech, language and/or hearing (e.g., stuttering, head injury, deafness, autism, learning disabilities, etc.).
  • The science behind human communication (e.g., the anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms, acoustics of sound, etc.).
  • Linguistics, specifically the normal development of language in children, phonetic transcription and the various component parts of language.

The program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. In addition to learning in the classroom about normal and disordered communication, students will observe graduate students and professionals engaged in clinical work with individuals exhibiting speech, language, learning and hearing problems. Internships are optional but are encouraged throughout a student's program.


Program Requirements

Students must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below. The major includes 35 credit hours of required coursework plus a 3-credit course in general psychology.

All required major courses and the required general psychology course must be passed with a C- or better and cannot be taken pass/fail. No more than 45 credits in SLHS may be applied to overall graduation requirements. Students must have a grade point average of at least 2.000 in the major in order to graduate.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Courses
LING 2000Introduction to Linguistics3
LING 3100Language Sound Structures3
SLHS 2000Introduction to Communication Disorders3
SLHS 2010Science of Human Communication3
SLHS 3106Hearing Science3
SLHS 3116Anatomy, Physiology, and Science of Speech3
SLHS 4502Language Disorders Across the Lifespan3
SLHS 4512Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan3
SLHS 4560Language Development3
SLHS 4704Audiological Evaluation3
SLHS 4714Audiological Rehabilitation3
SLHS 4918Introduction to Clinical Practice2
Total Credit Hours35

Required Ancillary Course

PSYC 1001General Psychology3

Recommended Electives

The following courses are recommended, but not required:
Disabilities in Contemporary American Society
American Sign Language 1
Hearing Loss Epidemiology
Communication Neuroscience
Speech-Language Assistant Certificate Program
If planning to attend graduate school for SLHS, students should take one course from each of the following categories (graduate school prerequisite courses):
Basic Statistical Methods
Introduction to Social Statistics
Introduction to Statistics
Biological Science
Biology and Society
General Biology 1
General Biology 2
Biological Psychology
Physics or Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry 1
Introductory Chemistry
Physics of Everyday Life 1
PHYS 1020
Light and Color for Nonscientists
Sound and Music
Energy and Interactions

Graduating in Four Years

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. The concept of "adequate progress" as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences students should meet the following requirements:

  • Declare the major by the beginning of the sophomore year
  • Complete prerequisite courses–LING 2000, SLHS 2010 and PSYC 1001–by the end of spring semester of sophomore year.

Recommended Four-Year Plan of Study

Through the required coursework for the major, students will complete all 12 credits of the Social Sciences area and all 12 credits of the Natural Sciences area of the Gen Ed Distribution Requirement.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
SLHS 2000 Introduction to Communication Disorders 3
LING 2000 Introduction to Linguistics 3
Gen. Ed. Diversity course (example: Diversity: US Perspective) 3
Gen. Ed. Skills course (example: Lower-division Written Communication) 3
Elective/MAPS course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
PSYC 1001 General Psychology 3
SLHS 2010 Science of Human Communication 3
Gen. Ed. Skills course (example: QRMS - if going onto SLHS grad school, take statistics) 3
Gen. Ed. Diversity course (example: Diversity: Global Perspective) 3
Elective/MAPS course 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Two
Fall Semester
LING 3100 Language Sound Structures 3
SLHS 4560 Language Development 3
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Arts & Humanities) 3
Elective 3
Biological Science course with lab 4
 Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
SLHS 3106 Hearing Science 3
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Arts & Humanities) 3
Gen Ed. Distribution course (example: Arts & Humanities) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall Semester
SLHS 3116 Anatomy, Physiology, and Science of Speech 3
SLHS 4502 Language Disorders Across the Lifespan 3
Gen. Ed. Distribution course (example: Arts & Humanities) 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
SLHS 4704 Audiological Evaluation 3
SLHS 4918 Introduction to Clinical Practice 2
Gen. Ed. Skills course (example: Upper-division Written Communication) 3
Elective: upper-division 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours14
Year Four
Fall Semester
SLHS 4512 Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan 3
Elective: upper-division 3
Elective: upper-division 3
Elective: upper-division 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
SLHS 4714 Audiological Rehabilitation 3
Elective: upper-division 3
Elective: upper-division 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Learning Outcomes 

Upon completion of the degree program, students can expect to gain the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • An understanding of foundational knowledge of human communication sciences and its disorders.
  • An understanding of how diversity impacts human communication disorders.
  • The ability to critically analyze and communicate research in speech, language and hearing sciences. 
  • An ability to apply scientific evidence in the field of speech-language-hearing sciences to the analysis of real-world problems.
  • A knowledge of the professional pathways available to graduates in the field of communication sciences and disorders.