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Speech Pathology and Audiology

1410 Lower Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8279
Fax: (808) 956-5482


*Graduate Faculty

*J. T. Yates, PhD (Chair)—audiology
E. Hirohata, MS—audiology
*E. Isaki, PhD—speech-language pathology
C. Kikuta, MS—speech-language pathology
J. K. Oshiro, MS—speech-language pathology
*K. Pugh, PhD—audiology
P. Seymour, MS—speech-language pathology
L. Tsue, MS—speech-language pathology
*R. Weirather, PhD—speech-language pathology
*L. Weiss, PhD—speech-language pathology

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

A. Peters, PhD—linguistics

Adjunct Faculty

K. Campbell, MS—audiology
V. Chinen, MS—speech-language pathology
D. Craven, MA—speech-language pathology
C. Fleming, MS—speech-language pathology
M. Holtel, MD—ENT
D. Kau, MS—audiology
P. Mashima, MS—speech-language pathology
L. Nakashima, MS—deaf education
G. Wallace, PhD—speech-language pathology
T. Wong, MS—audiology

Degrees Offered: BS in speech pathology and audiology, MS in speech pathology and audiology

The Academic Program

Speech pathology and audiology (SPA) are interrelated disciplines that deal with disorders of speech-language and/or hearing. Audiology is the study of human hearing and the diagnosis and treatment of hearing-related disorders. Speech-language pathology is the study of human communication and its developed or acquired disorders. Through these two disciplines students have the opportunity to deal with a wide variety of disabilities and disorders affecting people of all ages. Speech pathologists and audiologists treat children and adults in public and private practice in a wide variety of settings. A recent report by the federal government projected the combined fields of audiology and speech pathology as one of the fastest growing of the next decade.

The practice of speech-language pathology and/or audiology presently requires a minimum of a master’s degree obtained from a program accredited by the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology in a regionally accredited university. In addition, the practitioner must obtain clinical certification and, in most states, licensure. Standards for practice (and, therefore, educational content) are changing. The prospective student is advised that the standards for graduation will change during the course of his/her study. Program graduates will be required to meet the national standards in force at the time of the student’s graduation. Certification requirements will change in 2005 (SLP) and 2007/2012 (Audiology).

The program for speech pathology and audiology at UH is recognized nationally for its quality and is accredited in both areas. It is one of the few programs in the U.S. featuring preparation in a multilingual/multicultural environment.


The programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.


Students considering the major may call the Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology to schedule an appointment with an adviser.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

Students pursuing a BS degree in speech pathology and audiology should enroll in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences to complete UH Mânoa’s General Education Core curriculum and other specific requirements during their first two years of residence. Upon completion of at least 54 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.6, the student should apply to the Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, School of Medicine, by filing a College and Curriculum Transfer Request form. This form may be filed at any time except during registration periods. For students applying after completion of more than 54 credit hours, the minimum required GPA will be increased.

Students in any UH community college should obtain program outlines from the Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology to familiarize themselves with the pre-SPA requirements so they can complete them during their first two years.


  • A minimum of 124 credit hours
  • 60 credit hours of non-introductory courses
  • 15 credit hours in courses dealing with normal development of speech, hearing, and language
  • 6 credit hours in linguistics (including LING 410 and 470)
  • 3 credit hours in mathematics
  • 4 credit hours in zoology
  • 4 credit hours in physics
  • 3 credit hours in inferential statistics
  • At least one speech course dealing primarily with public speaking or discussion and practice in these areas
  • 9 credit hours in psychology beyond the basic course

Required specialized courses for the undergraduate major are ordinarily taken in sequence. By taking introductory courses in the summer session, the student may accelerate completion of the required program.

Junior Year

  • Semester I: SPA 300, 301, and 320
  • Semester II: SPA 302, 303, and 321

Senior Year

  • Semester I: SPA 402, SPA 404, SPA 412
  • Semester II: SPA 414, SPA 415, and SPA 421

If qualified, students may complete 1 or more credit hours of practicum in audiology.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The department offers the MS degree in speech pathology and audiology, with a specialization in either speech-language pathology or audiology, or a dual concentration of these professional disciplines. Candidates for the MS degree must present a minimum of 30 undergraduate credit hours in the area of study. Background preparation should include basic courses in speech-language pathology, clinical methodology, audiology, testing of hearing, habilitation and rehabilitation of hearing, speech and hearing science, clinical practicum, and a minimum of 15 credit hours relating to normal development of speech, hearing and language. If a course in statistics is not part of the undergraduate record, one must be completed as part of the graduate program.

For admission as a regular classified graduate student, applicants must present (a) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, (b) a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major and/or in all courses taken during the final four semesters or six quarters of undergraduate preparation, (c) adequate, appropriate undergraduate preparation, and (d) satisfactory performance on Graduate Record Exam.

If undergraduate deficiencies are present, students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 may be considered for admission as conditional graduate students upon application to the Graduate Division. This status can be changed to regular when all deficiencies are removed with at least a B average in all courses taken. Students with the best academic records and with limited or no undergraduate deficiencies will be considered for admission first.

Students who do not meet the general admission requirements or who have extensive undergraduate deficiencies may also choose to enroll as post-baccalaureate unclassified students until admission standards are met. Foreign students are not eligible for post-baccalaureate unclassified status. If an unclassified student completes the first 12 credit hours in SPA with a GPA of less than 3.0, no further registration will be permitted.

Each student will have a preliminary conference with an adviser prior to initial enrollment in courses. This evaluation will include a thorough analysis of previous academic preparation to determine the plan of study, including the removal of undergraduate deficiencies if they exist. Recommendations concerning admission to candidacy for fully qualified students will be made at the end of the first semester of study. The student’s adviser will determine action to be taken in this regard. A general examination may be required upon completion of the first semester of study (minimum 12 credit hours).


Both Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis) are available for graduate study. The plan to be followed is determined by the student and his or her advisory committee. The decision is based upon the specific interests of the individual student and future educational and occupational objectives.

Under Plan A, 38 credit hours in course work, a thesis (SPA 700—6 credit hours), and a final oral examination on the thesis subject are required. Plan B requires satisfactory completion of 44 credit hours of course work, including SPA 695 or 696 in which a research study is completed. A seminar appearance is also required for Plan B. For both Plan A and Plan B, a final written comprehensive examination in which the student will be examined on his or her course of study is required.

The median time required for completion of this program by an individual admitted with no undergraduate deficiencies is two years.

Continued enrollment and completion of the master’s program require both satisfactory academic progress to maintain minimum Graduate Division GPA standards and demonstrated clinical proficiency in clinical practicum in speech-language pathology and audiology.

Each classified and unclassified graduate student is personally responsible for knowing any additional information and regulations contained in the Catalog and the informational circular available through the Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology. If questions arise, the student’s adviser should be consulted.

These programs are designed so that students who complete either Plan A or Plan B will meet the academic requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in speech-language pathology, audiology, or both, as established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (the national certifying authority). Students must complete all academic and practical training requirements for national certification, as well as departmental requirements, to qualify for the master’s degree. Following graduation, students may qualify for national certification by taking and passing an examination in their area(s) and successfully completing a nine-month clinical fellowship in their area(s) of training. Upon certification (and, in most states, licensure), an individual may secure employment and/or engage in private practice in his or her area(s) of training.

Admission to courses requires graduate standing, except for certain senior students in their last semester of undergraduate study, and permission of the graduate chair. All graduate courses in the division require instructor’s consent.

The Speech and Hearing Clinic is operated by the Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology of the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Staff members and supervised student clinicians provide diagnostic and therapeutic services to UH students and other children and adults in the community.

SPA Courses