BS in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences has been designed for students interested in studying human communication sciences and disorders. Many students with undergraduate degrees in speech, language & hearing sciences pursue graduate professional training for careers as speech-language pathologists or audiologists. Other students choose a wide diversity of career directions after graduating from the undergraduate program, including, but not limited to, education, research, medicine, public health, and law.

For the undergraduate degree, coursework is taken in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and in areas related to human communication, such as linguistics, phonetics, anatomy and physiology, and language acquisition. In pre-professional study, students are introduced to the evaluation and treatment of communication disorders. Electives are chosen according to individual interest. Students in this major are eligible to apply for the Sargent College Thesis for Distinction.

Undergraduates should note that employment as a certified speech-language pathologist or audiologist is not possible with only a bachelor’s degree. An advanced degree in speech-language pathology or audiology is required for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as well as for licensure in most states. Boston University’s graduate program in speech-language pathology is accredited by the Council on Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). The BU Master of Science program enables students to fulfill the requirements for professional certification by the ASHA in speech-language pathology, as well as for Massachusetts state licensure and teacher certification.

Degree Requirements

A cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be achieved for graduation from the four-year program. Students must complete a minimum of 128 semester credits distributed as follows. Courses that fulfill these requirements are listed in the sample curriculum.

  • Math and Sciences 16 credits
  • Philosophy/Ethics 4 credits
  • Statistics 4 credits
  • Social Sciences 16 credits
  • Humanities 12 credits including expository composition, research writing, and linguistics
  • Health and Rehabilitation Sciences 10 credits including SAR HP 151, SAR HP 252, and SAR HP 353 or a SAR elective
  • Pre-Professional Courses in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology 42 credits
  • Electives 24 credits


Following is a typical four-year curriculum. Each course carries 4 credits unless otherwise noted. Students who enter the SLHS major after freshman year are exempt from SAR HP 151 but must complete these two credits elsewhere.

Freshman Year

First Semester

  • CAS BI 105 Introductory Biology for Health Sciences
  • CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar
  • CAS PS 101 General Psychology
  • SAR HP 150 Freshman Experience (0 cr)
  • SAR SH 531 Introduction to Communication Disorders

Second Semester

  • CAS BI 106 Human Anatomy
  • SAR HP 151 Introduction to Health Professions (2 cr)
  • CAS WR 150 Writing and Research Seminar
  • Social science elective (non-Psychology)

Sophomore Year

First Semester

  • SAR SH 522 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
  • SAR HP 252 Health and Disability Across the Lifespan
  • Social science elective (non-Psychology)
  • General elective

Second Semester

  • SAR SH 221 Phonetics
  • SAR SH 524 Normal Language Acquisition
  • CAS MA 118 College Algebra and Trigonometry or MA 121 Calculus
  • CAS NE 101, PS 205, 231, 332, 333, 336, or 345 Cognition/Neuroscience elective
  • General elective

Junior Year

First Semester

  • SAR SH 535 Introduction to Audiology
  • SAR SH 523 Introduction to Speech Science
  • SAR HP 353 Organization and Delivery of Health Care in the U.S. or
    SAR elective
  • General elective

Second Semester

  • SAR SH 547 Introduction to Clinical Process
  • CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics
  • Physical science requirement (Physics, CAS PY or Chemistry, CAS CH)
  • General elective

Senior Year

First Semester

  • SAR SH 542 Aural Rehabilitation
  • SAR SH 548 Introduction to Language Disorders Across the Lifespan
  • Philosophy/ethics requirement
  • General elective

Second Semester

  • SAR SH 505 Introduction to Phonological Disorders
  • SAR SH 640 Senior Seminar: Internship Experience (2 cr)
  • CAS MA 113, 115, 213 Statistics or CAS PS 211 Introduction to Experimental Design
  • General electives (6 cr)