Hearing and Speech Sciences

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
0100 LeFrak Hall
Phone: 301-405-4213

The Undergraduate degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences offers students a broad background in basic human communication processes and introduces them to the nature and treatment of disorders of speech, language, and hearing across the lifespan. Our major allows students to explore the discipline through classes, research laboratories, and clinical observations. Courses include basic sciences, anatomy and physiology, math, statistics, as well as courses specific to the study of human communication and its disorders. Hearing and Speech Sciences prepares students for graduate study by providing the foundation needed to continue their education in either speech-language pathology or audiology.

Chair: R. Newman 

Professors: J. Edwards, S. Gordon-Salant, M. Goupell (Director of PhD Program, Co-Director of the Departmental Honors Program), R. Newman, N. Ratner, Y. Shah 

Associate Professors: S. Anderson (Director of Graduate Studies), Y. Huang, J. Novick (Co-Director of the Departmental Honors Program, Director of Undergraduate Studies)  

Assistant Professors: E. Hoover, J. Ortiz, D. Powell, R. Romeo

Associate Clinical Professors: K. Dow-Burger, E. Mont (Director of the M.A. Program in Speech-Language Pathology), N. Nguyen (Director of Clinical Education in Audiology), K. Slawson (Adult Outside Placement Coordinator, Director of Clinical Education in Speech-Language Pathology)

Assistant Clinical Professors: L. Curry, J. Ortiz (Director of LEAP Program), C. Overton (Director of LEAP Program), L. Rickard, C. Shields, S. Sohns, E. Thompson, A. Webb, J. Wertz 

Senior Lecturer: T. O'Brien 

Research Scientist: M. Fourakis

Academic Advisor: S. Grissom

Professors Emeriti: M. McCabe, F. Roth, V. Sisskin, B. Sonies, C. Worthington, G. Yeni-Komshian 

The coursework in Hearing and Speech Sciences requires careful sequencing. Material learned in early courses provides the foundation for later courses and some required courses are only offered during certain semesters. For this reason, advising for HESP majors and minors is MANDATORY. This means that each student must meet with the department academic advisor each semester prior to registering for classes. Students will be notified by e-mail of their registration date or they may check their registration status by going to Testudo and clicking on “Appointment and Registration Status.” Students should schedule an advising meeting no sooner than two weeks prior to their registration date, as this prevents students from having to return for another appointment due to closed classes. Advising appointments may be made by going to http://hespadvisingcalendar.umd.edu. Advising in the HESP major is crucial, especially for students who are changing into the major late in their academic careers or transferring from a community college. It is important to note that these students may not be able to complete the major in four years. Advising is always available to students regarding academic and major choices, career planning, and/or academic concerns. 

Undergraduate Research Experience

Undergraduate research experience is invaluable for students in the Hearing and Speech Sciences major. Direct interaction with a faculty member and participation in a research lab enhances the undergraduate educational experience and also serves as an important part of a graduate school application. Students are encouraged to become involved by exploring research topics listed by faculty members on the HESP website. Students may work with faculty members on a one-to-one basis as a volunteer research assistant or receive credit for their experience. The number of credits that a student may earn is determined by the faculty researcher. Typically the student is expected to work three hours for each credit earned in a semester. Unless the student is involved in true independent research, they should enroll in HESP499 with the Pass/Fail grade option. Please note that individual professors may have special requirements for participation in their research program. Students will need to contact the professor that they wish to work with before enrolling in HESP499. Once a student has obtained permission from the faculty member, they should contact the academic advisor who will give them the faculty member's section number and remove the registration block so that they can register. The university limit for 499 credits is six.


Internships (even if they are not directly related to Hearing and Speech) are an excellent way to obtain experience in the workplace. Although internships are not a requirement of the HESP curriculum, students are encouraged to explore related experiences through the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Internship program. Information about these opportunities can be found on the BSOS website.

The HESP Honors Program

The objective of the HESP Honors program is to encourage and recognize superior academic achievement and scholarship by providing opportunities for interested, capable, and energetic undergraduates to engage in independent study. A research project will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor and will result in an Honors thesis. Additional information as well as eligibility and application requirements, can be found on the HESP website.

Hearing and Speech in the Evening (HESPIE)

This program provides the pre-requisite coursework needed to apply to most hearing and speech sciences graduate programs. With HESPIE, you’ll acquire the knowledge of basic communication processes, as well as an understanding of speech, language, and hearing disorders and differences—including etiologies, characteristics, prevention, assessment, and intervention. HESPIE is a 15-month, eight-course, non-degree, post-baccalaureate program that provides a strong background for graduate training in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and in Hearing, Language, or Speech Sciences. The program is offered in two learning options: in-person or 100% online. Please contact hespie@umd.edu for more information or visit the HESPIE website.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

There are two organizations that hearing and speech science majors are invited to join. They are the University of Maryland's Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA). Both organizations are involved in fund raising, sponsoring educational speakers and participating in community service activities. Students can obtain leadership skills by serving as an officer in either organization. 

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. Although there is no financial support for undergraduates provided by the department, there is an endowed scholarship that students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in Audiology, may apply for in their junior year. See information about the Karin E. Young Award.  

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences offers students numerous opportunities to interact with faculty in teaching, research and clinical experiences. Faculty welcome the participation of undergraduates in their research laboratories. The Hearing and Speech Clinic as well as the Language Learning Early Advantage Program (LEAP preschool) in Lefrak Hall provide students the opportunity to see the interaction between clinical and research efforts.