Message from the Chair

Richard Folsom, PhD, ChairThank you for visiting the webpage of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington. Whether you are a prospective student, an alumnus, a client or a colleague, we are pleased that you are taking a closer look at our department.

Our department’s mission is to use our unique strengths in basic and clinical sciences to promote excellence in education, research and clinical service delivery to those with communication disorders. To carry out this mission our department has 18 professors and an additional 7 adjunct professors from various UW departments including otolaryngology, psychology, linguistics, engineering, and special education. The Department’s professorial faculty is responsible for $14.5 million in grant dollars that supports ongoing laboratory research and graduate student funding. The Department also has $1.3 million training grant from the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders that supports both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees in our field.

There are many opportunities within our department for all levels of study. With two undergraduate and four graduate degrees, we enroll approximately 280 students annually (120 undergraduate / 160 graduate).

  • We have outstanding undergraduate baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degree programs that offer courses in the basic sciences and clinical foundations, with numerous possibilities for research experience at the undergraduate level.
      
  • Our two clinical master’s programs in speech-language pathology and our clinical doctorate program in audiology are both ranked in the top-5 nationally. They provide students with a broad and deep clinical experience within our UW Speech and Hearing Clinic as well as in a wide array of clinical placements in the community.
     
  • Our Ph.D. program is one of the largest in the U.S. and is mentored by an outstanding professorial faculty. The Ph.D. program is well supported by NIH training grants, individual faculty grants and departmental stipends.

The Department has a large, busy non-profit Speech and Hearing Clinic. Our clinic is a center of excellence in education, research, and clinical practice serving speech, language and hearing needs within the University and the community. Serving our mission are 20 clinical faculty who supervise and carry out our clinical education program in all aspects of speech-language pathology and audiology. We also have many dedicated clinical supervisors and affiliates in the community who support our clinical education program and help our clinical students to become independent practitioners. Our clinic has over 4,000 clinic visits each year by people of all ages and provides a solid foundation for the clinical education of 120 graduate students at various levels of study.

Along with our successes we face new challenges. Many people are surprised to learn that in 1970, public funds met 40% of our budget needs as a university – today this figure is down to 14%, and the trend seems set to continue. We call on our alumni and friends to make a difference. We cannot maintain excellence without your time, talent, and financial support. You can support our mission by contributing to an established endowment or by donating to support an activity of importance to you.

We hope you will find this website informative and helpful. We invite you to explore our programs of study, our research and our clinic. We welcome visits to our campus and our department. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you and welcome!

Professor Richard C. Folsom
Department Chair