Linguistics and the Speech and Hearing Sciences
Linguistics explores how natural languages are learned, understood, represented, and used by humans. The focus of Speech and Hearing Sciences is on how to prevent, diagnose, and treat speech, language, and communication disorders. A degree in Linguistics at Rutgers University – New Brunswick serve as an excellent foundation to the study of language and speech disorders, because the research opportunities, familiarization with core linguistic theory, and related coursework in the speech and hearing sciences help to prepare students for diverse graduate and career opportunities.
Careers in the Speech and Hearing Sciences may include clinical practice, research, or education in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) focus on speech, language, and swallowing disorders, including disorders of voice, fluency, social communication, and cognitive communication. Audiologists focus on auditory and balance disorders. Employment settings for clinical practice include K-12 schools, hospitals, or private practice. A Masters degree for SLPs or the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) for audiologists is required for clinical practice. Many students pursue a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences, allowing them to conduct important research in this area and take on future leadership roles in the field. SLPs and Audiologists with a Ph.D. conduct research or teach at colleges or universities. Some also maintain a clinical practice. Students interested in participating in independent research while at Rutgers may wish to apply for opportunities through the Aresty Program and McNair Program. Priority is typically given to students in their first or second year; it can be very challenging to find research opportunities as a rising senior.
For more information about Speech and Hearing Sciences, please visit
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- Information for undergraduates
- Planning your graduate education
For more information about funding for Speech and Hearing graduate programs, please visit
Advisor for Speech and Hearing
Please contact Prof. Crystal Akers (cakers (at) rutgers.edu) to learn more about the career paths in the Speech and Hearing Sciences, recommended coursework, or preparing for graduate school. Prof. Akers is the Online Coordinator for Linguistics and the faculty advisor to the Rutgers Speech and Hearing Club.
Courses for Speech and Hearing Science
Students interested in applying to a Masters, Au.D., or Ph.D. graduate program in Speech and Hearing Sciences are strongly recommended to take the following courses while at Rutgers:
- 01:615:391 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism (online)
- 01:615:392 Introduction to Communication Disorders (online)
- 01:615:393 Audiology (online)
- 01:615:451 Phonetics
The courses above can be used to partially fulfill the requirements for the Major / Minor in Linguistics or the Certificate in Speech and Hearing Sciences in Linguistics. The above courses are not restricted to students interested in Speech and Hearing, and students are not required to complete the Certificate in order to take courses related to Speech and Hearing at Rutgers.
Please note that because graduate programs differ in their required prerequisites, students are encouraged to contact specific graduate programs directly with any questions about these requirements and the application process.
Certificate in Speech and Hearing Sciences in Linguistics
The Certificate in Speech and Hearing Sciences in Linguistics provides guidance and coursework for undergraduate majors in Linguistics preparing to pursue graduate study in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. Students who complete the certificate will supplement a strong foundation in modern linguistic theory with coursework required for graduate study in the speech and hearing sciences. Additionally, students will complete a portfolio of professional experiences related to linguistics and the speech and hearing sciences.
For more information, please visit the Certificate webpage.
Rutgers Speech and Hearing Club
The Rutgers Speech and Hearing Club is an active organization for students interested in pursuing careers in the speech and hearing sciences. The Club is a chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, which is recognized by the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
The Rutgers Speech and Hearing Club meets regularly. The club organizes guest speakers representing different career paths in the Speech and Hearing Sciences, as well as other events, such as attending graduate school open houses or volunteering.