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Joint doctoral program between San Diego State University and the University of California San Diego

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Professional Doctorate in Audiology (AuD)

A professional doctorate in audiology (AuD) is offered jointly by San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego). The joint doctoral program in audiology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. The AuD program is a four-year graduate degree program designed for individuals who intend to specialize in clinical practice and to meet professional standards requiring a clinical doctorate as the entry-level degree for a licensed and ASHA-certified audiologist. Graduates of this program will have the knowledge base, research exposure, and advanced clinical skills to enter the workforce in any setting and will be prepared to function as independent audiology professionals in the expanding health-care arena. The program encompasses academic, clinic, and research experiences in audiology and otology, through the combined resources from the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at SDSU and the Department of Surgery (Division of Otolaryngology) in the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. An AuD provides the essential education, technical training, research, and creative experience necessary for professional activity, college-level teaching, and precepting. Faculty members of the cooperating institutions teach courses, provide clinic instruction and research experiences, and are available as members of joint doctoral committees and advisers for student doctoral projects.


Students will apply to the AuD joint doctoral program through SDSU. It is expected that students will come into this program from a variety of different science backgrounds, including speech, language, and hearing sciences, biological and physical sciences, engineering, psychology, nursing, or a premed curriculum. Applicants for admission to the AuD program must meet the general requirements for admission to both universities with classified graduate standing as outlined in the respective catalogs. Applicants must also meet the special requirements of this program. These include (a) submission of scores on the GRE; and (b) prerequisite completion of at least one course in statistics, one course in biological sciences, one course in physical sciences, and one additional course in biological or physical sciences, one course in behavioral/social sciences, and one course in American Sign Language. Course work to remove deficiencies in these areas may be completed before advancement to candidacy.

Applicants must submit transcripts of all post-secondary course work, three letters of recommendation from former or current professors, supervisors, or other appropriate persons able to judge their academic potential, and an applicant essay (statement of purpose) indicating their interests and strengths relative to their career objectives. Details of these requirements are available on the SDSU website. Assuming that the requirements for admission outlined above have been met, each student admitted to the program will have a program adviser evaluate their preparation, career goals, and professional certification requirements.

Applicant files are reviewed as a group by an admissions committee composed of AuD program faculty from each campus. Other AuD program faculty may review files and make recommendations to the admissions committee. Given the limited number of spaces available (ten to twelve new admissions each year are anticipated, subject to available facilities), the admissions committee will select the best-qualified applicants to fill the available spaces. No minimum set of qualifications will guarantee an applicant admission to the program. The admissions committee will make recommendations for admission to the graduate deans from each campus.


Students seeking admission to the AuD program should consult the SDSU website for instructions and deadlines for applying. For additional information, write directly to the SDSU AuD Program Director, School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-1518.

Students will be admitted to the AuD program only in the fall semester (first year is at SDSU). Applicants must complete two online applications (Cal State Apply and the program’s application) by the deadline posted on the SDSU AuD website ( to be considered for the program beginning the following fall semester. International students should submit materials at least two weeks earlier than other applicants.

Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application available at along with the application fee by the deadline provided on the school’s website (typically by December 15) at Indicate Audiology (AuD) as your major/program objective. Indicate Doctorate as the degree objective. Students must also electronically submit the program’s online application by the posted deadline. See the website for other required application materials.

Details of the admission process can be found on the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences website at All applicants must submit admissions material separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and to the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, as described below. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Graduate Admissions

The following material should be submitted as a complete package directly to

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

  1. Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended.
    • Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance.
    • Students with international course work must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  2. GRE scores:, SDSU institution code 4682.
  3. English language score, if medium of instruction was in a language other than English:, SDSU institution code 4682.
School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

The following admissions material should be submitted electronically via the Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS) at, by January 12:

  1. Essay
  2. Curriculum vitae or resume
  3. Transcripts (Official transcripts must be mailed to CSDCAS Verification Department, P.O. Box 9113, Waterton, MA 02471)
  4. Letters of recommendation (Applicants must provide names and email addresses for recommenders. Recommenders will be sent an email to complete the letters of recommendation electronically.)

For information regarding the admission process, visit the program website at

Once the above requirements have been satisfied, the Cal State Apply application is complete, and all transcripts and test scores have been submitted to enrollment services, the applicant’s file is considered complete and eligible for review by the school’s admissions review committee. Admission to a graduate program is guided by careful consideration of all the above materials. Applicants whose files are incomplete will not be eligible for admission to classified graduate standing. The number of new admissions is restricted and is determined by space availability; therefore, admission is based on consideration of all application materials and the relative merits of individual applicants among all eligible applicants.

Post Master’s Degree Admissions: Students admitted to the AuD program with a master’s degree in audiology will be expected to complete the four-year AuD curriculum. However, some students may have had a master’s preparation in audiology in which some of the course work was similar to some of the foundation courses in the AuD program. Upon entering the program, each individual will be assessed to determine competencies/knowledge in material that would put them on par with expectations for the AuD program. For some of the foundation core courses offered the first year at SDSU, (e.g., Audiology 705, 710, 725), students may be given credit for the courses or be required to substitute a Doctoral Special Study (Audiology 798) course for one or more of these courses to ensure competencies or remediate deficiencies if approved by the program faculty. Credit for some of the first year clinic units may also be approved based on work experience; however, a full complement of expected clinical skills must be demonstrated.

Specific Requirements for the AuD

Upon admission to the program, each student will be assigned a faculty adviser. The faculty adviser will help the student select a program of study to meet all program requirements. The AuD program is a four-year program, including summer semesters. An exact unit minimum is not specified due to the mixing of semester units (SDSU) and quarter units (UC San Diego) and differences in clinical hours at different settings; however, the program is approximately 140 semester-equivalent course units. All students in the AuD program will fulfill the following requirements. Any alternative method of fulfilling these requirements requires advanced written permission from the program directors.

Policy on English Competency for Students in the SDSU/UC San Diego AuD Joint Doctoral Program

The academic and clinical components of the AuD program are based on proficiency (understanding and use) of English, in oral and written forms. Students enrolling in the SDSU/UC San Diego joint AuD program must satisfy the English proficiency requirements of both universities.

For admission to the joint AuD program, students applying from an international institution must submit one of the following as proof of English proficiency: (1) TOEFL; (2) IELTS; or (3) transcripts indicating that the student has studied full time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution where English is the language of instruction and in a country where English is the dominant language. Proficiency examinations must have been taken within the past two years. Students must meet the minimum TOEFL or IELTS test standards for both SDSU and UC San Diego.

Residency Requirements

After formal admission to the AuD program, the student must complete a minimum of course hours that is equivalent to one year’s full-time enrollment at each campus. The definition of residence must be in accord with the regulations of San Diego State University and UC San Diego. The program is designed to be shared between the two campuses. The first year is entirely at SDSU, the second year is entirely at UC San Diego, and the third year is primarily at SDSU but should include some options at UC San Diego. The fourth year of the program will be a full-time clinical externship at a program-approved clinic agency/site. Both campuses will share equally in the academic, clinic, and research components of the program.

Course Requirements

The program for each student will consist of fourteen core courses, half of which are to be taken at each campus, and fourteen elective courses, with a minimum of four to be taken at each campus. The student’s faculty adviser must approve all courses.

A student who earns less than a 3.0 grade point average in academic and/or clinical course work in any given term will be placed on academic probation for the next term. If, at the end of the probationary term, the student fails to achieve a 3.0 grade point average in academic and/or clinical course work, the student will be subject to disqualification from the program. See the AuD student handbook on the program’s website regarding performance and disqualification policies.

Clinic Requirements

Each student will progress through a variety of clinical experiences involving patient assessment and management throughout their program of study. Clinic experiences will require concurrent enrollment in clinic courses appropriate for the campus in which they are doing the clinical work. These precepted clinical experiences are completed in the SDSU Audiology Clinic, UC San Diego Otology/Audiology Clinic, and in community field sites. Clinic courses require adviser approval prior to enrollment. Students must maintain an average grade of B or better to pass clinic courses. Students are assessed across clinical skill categories to include advocacy/consultation, assessment, education/research/administration, foundations of practice, intervention, prevention and identification, and professional skills. Prior to the fourth-year externship, each student will obtain approximately seven hundred hours of clinic experience.

  • Preceptorship in Otology. All students will have at least one quarter of a clinical rotation with otology staff associated with UC San Diego. Students will accompany otology faculty during their clinics and surgeries, and receive training in one or more of the following areas: clinical otology, pre- and postoperative assessment of patients, pharmacology related to otology, and design and implementation of clinical trials with balance disorders.
  • Clinical Staffings. In addition, all students will be required to regularly participate in formal clinical case study/staffing experiences. At SDSU, these clinical staffings include student and faculty presentations and discussions of interesting cases seen in their clinics. At UC San Diego, these staffings may include the Chairman’s Conference and Grand Rounds, where AuD students/residents and medical staff discuss otological problem cases and disorders, and the Neurotology Conference, where UC San Diego and community physicians, and students/residents discuss cases dealing with neurological diseases and vestibular disorders.
  • Fourth-Year Externship. The fourth-year externship is a full-time clinical experience in an approved agency/site. These externships may require a competitive interview process by the agency. Externship sites may be in other parts of the country. All students in their fourth-year externship must also enroll in the online clinical seminar at SDSU each semester.

All students in the program will be evaluated at the following levels:

  • First-Year Evaluation. Students must have achieved a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for core and elective courses during the first year and have appropriate clinical skills. The student’s ability to integrate the academic material and clinic procedures appropriate for the end of the first year will be assessed through a first-year qualifying exam. The first-year qualifying exam may be repeated once following additional directed study by the student’s adviser. Students must pass the first-year evaluation in order to enroll in second-year courses.
  • Second-Year Evaluation. Students must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for core and elective courses and have appropriate clinical skills. The student’s ability to integrate the academic and clinic procedures appropriate for the end of the second year will be assessed through a second-year qualifying examination. The second-year qualifying examination may be repeated once following additional directed study by the student’s adviser. Students must pass the second-year evaluation in order to enroll in third-year courses.
  • Third-Year Examination. At the end of the third year, and after advancement to candidacy (see below), the student will take a comprehensive examination that covers broad professional content. Students may not enroll in externship until passing the examination.
Advancement to Candidacy

Candidates will be recommended for advancement to candidacy after successfully completing all prerequisite course requirements, all course and clinic requirements for Year 1 and Year 2 (with a minimum grade point average of 3.0), satisfactory performance on the first- and second-year evaluations, and approval of the doctoral project proposal. Students cannot enroll in the doctoral project course, take the comprehensive examination, or register for their externship until advanced to candidacy. The program’s executive committee recommends students eligible for advancement to candidacy to the graduate deans of both institutions.

Doctoral Project

Each student will complete a data-based doctoral project. Students will select a doctoral project committee comprised of two AuD program faculty (one from each campus) and at least one additional tenured faculty member from either campus external to the program. The chair of the committee can be from either campus. The executive committee will approve each student’s doctoral project committee. All doctoral projects will be written in a format approved by the student’s doctoral project committee. The student’s final written document will be approved by the student’s doctoral project committee and presented in a forum open to all faculty and students. Each student will enroll in two sections of the appropriate doctoral project course depending on the campus in which their committee chair resides. Students enrolling in AUD 299 at UC San Diego must also enroll at SDSU in a program course or three units of AUD 897.

Award of the Degree

The doctor of audiology (AuD) will be awarded jointly by the Regents of the University of California and the Trustees of the California State University in the names of both cooperating institutions.

Financial Support

Funding for graduate students cannot be guaranteed, although every effort will be made to provide some financial support for as many students as possible through graduate/teaching assistantships, research grants, clinical traineeships, and/or scholarships. Financial support will be awarded consistent with the policies of the two universities. Tuition and fees will be charged in accordance with the extant policies at the campus in which the student is matriculated in a given year.