How to Become an Audiologist

How to Become an Audiologist

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

Students who wish to become audiologists are recommended to major in communication sciences and disorders in college. While no specific major is required, it is suggested to stay in the sciences as candidates may otherwise be required to fulfill additional prerequisites when applying for graduate school.

Common areas of study include:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

Some colleges offers students specific programs intended to prepare them for post-baccalaureate studies in Audiology. Check with the schools your interested in for further information.

The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:

Grade Level Example Courses
  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • College Algebra & Statistics
  • Introduction to Kinesiology
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Statistics
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Applied Kinesiology
  • Athletic Care & Prevention
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Nutrition for Atheletes
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Lower Body Injury Evaluation
  • Athletic Training Clinical I & II
  • Exercise Testing
  • Upper Body Injury Evaluation
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Health in the US
  • Health Education & Planning
  • Healthcare Management
  • Health Policy
  • Capstone
  • Remaining Requirements & Electives

2. Take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant's knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills.

The MCAT is divided into four sections:

Section Section Breakdown
Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry
Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics
Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology
Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills
  • 52 multiple-choice questions
  • 90 minutes
  • Tess reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences

You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the MCAT website. If you are unsatisfied with your score on any of the aforementioned exams, you are free to retake them. Depending on the school, some will average your scores and others will simply take your most recent.

3. Earn a Doctor of Audiology Degree (Au.D.) (4 - 7 Years)

Prior to 2012, only a master's degree was required to practice in the field. Today, however, Audiologists are required to secure a doctoral degree from an accredited program offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Council on Academic Accreditation.

Depending on the program's intensiveness and research requirements, the time to complete an Au.D. program may vary. In order to become certified by the ASHA, prospective audiologists must complete at least 1,820 supervised clinical practice hours, which are usually fulfilled throughout a doctoral program.

The preparation timeline below outlines example courses:

Year Courses
  • Hearing Science
  • Instrumentation
  • Auditory Dysfunction Assessment
  • Pediatric Assessment
  • Rehabilitative Audiology
  • Hearing Aides
  • Geriatric Audiology
  • Electrophysiological Assessment Clinic
  • Balance Assessment
  • Medical Audiology
  • Otoacoustic Emissions
  • Hearing Development
  • Pediatric Amplification
  • Research Methods
  • Electrophysiological Assessment II
  • Hearing Aide Repair
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Statistics
  • Hearing Impaired Children Management
  • Seminar
  • Capstone Clinic
  • Speech & Hearing Issues
  • Counseling
  • Hearing Conversation
  • Hearing Development
  • Advanced Amplification
  • Seminar
  • Capstone Clinic
  • Externship
  • Full-time Clinical

4. Earn a License or Certification

Audiologists currently must be licensed or certified in all 50 states. To gain licensing they must take the Praxis exam for Audiology and score at least a 170 out of 200, with the exam's scale at 100 - 200. Students should look to complete the exam during their final years of their PhD program as much of it largely depends on the student's ability to make clinical decisions.

The Praxis Audiology exam is broken into the following topics:

  1. Foundations (10%)
  2. Prevention & Identification (10%)
  3. Assessment (40%)
  4. Intervention (30%)
  5. Professional Issues (10%)

Praxis Exam for Audiology Study Companion

5. Maintain License or Certification

In order to maintain their licenses, Audiologists must also complete 10 - 30 hours of continuing education units per year (CEUs), varying state to state.