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Specialty Track in Audiology

The majority of students pursuing the Au.D. degree will graduate with a broad-based understanding of clinical and rehabilitative audiology. In addition to this, the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences offers interested students the opportunity to pursue either of two audiology specialties. These “specialty tracks” provide students with a curriculum designed to augment their base training either in pediatric audiology or vestibular sciences. Specialty track students will be expected to participate in a Maymester experience. The Maymester that is offered during the spring of the third year provides a unique opportunity for a three-week intensive practicum at one of many sites in the United States.


Early Identification and Management of Children with Hearing Loss

This program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Training grant entitled “Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation to Serve Infants and Young Children with Hearing Loss”. Students enrolled in this Specialty Track will have additional coursework and practicum experience that will prepare them to work with infants and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This interdisciplinary approach to training – by combining core courses with speech-language pathology, audiology, and deaf education students, while continuing separate courses that are specific to their disciplines – is unique to our Vanderbilt program. For additional information, please contact Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe ( Au.D. HL Specialty Track Curriculum Flyer


Vestibular Sciences

Students who decide to follow this specialty track will, at graduation, possess specialized skills in the assessment of the peripheral and central vestibular system (i.e. vestibulo-ocular reflex, vestibulo-spinal and vestibulo-collic reflexes). Additionally, graduates will understand what rehabilitative options are available to patients with either unilateral or bilateral vestibular system impairments. Coursework will include three (3) formal courses in vestibular sciences. Specialty track students will have priority for practicum experiences in the Balance Disorders Clinic that assesses ~1400 patients/year. It is our intention for Specialty Track students to be offered the opportunity to have a concentrated clinical “Maymester” experience at a clinical site separate from Vanderbilt University. Finally, it will be expected that the Capstone project conducted by the Specialty Track student will be in a vestibular system/balance topic area.

For additional information, contact Dr. Gary Jacobson, (, Director, Specialty Track in Vestibular Sciences.