The Doctor of Audiology degree is a first-professional degree and is similar to the LLD, MD, JD, DDS, and Pharm D degrees. The University of Nebraska distinguishes between first-professional degrees and graduate degrees as follows:

A post-baccalaureate degree which is the first or minimum degree offered by the University of Nebraska that qualifies a person to stand for licensure in one of the recognized professions, and which is pursued, for all intents and purposes, exclusively by persons intending to seek licensure in that profession, is regarded as a first-professional degree. Any other post-baccalaureate degree is regarded as a graduate degree.

A position statement from the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors on professional doctoral degrees suggests that there are certain demonstrable end points of doctoral study that should characterize any professional doctorate:

  • A level of professional practice appropriate to the stated purpose of the degree.
  • Utilization of current research related to the profession. Ideally, for advanced practice doctorates, an expected and demonstrated level of scholarship contributing to the advancement of the profession.
  • Demonstrated understanding and support of the work of other professionals and the contributions they make to society, including the demonstrated ability to work in both an interdisciplinary and interprofessional manner.
  • Demonstrated advanced level of communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and address population-based issues affecting the health and well-being of society.

The Au.D. program prepares students to become skilled and experienced Audiologists, trained in the areas of diagnostic and rehabilitative Audiology. The Au.D. Program provides opportunities for students to build on knowledge, leadership skills, problem-solving strategies, and professional and ethical issues in Audiology. The Knowledge and Skills needed by Audiologists, as outlined in Standard IV, can be found on the ASHA website. The ASHA Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) also maintains its academic standards for accreditation in Standard 3.0A: Curriculum (Academic and Clinical Education) in Audiology.

Completion of the Au.D. Program requires four years of academic and clinical work. The curriculum includes study in areas such as applied audiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, psychoacoustics, speech perception, electrophysiology, pediatric audiology, hearing conservation, aural rehabilitation, clinical instrumentation, hearing aid fitting/selection technology, implantable devices, counseling, vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, multicultural, ethical and legal business issues, and research procedures. Extensive clinical experiences are offered in the above areas of instruction. The program at UNL requires students to complete a Master's Degree along the way to the doctorate.

Clinical Hours Required. Au.D. students will gain clinical experiences within the Department's clinics, as well as clinical sites outside of the university. Off-campus sites include but are not limited to otolaryngology private practices, V.A. hospitals, children's hospitals, speech and hearing clinics, schools, private practice and rehabilitation clinics.

ASHA requirements for the Au.D. and eligibility for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) include completion of a minimum of 75 credit hours, and 1820 clinical hours (including a minimum of 52 weeks externship at 32 hours/week), and demonstration of the ASHA-specified knowledge and skills. Note that the externship MUST be 12 months in duration even though the student may have met the minimum hour requirement before the externship is finished. An exception to this policy may apply to students who are in an Au.D./Ph.D. track. These students may elect to complete a longer, part-time externship experience. Au.D. graduates will be eligible for the CCC-A and state licensure in Audiology.

The following requirements must be met prior to initiating the fourth year full-time clinical externship:

  1. Attain a passing grade in all first-, second-, and third-year coursework.
  2. Pass the Praxis Examination in Audiology by the end of the third year. A Praxis Study Companion is available at www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5342.pdf. This document provides information about areas that will be covered on the exam, sample questions, and study tips.
  3. Attain a passing grade on the Oral Comprehensive Clinical Examination during the Fall semester of the third year.
  4. Complete all clinical competencies, and
  5. Successfully present Capstone Project at the end of the third year.

Full-Time Status. Au.D. students requiring certification as full-time students must be enrolled for at least 9 credit hours during an academic semester (Fall or Spring), or at least 6 hours during the Summer sessions, whether or not the student holds a graduate assistantship. Students enrolled in 897T Externship who are registered for fewer than the minimum hours required for full-time status may be granted full-time status provided they are not employed outside of their externship. Students may apply for full-time status during their externship year through the UNL Office of Graduate Studies.