About Our Department

Message from our Department Head

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Pelagie Beeson, Department Head
Photo by Grad Images Pelagie Beeson, Department Head

It has been more than 80 years since the first University of Arizona Speech Clinic was established. We became a department in 1971, and the University of Arizona quickly emerged as a national leader in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and the sciences that support these clinical professions. We are part of the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior in the College of Science where the opportunity for interdisciplinary coursework and research provides a rich experience for undergraduate and graduate students.

Our faculty has a long tradition of leadership at the national and university level, reflected by many honors and awards

Since 2002, the department has bestowed the Distinguished Alumnus Award to individuals who have made a difference in the science and the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology. Recipients graduated with a BS, MS or PhD at least 5 years prior to their nomination, and have demonstrated sustained and active participation in the profession. 

Our Vision

Our vision is to be a premier university program in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, providing international leadership in research, excellence in education and clinical training, and service that advances the field and improves the lives of individuals with communication disorders.

Our Mission

The mission of the Department is to contribute to the scientific study of human communication and its disorders, to educate students regarding the relevant knowledge and skills necessary for clinical and research endeavors in the field, and to provide service to the university, community, state, and beyond. 


  • To house an integrated collection of research laboratories that achieve excellence in basic and translational research in communication sciences and disorders
    • To advance foundational understanding of speech, language, and hearing
    • To provide empirical evidence to guide the best clinical practices in audiology and speech-language pathology


  • To promote academic excellence in the classroom and in independent learning opportunities
    • To promote critical thinking, writing skills, and problem-solving abilities
    • To provide high quality education in speech, language, and hearing sciences
    • To educate a diverse cohort of undergraduate students that will be prepared to contribute to society as educated citizens, and to pursue advanced degrees in audiology, speech-language pathology, speech, language, and hearing sciences, or related fields
  • To complement classroom learning with exceptional clinical and research experiences in order to
    • Train highly qualified audiologists and speech-language pathologists who are well-grounded in principles of evidence-based practice
    • Prepare the next generation of scientists who establish productive research careers that further advance knowledge in our professions

Outreach and Social Impact

  • To fulfill the University's land grant mission by serving as a national resource for professionals and the public regarding human communication and communication disorders
    • To provide high quality continuing education for professionals
    • To educate the public regarding the science and clinical aspects of human communication and its disorders
    • To inform public policy relative to communication disorders
  • To advance the quality and accessibility of clinical services in local, national, and international contexts

The Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination -- in the classroom, the clinical setting, and the workplace.  The University of Arizona Office of Institutional Equity provides education and support for these efforts.

The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University prohibits discrimination in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information and is committed to maintaining an environment free from sexual harassment and retaliation.