Doctor of Audiology

San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) offer a joint doctoral program (AuD) in Audiology. The AuD Joint Doctoral Program includes faculty from the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services at SDSU, and from the Division of Surgery (Otolaryngology) in the School of Medicine at UCSD. The joint doctoral program in audiology is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

The AuD program is a four-year graduate degree program designed for individuals who intend to specialize in clinical practice and to meet current professional standards requiring a clinical doctorate as the entry-level degree for a certified/licensed audiologist. 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 pre-med curriculum.  For more details, see the AuD Student Handbook (pdf).

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The Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) education program (residential) at San Diego State University and University of California-San Diego is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071, 301-296-5700.

The SLHS mission statement encompasses all programs in the School.

The professional programs of the School are designed to prepare individuals to serve the communication needs of children and adults from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds; to meet state credential and licensure requirements in each of the areas of specialization; to meet the highest professional standards and criteria set by accrediting bodies; and to prepare graduates to serve in a variety of interdisciplinary setting as clinicians, consultants, educators, resource and program specialist, researchers, and speech and hearing scientists.

The Mission of the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Audiology is to train students, contribute research and serve the community to promote well-being and to empower individuals to reach their potential.  We believe that communication is a human right and strive to ensure that our work is based on evidence and centered on the people we serve. (revised September 2023)

The Vision of the JDP in Audiology is to prepare reflective learners that will serve diverse, changing communities and promote well-being related to hearing and balance.

  1. To provide graduate education culminating in a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree and to prepare students to meet the current professional standards for clinical certification and licensure.
  2. To utilize multidisciplinary faculty to provide an educational framework of patient-centered, culturally competent, interprofessional practice for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. 
  3. To provide students with a wide range of clinical experiences with culturally and linguistically diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  4. To provide integrative learning experiences that foster the development of clinical decision-making skills. 
  5. To provide research experiences that will enable graduates to apply principles of evidence-based practice and to contribute to ongoing advances in the field. 
  6. To provide academic and clinical experiences that will foster a life-long commitment to professional development.
  1. To provide graduate education culminating in a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree and to prepare students to meet the current professional standards for clinical certification and licensure.
  2. To utilize multidisciplinary faculty to provide an educational framework of patient-centered, culturally competent, interprofessional practice for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. 
  3. To provide students with a wide range of clinical experiences with culturally and linguistically diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  4. To provide integrative learning experiences that foster the development of clinical decision-making skills. 
  5. To provide research experiences that will enable graduates to apply principles of evidence-based practice and to contribute to ongoing advances in the field. 
  6. To provide academic and clinical experiences that will foster a life-long commitment to professional development.

The target enrollment for the AuD program is 11 students per year. Students must be enrolled full-time (12-15 units/semester) for four years (including some summer enrollment). Students will complete about 134 semester units, over 11-12 academic terms. The begins in Fall term, and graduation occurs spring or summer of 4th year depending on when the externship ends. Students participate in the graduation ceremony in May.

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 Joint SDSU/UCSD Doctor of Audiology 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
  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.

Scores must be from within the past two years.

English Language Proficiency Requirements for SDSU and UCSD:

The program is comprised of the following six components (see the AuD Student Handbook (pdf) for details).

  • Academic Component
    (required didactic courses: Years 1 and 3 at SDSU, Year 2 at UCSD)
  • Research Component
    (a research methods course, a research methods lab, and a doctoral research project)
  • Clinic Component
    (clinical staffing courses, clinical methods lab, supervised clinics at both campuses, and field work at community agencies; ~900 hours prior to the Clinical Externship)
  • Full-time Clinical Externship
    (A 12 month, full-time, clinic placement at an approved agency; at least 1850 hours of clinical experience)
  • Exams
    (First and Second Year Qualifying Exams; Third Year Exam)

Successful completion of the SDSU/UCSD program will allow students to meet the prerequisite requirements for licensure in the state of California. Although most externships are in California, occasionally students elect to complete the externship in another state. No determination has been made about whether the program meets the licensure requirements in states other than California.

Program Details

Entering Class Year (Fall Entry)
Total currently in Program: 39 2022 2021 2020 2019
Applied 91 114 81 95
Offered Admission 28 21 21 26
Entered Program 11 13 10 11
# Entered who Received GA/RA support 11 13 10 11
GPA of Attendees (mean) 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.7
GRE score (sum V+Q) NA NA 306 306
GRE score (Mean analytic) NA NA 4.0 4.5
GRE (average of V, Q, A tests) of Attendees (mean percentile) NA NA 56 62

Courses for the AuD Joint Doctoral Program are taken at both campuses. Years 1 and 3 at SDSU, Year 2 at UCSD, and Year 4 is a full-time externship at an approved clinical facility throughout California and other states. Check the current schedules maintained by each school’s registrars to help plan your curriculum.

The most current program requirements are available below:

During the four-year AuD Program, students receive intensive and broad-based clinical training in a variety of clinical settings. Students are exposed to a diverse group of clients across the life span who present with different ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, as well as multiple disabilities. Major emphasis is on learning state-of-the art techniques, grounded in evidence-based practice to meet the current challenges and standards in diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitative care of patients with auditory and vestibular disorders. Through the clinical practicum and externship experiences, students learn to apply the knowledge acquired from coursework to direct patient interactions, as well as develop additional skills and levels of clinical independence.

Students learn to:

  • Conduct and interpret behavioral, electroacoustic, and electrophysiological tests used to assess hearing, balance, and neural system function across the lifespan;
  • Perform otoscopic examinations for cerumen in order to evaluate its effects on hearing test results, hearing aid use, and/or making ear impressions, and to make appropriate referrals if needed;
  • Counsel  individuals with hearing loss and their families/caregivers regarding psychosocial adjustment to hearing loss;
  • Select, evaluate, fit, and facilitate adjustments to hearing aids and other assistive hearing devices for children and adults;
  • Verify hearing aid fittings and conduct outcomes measures using a combination of  self-reported questionnaires and objective measures;
  • Assess candidacy of clients with hearing loss for cochlear implants (CI), perform CI programming and implement audiologic rehabilitation strategies to optimize device use;
  • Apply aural rehabilitation and counseling techniques to facilitate adjustment to  sensory aids and to improve communication strategies;
  • Perform tinnitus evaluations and make appropriate recommendations regarding its treatment;
  • Identify possible auditory processing disorders and make appropriate referrals as needed;
  • Provide educational audiology services to school-age populations, including consultation on classroom acoustics, and use of FM systems and other assistive devices;
  • Develop professional skills related to the legal and ethical practice of audiology.

Clinical populations vary and may include patients with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorders, autism spectrum disorders, brain injury / stroke, cystic fibrosis, neuropathies, multiple sensory disorders, genetic syndrome, peripheral and central auditory and vestibular disorders.

Each clinical practicum experience is designed to be commensurate with the level of training. Students are only allowed to perform specific clinical tasks after successfully completing the relevant course preparation and/or a following a period of observation and demonstration by their preceptor. As the student progresses from one semester to another, the intensity of the clinical experiences and the demands of the setting develop into more challenging experiences with a greater degree of independence. The clinical portion of the AuD Program is designed to begin with 100% supervision (for at least the first two years) and progressively builds toward more independence. For all clinical experiences, however, there is a preceptor on-site readily available to provide direction and to approve clinical reports. All preceptors are aware of the need to be able to adjust the amount and quality of supervision based upon the demonstrated skills and experiences of each student. The Audiology Clinic Director monitors this process to ensure adequate supervision, based on feedback obtained from the student and the preceptors. Preceptoring by persons holding ASHA certification (CCC-A) is available for at least 1,820 hours of clinical practicum (the minimum number of hours required for CCC-A); however, some experiences, e.g., intra- operative monitoring, facial nerve monitoring, cerumen management, vestibular assessments, and some off-campus settings may be supervised by non-ASHA certified professionals and will not count towards ASHA certification.


Four Stages of Clinical Preparation:

Stage I (Year 1)  

Basic Level (100% direct supervision)

Students spend 4 hours per week in the SDSU Audiology Clinic, in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. During Stage I, students gain experience in basic diagnostics and hearing aid fittings with both adult and pediatric patients. Students learn; a) appropriate safety and infection control procedures, b) how to review patient charts/relevant information and obtain a case histories, c) diagnostic equipment operation and how to perform the basic audiometric tests, d) procedures including electroacoustic hearing aid checks, ear mold impressions, and hearing aid selections and fittings (including real-ear verification procedures), e) report writing, and f) recommendations (generally made by the preceptor) and g) billing and coding information. Students also attend a Clinical Cases Studies and Staffing Course (AUD 721) during fall and spring semesters, where they prepare for upcoming appointments and discuss some of their cases and clinic issues. In addition, students enroll in a Clinical Methods Lab in the fall and spring semesters in order to focus/hone their clinical skills. In addition, students enroll Clinical Methods Lab courses in which they gain additional experience with the administration of different clinical tests, procedures, and clinical strategies. Students increase their level of independence and efficiency across the three semesters. Students obtain approximately 90 clinical hours of experience.

Stage II (Year 2)

Intermediate Level (100% direct supervision). Students spend approximately 8 hours/week in an adult clinic at the UCSD School of Medicine’s Otolaryngology and Audiology Clinic (at the Perlman Center) during each academic-year quarter (fall, winter, spring). The foci in Year 2 are to gain experience with a wide variety of medical cases, review and notate medical charts, bill and code appropriately for services, and refine diagnostic techniques. Each student is assigned 4-hours/week with a preceptor in a one-on-one clinic session. This primarily includes hearing assessments and hearing aids (evaluations, fittings, follow ups and troubleshooting).  Tinnitus assessments/treatments, osseointegrated hearing implants, assistive listening devices, and cochlear implant evaluations/activations/mappings also occur in these rotations. In addition, students participate in 4 hours/week in a specialty clinic experience rotating through each of the three specialty clinics: balance assessment/evoked  potentials, ototoxic monitoring clinic, and otology preceptorship. In the balance clinic/evoked potential clinic, the students gain experience with videonystagmography, vestibular evoked myogenic potentials, auditory brainstem response testing, electrocochleography, and vestibular rehabilitation.  The ototoxic monitoring clinic for cystic fibrosis patients involves working in a team environment testing pure tone thresholds and optoacoustic emissions.  The otology preceptorship provides students opportunity to work with neurotologists in a typical otology clinic assessing and treating ear & balance disorders. As part of the otology preceptorship, students observe ear surgeries including ear implants, stapedectomy, canal and myringoplasties, acoustic nerve tumor removals. All students attend a Clinical Case Studies and Staffing Course (AUD 291) each quarter and may attend the Chairman’s Conference and the Neurotology Conference, whenever relevant cases are discussed among residents, staff, and community physicians. Throughout the year, student gain knowledge and experience in interprofessional education and collaboration. Students obtain approximately 225 hours of clinical experience.

Stage III (Year 3)

Intermediate Level (25-100% direct supervision). Beginning in the summer of Year 2 and continuing through May of the third year, qualified students are assigned to off-campus clinic sites, where they receive at least 25% supervision. Students spend 16-24 hours per week in off-campus agencies. Students become more independent in completing basic and advanced audiometric assessments and hearing aid fittings, and develop more skills in areas such as cochlear implants, pediatrics, electrophysiological assessment, and vestibular assessments. Students obtain approximately 600 hours of clinical experience during Stage III. In addition, at the end of Year 2 (during the summer), students take a preceptor training course and participate in a preceptor-in-training experience with year-one students and preceptors in the SDSU Audiology Clinic.

Stage IV (Year 4 Externship)

Advanced Level (5-50% direct supervision may be typical). The amount of direct supervision can be adjusted based on demonstrated competencies and progress in different areas of practice. Students compete for a full- time clinical placement (Clinical Externship) for 12 months at a variety of sites associated with the program or at an approved site selected by the student with approval by the Audiology Clinic Director. Students are expected to gain full independence and confidence in a wide variety of clinical skills by the end of the externship. All students participate in an online Integrative Seminar (AUD 891) in fall and spring semesters, where interesting cases and clinical issues are discussed. Students must obtain a minimum of 1850 hours of clinical experience during their 12 month externship.

Examples of off-campus placements and externships

  • Rady Children’s Hospital
  • California Hearing and Balance
  • VA Medical Center, San Diego
  • VA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • ChEARs Hearing Center
  • Oakland Children’s Hospital
  • USC Medical Center
  • Orange County Physician’s Hearing Services
  • Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford
  • University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
  • Pacific Eye and Ear Specialists
  • John Tracy Clinic
  • Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles
  • Shoet Ear Associates Medical Group
  • Kaiser Permanente, San Diego
  • Kaiser Permanente, Northern California
  • San Diego City Schools
  • Project Talk, San Diego
  • Providence Speech and Hearing Center

SDSU/UCSD students complete a mentored research project as part of the program requirements.  All Doctoral Research Projects are data-driven and mentored by academic faculty members.  Students may choose a mentor from either SDSU or UCSD. 

The Doctoral Research Project typically takes two years to complete. Most students complete the project by the end of Year 3.  Students present their completed projects at an open forum. 

Here is a complete list of completed Doctoral Projects (pdf).  

The following faculty participate in the AuD Joint Doctoral Program and are available as academic and doctoral project advisors.

Click on the faculty member’s name to see more information about the faculty member and his/her research.

San Diego State University (SDSU) Program Faculty

  • Bold, JenniferAuD (part-time).  Precepts audiology students in the SDSU Audiology Clinic. Email: [email protected]
  • Dreisbach, Laura, PhD (fulltime). Specializations include human peripheral auditory physiology, auditory evoked potentials (with an emphasis on evoked otoacoustic emissions), psychoacoustic measures to describe peripheral physiology, and high frequency hearing. Research foci: a) OAEs using high frequency stimuli and b) objective and subjective measures of frequency selectivity. Teaches courses in auditory evoked potentials, pediatric audiology, and an advanced seminar in audiological instrumentation. Provides research experiences and mentoring of AuD Doctoral Research Projects. Email: [email protected]
  • Guthrie, Lesli, AuD, CCC/SLP & CCC/A (part-time).  Dually certified in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; Teaches the course ‘Speech and Language across Lifespan and Culture’ for the AuD program.
  • Kirsch, Christine, AuD (fulltime). Clinic Director of Audiology. Manages all aspects of students’ clinical education. Develops, maintains, and monitors off-campus clinic experiences and 4th year externships. Precepts audiology students at the SDSU Audiology Clinic. Areas of expertise include pediatic hearing assessments,  real-ear fittings for hearing aid prescriptions and diagnostics for patients of all ages. Email: [email protected]
  • Preminger, Jill, PhD (fulltime). Audiology Program Director;  Areas of specialization include adult auditory rehabilitation, the role of communication partners in auditory rehabilitation, group auditory rehabilitation, and qualitative research methods.  Research foci: a) the development of a decision coaching guide to promote audiology care in adults with unaddressed hearing impairment, b) health psychology applications to adult auditory rehabilitation, c) internet and audiology. Teaches courses in hearing amplification and auditory rehabilitation; provides mentoring of AuD Doctoral Research Projects. Email: [email protected]
  • Potapova, Irina, PhD, CCC-SLP. Preceptor for speech-language screenings for AuD students.
  • Torre III, Peter, PhD (fulltime). Areas of specialization include epidemiology of age-related hearing loss, auditory evoked potentials, and research methods. Research foci: a) risk factors associated with age-related hearing loss, b) the relation between recreational noise exposure and otoacoustic emissions, and c) age-related hearing loss in Latino Americans. Teaches courses in hearing sciences, hearing-related research topics, aging, and hearing conservation, and provides research experiences and mentoring of AuD Doctoral Research Projects. Email: [email protected]

University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Program Faculty

Tuition and Fees

Students in the AuD program must pay the SDSU tuition and campus fees for “GRAD” students in the table titled: Main Campus – Basic Tuition & Fees as shown on the Student Account Services webpage. Student tuition and fees must be paid every semester (including summers) for four year (11 semesters).

In addition, there is a Special Program Fee (Also known as the Audiology Symposium fee) that covers costs at UCSD. All tuition and fees are paid through SDSU (i.e., no tuition is paid through UCSD, even during Year 2 while taking courses at UCSD). Please note that during Year 2, while enrolled in courses at UCSD, students also enroll in 6 units at SDSU (897 + 795/798) and, therefore, pay the tuition and fees for half-time. Fees are subject to change and may not yet be established for future semesters. 

Out of State Students

Out of students pay an extra $396 per unit. At the start of the program, non-residents can apply for California residency for tuition purposes that should become active one year after starting the program.

Summary Estimate of Program Costs All Four Years

Tuition and Fees Estimates* 2022-2026

  Tuition Fee and Mandatory Campus Fee Programmatic Fee  
 2023-2024 Fall
13 units
13 units
6 units
Fall Spring Summer TOTAL
   $4,862  $4,862  $2,651 $4,559 $4,559 $4,696 $26,189
 2024-2025** Fall
6 units
6 units
Spring Fall Winter Spring TOTAL
  $3,423 $3,423   $4,696 $4,696   $16,238
2025-2026*** Summer
6 units
16 units
15 units
Summer Fall Spring TOTAL
  $5,058 $5,058 $5,058 $4,837 $4,837 $4,982 $29,830
 2026-2027*** Summer
10 units
12 units
12 units
Summer Fall Spring TOTAL
  $5,159 $5,159 5,159 $4,982 $4,982 4,982 $30,423

*Does not include per-unit nonresident tuition; currently $396/unit
**Programmatic fee certain through Spring 2023; estimated increase 3%/yr each summer (23, 24)
***Assumes a 2% increase in tuition from Fall 2023 forward; tuition may increase sooner

Q1: The SDSU/UCSD Audiology program is a joint doctoral program. What does that mean?

Students spend time in classes and clinic at both universities, and the AuD degree is granted from both institutions. Students spend the first year at SDSU in classes and on-site clinic. During the second year, students attend classes at UCSD and are immersed in a fast-paced clinic within a medical environment. Third year, students attend classes at SDSU and clinic at various off-campus practices. We have dedicated Audiology faculty at both institutions who teach the classes and precept clinic. All committees are made of faculty from both campuses. Students may complete their Doctoral Research Project at either university.

Q2: When do students start clinic?

Students start clinic the second week of the classes in the first year of the program. We front-load clinical training to accelerate the development of clinic skills by holding three clinical ‘boot camps’ during the first month. The intensive boot camps (2.5 days) cover technical assessment in diagnostic audiology and hearing amplification. All students gain hands-on experience during these intensive clinical workshops. This allows students to fully engage in clinical practice earlier in the program.

Q3: How much clinic is offered before students start the 4th-year externship?

Students complete 9 terms of clinic before beginning the externship, which includes 6 on-campus rotations (divided between SDSU and UCSD clinics) and 3 off-campus rotations, accruing approximately 850-900 clinical hours in the first three years. Pre-externship clinic rotations range from a half-day of on-campus clinic to 3-full days of off-campus clinic. Students gain experience working with patients of all ages and backgrounds. During the 1st year of clinic at SDSU, students see children (infants and older) and adults for diagnosis and treatment (e.g. hearing aids, assistive listening devices). During the 2nd year at the UCSD clinics students are exposed to a variety of medical disorders, populations, and services such as balance assessment, hearing amplification, cochlear implants, tinnitus evaluation, and evoked potentials. A variety of off-campus placements are available in hospital settings (e.g. VA Healthcare San Diego, Kaiser Permanente, Rady Children’s Hospital), community clinics, private practices, and schools settings. All students complete a pediatric rotation before starting the 4th-year externship. Every effort is made to tailor the rotations to students’ interests. Typically, students leave the program with approximately 2800 clinical hours.

Q4: Do you offer scholarships to support the cost of attendance?

There are a limited number of scholarships available through the program, but they do not support the full cost of attendance. In addition, students are often able to work as a research assistant or clinic assistant in the department for 5 hours per week. See more information about scholarships.

Q5: How do students find a 4th-year externship? Do they get help from the program?

We have a list of 4th-year externships that have been approved by the faculty to ensure the depth, breadth, and quality of the experience offered is well-suited to the rigors of our program. If students identify additional sites they are interested in, the program will evaluate the site for suitability. The Clinic Director provides advisement and support to students during the externship application process.

Q6: Do students have to ‘share’ clinic appointments with other students?

No, students are paired with one preceptor and one patient at a time. This allows for students to focus on their own skills during each appointment while receiving personalized individual precepting.

Q7: What does the research project entail?

All students complete a Doctoral Research Project. Students typically identify a mentor during the latter part of the 1st year and begin working on the project during their 2nd year. Students may choose a research mentor from either SDSU or UCSD. Faculty from the two campuses engage in a variety of research including medical audiology, otoacoustic emissions, hearing amplification, cochlear implants, epidemiology of hearing disorders, speech perception, psychophysiology, and basic science in auditory physiology. This variety in faculty research allows students to select a research topic that appeals to their own interests. Students write a comprehensive research paper and present the results of the project at the AuD Student Research Symposium at the end of the 3rd year. A number of past research projects have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and many students have presented their research at national conferences.

Q8: Where do students typically live?

The two campuses are approximately 20-25 minutes apart. Some students choose to live in the middle. Others choose to live closer to one of the campuses. Students admitted to the program are offered contact information for the students currently enrolled in the program who have volunteered to help incoming students. A popular choice for housing is the UCSD Graduate Housing, an option that is available for two years and is often less expensive than typical apartments in the area. UCSD Graduate Housing is fairly competitive, thus if admitted, applying as soon as possible is ideal.

Q7: Can students have a part-time or full-time job while enrolled in the program?

Working full-time is not feasible. Some students are able to work part-time while enrolled in the program; however, the AuD program is a full-time program and many students are unable to work more than 5-10 hours per week without compromising their performance in the program. Working while in the program is a personal choice that some students feel comfortable with while others do not. Admitted students are given current student contact information, including some who have maintained part-time jobs while in the program and some that have decided not to.

Q8: What do students like most about the program?

Here some responses to this question from our current students.

  • “Opportunities for learning – the experience differences between SDSU and UCSD are great for getting a well rounded education and really solidifying what we know.”
  • “Excellent exposure to clinic and patients from week one of the program, designed to challenge students without overwhelming them.”
  • “Faculty are superb and care about the students.”
  • “Diverse Learning Experience”


Jill Preminger, Ph.D.
Head, Division of Audiology at SDSU
AuD Program Co-Director

Phone: 619-594-1151
Fax: 619-594-7109
Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address:

AuD Joint Doctoral Program
c/o Jill Preminger
School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive, MC-1518
San Diego, CA 92182-1518

Contact Us

SDSU Speech Language and Hearing

SDSU Speech Language and Hearing
5245 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1518