Doctor of Audiology curriculum

Comprehensive guide to clinical education in the Au.D. program

In 2011, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) and Wayne State University (WSU) began an affiliation designed to enhance the clinical training of audiology students. Under the direction of Brad Stach, Ph.D., the faculty and staff of the Division of Audiology in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at HFHS assumed primary responsibility for and oversight of clinical training activities of audiology students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at WSU.

All clinical rotations during the first three years are coordinated by the program, and students also have support in their search for a fourth-year externship. The audiologists at HFHS work in conjunction with their WSU clinical faculty counterpart, Mary Kassa, Au.D., to manage the administrative aspects of the clinical program. Together, the departments support students to provide the best possible clinical education.

View audiology clinical education objectives

First year

Wayne State University Audiology Clinic

During the first year of study, students are introduced to clinical practice in the Wayne State University Audiology Clinic. The audiology clinic is open 20 hours per week and offers free diagnostic audiologic services to patients of all ages in the Detroit area. The clinic's clinical educators are licensed doctors of audiology who actively serve their patients in the HFHS Division of Audiology.

During their first and second semesters, students spend eight hours per week in the university clinic. In this first year, students learn clinical skills in a sheltered environment. During non-clinic hours, students utilize the clinical space for laboratory exercises designed to strengthen their knowledge base. Clinical competency examinations are used to determine student preparedness to progress toward more advanced clinical training.

Second year

Henry Ford Health System Division of Audiology

During the second year, students rotate through the five HFHS audiology clinics:

  • Henry Ford Hospital: Detroit, MI
  • West Bloomfield Henry Ford Hospital: West Bloomfield, MI
  • Fairlane Medical Group: Dearborn, MI
  • Lakeside Medical Center: Sterling Heights, MI
  • Pierson Medical Center: Grosse Pointe, MI

HFHS is a nationally-ranked, not-for-profit, integrated medical system located in the Metro Detroit area serving a culturally and economically diverse population. In addition to the clinical training provided to Wayne State students, HFHS also serves as a 4th-year externship site for four students annually; the applicant pool for this position includes students from around the nation.

Clinical education is provided by doctoral-level audiologists who are members of the Henry Ford Medical Group. Many clinical educators from HFHS also serve as adjunct faculty teaching clinical and didactic courses.

Second-year students are taught to become clinically proficient in areas of audiologic evaluation, hearing aid evaluation and treatment, diagnostic electrophysiology, and infant and pediatric hearing screening and assessment during this rotation. Students are also exposed to cochlear implants and vestibular and balance assessments. Additionally, WSU's Au.D. program is one of the few in the nation that provides students with a course on intraoperative monitoring (IOM) and the opportunity to observe IOM. In addition to audiology clinical practice, students observe otolaryngology physicians in clinic and surgical settings, participate in ongoing research projects, participate in case reviews during Grand Rounds meetings, and participate in supplemental didactic experiences designed to enhance the students' preparation for participation as full members of the healthcare profession.

During the spring/summer semester between the first and second year, students spend eight hours per week in the university clinic and 12 hours per week in an orientation rotation through the five HFHS audiology clinics.

During the fall and winter semesters of the second year, students spend 20 hours per week rotating through each of the clinics.

Clinical competency examinations are used to determine student preparedness to progress toward more advanced clinical training.

Third year

Specialty rotations

In the third year, students rotate through each of three specialty rotations, including pediatrics, adult/geriatric, and private practice settings. Students spend 20 hours per week at each site per semester.

Students also have a brief rotation in the Wayne State University Audiology Clinic during the third year to provide them with opportunities to learn clinical education skills by assisting in the instruction of first-year students.

Pediatric specialty

  • Children's Hospital of Michigan
  • University of Michigan CS Mott Children's Hospital


  • University of Michigan
  • John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Michigan Ear Institute
  • ENT Consultants

Private practice

  • Numerous practices in the Detroit Metropolitan area

Fourth year Externship

The fourth year consists of an immersive, 12-month, full-time clinical experience in which the student progresses gradually toward independence under the supervision of a clinical educator. Experiences are generally broad in the scope of practice; however, depending on the interests of the student, placements may be more specialized.

Many WSU Au.D. students have been selected for highly desirable placements both in the state of Michigan and in other parts of the country. These placements include the Henry Ford Health System (MI), the University of Michigan (MI), the Cleveland Clinic (OH), Kaiser Permanente (CA), the University of Rochester (NY), Charlotte Ear, Nose, and Throat (NC), Veterans' Administrative Medical Centers in various states, Michigan Ear Institute (MI), and many others.