April 9, 2004

Audiology tops in ‘U.S. News’ rankings

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Italo Biaggioni, M.D., holds up several over-the-counter medications containing pseudoephedrine. Photo by Dana Johnson

Audiology tops in ‘U.S. News’ rankings

The Vanderbilt Audiology Program is the top program in the nation, according the April 12 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings, which hit newsstands this week.

As published in the April 2 Reporter, the magazine released its graduate school rankings, including the 15th ranking of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. The Audiology rankings were contained in a separate section of the magazine called Health Disciplines.

“We’re thrilled with this recognition,” said Fred Bess, professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and chair of the Department.

“Our program continues to stand out because of wonderful faculty who enjoy international recognition for their work, the Vanderbilt-Bill Wilkerson Center, which is one of the finest facilities in the country for treating children and adults in speech communication, and its unique positioning within the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.”

The rankings are up one point from the previous three years, during which Audiology held the second position among its peers. Bess also credited the new doctorate level program for post-graduates in Audiology with bringing up the program’s rankings.

“We’re one of the first schools to provide a clinical doctorate degree (Au.D.) in Audiology,” he said. “We’re proud to be graduating our first four Au.D. students this May.”

The Speech-Language Pathology program has also been recognized as one of the nation’s leading programs, placing sixth in the U.S. News rankings. It moved up two slots from eighth in 2003.

“We’re delighted and feel it confirms all our beliefs about the breadth and depth of this program’s strength, which mainly relates to the quality of its students, faculty and staff,” said Edward Gage Conture, professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and director of the division of Graduate Studies. “It’s an affirmation for all those who have worked so hard collectively and individually to develop a program of national prominence.”

Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology are both programs within the School of Medicine’s department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, and part of the Vanderbilt-Bill Wilkerson Center, which will be moving into a new $61 million facility in 2005.

“This is an exciting time for our department, with the improved rankings and upcoming transition into the new building, both of which will help us recruit the best and brightest students and continue to be among the best programs in the nation,” Conture said.