Thursday, May 23, 2019
  Announcements, Community

By News and Internal Communications

AUSTIN, TEXAS – The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved the planning process for a new graduate degree program, a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The approval came during a regular meeting of the Board of Regents on Thursday, May 23. The next step in the approval process is for UTRGV to submit the full degree program proposal to the UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval.

A health-related profession, audiology requires a clinical doctorate and subsequent licensing and certification to provide patient services to persons who exhibit hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or disturbances in balance due to inner ear dysfunction.

Under the guidance of the College of Health Professions, the Au.D. program at UTRGV is expected to build on the strength of the existing speech-language disorders program and respond to the shortage of clinical audiologists in the Rio Grande Valley and Texas.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national employment rate of audiologists is expected to grow much faster than average. Between 2016-2026, an additional 3,000 audiologists will be needed to fill the demand nationwide, which represents a 20% increase in job openings. There are approximately 14,800 audiologists nationwide with a projected need of 17,800 audiologists by 2026.

The four-year full-time curriculum that will consist of 119 hours of course, laboratory, and clinical work will be based on the guidelines of the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

In other meeting proceedings, the Regents authorized UTRGV to accept a conditional gift of an approximately 10.5-acre tract of land located near the northwest corner of I-69C and Sioux Road in Pharr, from the City of Pharr for future programmed campus expansion, including a sports medicine institute. The Regents also authorized the university to enter into a license agreement, as licensee, with the City of Pharr for use of a to-be-built aquatic center on a tract of land adjacent to the 10.5-acre tract of land.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.