Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences

The Honors Tutorial College (HTC) Program in Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences aims to provide qualified students with a research-oriented undergraduate experience through individualized training in the hearing, speech, and language sciences.



The philosophy of the HTC program in HSLS is based on the idea that education is aimed at intellectual growth rather than static transmission of knowledge. Students are seen as active participants of their education rather than passive receivers of instruction. They are also expected to cultivate scientific ways of thinking in addition to obtaining factual knowledge. Consequently, high motivation and intellectual independence are the qualities expected of HTC students. The individualized nature of the HTC program requires the students to assume more responsibility in their own education.

In addition to coursework, HTC students are required to complete five tutorials and a thesis. The tutorials, in which faculty members meet with students individually or in small groups, are the hallmark of all HTC programs. The tutorials and thesis allow HTC students to work closely with faculty members to obtain an enriched educational experience. 

To facilitate the tutorial education, academic resources are available including priority registration, special residence hall availability, enhanced library privileges, research support, eligibility to undertake graduate work, education abroad opportunities, and scholarship availability. General Education requirements are also kept to a minimum to allow students the flexibility to explore their intellectual interests.


The HTC program in HSLS starts in the spring semester of sophomore year. Prospective students apply for admission in the fall of sophomore year. The application process is very competitive and requires one recommendation from a HSLS faculty member. Students with a 3.5 GPA or above are invited to apply in the fall semester; applications are due on October 1 (See below for more details on the application and admission process).

During spring semester of their sophomore year, admitted students participate in a tutorial with the Director of Studies. During this tutorial, students have the opportunity to meet with individual faculty members about their research programs. Students also enroll in at least one seminar offered by the HTC to establish a meaningful connection to the HTC community. During junior and senior year, students undertake the required coursework, tutorials, and a thesis. 

This design is motivated by a number of considerations. First, completion of a subset of the foundational courses is essential for students to take full advantage of the tutorial education. Second, academic performance in the foundational coursework allows both the faculty and the prospective students to evaluate the aptitude and fit for the tutorial mode of learning. Though ACT scores are strongly considered, academic performance is equally important. Finally, faculty members endorsing prospective students may serve as potential thesis advisors.


The HTC program in HSLS accepts applicants from current Ohio University students only. Prospective students apply in their sophomore year. Admitted students start the HTC program in their junior year. In accordance with the on-campus transfer guidelines set forth by the Honors Tutorial College, students interested in applying for the HTC program in HSLS should include the following materials in the application:

  • A current DARS.
  • A statement of purpose describing the reasons for pursuing the HTC track, the qualifications and fit for the HTC track, and the general content area for the proposed thesis research.
  • A writing sample.
  • A completed form of endorsement from an HSLS faculty member who is familiar with their academic work.

Applications should be submitted by the Friday of the 7th week of the fall term to:

Dr. Chao-Yang Lee
Director of Studies
Honors Tutorial Program in Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701


Applications will be reviewed by the Director of Studies and an admissions committee comprised of HSLS faculty, who will make admission recommendations for final approval by the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College. Interviews with the Director of Studies and other HSLS faculty members may also be required. In addition, an interview with the Dean of HTC may be arranged as part of the review process. Admission decisions are made by the end of the fall semester. Admitted students officially enroll in the HTC in the spring semester of their sophomore year.

Degree Requirements

The HTC requires all students to satisfy the University's English composition requirement, complete a series of tutorials and a thesis, and maintain a minimum of 3.5 in overall grade point average (GPA). Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences requires HTC students to complete a minimum of five tutorials, a seminar offered by HTC (HC 2500 or 2900), a thesis, and a set of courses designed to provide an understanding of normal human communication processes and an introduction to speech-language pathology and audiology. HTC students are expected to maintain a minimum of 3.5 GPA in HSLS major courses.

The coursework requirements are essentially the same as those in the traditional HSLS major with a few exceptions (see Frequently Asked Questions for a comparison chart). In brief, the HTC program has fewer General Education requirements. The flexibility in coursework requirements is intended to facilitate the tutorial mode of education rather than to achieve accelerated learning. As with traditional majors, HTC students are expected to complete their undergraduate program of study in four years.

Tutorials. A minimum of five tutorials are required. The first three tutorials may include, but are not limited to, (1) a tutorial in faculty research exploration, (2) a tutorial in research methods, and (3) a tutorial in identifying a thesis topic and developing the thesis research plan with a faculty advisor. The two senior tutorials are used to carry out the thesis research.

HSLS 2970T Sophomore Tutorial I
HSLS 3970T Junior Tutorial I
HSLS 3980T Junior Tutorial II
HSLS 4970T Senior Tutorial I
HSLS 4980T Senior Tutorial II

Thesis Prospectus. In preparation for thesis research, HTC requires the submission of a Thesis Prospectus at the beginning of fall semester of their senior year. The Prospectus should include the title of the thesis, introduction, research question(s) and approach, an annotated bibliography, and a completed thesis prospectus cover sheet, available at the HTC Thesis Guidelines page. Students are strongly encouraged to take a writing course offered by the HTC (HC 2900) in the spring of their junior year to prepare for the Prospectus. The writing course also satisfies the Tier I advanced English composition requirement.

Thesis. All HTC students are required to complete a thesis. They are expected to identify a faculty member as the thesis director by the end of fall of their junior year. The senior tutorials are used to carry out the thesis research, which is normally completed in the spring semester of their senior year with an oral presentation to the public. Preparation of the thesis should follow the information specified in the HTC Thesis Guidelines, available at the HTC Thesis Guidelines page.

Student Evaluation

Tutorial Evaluation. The Honors Tutorial College requires evaluation of student performance in each tutorial by faculty tutors. During the final week of a semester, faculty tutors complete a tutorial description and evaluation form and submit the evaluation to the Director of Studies, who would forward the evaluation to the Honors Tutorial College.

First-Year Portfolio Review. All HTC students are subject to a formal academic progress review at the end of their first year in the HTC. Students are required to prepare a portfolio to demonstrate academic progress. Details on the portfolio contents and sample portfolios are available at the HTC headquarters. Progress reviews will consist of a meeting between the student, the Director of Studies, and the Dean of the HTC. Input from the HSLS faculty will also be considered in assessing the student's aptitude and fit for the thesis research. The review will determine if a student should remain in the HTC program or transfer to the traditional baccalaureate program.

Thesis Evaluation. Upon completion of the thesis research, students are required to give a public oral presentation. Following approval by the thesis director, the thesis will be submitted to Dean of the Honors Tutorial College for final approval.

Director of Studies

Dr. Chao-Yang Lee

Dr. Chao-Yang Lee
Director of Studies
Honors Tutorial Program in Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences
Ohio University
Grover Center W225
Athens, OH 45701

Dr. Chao-Yang Lee accepts award
Presidential Teacher Award finalist Chao-Yang Lee accepts his award at Baker Ballroom on Oct. 31, 2018. Photo by Hannah Ruhoff


Ph.D., Cognitive Science, Brown University
M.A., Linguistics, Brown University
B.Sc., Psychology, National Chengchi University

Scholarly Interests

As a speech-language scientist, Dr. Lee is interested in how listeners extract information from the acoustic signal to retrieve linguistic representations. His research examines how acoustic variability in the speech signal and listener characteristics affect the comprehension of spoken words.

Selected Publications 

Wiener, S., & Lee, C.-Y. (2020). Multi-talker speech promotes greater knowledge-based spoken word recognition in first and second language listeners. Frontiers in Psychology, 11:214. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00214

Wiener, S., Lee, C.-Y., & Tao, L. (2019). Statistical regularities affect perception of second language speech: Evidence from classroom learners of Mandarin Chinese. Language Learning, 69(3), 527-558. doi: 10.1111/lang.12342

Lee, C.-Y., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Processing lexical and speaker information in repetition and semantic/associative priming. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 47(1), 65-78. doi: 10.1007/s10936-017-9514-y

Jeng, F.-C., Lee, C.-Y., McDonald, T. N., Ganch, H. M., Teets, E. A., & Hart, B. N. (2017). Subcortical frequency-coding errors are linked to speaker-variability intolerance in normal-hearing adults. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letters, 142(3), EL270-275. doi: 10.1121/1.5002150

Information about the Division of Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences can be found at the School website.