Course Overview

This course examines basic anatomy and physiology of speech mechanisms, including respiratory, laryngeal, and supraglottal systems. A particular focus is basic science foundations and application to clinical problem-solving.

TypeOnline, Semi-synchronous Lecture
FacultyCarla Tierney-Hendricks, MS, CCC-SLP
Credits3 undergraduate
OfferedFall, Spring, Summer
Cost$1,620.00 (Fees included)



Fall Registration Open

6/4/24 - 9/5/24

What to Expect in this Course

This course is fully asynchronous – there are no required meeting times.

Course activities are organized into modules that are usually 1 week in length.

Our format allows flexibility so you can fit the learning activities into your own schedule

While instructors make regular course updates to enhance your experience as a learner, the table below provides a general idea of what you can expect from a typical week.

Course Activity Hours Per Week

Self Directed Learning

  • Reading Textbooks, articles
  • Watching mini-lectures, videos
  • Listening to podcasts


  • Mini quizzes
  • Weekly modules

Other Assignments

  • Mastery assignments
  • Case studies
  • Practice application assignments

Discussion Boards

  • Initial posting
  • Reading posts
  • Responding to peer posts
Total Time 10-14
  • Definitions and key terminology of anatomy and physiology
  • Respiration: its function and important anatomical structures
  • Instruments used to measure respiration
  • Essential structures of phonation
  • Physiology of vocal fold vibration
  • Essential structures of articulation
  • The concept of resonance
  • How respiration, phonation and articulation contribute to speech production
  • Essential structures of mastication (chewing) and deglutition (swallowing)
  • The stages of swallowing
  • Instruments to evaluate swallowing
  • Key anatomy of the outer, middle and inner ear
  • Instruments to measure hearing
  • Major anatomy and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Organization of the human cortex
  • Function and flow of cerebrospinal fluid
  • Major structures of the brainstem, cerebellum and spinal cord
  • Functions of the brainstem and cerebellum
  • Cranial nerve names and functions as they relate to respiration, articulation, phonation and deglutition
  • Motor pathways of the brain and spinal cord
  • Standard IV-A: Science Background
  • Standard IV- B: Normal Communication
  • Standard IV-C: Disordered Communication

Course Materials

D2L Required
Textbook Required
Lab Kit / Supplies Not needed
Web-Based Learning Application Required
Standard word/ data processing capabilities Required
Ability to video conference Recommended
Ability to upload images/videos Not needed

D2L: All of our online prerequisite courses use the learning platform software called Desire2Learn (D2L). D2L integrates text, video, and audio. You can check your system compatibility by reviewing the D2L system recommendations.

Textbook: If a textbook is required, every effort is made to choose high-quality, low-cost materials that students can buy and sell, rent and return, or buy and use again in future courses.

Lab Kit / Supplies: Lab kits/supplies allow students to conduct hands-on experiments at home. Information about ordering lab kits and/or supplies will be provided to registered students approximately 6 weeks before the start of the semester.

Web-Based Learning Application: Web-based applications often serve as an alternative to a traditional textbook or lab kit. Most require students to register for a separate application that will integrate seamlessly with the D2L platform.

Standard word and data processing: Technology that allows the student to create, edit, and save documents and files.

Ability to video conference: Technology that allows live, visual connection between individuals who are in different locations.

Ability to upload photos/videos: Technological capabilities through which a student could record a short video or still image and upload it to an online learning system.

Course Faculty

Carla Tierney-Hendricks, MS, CCC-SLP

Adjunct Assistant Professor PhD Student Lecturer, Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism Online Prerequisites for the Health Professions

a woman leans over to look at a laptop while a man talks to her about something

Does My Course Count?

Curious to know if a course you've taken elsewhere counts towards a specific program? Contact our Admissions Office by email or chat.

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