Learning Outcomes

Graduating Ph.D. students in speech pathology and audiology will demonstrate:

  • critical thinking through reading, discussing, and writing about relevant scientific literature;
  • competence in designing and conducting quality research, from concept to methodology, and through to data analysis and publication;
  • competence in scientific writing;
  • competence in developing and delivering quality oral research presentations; and
  • competence in developing and delivering course material to undergraduate and graduate classes.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in speech and hearing science requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. The program provides flexible, comprehensive training for scholar-researchers interested in communication processes and their disorders. Students with diverse backgrounds in the natural and behavioral sciences are encouraged to apply.

The Ph.D. program reflects the broad interests of its multidisciplinary faculty, whose members have diverse backgrounds in speech, language, hearing, engineering, physiology, psychophysics, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, and bioengineering. The purpose of the doctoral program is to allow interested graduate students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for them to become productive researchers.

Prospective students are matched with a mentor whose research area aligns with their interests. There is no standard curriculum for the Ph.D.; a program of study is developed by each student in consultation with their mentor and a faculty committee. The course of study includes a range of seminars and courses offered by faculty members in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as well as by faculty in other departments, including engineering, psychological and brain sciences, otolaryngology—head and neck surgery, statistics and actuarial science, molecular physiology and biophysics, neuroscience, and computer science. Also important to a student's education is registration in CSD:7590 Research, that covers individual readings and research experiences with their mentor as well as other faculty members, and participation in the weekly course, CSD:6515 Professional Seminar.

Students also are required to work with their mentor to complete a pre-dissertation project. This is typically a research project that has been conducted jointly with and under the direction of their mentor. Upon completion, they are expected to present the results at the weekly professional seminar. In addition, students are required to write and defend a comprehensive examination designed, administered, and evaluated by their faculty committee. This step is required before they can advance to candidacy. The final step requires each student to successfully complete, submit, and defend an original research project that meets the college requirement for the dissertation.

Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science/Au.D.

Students interested in a Ph.D. with an emphasis in audiology or hearing science may be interested in obtaining clinical certification. This requires that they also have a clinical doctorate (the Au.D.). The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers a combined program that allows students to earn both degrees simultaneously. The Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Audiology program is especially appropriate for students who have more applied research interests but would like to work in academics.

The program requires 137 s.h. of coursework, including all of the clinical practicum experiences required for the Au.D. degree. Students also must meet all of the milestones required for the traditional Ph.D. degree. Completion time for the two degrees varies but is typically seven years. For more information, consult the department chair.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Admission to the Ph.D. program is based on a student's aptitude, their specific area of research interest, as well as availability of a faculty member to serve as a mentor.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. Applicants can verify English proficiency by submitting official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Students interested in admission to the combined Ph.D./Au.D. program are required to initially apply and be admitted to the Au.D. program. At the end of their second year in the Au.D. program, they may formally request permission to change their degree objective. If the faculty approve and a mentor is available, transition into the Au.D./Ph.D. program is approved.

The deadline for application to the Ph.D. program is before January 1. Applications must be submitted through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

For more information, see Doctor of Philosophy on the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders website.

Financial support is based on merit and dependent on availability of funds. For more information, contact the chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The Ph.D. program provides excellent preparation for careers in academics, industry, and research. There continues to be a strong demand for graduates with doctoral-level training and graduates of the Ph.D. program routinely advance to postdoctoral research positions or are hired as university faculty members.