The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program provides a rigorous course of study along with mentored research and teaching experiences to enable students to become high-quality researchers and serve effectively as leaders in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume careers as researchers and teacher-scholars at colleges, universities, hospitals, industrial settings, and research facilities.
The program is not designed to provide an advanced clinical degree. Rather, the Ph.D.
degree will be conferred in recognition of the attainment of the highest academic
excellence and productive scholarship. As doctoral programs are an integral step
on a life-long journey of learning and scholarship, the Department of Communication
Sciences and Disorders has established the Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences
and Disorders to support students in developing knowledge, judgment, skills, and
attitudes to facilitate their growth and learning throughout their careers as researchers,
scholars, and teachers.
The primary objective of the Ph.D. degree program is to assist students to develop in-depth mastery of subject matter in a narrow and specific area within the broad discipline of communication sciences and disorders and, simultaneously, to broaden one’s knowledge base in other fields related to the special area of interest, such as health, linguistics, education, and the physical, biological, and socio-behavioral sciences. With the intent to prepare high-quality researchers to serve as leaders in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders, graduates of the program will be prepared to assume independent careers as researchers and scholars at colleges, universities, and hospitals, as well to become key personnel at leading private and public research institutes.
Specifically, the objectives of the Ph.D. program include:
The development of independent research skills through sequential experiences
that involve the planning and conduct (or implementation) of research projects,
the writing of grants, and the dissemination of research findings through the
presentation of papers at scientific and other professional conferences and
publication in peer-reviewed journals in the discipline;
The preparation of academicians equipped to teach the university students
of tomorrow through guided coursework in educational methods and evaluation,
instructional technologies including online course delivery, international
and intercultural experiences, and classroom practice; and
The acquisition of advanced knowledge and understanding of a specialized area
with the ability to apply this understanding to research, teaching, and scholarship.
A Highly Individualized Experience
The Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a highly individualized experience that includes prescribed and selected coursework designed to meet the objectives of the program, ongoing participation in research and other scholarly activities, and the independent completion of a dissertation under the mentorship of a research advisor. As such, the time needed to complete the program will vary to ensure sufficient time for the building of adequate teaching and research skills and a creditable curriculum vitae. Some diligent and highly motivated students may be able to complete their work in less time, whereas others may require more time to achieve independence as a scholar and researcher.
Because the discipline of communication sciences and disorders supports two professions, audiology and speech-language pathology, students in the Ph.D. degree program may pursue one of the following areas of emphasis :
1) Speech and Language Sciences and Disorders
2) Hearing Science and Disorders
It is expected that—through study, scholarship, and mentorship—Ph.D. candidates will develop deep expertise in a specific topic within an area of emphasis.