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Course Work and Research

PhD, Communicative Sciences and Disorders

While there is a general structure to the degree's requirements, your course work will be informed by your interests and background, in consultation with your mentor.

You will take:

  • 15 credits of rigorous training in research methodology and statistics, providing the skills to perform independent research.
  • 3 credits of Seminal Readings in Communicative Sciences and Disorders
  • 10 credits of the department's Doctoral Seminar and Research Colloquia (taken for credit half the time)

The remaining 15 credits consist of in-depth course work to help solidify your knowledge of your area of interest.

Please note that incoming students without a master's degree will complete an additional 30 credits of content-related course work in communicative sciences and disorders.

The rest of the degree is structured around the completion of research the following milestones:

  • Qualifying papers (QPs): Students complete two QPs of the quality expected in peer-reviewed research journals. Each QP investigates a different area of CSD research, and is conducted, written, and orally defended by the student under faculty mentor guidance. We expect that this work will form the basis of conference presentations and journal submissions. 
  • Lab rotation: Doctoral students must spend a minimum of one semester in a second lab to fulfill the lab rotation requirement. During this semester, you will become involved in one of the projects in the lab, playing a role in the research process and completing a term paper on the subject.
  • Dissertation: In the final years of the degree, you will develop, write, and defend your dissertation proposal and ultimately your dissertation. The dissertation is supervised by a faculty mentor, but reflects your novel ideas and empirical contribution to the field.

A final component of the degree also involves gaining teaching experience to position you to successfully pursue academic positions in the future.