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Degree Requirements

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. Please note: When a range of credits is provided, incoming students with a prior graduate degree will complete the lower number of credits, and students without a prior graduate degree will complete the higher number.

You will take:

  • 12-15 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
  • 6 credits of the department's Doctoral Seminar and Research Colloquia (taken for credit half the time)

The remaining 15-24 credits consist of in-depth course work to help solidify your knowledge of your area of interest.

The rest of the degree is structured around the completion of research projects, including 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 in order to experience the research process under a different mentor. The student and mentor will agree on the desired outcome of the rotation, potentially including the completion of a QP or other manuscript.
  • 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.

Finally students are required to teach one course as primary instructor of record gaining experience to optimally position them as future educators and research mentors.