Communication Sciences and Disorders PhD
About the Program
The PhD program in Communication Sciences and Disorders seeks to bring students to a level of education at which they may participate as scholars in the discipline. It is the program's objective to provide doctoral students with a base of information sufficiently broad that they understand the range of their discipline, yet deep enough in a chosen area of specialization to enable them to comfortably assume positions of leadership. The program emphasizes education in specific methods of research, appropriate to the student's area of specialization, reaching a level at which the graduate will be able to make original and valuable contributions to the knowledge of the field. A final objective is to infuse students with the spirit of scientific inquiry and wisdom in the methods and philosophy of science to place their own contributions, and the contributions of others, in a proper perspective with regard to theoretical and philosophical positions and trends. It is anticipated that graduates will contribute to the discipline as leaders and exemplars in the areas of teaching, research, administration and clinical services.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years
Campus Location: Main
Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can only be completed on a full-time basis.
Interdisciplinary Study: Students often take elective coursework outside the department in disciplines such as biostatistics, education and psychology.
Affiliation(s): Cooperative efforts have been established with Temple University Hospital and Lewis Katz School of Medicine, the Camden School District, MossRehab, and the School District of Philadelphia.
Areas of Specialization: Areas of concentration are Speech-Language Pathology with emphases in adult language disorders, child language and literacy development and disorders, and motor speech.
Job Prospects: Graduates are prepared for careers in universities and research institutions.
Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Departmental permission is required for registration in graduate classes. A maximum of 9 credits earned as a non-matriculated student may be applied toward the degree.
Financing Opportunities: Research and Teaching Assistantships may be available. Contact the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to inquire.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: December 15
All applicants to the PhD program in Communication Sciences and Disorders must apply via the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS). The system can be accessed at https://sophas.liaisoncas.com/.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3
From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from professors, employers or colleagues who are able to evaluate the applicant's research potential. One letter must be from a previous professor, advisor or research supervisor.
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants must demonstrate coursework taken in statistics and probability.
Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree is not required.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree in Communication Disorders, Education, Linguistics, or Psychology is required.
Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 to 1,000 words, address your background, academic and professional goals, and how your interests fit with the program.
Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:
- TOEFL iBT: 79 (send officially to SOPHAS using the SOPHAS-specific TOEFL code 5688)
- IELTS Academic: 6.5
- PTE Academic: 53
- Duolingo: 110
Resume: Current resume required.
Writing Sample: A writing sample that is expository in nature, e.g., a chapter of a thesis, a convention paper, and/or a paper from senior undergraduate or master's level coursework, should be submitted.
Laptop: Beginning in Fall 2020, all incoming students in the College of Public Health are required to have a laptop. Academic programs in the college are technology intensive. They incorporate statistical and database analyses; utilize specialized tools for athletic training, kinesiology and physical therapy; stream audio and video for communication sciences; facilitate online interactive counseling for social work; and foster clinical experiences and online assessments. The laptop requirement enables the College of Public Health to improve opportunities for active learning and provide greater access to specialized software and required tools in and out of the classroom, better preparing students for the workforce. Learn more about device specifications and suggested vendors. Students can use excess financial aid (i.e., funds that are reimbursed after all tuition and fees are paid) to meet student needs, including the purchase of a laptop. Scholarships may also provide funding.
Advanced Standing: The student’s advisor recommends advanced standing to the PhD Program Director based on a review of prior coursework and experience. Coursework taken as part of a degree program for which a degree has been conferred is not considered for advanced standing. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 6.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 45
|CSCD 5730||Topics in Speech, Language and Hearing (2 terms)||6|
|HRPR 5001||Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions||0|
|PHIL 5216||Philosophy of Science||3|
|Research and Statistics Courses 1|
|EPBI 5201||Epidemiological Research Methods I||3|
|EPBI 8012||Multivariable Biostatistics||3|
|EPBI 8212||Grantsmanship in Health Research||3|
|HRPR 5999||Research Experience in Health Professions||0|
|Statistics and Methodology Electives|
|Select two from the following: 2||6|
|Single Subject Research Design|
|Structural Equation Modeling|
|Multilev Mod in Int Res|
|Content Area Electives|
|Select three from the following: 3||9|
|Written Language Development and Disorders|
|Neurocognitive Language Disorders|
|Teaching in Higher Education: Health Professions|
|Teaching in Higher Education Practicum|
|Neuromotor Science 3: Cognition and Learning|
|Topical Seminar in Cognitive Psychology|
|Core Course in Cognitive Psychology|
|CSCD 9994||Preliminary Examination Preparation||1|
|CSCD 9998||Pre-Dissertation Research||2|
|CSCD 9999||Dissertation Research||3|
|Total Credit Hours||45|
With approvals from the mentor, PhD Program Director, and department chair, students may select alternate courses to fulfill the Research and Statistics course requirement.
With approval from the PhD Program Director, students may select alternate courses as Statistics and Methodology electives.
With approval from the PhD Program Director, students may select alternate courses as Content Area electives.
Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-
The preliminary examination is undertaken when the student has completed all other requirements for advancement to candidacy, but no later than the end of the third year of study. Specifically, students are expected to have produced at least two publishable manuscripts and completed all coursework prior to registering for the exam. Students should have successfully presented the first-year project and second-year evaluation.
The examination itself includes a written examination and an oral defense. The written examination consists of three to five questions developed by the student’s committee and approved by the PhD Program Director and department chair. Students have two weeks to complete the written examination. At least one question addresses methodology and the other two are on distinct but related topics close to the student’s area of research. Upon submission of the written examination, the student orally defends the written responses in a meeting of graduate faculty. At a minimum, the student’s committee, the PhD Program Director, and department chair are present. The student must pass the preliminary examination in no more than two attempts. The Doctoral Advisory Committee evaluates the exam on a pass/fail basis. All judgments are by committee consensus.
The preliminary examination prepares students to write a data-driven dissertation proposal, which is a prospectus with literature review and proposed methodology. When the student has successfully defended the preliminary examination and submitted an approved prospectus, the student has ascended to doctoral candidacy.
The dissertation is an original study that makes a significant and publishable contribution to the field. It should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the theoretical and empirical literature in the area of investigation. It should also be of sound and rigorous methodology. Original research of quality appropriate for publication in a first-tier national journal is expected.
Graduate School guidelines for announcing the defense are followed. Notice is given through postings, email and listserv announcements. The defense lasts two hours.
Program Web Address:
Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders
110 Weiss Hall
1701 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085
Submission Address for Application Materials:
CPH Office of Admissions
Jodi Reich, PhD
Lisa Bedore, PhD