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Communication Sciences and Disorders - Ph.D.

The Ph.D. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders provides the student with a strong theoretical background and competency in research skills applicable to communication (audiology, speech, language, cognition and/or swallowing) processes and/or disorders. The program ideal for those interested in academic and research careers in communication sciences or disorders. The curriculum and plan of study are individualized and collectively planned between the student and the doctoral committee.

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Getting Started - What to Know Before you Apply

We offer a highly flexible program of study leading to a Ph.D. degree in communication sciences and disorders. The Ph.D. degree is a research-intensive degree that requires a strong desire to develop a research career. Our program allows students to flexibly create a program of study that meets their needs with emphases ranging from primarily clinical and applied to basic research. 

If you are interested in applying to our program, please read the following information first. 

Mentor Training Model

The Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders uses a mentorship model, such that prospective students should identify a research faculty mentor they are interested in working with. Before applying to the Ph.D. program, you should reach out to the faculty member of interest to inquire if they are accepting doctoral students and to determine if your interests align with theirs.

Research Labs & Directors

Area of Interest

The Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders use of a mentor training model requires prospective doc students to identify an area of interest that aligns with at least one of the faculty mentors (listed above). Typically, prospective doctoral students should identify a faculty mentor and area of interest that aligns with that faculty member in their statement of interest (a.k.a. - statement of purpose; letter of intent; goal statement; etc) submitted with their application materials.

Funding

Funding (stipend and tuition waiver) is not always guaranteed and is subject to review each academic year. Ph.D. applicants who apply to the Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders by Jan. 15 will be considered for funding. Our program, however, does offer a rolling deadline to any student not needing funding.

Timeline

All Ph.D. students must complete a Master's Thesis (prior to admission to the Ph.D. program, typically completed during their Master’s coursework) or a project in lieu of thesis (for those who did not complete a Master’s thesis). Typically, in the first two years of the Ph.D. program, students will take courses, engage in research, and individual investigations. Once coursework has been completed, Ph.D. students will enter the comprehensive phase of their studies in which they may select from any of the 9 Doctoral Comprehensive Exams listed in the graduate handbook. Once the Ph.D. student successfully completes their Comprehensive Exam, they will enter the Candidacy Phase, in which they will propose, execute and eventually defend their doctoral dissertation. The expected timeline for completion of the doctoral degree is 4-5 years of full-time study.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Ph.D. Students

The Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders offers both full and part-time degree opportunities. When you identify a potential Ph.D. mentor, you should also communicate your interest in attending full or part time. Only full time students may be considered for an assistantship.

Program Information

Program Description

Professional Licensure Disclosure

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university (not necessarily in areas of speech-language pathology and audiology)
  • Bachelor's degree (not necessarily in areas of speech-language pathology and audiology)
  • Minimum 3.000 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale (minimum 3.500 GPA is recommended)
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:1
    • Minimum 94 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
    • Minimum 65 PTE score
    • Minimum 120 DET score
1

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores will not be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Funding deadline: January 15
      Applications must be submitted by this deadline to be considered for an assistantship or any other funded position.
  • Spring Semester
    • Rolling admissions
  • Summer Term
    • Rolling admissions
Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Develop, implement and evaluate a line of individual and collaborative research.
  2. Teach within a clinical and/or didactic context.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements
Area of Study 124
Electives 212
Statistics and Research Design Coursework 39
Culminating Requirement
SPA 84199DISSERTATION I 430
Minimum Total Credit Hours:75
1

Concentration Area of Study: This collection of coursework relates to the students' main areas of interest. It must consist of a combination of lecture classes or seminars, courses in grant or manuscript writing and independent studies and/or research. These courses are meant to build upon the students’ interests in a selected major area of study, and courses may be taken in other program areas (such as psychology, English, business, biology, counseling, special education, computer science, etc.); within speech-language pathology and audiology; or from an affiliated medical school. With the exception of allowed transfer credits, all courses must be taken at the doctoral 7/80000 level. Additional prerequisite coursework may be required at a lower level; this coursework would not count towards the 24 credit hours.

2

Electives: Included within the 12 credit hours may be courses or independent studies related to student interests, including additional (non-concentration) academic or clinical areas of interest, interprofessional or cross-disciplinary topics and/or additional training in research methods, statistics or writing.

3

Statistics and Research Methods: Each doctoral candidate must register and complete no less than two graduate-level statistics courses and no less than one advanced research methods course. Required statistics courses should include a focus on inferential statistics, including regression. Advanced research methods should include an advanced research methods course that covers both quantitative and/or qualitative approaches.

4

Upon admission to candidacy, each doctoral candidate must register for SPA 84199. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I each semester (fall, spring) for a total of 30 credit hours, and thereafter will register for SPA 84299, each semester (fall, spring) until all requirements for the degree have been met.

Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus
Research Labs and Directors

Mentor Training Model. The Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders uses a mentorship model, such that prospective students should identify a research faculty mentor they are interested in working with. Before applying to the Ph.D. program, you should reach out to the faculty member of interest to inquire if they are accepting doctoral students and to determine if your interests align with theirs.

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

20.5%

much faster than the average

254,000

number of jobs

$99,090

potential earnings

Speech-language pathologists

24.9%

much faster than the average

162,600

number of jobs

$80,480

potential earnings

Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

6.1%

faster than the average

138,300

number of jobs

$91,510

potential earnings

Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the earliest I can apply?

Ph.D. applications are rolling (i.e., applications may be at any time). However, to be considered for funding support, applicants must apply by or before Jan. 15 of the academic year preceding the anticipated start date (Fall).

What educational background do I need?

Students are required to have completed a bachelor's along with a master’s or an AuD degree, both from an accredited college or university.

What if none of the faculty are interested in what I want to study?

The Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a research-intensive, mentorship program. Students should identify a faculty mentor who does research that aligns with their intended research interests. Consider reaching out to an identified faculty mentor before applying.

How can I tell if my application materials were received?

An application is considered complete when all application requirements for the program have been submitted. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have submitted all required materials. Please monitor your application checklist to identify outstanding requirements.

When will I hear whether or not I have been accepted?

We currently have a rolling deadline, by which graduate faculty will review applications on a regular basis. However, to be considered for funding, the application deadline is Jan. 15. We typically try to provide formal decisions no later than March 15.

Why wasn't I accepted with funding?

Based on budgetary constraints, funding for doctoral students is limited and never guaranteed.

Do all admitted Ph.D. students receive funding? Does it matter whether I am an international applicant?

Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee funding. We do try to secure funding for incoming students, but you will only be considered for funding if your application is received by the posted deadline. After the first year of funding, given available funds, enrolled doctoral students will be reviewed and given funding pending availability of funds, but may be considered for future funding.

Do I need to fill out a separate application to be considered for funding?

No, all students will be considered for funding if they submit their application by the posted deadline.

I’d like to visit campus. How can I arrange this?

Please contact our Ph.D. program coordinator Dr. Jenny Roche (jroche3@kent.edu) for on campus visit arrangement.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact our Ph.D. program coordinator Dr. Jenny Roche (jroche3@kent.edu).