Ph.D. Program (Communication Sciences & Disorders)

Ph.D. in Communication Sciences & Disorders

We offer a highly flexible program of study leading to the 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. 

1. 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

2. 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.

3. 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 January 15 will be considered for funding. Our program, however, does offer a rolling deadline to any student not needing funding.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Steps for Applying to the Ph.D. Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • Check the deadlines (January 15 to be considered for funding) (check Graduate Studies for free application week)
  • Identify Research Interests (check out the faculty labs)
  • Connect with the faculty member of interest
  • Submission Documents
    • Statement of Interest (discuss interest in research, types of projects you might want to conduct, and identify a mentor)
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Official Transcripts (from Bachelors and/or Master’s-level institutions)
    • English-Language Proficiency Scores for international students required to provide proof of proficiency (KSU Institution Code: 1367)(see minimum score requirements)

7. Minimum requirements

  • Master's or AuD 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) for unconditional admission
  • Minimum 3.000 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000 point scale (minimum 3.500 GPA is recommended) for unconditional admission
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

8. Other Questions: See the FAQ or for specific questions about speech-language pathology, please contact Dr. Jenny Roche (, with specific questions about audiology, please contact Dr. Julia Huyck (

FAQs from Prospective Ph.D. Applicants

    For general questions not answered here or in the FAQ, please contact the Ph.D. Program Coordinator Dr. Jenny Roche (