Speech and Hearing Science, PhD

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Overview

The interdisciplinary PhD in Speech and Hearing Science prepares scholars for careers in basic, clinical, and applied research in academic, industrial, or health care environments. Students pursue a program with the unifying theme of human communication and disorders and take courses from a variety of departments across the university. The program is tailored to students’ specific interests and needs.

Access to World-Class Experts

Our PhD program provides personalized mentorship and hands-on experience in research, teaching, and service. When you complete a PhD program at Arizona State University, you will be prepared for a changing world!

Our graduate faculty are world-class experts in:

  • Neuroscience
  • Craniofacial disorders
  • Speech processing and disorders
  • Language and literacy development and disorders
  • Artificial intelligence technology and engineering
  • Neuropsychology
  • Bilingual language development and disorders
  • Fluency
  • Cochlear implants
  • Pediatric audiology
  • Genetics.

Learn more about speech and hearing science faculty and research at ASU.

Training Opportunities

  • Funded doctoral training is offered through a U.S. Department of Education training grant titled "Research Interventions for Dual Language Learners with Language Learning Disabilities (RIDLLs)." The RIDLLs training provides scholars with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to address the development, scale up, and sustainability of curricula and evidence-based interventions for students with learning disabilities who are dual-language learners. Learn more.
  • Students accepted to the PhD in speech and hearing science program at ASU’s College of Health Solutions may apply for additional training in culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through the PRIDE program. Learn more.
  • Applications are now being accepted for two Presidential Graduate Assistantships. The assistantships consist of four years of full funding, a personalized mentorship program, intensive professional development, and community-building resources. The positions are provided by ASU to support the career development of outstanding PhD students from traditionally underrepresented groups. To apply, please submit an application to the program and indicate in your personal statement why you would like to be considered for a Presidential Graduate Assistantship.

Prospective Students

A student showing a brain model to another studentOur PhD provides personalized mentorship and hands-on experience in research, teaching, and service; therefore, students applying to the program should identify a mentor prior to applying to the program. In addition, applicants should visit with potential mentors by phone or in person to discuss your mutual research interests. This will allow you to consider important factors that may affect your decision to continue with your application. Our faculty have active and world recognized research programs with a variety of interests. See the different faculty and research labs to identify possible mentors:

Admission

Applicants typically have completed a master's degree or equivalent in speech and hearing science, psychology, linguistics, education, engineering, or a related discipline. Applicants with a bachelor's degree, strong research interests, and a strong academic record are also considered.
Applications are reviewed first by the Office of Graduate Education. When the application is complete it is forwarded to the department for review by the PhD admissions committee and the Speech and Hearing Science Graduate Faculty. Criteria for admission include:

  • Evidence of excellence in scholarship and research potential based on previous academic record.
  • Professional goals that are compatible with the PhD degree.
  • Scholarly interests that are compatible with one or more Speech and Hearing Science Graduate Faculty.
  • Agreement by at least one member of the Graduate Faculty to serve as the primary mentor and chair of the student’s Program Committee.
  • After the PhD Committee determines who will be admitted, funding recommendations for the first year of the PhD program are made by the PhD Committee to the department chair based on the quality of materials presented in the PhD application.

All applicants must complete an online graduate admission application and submit the following evidence for admission review:

  • online graduate admission application.
  • official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate study.
  • professional references from three individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic record, in addition to the contact information of the recommenders.
  • proof of English proficiency*
  • application cover letter and goals statement.
  • resume or curriculum vitae.

*Applicants whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency. Applicants must fulfill both the requirements of the Division of Graduate Education and those of the College of Health Solutions.
Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00=“A”) in an applicable bachelor’s or master’s program.

Application Deadline

The priority application deadline for fall admission is December 15. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed in the order in which they were completed and on a space available basis.

Financial Support

The Department of Speech and Hearing Science funds full time doctoral students typically for no more than 4 years. Travel and research financial support is also dependent on department, mentor and university funds availability. Students are encouraged to seek additional funding.

Fellowships and awards

There are scholarships available to incoming graduate students. Speech and Hearing Scholarship applications are due by February 1. For more information visit College of Health Solutions Scholarships

Financial aid

There is no financial aid available through the department, although such aid is available through the Office of Graduate Education; visit their site to explore financial aid opportunities.

Curriculum

A minimum of 56 semester hours of graduate work is required beyond the master's or Au.D. degree or 84 semester hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree.

  • Undergraduate students accepted into the Speech/Language Science PhD program will not earn a master’s degree or an Au.D. We do not offer a master’s degree in passing. If you wish to earn your clinical master’s degree in addition to a PhD you must apply to and be accepted into the master’s in communication disorders program. When you are nearing completion of that degree you can apply to the PhD program.
  • Students wishing to complete the requirements for ASHA certification of clinical competence in audiology must apply to the Au.D program. A PhD program of study is available for applicants with an Au.D. degree. See page 16 of the PhD Student Handbook for more information.

Required credits beyond a master’s degree include a minimum of

  • 12 credits in an area of concentration
  • 9 credits of research methods and statistics (must earn a B or better in each course and must successfully complete at least one statistics course during the first year). An introductory data management course does not qualify as a research methods or statistics course.
  • 11 credits of doctoral professional seminar (SHS 790) and professional workshops
    • Workshops on Responsible Conduct of Research and Academic Integrity first year (no credit but required)
    • Scientific Process I: Research Review & Development (1 unit) and Scientific Process II: Research Writing and Presentation (1 unit)
    • Writing group each semester after the first year (1 unit x 6 semesters)
    • Effective Course Development, Teaching, & Mentoring (1 unit)
    • Successful Grant Writing (1 unit)
    • Post Docs, Positions, and Getting off to a Good Start (1 unit)
  • 12 credits of research prior to the dissertation (SHS 792)
  • 12 credits of dissertation research (SHS 799 Dissertation)
  • A minimum of 30 hours of the approved PhD Program, exclusive of dissertation and research hours, are to be completed at ASU.
  • Students transferring from a doctoral program at another institution may petition the PhD Committee to accept up to six transfer credits for application to the program of study..

For more detail on the doctoral program and descriptions, please go to the current PhD student handbook

Expected Timeline for Achieving Doctoral Program Milestones

Semester Milestones
Fall 1
  • Create Individual Development and Progress Plan by Sept. 1
Spring 1
  • Pass Preliminary Exam Prospectus
  • Complete Progress Report Form by March 1
Fall 2
  • Pass Preliminary Exam Defense
  • Update Individual Develop-ment Plan by Sept. 1
Spring/Summer 2
  • Pass Oral/Written Comps
  • Update Progress Report Form by March 1
Fall 3
  • Update Individual Development Plan by Sept. 1
  • Teaching
Spring 3
  • Pass Dissertation Prospectus
  • Update Progress Report Form by March 1
Fall 4
  • Update Individual Development Plan by Sept. 1
Spring/Summer 4
  • Defend Dissertation
  • Update Progress Report Form by March 1

Sample Schedule for Required Doctoral Workshops, Seminars, Statistics, and Content

Semester Schedule
Fall 1
  • Scientific Process I: Research Review & Development (1 unit)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop (no credit)
  • Statistics (3)
  • 792 (3)
Spring 1
  • Scientific Process II: Research Writing and Presentation (1 unit)
  • Academic Integrity Workshop (required, no credit)
  • Statistics (3)
  • Content (3)
Fall 2
  • Writing Group (1 unit)
  • Statistics (3)
  • Content (3)
  • 792 (3)
Spring 2
  • Writing Group (1 unit)
  • Statistics (3)
  • Content (3)
Fall 3
  • Effective Course Develop-ment, Teaching, & Mentoring (1 unit)
  • Writing Group (1 unit)
  • Content (3)
  • 792 (3)
Spring 3
  • Writing Group (1 unit)
  • Dissertation – 799 (1)
  • 792 (3)
Fall 4
  • Successful Grant Writing (1 unit)
  • Writing Group (1 unit)
  • Dissertation – 799 (6)
Spring 4
  • Post Docs, Positions, & Getting off to a Good Start (1 unit)
  • Writing Group (1 unit)
  • Dissertation – 799 (6)

Areas of Interest

  • Language and Literacy Development and Disorders
  • Genetics in Communicative Disorders
  • Language and Literacy Development and Disorders
  • Bilingual Language Development and Disorders
  • Neuroscience of Language
  • Hearing Science
  • Assistive Technology
  • Speech Signal Processing
  • Memory and Cognition
  • Craniofacial and Cleft Palate
  • Autism
  • Dementia
  • Stuttering
  • And more!

Become an independent scientist in speech and hearing science. Benefit from personalized mentorship and hands-on experience in research, teaching and service offered to you by faculty who are experts in many exciting fields from craniofacial disorders to genetics.

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The interdisciplinary PhD program in speech and hearing science prepares scholars for careers in basic and applied research in academic, industrial or health care environments.

Students pursue an individualized program with the unifying theme of human communication and disorders. Courses tailored to students' specific interests are taken from a variety of departments. In addition to a self-designed program of study, concentrations are offered in auditory and language neuroscience and in translational genetics of communication abilities. Students should visit the department website for further details about these options.

At A Glance

Speech and Hearing Science, PhD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

  View Student Handbook    View Factsheet

More Information

Degree requirements

Required Core (2 credit hours)
SHS 701 Scientific Writing and Presentation in Communication Sciences and Disorders I (1)
SHS 702 Scientific Writing and Presentation in Communication Sciences and Disorders II (1)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
SHS 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, 28 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree are allowed to be used for the degree.

Students complete content area coursework within speech and hearing science and other disciplines that can be tailored to the student's research interests. A student completes their plan of study under the guidance of their faculty mentor and program committee. A formal research experience during the first three semesters of the program provides students with a jumpstart into research, preparing the student for their subsequent dissertation research.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Health Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree in a related field and do not wish to earn a clinical master's degree, or if they have earned a master's degree or equivalent in speech and hearing science, psychology, linguistics, or a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate study
  3. application cover letter and personal statement
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. resume or curriculum vitae
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. We welcome international applicants and have a strong record of training international students in our program. For all applicants of graduate programs at ASU, English proficiency is a requirement. There are several different avenues to demonstrate English proficiency, including through previous academic experiences in English, standardized tests, or through online courses. Please refer to ASU's Graduate College English proficiency requirements for more details about English proficiency requirements.

Professional letters of recommendation should be from three individuals who can speak to one or more of the following: academic performance, clinical performance, or potential to succeed in a research-intensive doctoral program. The letter writers are typically faculty, clinical or research supervisors. If the applicant has spent some time away from research or academia, it is still recommended to have some letters from those experiences, in addition to a more recent clinical or research supervisor.

In addition to uploading a letter of recommendation, letter writers are asked to rate the applicant on the following:

  • academic performance
  • analytical skills
  • creativity and originality
  • emotional maturity
  • honesty and integrity
  • intellectual potential
  • mathematical and statistical skills
  • motivation to complete a PhD
  • oral communication skills
  • promise as a researcher in the discipline
  • working with others
  • written communication skills.

Letter writers also are asked to respond to the following short answer questions or prompts:

  • What is the context in which you have known the applicant?
  • Describe instances where you have seen this person go above and beyond?
  • Do you have any reservations about this applicant? If yes, what are they?
  • Describe an instance where you have seen the applicant demonstrate technical, analytical or problem-solving skills.
  • Would you admit this applicant to our PhD program? Why or why not?
  • Please provide any additional comments regarding the applicant's potential.

The personal statement, typically one or two double-spaced pages, should address the student's motivation to pursue a PhD with a specific faculty mentor in the program and include evidence of potential to succeed in a research-intensive doctoral program and goals for the future. Examples of evidence of potential to succeed include technical skills, clinical experiences, and research achievements and interests.


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