Speech and Hearing Science (Translational Genetics of Communication Abilities), PhD

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Join a highly sought-after cohort of specialists equipped to investigate the genetic foundations of communication behaviors and come to understand the full spectrum of communication abilities from typical processes (e.g., acquiring multiple languages) to disorders (e.g., dyslexia, hearing impairment) through advanced cross-training in communication sciences and disorders and genetics.

The translational genetics of communication abilities concentration within the PhD program in speech and hearing science provides doctoral students with training in an innovative approach to the clinical sciences (it was pioneered at ASU) in which the concepts of precision medicine are applied to all disciplines within communication sciences and disorders. Training in molecular genetics and bioinformatics equips students to investigate the interactions among genetic, brain-based and behavioral traits. Prior training in genetics is not required.

Knowledge of genotype-phenotype associations provides the foundation for the translational components of this program: early identification and intervention, individualized management and interprofessional approaches. Students have the option of focusing primarily on basic sciences aspects, on clinical translations, or on both.

This program leverages ASU's strong research and clinical expertise across clinical linguistics and its expertise in the biosciences and translational clinical sciences. Collaborating units at ASU include the Biodesign Institute, the School of Life Sciences, the College of Health Solutions with its many subspecialties such as bioinformatics, the Department of Psychology and many others.

Upon completion of this doctoral concentration, graduates have the skills to discover and understand networks of genotype-phenotype associations and to contribute to more effective clinical management of communication disorders using preventative, targeted and interprofessional methods.

At A Glance

Speech and Hearing Science (Translational Genetics of Communication Abilities), PhD

Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

GRE Waivers

GRE waivers for the PhD in speech and hearing science (translational genetics of communication abilities) program can be requested. Our admissions committee takes a holistic approach to reviewing each applicant's background and relevant experience. To be considered for a GRE waiver, contact CHSgrad@asu.edu.

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
  3. application cover letter and personal statement
  4. GRE scores
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. resume or curriculum vitae
  7. 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.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in translational genetics as indicated in the applicant's written statement of academic and professional goals

Typically, applicants have completed a master's or AuD degree or equivalent in speech and hearing science, psychology, linguistics or a related discipline. Applicants with a bachelor's degree, strong research interests and a strong academic record also are considered. Applicants who wish to study the genetics of a certain communication disorder but lack undergraduate or graduate level training in communication disorders are required to take relevant courses in the college.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.

Professional letters of recommendation must be from three individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic record and should contain contact information for the recommenders.

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