Communication Sciences and Disorders

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for admission. [The requirement to submit GRE scores is temporarily suspended for M.S. degree applicants for Fall 2021. Applicants to the Ph.D. degree program must submit GRE scores for Fall 2021.]

Approximately 35 credits are required for admission, distributed among speech pathology, audiology, speech science, education, and psychology, and including a course in statistics. Students entering without an undergraduate degree in CSD will be required to take additional make-up work.

Students with a 3.00 junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students. Usually students earn a master's degree in communication sciences and disorders prior to being considered for doctoral study, although persons with master's degrees in other fields will be considered for a doctoral program.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The master's degrees require a minimum of 50 graduate credits beyond admission standards. Students usually earn 55 to 65 credits to complete a degree, over four semesters and a summer of study.

There is a nonthesis option for the Master of Science degree, requiring a paper and additional course credits in lieu of a thesis. The master's program of study provides course work and practicum for advanced and/or professional-level licensure.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree normally requires a master's degree in communication sciences and disorders or a related field, plus a minimum of two years of advanced study, and presentation and oral defense of a research-based dissertation.

The communication and foreign language requirement is a minimum of 6 credits of statistics beyond the first course, plus 9 credits selected from among:

  • Statistics
  • Technical writing
  • Computer science
  • Research design
  • Foreign language

Two research exercises, one of which is used for doctoral qualifying examination early in the doctoral program, are required prior to the dissertation. Comprehensive written examinations in the areas of a student's interest and an optional minor field examination, plus an oral examination prior to dissertation, are required.

Details of a student's doctoral program are determined by the Ph.D. committee.

Dual-Titles

Dual-Title Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Graduate students with research and educational interests in language science may apply to the Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science Degree Program. The goal of the dual-title degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science is to enable graduate students from Communication Sciences and Disorders to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in Communication Sciences and Disorders, while at the same time gaining the perspective of the various disciplines contributing to the study of language science.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the dual-title degree under this program, a student must first apply and be admitted to the Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program and the Graduate School. Students considered for admission to the doctoral program have a Master's program GPA above 3.0/4.0, outstanding letters of recommendation, a written statement of scholarly interests and goals, and have completed the GRE. New graduate students in Communication Sciences and Disorders will receive information about the Language Science dual-title program, and may discuss their interest with one or more Language Science faculty in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, in order to obtain a recommendation for admission to the Language Science program. Once accepted into the Communication Sciences and Disorders program, and with a recommendation from a Language Science program faculty member in that department, the student may apply to the dual-title Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science by submitting a letter describing the student's interest in the program. The student's letter will be forwarded to a committee that will include the Director of the Linguistics Program, one of the Co-Directors of the Center for Language Science, and a third faculty member within the Center for Language Science. All three committee members will be affiliated with the Program in Linguistics. Upon the recommendation of this committee, the student will be admitted to the dual-title degree program in Language Science. The admission requirements of the Language Science dual-title Ph.D. program are that the student must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the major department. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Language Science Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Language Science prior to taking the qualifying examination in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program in which they are primarily enrolled. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title Ph.D. in Language Science, listed on the Language Science Bulletin page. Within this framework, final course selection is determined by the student and their Communication Sciences and Disorders program adviser.

Particular courses may satisfy both the Communication Sciences and Disorders requirements and those in the Language Science dual-title program. Final course selection is determined by the student in consultation with their doctoral adviser and committee. In most cases, the number of total credits earned by a dual-title student will be from 6-12 more than those normally earned by a student in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Some courses which meet Language Science requirements (e.g., theoretical linguistics, neuroscience, psycholinguistics) may also fulfill the Communication Sciences and Disorders requirements for a related area outside the department; however, dual-title students are not required to count any particular Language Science requirement as their outside area. Dual-title students who choose an outside content area not related to Language Science will require more time to complete their program.

Students are expected to participate in weekly Language Science Research meeting each semester in residence.

The qualifying examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Communication Sciences and Disorders and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Language Science program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single qualifying examination, containing elements of both Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Language Science Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Language Science, the member of the committee representing Language Science must be appointed as co-chair. The Language Science representative on the student’s Ph.D. committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and education in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Language Science. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Course List

Learning Outcomes

Master of science (M.S.)

  1. KNOW. Graduates will be able to demonstrate deep conceptual understanding and proficiency in theories related to the field of communication sciences and disorders.
  2. KNOW. Graduates will be able to demonstrate applied clinical principles and practices required to provide competent clinical services.
  3. CRITICAL THINKING. Graduates will be able to critically conceptualize and define the critical aspects of a clinical case and determine and apply practical and theoretically driven solutions.
  4. RESEARCH. Graduates will demonstrate proficiency in assessing, designing, and executing a research strategy to answer significant questions that have real world applications in the field of communication sciences and disorders.
  5. COMMUNICATE. Graduates will be able to effectively communicate relevant theory, evidence-based practice, and decision-making during group presentations of clinical cases and client outcomes.
  6. COMMUNICATE. Graduates will be able to effectively communicate research and clinical evidence in presentations at local, national, and/or international meetings or conferences.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

  1. KNOW, APPLY/CREATE. Graduates will demonstrate command of the history and current developments in theory and methods relevant to their specific area of study within the field of communication sciences and disorders.
  2. KNOW. Graduates will master the current literature relevant to their specific area of study within the field of communication sciences and disorders.
  3. APPLY/CREATE, COMMUNICATE. Graduates will formulate and execute at least two independent research projects that significantly contribute to the knowledge base and theory in their specific area of study within the field of communication sciences and disorders.
  4. COMMUNICATE. Graduates will articulate arguments and ideas with clarity in oral presentations and written formats and use the conventions of the discipline specific area of study within the field of communication sciences and disorders.
  5. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the professional standards of scholarly and professional work in their specific area of study within the field of communication sciences and disorders through their written and oral works, and interactions with colleagues.

PLC

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Diane L Williams
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Carol Anne Miller
Program Contact

Lisa Marie Timko
308 Ford Building
University Park PA 16802
lmg183@psu.edu
(814) 865-0971

Program Website View