Campus Directory

University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Communication Sciences & Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions: Ph.D. in Communication Sciences & Disorders

What can I do with a PhD?

With a Ph.D., you are preparing to conduct research in the field. You could pursue research in a university setting as a faculty member (whose responsibilities typically include teaching and research or clinical supervision and research) or in a variety of other settings such as hospitals, clinics, hearing aid companies, etc. There is a shortage of people with the Ph.D. in our field.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has a section of their website with a lot of great resources for individuals considering a Ph.D. degree and/or preparing to apply to a Ph.D. program. We highly recommend that you review this information before you apply. Go to About Doctoral Programs on the ASHA website.

How long does it take?

It depends on a number of factors, but most students need about 5 years to complete the requirements, if they come in to the program with a Master's degree in the field. Those who enter the program with Bachelor's degrees or who are from out of field typically need somewhat longer.

What about my Clinical Fellowship Year - CFY?

It is often, but not always, possible for PhD students to complete a CFY experience while enrolled in the PhD program. Whether or not it can work depends on a number of factors. One factor, of course, is that you will need to be a well-qualified student with a strong academic record, because this option will carry with it extra responsibility (if you are concerned about the competitiveness of your grades or GRE scores, it may be beneficial to complete your CFY before applying). The other big factor to consider is the type of research experience your advisor would want you to get in the first year, and whether the research lab schedule would be compatible with a CFY. In some cases, this combination of responsibilities works well, particularly if students complete their CFY part-time (5-15 hours/week); in other cases, it might be easier for you to complete the CFY first and then apply to the PhD program. This decision is best made with your potential mentor.

How will my application be evaluated?

In addition to considering your academic credentials (see our how to apply section for the minimum academic requirements), the Admissions Committee will review your research interests and determine if there is a suitable mentor available to work with you if you were admitted to the program. Therefore, you may be able to strengthen your application by considering which professor(s) in our department you might like to work with and including this information in your letter of intent. As you prepare to discuss this topic in your letter of intent, you may find it helpful to review the Areas of Specialization and Faculty pages on our website. We also encourage you to contact the professor(s) directly to learn more about their research and determine if there might be a good fit for you to pursue your PhD here, with one of them as your mentor.

What sort of financial aid is available?

Individuals who apply for Fall admission to the Ph.D. program will automatically be considered for a graduate assistantship upon admission. Graduate assistantships cover most of a student's tuition and provide a biweekly stipend. For more information about graduate assistantships and scholarship opportunities, please see the webpage on how to apply.

What if I still have questions?

Please contact Dr. Jean Krause.