The Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders prepares students for academic and research careers in college and university settings. Students may enter the program at the post-baccalaureate level. Students with an earned Master’s degree in speech-language pathology who are practicing clinicians and want additional study in research may also apply. The program provides an opportunity to pursue applied research (i.e., research that relates to clinical practice) as well as basic science research.

Program Objectives

The program is designed to:

  • prepare graduates to become independent researchers in order to answer important theoretical and clinical questions relating to normal and disordered communication.
  • prepare graduates to use their research skills to critically analyze new information in the discipline.
  • prepare graduate to function as educators who are prepared to teach in colleges and universities.

Additionally for post-master’s students, the program is designed to:

  • prepare graduate to be models of best practice within a variety of clinical settings by broadening the base of their clinical knowledge.
  • prepare graduate to be innovators in best practice for clinical skills.
  • allow graduate with a specific practice focus to become experts in their  area of interest.


The evaluation of applications for admission is the responsibility of the program’s Admissions Committee. The Committee reviews each application and renders a judgment of the applicant’s overall potential for success in doctoral study. This judgment is based on the following considerations:

  • Review of the applicant’s past academic performance, which involves not only consideration of grade-point-average, but also of the nature of previous coursework and the pattern of grades in various subject areas.
  • Scores for the Graduate Record Examination General Test (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing). In addition, scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required in the case of international students.
  • Three letters of recommendation, most appropriately from professors familiar with the student’s work who can testify to the applicant’s potential to complete the program.
  • A personal statement written by the applicant reviewing reasons for applying to the program, career objectives and relevant background information. Applicants must include their intended academic and research emphasis in order to identify potential faculty mentors.
  • An interview with the Admissions Committee and potential faculty mentors.
  • Application fee ($60).

Apply now

For complete information regarding the Graduate School admissions requirements and the application process, please contact the Graduate School at (973) 655-5147 or review the Graduate Schools website

The PhD program application deadline dates are as follows:

Fall Admission- February 15

Spring Admission- October 15

The Graduate School recommends that you submit your application materials as far in advance as possible to the semester you plan to begin your studies to ensure a timely review of your application.