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Ph.D. Program

The doctoral program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is an individualized interdisciplinary course of study aimed at developing professionals capable of leadership roles in research, teaching, and professional service.


Faculty in the department as well as in other departments of the University make the program particularly appealing for students interested in child language development and disorders, speech science, hearing science, clinical audiology, or neurogenic speech and language disorders. The program of study is guided by an advisor and an advisory committee of four faculty members chosen in consultation with the student.

Our program at UT is built on an apprenticeship model. Each doctoral student has a mentor who acts as the students' primary advisor and teacher. During the first year of doctoral study, the mentor and the student put together a doctoral committee that reviews and approves the student's doctoral work plan. The doctoral committee is usually comprised of faculty members who share research interests with the student.

In order to be accepted into the doctoral program, there must be a faculty member who indicates that he or she wants to work closely with you. Individuals who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree at UT Austin should contact one or two specific faculty members that they think may be interested in studying with.  After discussions with the faculty members about their specific research interests, the individual asks one faculty member if they would be willing to serve as their mentor. The faculty member who is willing to serve as a mentor writes a summary statement that goes into the applicant's application folder.

Academic Faculty bios are available to help you determine which faculty member best fits your interest. All applicants are expected to interview (either in person or telephone) with the CSD Graduate Advisor and faculty member they wish to serve as their mentor. You should visit the Academic Faculty bios list above for contact information.

Once you have identified a mentor whom you would like to work with, you should complete the application process by following the application instructions.

Please contact our CSD Graduate Office if you have general admissions questions about the doctoral application process. The faculty member you choose to mentor you during your graduate program is the best person to answer specific questions about what your individual program might look like. You may contact our faculty with your questions or concerns.

To view the PhD Program Guide, click here


Doctoral Program Objectives

The student is required to demonstrate knowledge and/or competence in the following areas before the doctoral degree is awarded:

  • The body of literature pertinent to the student's major area of interest and necessary supportive areas;
  • The performance of original and independent scholarly research;
  • Basic teaching skills necessary to teach courses in the student's major area of interest.

Evaluation of Student's Progress

The Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders reviews the progress of doctoral students each year. Students are informed of the evaluation of progress in writing by the Graduate Advisor, and a copy of the letter is placed in the students’ graduate file in the Graduate Advisor's office. The types of recommendations made are that the student:

  • continue in his/her program;
  • be placed on probationary status; or
  • be terminated.

If a student is placed on probation, the procedure for being removed from probation is specified in the evaluation letter. When necessary, termination from the doctoral program may be recommended by the GSC through procedures established by the Graduate School. Termination is subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School. The Chair of the Department confers with the student if the recommendation includes termination of a teaching assistantship. The Chair and the Graduate Advisor confer with the student if the recommendation involves termination of a fellowship.

Student's Responsibility

Students are responsible for insuring that all relevant documentation is present in his or her advisor's file. Each student will provide his or her faculty advisor with copies of all papers written for courses (including those completed for courses outside the Department) in order to help the advisory committee monitor the student's development of academic writing skills.

General Regulations

Residency Requirements for Graduate Degrees

A major portion of a graduate student's degree program must be completed under the supervision of the Graduate Faculty at The University of Texas at Austin. Each degree candidate must spend a minimum of three long semesters in residence at The University of Texas at Austin.

Re-entry after an Inactive Period

If a student plans not to be enrolled in a long semester, he or she must apply for a leave of absence. To re-enter, she/he must apply to the University for permission. The re-entry form is available from the Graduate Advisor. The application should be submitted as soon as possible after the student has made a decision to re-enter, especially if he/she has taken courses at another school in the interim.

If a student registers and withdraws before the 12th class day, he/she must reapply for admission to Graduate School or have his/her original admission extended by petition from the Graduate Advisor to the Dean of the Graduate School. If a student withdraws after the 12th class day of the first semester of graduate work and does not enroll for the following semester, he/she must see the Dean of Graduate Studies before registering again.

Course Grades

Credit is given for the grades of A, B, and C. Within the overall grade point average, a B average in all upper division and graduate courses in the major and minor fields of study is required. No major course with a grade of C or lower may be included on a work program.

Time Limits

No official time limit has been imposed for finishing the doctoral degree. However, all completed course work that is included on a student's degree program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years (exclusive of a maximum three years of military service). The dissertation defense must take place within three years of the student's admission to candidacy. If the student has not completed the dissertation within that time frame, the GSC and the Graduate School will conduct a review of the student's status at the three-year point and yearly thereafter to ensure that progress toward completion of the degree is being made.

Graduation under a Particular Catalog

General and specific requirements for degrees in the Graduate School are sometimes altered in successive catalogs. The student is bound by the requirements of the catalog in force at the time of admission. However, the student may choose to fulfill the requirements of a subsequent catalog in effect in any year in which he/she is enrolled in the Graduate School, within the six-year limit for courses included on the work program.

(NOTE: For Graduate School degree regulations, please see The Graduate Guide published by the Council of Graduate Students, or The Graduate School Catalog.)

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