- All completed applications are reviewed by the admissions committee. Students should have a GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale). GRE scores are required (General Test). Applications will be accepted throughout the year for the PhD program. However, applications submitted by February 1st of each year will be considered for funding. Decisions about financial assistance are typically made each year shortly after the February 1 deadline. Decisions about financial assistance through research grants, however, can be made for applications received at any time.
- Applicants should submit recommendations from at least three individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic background and aptitude for PhD work in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology. The letters should specify in detail the applicant’s capabilities for PhD study.
- Applicants also need to submit a resume/vita describing all educational and work experience and a letter describing research interests and professional goals.
- In addition, applicants must have an interview with U of M faculty in the student’s major area of concentration.
- Most applicants will have a master’s degree upon admission but this is not a requirement. Students can be admitted directly from the bachelor’s degree.
- Students are expected to understand and use English proficiently.
- For students entering with a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 81 graduate hours, not including dissertation, is required for the PhD degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
- For students who have completed a master’s degree in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology, a minimum of 57 graduate hours, not including dissertation, will be required for the PhD degree.
- For students who have completed a master’s degree in a field related to Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology, a minimum of 69 graduate hours, not including dissertation, will be required for the PhD degree.
- For students who have completed an AuD degree, a minimum of 33 hours, not including dissertation, will be required for the PhD degree.
- A minimum of 9 hours is required for the dissertation. NOTE: Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write the dissertation.
- Additional coursework, beyond the minimum, may be required at the discretion of the advising committee. Course credit for clinical practicum may not be counted toward the PhD degree.
Areas of Concentration:
Three areas of concentration are offered: (1) Hearing Sciences and Disorders, (2) Speech-Language Sciences and Disorders, and (3) Neuroscience. A minimum of 24 credit hours must be taken in the student’s area of concentration and at least 21 of these hours must be within the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. This requirement is waived for post-AuD students in the Audiology concentration.
Core Requirements are designed to ensure that all PhD students will acquire knowledge of the acoustic phonetic structure of speech signals, speech acoustics, professional issues, and the neuroanatomy/neurophysiology related to communication sciences and disorders: All PhD students are required to complete the following:
- Research Tool—15 credit hours, of which 9 hours must be in statistics and/or research design.
A minimum of 9 semester hours will be required from a collateral area. A collateral area is defined as a combination of courses based on substantive commonality. This collateral coursework must be taken outside the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The collateral area requirement can be waived for a student entering with a master’s degree in a field related to Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology or if the student’s outside work is considered sufficient by the Planning Committee.
Pre-Candidacy Research Project:
All PhD students will be required to satisfactorily complete a data-based research project prior to candidacy. Students will submit an approved written version of the completed project to the academic advisor and orally present the completed project to a departmental colloquium.
- All PhD students are expected to be active in research collaboratively with members of the School faculty each semester they are enrolled.
- Students may be permitted to complete the requirements for clinical certification with the approval of their planning committee.
General Program Requirements
Upon admission each student will be assigned an advisor by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with the student. This advisor will serve as the chair of the student’s planning committee. The advisor shall be a full member of the graduate faculty of The University of Memphis.
The planning committee’s charge is to evaluate the student’s academic needs and assist in the planning of the student’s academic program. Students who have completed a master’s or AuD degree will be assessed for currency of knowledge in their concentration to assist in the planning of their academic program. This requirement will not apply to those students who have completed a master’s or AuD degree within the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The academic program will be tailored to accommodate the individual student’s academic interests, background, and professional goals. Within the concentration area, each student will identify an area of special focus. The committee will recommend to the Graduate School those courses, if any, to be transferred toward the PhD, provided that the credit meets general university requirements. The committee, all of whom must be members of the graduate faculty, shall number no less than three, at least two of whom shall be from the student’s area of concentration. The student, in conjunction with the committee, will develop a final academic plan to be in written form and filed in the dean’s office. This plan is to be signed by each member of the committee and the PhD student. The plan must be filed no later than the middle of the second semester. The student or a planning committee member may propose changes after the plan has been filed. However, any resulting change in the student’s plan will require written approval of the committee and the PhD student.
All students enrolled in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders are expected to attain high academic achievement in all courses taken. In addition to Graduate School policy the criteria listed below will be used to determine the retention status of students enrolled in the School.
- Continuation in the program is contingent upon a satisfactory annual review.
- Grades of less than 2.00 in a required course are considered unacceptable and must be repeated in order to meet graduation requirements.
- Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 at the end of each semester of enrollment in all coursework at the University of Memphis. Any student not meeting these conditions will be placed on academic probation by the School.
- Any student who is placed on academic probation for a third time during his/her academic program will be dismissed before enrolling in another semester.
- Students have the option of repeating two courses in which a grade of 2.00 or less was earned. After exhausting this option, students are permitted to count only two grades of 2.00 toward graduation. A student will be dismissed at the end of the semester in which a third grade of 2.00 or less is earned.
- Students must pass the comprehensive examination (including both written and oral components).
Comprehensive Examination Committee
The comprehensive examination committee will consist of members selected by the student in conjunction with the advisor and the planning committee. The committee will be made up of at least three members from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and one from an academic unit outside the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to determine mastery and broad understanding of the theoretical and empirical issues in contemporary speech-hearing sciences. This includes knowledge of the field, research tools, and of a collateral area. Examiners will evaluate the student’s ability to synthesize, integrate, and critique information and ideas. Although there will usually be a close relationship between doctoral coursework and the comprehensive examination, the examination is not restricted to course content. The comprehensive examination will consist of written and oral components selected by the Comprehensive Examination Committee in consultation with the student to represent areas of particular importance for the student’s career.
Written Examination: The written examination entails 24 hours of evaluation. A minimum of 9 hours of written answers to questions that test core knowledge in the selected areas of study must be completed within a 10-day period. Up to 15 hours may be completed in an alternative manner (e.g., practical laboratory examination/experiment, scholarly paper(s), grant proposal, course development). All activities that count toward the written portion must be approved by the Comprehensive Examination Committee and should be concluded either during the last semester of completing academic requirements or shortly thereafter. This examination will be administered any time within the specified semester subject to the discretion of the Committee.
Oral Examination: The oral examination shall be administered within three weeks of the conclusion of the written examination regardless of the student’s performance on the written examination. The oral examination is a supplement to the written examination and is intended to ensure that the goals of the comprehensive examination have been met.
All Comprehensive Examination Committee members from within the School and at least one from outside the School must be present at the oral examination. The committee shall determine the student’s status relative to the comprehensive examination after the oral examination. No more than one dissenting vote may be cast for a student to pass. The committee has the authority to specify further stipulations aimed at remedying any deficiencies reflected in the student’s comprehensive examination including enrolling for additional coursework, preparing one or more scholarly papers, or retaking the entire written and oral examination. The comprehensive exam may be retaken only once. However, in the case that a student fails by unanimous vote by all committee members, he/she will not be eligible to retake the comprehensive exams and will be dismissed from the program. The committee chair shall file in the dean’s office a decision in writing concerning the student’s comprehensive examination within two weeks after the oral examination.
After completion of all academic requirements and successful completion of the comprehensive examination, a PhD student may apply for candidacy.
The dissertation committee will consist of a minimum of four faculty members selected by the student in consultation with the dissertation advisor. At least half of the members must be from the School and at least one member must be from a department outside the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The chairperson of the dissertation committee must be from the School and must be a full member of the graduate faculty.
The student will develop a prospectus in conjunction with the dissertation committee chairperson. The prospectus will be reviewed for approval by the committee. After approval the student will conduct the work set forth in the prospectus. NOTE: Students should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write. The completed dissertation will be defended by the student. The oral defense will be open to the University community, with voting on the acceptability of the defense restricted to dissertation committee members. All members of the committee must be present at the dissertation defense. An affirmative decision will be based on the unanimous decision of the examining committee. After successful defense, any required revision, retyping, and resubmission of the dissertation to the committee chair must be completed prior to awarding of the degree.
Completion of both Research (PhD) and Professional (MA or AuD) Programs
Students applying to the PhD program may also wish to meet the academic and practicum requirements for a professional degree in either Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology. PhD applicants may request consideration of a combined degree plan in consultation with prospective mentors. PhD admission requirements must be met as stated above. Combined degree plans require approval by the PhD admissions committee as well as the clinical admissions committee. For MA-PhD students, all degree requirements for both programs remain in effect as specified in the Graduate Catalog for each degree , and for AuD-PhD students, all degree requirements for both programs remain in effect as specified inthe Graduate Catalog for each degree program.