Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Communication Sciences and Disorders, Ph.D.

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences  
Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Also offered as a Concurrent Degrees  


The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders provides disciplinary and interdisciplinary education to prepare research scientists capable of addressing both theoretical and applied issues in laboratory, clinical, and classroom settings. Academic preparation emphasizes basic and advanced study in the communicative sciences, interdisciplinary study, and extensive research preparation. The program of study is tailored to meet individual interest areas. The overall aim of the doctoral major is to produce graduates who excel in meeting the rigorous demands of an academic/research career.

Major Research Areas:

  • Speech-Language Sciences:  Speech perception and production processes, speech perception by normal hearing listeners and listeners with hearing loss, non-native speech, language development in at-risk populations, linguistic and discourse correlates for reading, writing, and spelling, second language learning and literacy learning, and language variation and multiculturalism; 
  • Hearing Sciences and Audiology: Aural rehabilitation, psychoacoustics, aging, temporal processing, speech perception by impaired listeners, auditory evoked potentials, and otoacoustic emissions;
  • Neurocommunicative Sciences: Aphasia, cognitive/linguistic processing in normal aging and adults with neurological disorders, cognitive neuroscience.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A letter of intent
  • 3.50 GPA undergraduate or graduate
  • Students with a non-CSD background may be required to take pre-requisite coursework in the basic speech, language, and hearing sciences depending on career plans and desired area of focus.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours:                     

72 (post‐baccalaureate) 
42 (post‐master’s) 
42 (post-AuD)
  • Core - 9 credit hours
  • Research and Tools of Research - 12 credit hours
  • Advanced Study - 9 credit hours
  • Foundation - 30 credit hours (post-bacc only)
  • Dissertation - 12 credit hours

Completion of the Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders after the Master’s normally requires three years of study; five years after the bachelor’s.

Core Requirements (9 credit hours)

  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Students will complete two semesters (1 credit per semester) of a professional development seminar. This prepares doctoral students for a successful academic career in communication sciences and disorders. Topics discussed include developing a research agenda, building a curriculum vita, teaching in higher education, balancing career and family, professional networking, and keys to success.


  • Credit Hours: 1-10 (1 Credit Minimum Required for this program)

    Students will complete a one-semester practicum on teaching requirements and practices aimed at preparing them to be graduate assistants or instructors in classes at the University of South Florida or other higher education institutions.

Research and Tools of Research (12 credit hours)

Coursework required for tools of research include any course work required for the student to develop skills in research methodology in their area of specialty. The student’s academic advisor, major professor and Doctoral Committee will advise students on the selection of appropriate graduate coursework given the student’s area of specialization.  For most students, tools of research will consist of research design and/or statistics courses. However, depending on the student’s area of specialization, courses such as grant writing, computer programming, instructional design, and many others in a variety of departments may be appropriate.

Advanced Study (9 credit hours)

Coursework required for Advanced Study may take the form of directed research or elective graduate coursework, either within the department or in related departments), directed research, or independent study. The student’s academic advisor, major professor and Doctoral Committee will advise students on the selection of the proper mix of directed research, coursework, and other study to support knowledge development in the student’s area of specialization.  For most students, advanced study will consist primarily of directed research credits with Doctoral Committee members, as they begin directed readings to prepare for the Qualifying Examination.

Foundation (30 credit hours) (post-bacc only)

Bachelor’s level students, in consultation with their academic advisor, will design an appropriate curriculum to obtain foundational content and skills in their area of interest that will prepare them for Advanced Study. The credits may take the form of structured coursework, directed research, or independent study.   Courses in the Department frequently used to satisfy this requirement are listed below.    

Note: Students admitted to the program from a non‐CSD background may be required to take pre‐requisite coursework at the undergraduate level in the basic speech, language, and hearing sciences, depending on their career plans and desired area of focus:

Qualifying Exam

With the supervision of a qualifying exam committee, students must pass a qualifying examination that evaluates the student’s specialty knowledge and methodological competence. 

Pre-Dissertation Project
A pre-dissertation project is required. This may or may not involve research that is related to the principal research topic of the dissertation. Successful completion of the pre-dissertation project must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and major professor. In some cases, this requirement may be satisfied by a previously completed master’s thesis or audiology doctoral research project.

Dissertation (12 credit hours)

  • Credit Hours: 2-19 (12 Credits Minimum Required for this program)

    Other Requirements
    Departmental policy specifies that any student earning a C+ or below in two courses will be recommended for dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

Concurrent Degree

Also available as a Concurrent Degree