Speech Language Pathology - Ph.D.

College of Education, Health and Human Services
School of Health Sciences
100 Nixson Hall
Kent Campus


The Ph.D. degree in Speech Language Pathology provides the student with a strong theoretical background and research competencies in communication processes and/or disorders and is ideal for those interested in academic and research careers in communications sciences.

Fully Offered At:

  • Kent Campus


Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree from an accredited institution
  • Bachelor's degree (not necessarily in areas of speech-language pathology and audiology)
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Minimum 3.500 graduate GPA is recommended
  • GRE scores (recommended score of 50th percentile of higher)
  • Goal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 587 TOEFL score (94 on the Internet-based version), minimum 82 MELAB score, minimum 7.0 IELTS score or minimum 65 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

For more information about graduate admission, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competency within one major and two minor areas of expertise.
  2. Demonstrate skills necessary to develop, implement and evaluate a line of individual and collaborative research.
  3. Demonstrate oral and written communication skills and synthesis/application of materials needed to teach within a clinical and/or didactic context.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements


Major Requirements
Major Area of Study 124
Two Cognate Areas of Study 215
Statistics and Research Design Coursework6
Minimum Total Credit Hours:75

This collection of coursework relates to the students' main areas of interest. It typically consists of lecture classes, seminars and independent studies. Included within the 24 credit hours are 4 credit hours of colloquium and 3 credit hours of research design. The colloquium provides information about areas that are of common interest to doctoral students regardless of specialties. Included are such topics as grant and manuscript writing, clinical and departmental administration, supervision and professional presentations.


Courses that complement the students' interests in the cognates may be taken in other program areas (such as psychology, business, biology, counseling and special education); within speech pathology and audiology; or from an affiliated medical school.


Upon admission to candidacy, each doctoral candidate must register for Dissertation I. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I for a total of 30 credit hours, and thereafter Dissertation II, each semester (including summer) until all requirements for the degree have been met.

Comprehensive Examination

Students who have not completed a master's thesis are required to complete and defend a research project prior to taking their comprehensive examination. Students must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.000 throughout the program. After completion of doctoral coursework, students take the candidacy examinations, consisting of both written and oral portions. The written portion entails 16-20 hours of writing on material studies within the major and minor concentrations. The oral portion occurs two to four weeks later and can cover information on any topic in addition to those covered on the written portion. Successful completion of these examinations culminates in "admission to candidacy" and allows the candidate to begin work on the dissertation.

Clinical Setting

For any clinical practicum (on campus or off campus) in speech pathology or audiology that requires candidates to be placed within the on-campus speech and hearing clinics, school or agency setting, the SPA program requires candidates to complete Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCII) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check and submit the results to authorized personnel at their assigned clinic/school/agency before the beginning of their placement or the first day of the semester in which the practicum will take place. Authorized school/agency personnel will determine whether a candidate may participate in practicum in the off-campus setting. The BCII and FBI background checks are good for one year and the candidates will need to complete one each year that they are in graduate school.

Electronic fingerprinting is available for BCII and FBI in 221 White Hall and should be completed one month prior to clinical practicum. Candidates are responsible for fees incurred for this requirement. For more information on this policy contact the Clinical Coordinators for the Speech and Hearing Clinics. Visit the Ohio Department of Education website for more information about background check requirements for those wishing to hold pupil personnel licenses in Ohio. Contact the Office of Professional Conduct at the Ohio Department of Education for specific information about the results of the background check.

Licensure Information

Candidates seeking Speech-Language Pathologist licensure are required to pass Praxis II test Speech-Language Pathology and minimum of 400 clock hours of supervised clinical experience in the practice of speech language pathology.

Students may be admitted to the Ph.D. program on a part time basis; however, all students must meet a residency requirement with two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment prior to acceptance into candidacy.