School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

COMMUNICATION SCIENCES AND DISORDERS PHD FAQ

Is Financial Aid Available for PhD Students?

Financial support of full-time doctoral students in communication sciences and disorders is awarded through teaching or research assistantships which include a tuition waiver. Admitted students are automatically considered for these sources of financial support. Please see the UT Dallas Graduate Admissions site for information on other sources of financial aid for PhD students.

What is UT Dallas Like?

The University of Texas at Dallas recently was ranked second among U.S. universities founded in the past 50 years and is in the top 25 such universities world-wide. Total enrollment at UT Dallas is approximately 25,000, with more than 8,000 graduate students. UT Dallas’ main campus is located in Richardson, Texas, about 15 miles north of downtown Dallas; some of the centers of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences are located in Dallas, near the campus of the UT Southwestern Medical School. Both Richardson and Dallas are vibrant communities, with opportunities for art, drama, music, athletics, and other activities. Visit the UT Dallas visitors website for more information about the University.

What are Richardson and Dallas Like?

Richardson and Dallas are richly diverse cities located in one of America’s largest and fastest growing metropolitan areas. The Dallas area boasts 50,000 acres of public park land, the nation’s largest urban arts district with excellent symphony, opera, and art museums, five major sports franchises, multiple entertainment districts, and a thriving culinary scene. The DART rail system runs from the suburbs of Plano and Richardson to the arts district, downtown Dallas, and DFW airport. Yes, it is hot in the summer, but the average daily temperature is 65 degrees (spring, fall, and winter are great!). The area offers a reasonable cost of living and an abundance of sunshine.

Where Should I Live?

Some doctoral classes are held on the main UT Dallas campus in Richardson; other classes may be held in Dallas, at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, the Center for Brain Health, or the Center for Vital Longevity. Your duties as a teaching assistant or research assistant may take place on the main campus in Richardson or at one of the centers in Dallas, and locations of classes and duties may change over semesters.

Public transportation options are improving but, because commuting by car is relatively easy, many students choose to live in areas between Richardson and Dallas. Some student housing is available on the main campus in Richardson, but on-campus housing caters primarily to undergraduates. You can use online search engines to find options that fit your price range and target location. The program office can also provide information and recommendations from current doctoral students.

What is the Admissions Process Like?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential mentors prior to submitting application materials. The admissions committee evaluates applications on several dimensions, including prior GPA and GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. In addition, the fit between the research interests of the applicant and faculty, and the willingness and ability of the proposed mentor or mentoring team to accept new PhD student supervision responsibilities are very important.

After being admitted, students are invited to visit UT Dallas, to meet with prospective faculty mentors and see their laboratories.

Should I Contact Faculty Members with Whom I Would Like to Work Before I Apply?

Yes. We strongly encourage you to identify faculty who share your research interests and to contact them about current opportunities for admission. A primary consideration in PhD admission is a faculty member’s agreement to serve as a student’s mentor.

When are Admissions Decisions Made?

Decisions on admission are made in mid- to late-February.

How Big is the PhD Program and How Many PhD Students are Accepted Each Year?

There typically are around 25 students enrolled in the communication sciences and disorders PhD program in at any one time. The program includes three tracks (speech science, language science, hearing science) and the number of students admitted into each track varies as a function of student interests, mentor availability, and funding for student support.

What is the Background of a Successful Applicant (Minimum and Average GPA/GRE, In-Field Major, Research Experience, Etc.)?

Successful applicants typically have a GPA of 3.5 or above, and a combined total GRE score of 310 or above. Most students have a background in communication sciences and disorders. They enter directly from their undergraduate program, following completion of the masters or, alternatively, after several years of clinical experience. The program also welcomes students entering from related fields including psychology, linguistics, biology, and engineering.

What are Typical Outcomes from Graduates from the Program?

Most recent graduates have obtained either tenure-track or clinical faculty positions in communication disorders departments. Employment rate in faculty or post-doctoral positions has been 100% over the last seven years.

What Makes this Program Unique?

The PhD program in communication sciences and disorders is closely linked to the PhD programs in cognition and neuroscience and psychological sciences. All of the faculty, coursework, and research opportunities in those programs are available to PhD students in communication sciences and disorders. Students can study communication disorders using the techniques and instrumentation of cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology, and work with bioengineers in the development of assistive technology.

Should I Apply for the Master’s Program or the PhD Program?

The master’s degree and AuD programs provide clinical preparation for certification and licensure in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. The PhD program is for students who are interested in research in communication sciences and disorders and academic/research careers. The PhD degree at UT Dallas is not an advanced clinical degree. However there are options for students to obtain clinical preparation while completing the requirements for the PhD.