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A minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree are needed to earn the Department of Communication Science and Disorders' Doctor of Philosophy. 

The primary objectives of our PhD program are to:

  • Provide academic course work and scientific experience sufficient to ensure that students are well versed in current theories, models, and methods in major areas of communication science and disorders and related disciplines;
  • Prepare students to contribute original research to advance the knowledge base in communication science and disorders;
  • Facilitate students’ interactions with members of related disciplines in the Pittsburgh-area community to foster interdisciplinary research;
  • Foster students' development of a personal philosophy of, as well as direct experience in, university teaching;
  • Imbue in students a desire to become leaders in the field.

The expectation of graduating PhD students is that they can conduct a program of independent, creative, scholarly research. Students are provided with a multitude of research opportunities. For example, students can participate in projects relating to aural rehabilitation, neurologic communication disorders, child language acquisition and disorders, fluency disorders, communication and aging, electrophysiology, hearing prostheses, language intervention, voice pathology, psychoacoustics and speech physiology. Faculty and PhD students meet regularly to share ideas about research projects and the research process. Students also have opportunities to participate in grant preparation. In addition, our PhD students benefit from the research opportunities available in the larger Pittsburgh community, which is recognized internationally as a leader in medicine, biotechnology, behavioral neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience. 

Our full and adjunct faculty members are actively involved in CSD research. Current work is published regularly in the most prestigious professional journals and reported at major conferences. Our faculty are also successful competitors for research grants, awarded by such organizations as the National Institutes of Health, Veteran’s Administration and U.S. Department of Education. Sponsored research projects such as these offer important educational opportunities to PhD students.