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Qualifying Year Option

High-caliber students, who demonstrate all of the qualities necessary for enrollment in the Ph.D. program, who have not completed an appropriate Master's thesis, may be admitted to the Qualifying Year Option of the Ph.D. program.

Students admitted through this option complete a qualifying year of coursework and a supervised research project, conducted with a faculty advisor. Qualifying Year Option students normally possess a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree (without thesis) in a related field and can demonstrate evidence of a defined interest in human communication and its disorders.

Successful completion of the Qualifying Year Option requirements permits the student to advance to full status in the Ph.D. program. Once at full status, students will finish all the remaining Core Requirements necessary for the Ph.D. degree.

Qualifying Year Option Requirements (first year):

All students must successfully complete the following coursework:

  • a full graduate course in statistics (6 credits)
  • the departmental Advanced Research Seminar (3 credits)
  • 6 elective credits by the end of the qualifying year. Elective courses are chosen freely by the student and the supervisor. However, students without previous graduate-level training in Communication Sciences and Disorders are expected to choose from courses offered within the School.

Research Project

The student's aptitude for advanced research (and continued candidacy in the Ph.D. program) is also evaluated through a small research project, to be completed and submitted by the end of the first year of the Qualifying Year Option.

The research project is meant to familiarize students with issues related to experimental design and analysis, and showcase the student's ability to arrive at a reasoned explanation of a limited set of data. The topic of the research project is developed collectively by the student and the research supervisor, and may or may not bear a conceptual relationship to the topic eventually developed for the Ph.D. thesis.