Admissions Criteria and Procedures

Students entering the Ph.D. program in Educational Studies (Special Education) typically hold both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. The focus of one or both of these degrees provides the student with foundational training and experience in Special Education or a related discipline (e.g., psychology, speech-language pathology, etc.). A Master's Degree in Special Education is not a condition of admission for the Ph.D. in Educational Studies. Only students pursuing full-time enrollment (i.e., 9 credits both fall and spring semesters and 6 credits in the summer) are accepted into the Ph.D. programs.

Students entering the Ph.D. programs in Human Sciences typically hold Bachelor's Degrees with a liberal arts and science focus in addition to background in the area of human communication science and disorders. Students may also have Master's Degrees or Clinical Doctorate (e.g., Au.D.) in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, or related disciplines (e.g., linguistics, psychology, engineering, etc.). These degrees, however, are not a condition of admission for the Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a specialization in Communication Disorders.

Decisions about admission to the Departmental Ph.D. program determined by a review of the applicant's GPA, GRE scores and submitted materials by the Executive Graduate Governance Committee (EGGC) comprised of three graduate faculty members from each of the three Graduate Governance Committees for SECD doctoral programs (N=9). The decision for admission will be based on three factors:

  1. Student's stated interest and ability for full-time enrollment.
  2. An Adviser Support Agreement from a current Graduate Faculty member with an active research program who has agreed to serve as the student’s adviser and mentor, and
  3. Recommendation of the EGGC following review of applicant's file and consideration of SECD's expectations for admission and academic success in a Ph.D. program.

Every Ph.D. applicant must be sponsored for admission by a current Graduate Faculty mentor. A faculty member agreeing to serve as a sponsoring mentor must provide a written statement of that intent for inclusion in the application file and for review during the admissions process. This agreement is based on the faculty member’s interview with the applicant and a review of his or her application materials. The sponsoring faculty member should not be one of the writers of the applicants' three letters of recommendation. The faculty mentor serves as the student’s Supervisory Committee Chair or Co-Chair and academic adviser. Co-Chairs may be any current Graduate Faculty member within the department who has also reviewed the student's application materials, met with the student and has agreed to serve in this role as co-mentor. A Graduate Faculty member with emeritus status may act as a Co-Chair of the Supervisory Committee, but not as Chair.

Admission decisions involve objective evaluation of some or all of the following:

  1. Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA);
  2. Graduate GPA;
  3. *Three components (i.e., verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  4. Three letters of recommendation from people able to comment on the student's potential to succeed in a Ph.D. program;
  5. A copy of student's substantive academic or professional written work, such as a thesis, independent study product or honor's project;
  6. A written statement of the rationale for pursuing doctoral education and intended professional goals upon degree completion;
  7. An up-to-date Curriculum Vita with reports of previous education, work and prior research experiences; and
  8. Personal on-campus interview at invitation of the potential faculty mentor.

*GRE requirement temporarily suspended for applications through Summer 2021.