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Residency Requirement

All candidates for the Ph.D. program must enroll as a full-time student in the program for a minimum of two semesters. As stated in the Academic Rules for Doctoral Degrees, “At least 50% of a doctoral student’s planned coursework (exclusive of dissertation) must be in courses offering “residence credit” at Syracuse University.” Up to 50% of graduate coursework from other accredited universities can be accepted towards the PhD.  However, experience credit, clinical practicum, and professional experience courses from other universities cannot be included. Current rules should be reviewed in the online Academic Rules for Graduate Degree Programs/Doctoral Degrees, found in the online Syracuse University Course Catalog for the current year.

Continuous Registration Requirement

Candidates must register for a minimum of 3 semester hours for each academic semester until coursework is completed. Degree in progress (GRD 998) enrollment may be used, after successful completion of the coursework for the doctoral degree, as specified below. GRD 998 enrollment may include semesters in which the student is preparing for the Qualifying Exam and semesters preparing for or conducting the dissertation.

Course Work

Courses will be determined by the student and faculty advisor. Candidates are expected to complete a minimum of 83 academic credits beyond the bachelor’s degree including coursework, independent studies and dissertation credits (note that up to 50% of those credits may be transferred in from another graduate-level degree program such as a Masters degree). Coursework is subject to university requirements for transfer and department’s residency require as stated above. Coursework is often interdisciplinary and may include courses from other departments and programs such as Audiology, Psychology, Linguistics, Education, Special Education, Biology, and Bioengineering.

Most of the research in Speech-Language Pathology requires considerable expertise in statistics. Therefore, the candidate must pass at least 3 courses in statistics and 1 in experimental design.

Pre-qualifying Exam

At the completion of at least 18 credits in the CSD doctoral program, the student must pass a Pre-Qualifying exam. The purpose of the exam is to examine the candidate’s abilities to perform critical thinking, to express ideas in writing, and to conduct analysis of research.

Guided Research Experience

Under the guidance of the faculty advisor, the student will be expected to design, implement and analyze the results of a research project that will be submitted for publication before taking the Qualifying examination.

Qualifying Exam

At the completion of planned coursework, the candidate must pass a qualifying examination designed to assess his or her knowledge about his/her area of specialization and the basic methods for research. This exam requires the development of a theoretical rationale, study objectives and hypotheses, and specific methods to achieve each objective. Although this exam focuses on the preparation of research proposals, it is not necessarily a precursor to a candidate’s dissertation prospectus. The candidate is expected to prepare the exam without consultation with his or her advisor.


The culminating project of the PhD is the dissertation. The general topic and research design must be approved by a committee during a Dissertation Proposal Meeting. Students must then plan the study, collect and analyze data, and write their dissertation. Although the faculty mentor will continue to provide guidance, the dissertation is viewed as the student’s work, rather than the faculty member’s work.  Once the written document is complete, an Oral Exam (Dissertation Defense) must be completed.

Sample Program in Speech-Language Pathology

Below is a sample program of study for a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology.




APM510 Statistical Analysis

CSD 798 Current Research in Audiology & Speech Pathology

Take Pre-qualifying exam

CSD 537 Instrumentation in Speech & Hearing

SOC 714 Intermediate Social Statistics

CSD 790 Independent Study

LIN 631 Phonological Analysis

SPE 627 Early Intervention for Children’s Reading Problems

CSD 690 Independent Study

CSD 690 Independent Study




APM 635 Multivariate Statistics

APM 620 Analysis of Variance

Take Qualifying exam

PSY 655 Statistical Methods II

CSD 783 Cochlear Implants

EDU 800 Quantitative Research Design

CSD 690 Independent Study

CSD 690 Independent Study




CSD 999 Dissertation

CSD 999 Dissertation

Work on dissertation

APM 645 Nonparametric Statistics & Categorical Data Analysis

NEU 601 Advanced Neuroscience

PSY 860 Cognitive Psychology of Reading

PSY 860 Practicum on Proposal Writing




Work on dissertation

Work on dissertation