The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences


Communication Sciences and Disorders PhD

The PhD program in communication sciences and disorders offers advanced study and research training for students who will become leading scientists and scholars in the field. Research in the program concerns all aspects of human communication including studies of speech, language, and hearing in typical individuals and in those with disorders affecting communication.

Doctoral students in communication sciences and disorders work with their research mentors and other faculty throughout the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) to tailor their research experiences and course selections to ensure optimal preparation in their particular areas of interest. Areas of doctoral study encompass the physiological, neurological, and psychological aspects of communication and on identifying, treating, and preventing developmental and acquired communication disorders. Particular areas of strength include the neurobiology of language, speech, and hearing; assessment methods and diagnostic markers; and innovative treatments and technological supports for people with communication disorders.

Students in the doctoral program benefit from the school’s rich intellectual climate, including weekly lectures and research presentations by students, faculty, and visiting scholars. BBS hosts an annual colloquium series presented by internationally known scientists, and the school’s four centers periodically offer symposia and workshops that are freely available to doctoral students. Doctoral students receive funding support for presenting their research at professional meetings and conducting their dissertation research. Finally, doctoral students are provided with a variety of other professional development experiences, including opportunities to develop their teaching skills.

Primary Faculty and Research Areas

Peter F. Assmann Perception of speech in adverse conditions; acoustic properties of speech in children

Thomas F. Campbell Recovery of speech and language skills after neurological injury. Development of communication technology for individuals with communication disorders.

Sandra Bond Chapman Dr. Chapman’s scientific study elucidates and applies novel approaches to improve brain performance across the lifespan in health, injury and disease.

Christine A. Dollaghan Predicting, diagnosing, preventing and treating communication disorders in children; specific language impairment; pediatric traumatic brain injury; history and philosophy of science

Julia L. Evans The neurobiology of language, implicit learning and working memory deficits in children with specific language impairments

John Hart Dr. Hart’s work has focused on the cognitive neuroscience of semantic memory. He has pioneered the development of novel research designs and analytical techniques in EEG and MRI/fMRI aimed at elucidating how the brain stores and retrieves semantic information. He has translated his theoretical work on semantic memory and neuroimaging technique development to the study of patient populations, including Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, Herpes Simple encephalitis, West Nile encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, Gulf War Illness, and PTSD patients.

William F. Katz Acoustic phonetics, speech production, kinematic analyses of speech, visual feedback for speech rehabilitation and second language training

Michael P. Kilgard Targeted Neural Plasticity for the treatment of stroke, autism, brain damage, spinal cord injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, tinnitus and pain.

Colleen G. Le Prell Hearing Loss Prevention

Edward Lobarinas Tinnitus, tinnitus treatment and acquired hearing loss. In particular Dr. Lobarinas is interested in the effects of noise-induced hearing loss tinnitus and on functional aspects of hearing such as the ability to hear in background noise.

Mandy J. Maguire Studying how factors such as family socioeconomic status (SES) and bilingualism influence brain and language development using EEG.

Aage R. Moller Neural plasticity and its role in tinnitus, hyperacusis, phonophobia, and misophonia, teaching biology of pain, neuroplasticity, intraoperative neurophsysiology

Ross J. Roeser The application of hearing instrument technology to improving communication skills

Raul Rojas Child language from a longitudinal and processing perspective, specifically bilingual language development in typically developing children and those with language impairments.

Pamela R. Rollins Evaluating intervention programs and defining learning and social communication processes in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Robert D. Stillman The assessment and intervention with preverbal children including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The work is primarily qualitative and explores sources of diversity in preverbal and early verbal skills.

Linda K. Thibodeau Assistive technology for persons with hearing loss to reduce communication challenges in noisy environments

Hanna K. Ulatowska Neurolinguistics

Anne E. van Kleeck Understanding, measuring, and fostering the specific kinds of preschool oral language skills that are critical to later academic success (academic talk)

Jun Wang Motor speech disorders, silent and dysarthric speech recognition, computational neuroscience for speech production

Andrea D. Warner-Czyz Exploring how infants, children, and adolescents with hearing loss who wear cochlear implants learn to communicate with others and how communication affects how they feel about themselves.


The offices and research facilities of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences are located on the Richardson campus and in BBS centers located in Dallas near the campus of the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Facilities at all locations include classrooms and research laboratories for studies of neuroscience, psychology, and communication across the lifespan in both typical and clinical populations.

The PhD program in communication sciences and disorders offers exceptional research facilities at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, which has locations on both the Richardson campus and in Dallas adjacent to the UT Southwestern Medical School campus. The Callier Center–Dallas and the Callier Center-Richardson house state-of-the art laboratories for behavioral, kinematic, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies of speech, language, and hearing in typical and clinical populations of all ages. Each year, the Callier Center serve thousands of people with speech, language or hearing disorders, and Callier-Dallas is home to a nationally accredited child development program for infants and preschoolers. Partnerships with area hospitals, clinics, and schools, and collaborative arrangements with the UT Southwestern Medical Center, expand student research opportunities through additional access to laboratories equipped for studies of the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurochemical bases of hearing.

Degree Requirements

The PhD program in communication sciences and disorders is divided into three tracks: speech, language, and hearing. Coursework differs across the three tracks but all students are required to complete a minimum of 75 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Program completion typically takes five years, although it is possible to meet all the requirements in four years. During the first two years of the program, each student works closely with the faculty in completing an empirical research project and in writing a substantive literature review or grant application. In the third year, students advance to PhD candidacy by successfully defending a proposal for their dissertation, an independent and original research project conducted under faculty supervision. Successful public defense of the completed dissertation is the final step in attaining the doctoral degree.

The UT Dallas graduate catalog provides information on degree requirements for the PhD program in communication sciences and disorders. For questions about degree requirements, please contact [email protected]. The university’s course look-up site, CourseBook, describes some of the program’s specific courses. The Office of Graduate Studies provides information on academic and other policies.


The PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders is a research degree. It is essential that there is a close match between a student’s research interests and the research interests and expertise of the faculty. Prospective students should contact faculty with whom they might share research interests. A primary consideration in PhD admission is a faculty member’s agreement to serve as the student’s mentor. The communication sciences and disorders admissions committee evaluates applications on several dimensions, including prior GPA, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, prior research and professional experiences, commitment to scholarship, and fit between the research interests of the applicant and faculty.

Typically, applicants have an average undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, and completion of an undergraduate degree in a related major is advisable. Completion of a master’s degree is not required. Applicants without a prior degree in a related field should contact the program head for prerequisite coursework.

Applications to the PhD program must include official transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of reference from people qualified to evaluate your potential for successful doctoral study, and a statement of purpose detailing your previous research and professional experiences, your current research interests, and your career goals.

International applicants must provide proof of English proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE meeting university minimum requirements.

To Submit an Application

Please see the graduate admission page of the UT Dallas Office of Admission and Enrollment for details on how to submit an application to the PhD program in communication sciences and disorders.

Completed applications must be received on or before December 1 for admission the following fall. There are no spring or summer admissions.

You can check the status of your application using the university’s Orion program.

Questions about the application process can be directed to:

Communication Sciences and Disorders Doctoral Program
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Rd., GR41
Richardson, TX 75080
[email protected]

Financial Aid

Financial support of full-time doctoral students in communication sciences and disorders is awarded through teaching or research assistantship stipends and tuition scholarships. Admitted students are automatically considered these sources of financial aid.

Other information on financial aid for graduate students is available on the UT Dallas graduate admissions page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Program Contacts

For Additional Program Information

Communication Sciences and Disorders Doctoral Program,
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Rd., GR41
Richardson, TX 75080
[email protected]

PhD Student Guide

The PhD student guide provides information on policies and procedures in the PhD programs in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Program Resources

Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies for additional information on academic policies, PhD deadlines, PhD forms, guidelines for preparing dissertations, and a profile of characteristics of doctoral programs at UT Dallas.

Student Achievement Data

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