Ph.D. Program (Speech Pathology or Audiology)

Speech Pathology and Audiology at Kent State University offers a highly flexible program of study leading to the Ph.D. degree in either speech-language pathology or in audiology. This flexibility allows students to create a program that meets their needs with emphases ranging from primarily clinical and applied to basic research.

General Structure of the Program:

  • a major area of study (24 semester hours)
  • two minor areas of study (total of 15 semester hours)
  • research tools (6 semester hours)
  • doctoral colloquium (2 semester hours)
  • a project-in-lieu-of-thesis for those students who did not complete a master's thesis
  • candidacy examinations
  • dissertation

Each area is discussed below, briefly; more detail is available in the Ph.D. Study Handbook.

Major Area of Study

This collection of coursework relates to the students' main areas of interest. It typically consists of lecture classes, seminars, and independent studies. Included within the 24 semester hours are 4 hours of colloquium and 3 hours of research design. The colloquium provides information about areas that are of common interest to doctoral students regardless of specialties. Included are such topics as grant and manuscript writing, clinical and departmental administration, supervision, and professional presentations. The research design course is taught in the Speech Pathology and Audiology department and emphasizes experimental design issues, parametric and nonparametric statistics, and single case study designs.

Minor Areas of Study

The two minor areas of study consist of a combined minimum of 15 semester hours. Courses that complement the students' interests in the minor(s) may be taken in other departments (such as Psychology, Business Administration, Biology, Counseling, and Special Education); within Speech Pathology and Audiology; or from our affiliated medical school.

Research Tools

Six semester hours of courses in statistics and research design are required. These can be chosen from an extensive list of course options offered throughout the University.


Those students who did not complete a thesis or its equivalent as a master's student are required to complete a research project prior to undertaking candidacy examinations. This is viewed as an important "hands-on" learning experience in the design and implementation of research.

Candidacy Examinations

After completion of coursework, students take the candidacy examinations, consisting of both written and oral portions. The written portion entails 16 hours of writing on material studied within the major and minors. The oral portion occurs two to four weeks later and can cover information on any topic in addition to those covered on the written portion. Successful completion of these examinations culminates in "admission to candidacy" and allows the candidate to begin work on the dissertation.


The dissertation is expected to be an original research project that will contribute significantly to the profession. As before, the focus of the dissertation can be clinical, applied research, or basic research.

Application Procedures for M.A. and Ph.D. Programs