Joint M.A./Ph.D. Option

Master's degree applicants who are interested in academic careers and who demonstrate potential for doctoral study may request consideration for admission to a special Joint M.A./Ph.D. program. This Joint program is for students who are sure they wish to pursue a Ph.D. and receive an M.A. degree along the way. Upon completion of the program, the student will have completed a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and a doctorate of philosophy in speech-language science. This allows for maximum efficiency overall and permits the student to pursue research and clinical training simultaneously, rather than sequentially. The purpose of this program is to nurture and guide students with excellent potential while integrating master’s and doctoral coursework, research, and clinical experiences.

The Joint M.A./Ph.D. option is designed to be a 5-year program. Years 1 and 2 of the program will focus on the integration of MA coursework and doctoral-level courses, directed studies, and research. At the end of year 3 (or sooner depending on standing and progress), you will apply for official entry into the Ph.D. program. Criteria to be accepted to the Ph.D. program include a) cumulative GPA of at least 3.0; b) completion of the pre-dissertation research project (or substantial progress made); and c) acceptable performance on work in the research mentor’s lab. If accepted, you will receive an award letter outlining your appointment for the Ph.D. program. If accepted, you will receive an award letter outlining your appointment for the Ph.D. program.

Year 3 of the joint will focus on finishing the coursework required for the MA program, continued doctoral-level courses, and directed studies. Years 4 and 5 will focus exclusively on the completion of the Ph.D. program. The timing of the clinical fellowship year (CFY) will be determined by the student in consultation with the student’s mentor and academic guidance committee.

Each student enrolled in the Joint M.A./Ph.D. option will work closely with an academic guidance committee to design an individualized program of study. The performance will be evaluated on a yearly basis. Students in this program will follow the guidelines for both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees with respect to Academic Guidance and Degree Requirements.

Interested students should apply to the M.A. program. Admission to the program is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the following core undergraduate classes:

Introduction to Communication Disorders Phonetics
Anatomy/Physiology of Speech and Language Speech Science
Hearing Science Basic Audiology
Language Development American Sign Language I
Aural Rehabilitation*  

*MA students can take Aural Rehabilitation as part of their graduate program although taking it as an undergraduate course provides you with a greater opportunity to take special topic electives during your graduate studies.

IN ADDITION, ASHA requires students to have a course in each of the following content areas:

Biological sciences (human or animal sciences)

Physical Science (chemistry or physics)

Social/behavioral sciences

Statistics (stand-alone course)