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Communication Sciences and Disorders, Ph.D.

Arnold School of Public Health

Prepare for your academic career in the science of human communication and its disorders. Under the direction of a mentor, you'll participate in laboratory activities while pursuing scholarly research.

Designed for full-time students, our doctoral program combines direct mentorship and scientific experimentation in laboratories while preparing you with curriculum development skills and providing experience in classroom teaching. There are pathways for nationally certified American Speech-Language-Hearing Association students and other disciplines.

Program Highlights

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    In-Demand Work

    Meet an ever-increasing demand in the communication sciences and disorders field due to a faculty shortage.

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    Authentic Experiences

    Receive mentoring by world-class researchers, secure funding and publish in peer-reviewed publications.

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    Dual Preparation

    Gain experiences in the areas of both research and teaching, allowing you to be competitive in faculty searches.

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    Assistance Available

    Research assistantships are available for qualified applicants from a wide range of disciplines.

What You’ll Study

Enter the program following a bachelor's or master's degree. Academic coursework consists of statistics and experimental design, speech and hearing science, and a concentration area of your choice. Completion of the program includes written and oral examinations plus the successful defense of a dissertation of original scientific data.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Leadership

    Inspiring and guiding others to achieve common goals and reach their full potential

    Project Management

    Organizing and overseeing tasks to achieve specific goals


    Taking action and demonstrating leadership without being prompted or directed by others

  • Teaching

    Foster learning by conveying knowledge, skills and concepts to students

    Data Analysis

    Examining and interpreting information to uncover insights and inform decision making


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Teacher
  • Researcher

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Assistant Professor
  • Senior Medical Writer
  • Speech Language Pathologist

Workplace Settings

  • Education
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private Industry Research and Development
  • Life Sciences

Employers of Alumni

  • MedThink SciCom
  • Midland Regional Rehabilitation Hospital
  • UNC Health Care

My time spent working clinically and on several multidisciplinary teams has molded my experiences in this field, and I have incorporated this knowledge into my doctoral research.

Ellie Cooper
Portrait of Ellie Cooper