Frequently asked questions
- How long is the Ph.D. program at IU?
The Ph.D. program is variable in length, with most students taking four to five years to complete their training. The first two years are devoted primarily to taking classes and developing basic research skills with the last years devoted almost exclusively to research experience, including the dissertation. The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, but students can transfer up to 30 credit hours from their master’s or Au.D. degrees.
- What kind of coursework do Ph.D. student take?
Course work during the first two years is broadly based and includes classes in research design and statistics, as well as a variety of courses and seminars specific to your chosen major area. The focus of our Ph.D. program is to train future scholars and scientists. Because most students come with a clinical master's degree and considerable clinical experience, emphasis is placed on the acquisition of a fundamental knowledge base and the development of research skills.
- I don't have clinical certification, but I would like to obtain this during my Ph.D. program. Is this possible?
Yes. IU has accredited clinical programs in audiology and speech-language pathology. Students should contact the coordinator of the Ph.D. program to discuss specific options for a combined research and clinical track. The specific program will depend on the student's interest and prior experience.
- When can I begin the Ph.D. program?
To be admitted to the fall semester for each year, students must have their application in to IU by January 15. The Ph.D. program accepts students on a rolling basis, so you can be admitted to the spring and summer semesters. However, we may not be notified by the university of these applications. Consequently, you will need to discuss your application with the Ph.D. coordinator so that we will know to expect it.
- When will I hear about my application?
Admission letters are typically sent out in early March indicating whether a student has been accepted and whether the student is being offered funding or is being considered for funding. Students who are accepted to the program have until April 15 to reply.
- What kind of funding is available?
Many of our Ph.D. students receiving funding through our PhD-funding program to support the education of Ph.D.s in the Speech and Hearing Sciences. We do our best to provide tuition waivers and a yearly stipend to support those students who meet our admissions criteria and have research interests that overlap with the available mentors in the department. If you apply to the program by January 15th for consideration of admission to the fall semester, you will automatically be considered for funding, primarily Assistant Instructorships or Research Assistantships. Students are encouraged to describe their teaching and research experiences in their application to graduate program to maximizes the chances of being made a funding offer.
- How will I be matched with a lab and/or a mentor?
The admissions committee at IU will thoroughly review your application to determine the best laboratory match given your research interests. We encourage you to peruse the Research section of our website so that you can indicate your research preferences and lab selections in your application to our program. We will do our best to match you with the mentor who can provide you with the best training to meet your interests. However, not all mentors are able to take students each year. For this reason, we sometimes will admit students without a mentor. These students may find that exploring the labs at IU would better meet their needs.
- What are good introductory classes for the Speech and Hearing major?
The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SPHS) offers two classes that are most appropriate for those exploring the majors at IU. These are SPHS S106: Hearing Science: An Overview and SPHS S108: Speech and Language Science: An Overview. S106 and S108 are survey courses that cover a range of topics with the speech, language and hearing fields, including audiology and speech-language pathology. SPHS S111 is an introductory course that covers the science of speech production. A Critical Approaches course also might be of interest to you: COLL E105 Read My Lips!. This course is taught by a professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and provides an introductory view of the field, even though it is not targeted to SPHS majors specifically.
- What degree will I get if I major in Speech and Hearing Sciences and what are the graduation requirements?
The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SPHS) offers Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelors of Science (B.S.) degrees depending on the coursework taken. These degrees can be tailored for preparation for entry to graduate programs or can be more general for those students not wishing to pursue graduate school in clinical speech-language pathology or audiology. The undergradute bulletin explains the specific course requirements for each program.
- How should I select my courses?
Advisors within the University Division will help you select your courses if you are not a declared SPHS major. S106 and S108 (as mentioned above) are good places to start. Once you declare Speech and Hearing Sciences as your major, you will be in contact with the SPHS advisor who, with you, will design a course of study.
- How do I know if Speech and Hearing Sciences is right for me?
If you enjoy one of our introductory classes, S106, S108, S111, E105 Can you hear me now? then you are likely to enjoy Speech and Hearing Sciences. You may also want to observe in the Speech-Language or Hearing Clinic to determine if a career as an audiologist or speech-language pathologist is a good choice for you.
Indiana University offers many resources to help students choose their major. You might want to:
- Check out the Explore Majors at IU website and read the Career Development Center's excellent pages on Exploring Majors and Myths & Facts About Major & Career Choice.
- Attend an hour-long Choosing Your Major Workshop or an Explore Your Options panel presentation.
- Meet with your University Division Academic Advisor to discuss your options.
- What careers are available for students with SPHS degrees?
Students in Speech and Hearing Sciences are primarily in training for one of two professions: speech-language pathology or audiology. These professions are specifically concerned with the evaluation, treatment, and investigation of human communication and its disorders.
The program in Speech and Hearing Sciences is also a good choice for students interested in the processes of normal and atypical speech and language and hearing across the lifespan, but who are not necessarily interested in pursuing a clinical degree. Our degree options provide flexibility for students interested in other career paths, including both clinical and research orientations.