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Eligibility and Requirements

Understanding the eligibility requirements for the Ph.D. in speech-language pathology will help you prepare for the application process.

Before you apply to the research doctorate of philosophy in speech-language pathology program, ensure you have the necessary qualifications and experiences.

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants are required to provide evidence of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university or from a foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree requirements.

To pursue the Doctor of Philosophy in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology, the applicant must meet the general KU requirements for admission as a graduate student. In addition, evidence of successful completion (equivalent grade of B or higher) of undergraduate or graduate coursework relevant for advanced study in the student's chosen area of focus is required.

It is expected students will have obtained a broad general education to serve as a background prior to graduate study. Ideally students will have completed an undergraduate degree in speech pathology, audiology or a related field that will prepare them for advanced study in their chosen area of focus. Students may have completed a graduate degree in speech pathology, audiology or related field but this is not required to pursue a doctoral degree.

Degrees earned outside the U.S. must be evaluated for equivalency.

Prior Research Engagement

The Doctor of Philosophy in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology is a research degree where students pursue an individualized plan of study. Therefore, it is recommended students engage in research prior to applying to the program.

Prior research engagement helps the prospective student identify the area of focus for doctoral study and allows the admissions committee to evaluate potential aptitude. A wide array of research engagement will be considered (e.g., employment on research grants, mentored research projects, research related coursework).

Writing Sample

Provide an academic paper for a previous course/program, or for publication, that incorporates existing research and/or original findings on an inquiry. This writing sample should be an excerpt of no more than 15 pages (double-spaced, PDF document) and will be uploaded as part of the online application.

Doctoral Program Mentor

Because doctoral students pursue an individualized plan of study, a faculty mentor is a critical requirement of the program. Without a good match between the applicant’s interest and the faculty, even well-qualified applicants may be denied admission into the program.

Investigate by:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty who may be a good match to their interests prior to applying.

Vaccine and Clinical Site Requirements

Matriculated students will need to provide an immunization profile prior to participating in curricular and/or clinical experiences required by the program. Please read the information found at the bottom of the program's curriculum page and be sure that you understand these requirements.

Background Check

The Joint Commission requires all incoming students to pay for a background check and have the report sent directly to KU. This one-time fee must be paid by the student directly to the company performing the background investigation.

Students are asked to provide information and make the payment upon official acceptance into the program. A drug screening is required of students participating in clinical settings or otherwise working with patients. Because each facility may have its own drug screen requirement, students should not undergo a drug screen until asked to do so by a supervisor. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check and drug screening policy.

Optional: Graduate Record Examination

An official score on the Graduate Record Examination General Test is optional. If an applicant would like to submit their GRE scores, official results must be sent directly to the KU office by the examination service.

Recommended scores for the sections of the GRE are 300 combined total for Verbal and Quantitative, and 3.5 and above for Analytical Writing. For GRE information, visit

International Students

An applicant is considered an international student if they require a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently reside in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. International students that identify as non-native English Speakers must demonstrate English language proficiency. Please visit the KU Office of International Student Services before applying.

More information may be found in the frequently asked questions and on the School of Health Professions page for international students. See also: English proficiency requirements.

Within the guidelines established by the Office of Graduate Studies, no credit is actually transferred toward the doctorate; however, relevant prior graduate work will be taken into consideration in setting up individual programs of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX,, Dole Human Development Center, room 1082,1000 Sunnyside Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Discover how we compare to other programs.

View acceptance rates, student funding and other metrics about KU's Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's EdFind.

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KU School of Health Professions