Admissions Process

The PhD program in Speech and Hearing Sciences seeks applications from students who have already acquired a master's degree in speech-language pathology or audiology. Consideration will also be given to students with a master’s degree(or equivalent)or a bachelor's degree in a related field. Students seeking admission to the program will be required to meet the admission requirements described below. Applicants with a master's degree or a bachelor's degree in a field other than speech and/or hearing sciences will need to complete the prerequisite undergraduate courses required for a master's degree (see below) and between 12-18 graduate credit hours within speech and/or hearing, in addition to the doctoral curriculum.

During the interview process, the applicant can talk with faculty (taking into consideration the applicant’s previous coursework, experiences, and future research and career plans) to determine the number and type of graduate courses that might be recommended. The final decision for the number and type of graduate courses will be determined by the faculty mentor and approved by the faculty, based on the applicant’s previous coursework and experiences, and future research and career plans. The applicant is then free to begin taking the recommended coursework during or before entering the doctoral program.  Both the undergraduate prerequisites and the additional graduate coursework, as with the courses required for the doctoral degree, will need to be completed before the student can take comprehensive exams.

For applicants with a master’s degree in a field other than speech and/or hearing sciences or a bachelor's degree, the prerequisite courses are: Introduction to Audiology, Phonetics, Speech Science, Language Development, and Anatomy & Physiology. These courses are offered online through a number of universities and admitted students are encouraged to complete these courses before entering the doctoral program.


Admission to Speech and Hearing Sciences (DSHS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a multi-step process. To save time for the applicant and the faculty reviewers, the following process should be completed:

  • The applicant requests an Initial Contact Sheet from Elizabeth Crais, Ph.D., the Coordinator of Doctoral Studies (
  • The applicant completes the form and returns it to Dr. Crais.
  • Dr. Crais and other faculty from the PhD Committee examine the information supplied on the form and based on the student’s area/s of interest, recommend 1-2 potential mentors.
  • The applicant is encouraged to contact DSHS faculty who share her/his interest area/s and discuss individual aspects of the program and their research activities.
  • Application for admission must be submitted prior to 5pm on December 16, 2014 for the following fall semester. Applicants will not be admitted in the spring semester.
  • For individuals who wish to be considered for Graduate School funding, we recommended submitting complete applications by December 16 to receive full consideration for Graduate School fellowships. Please note that most of the funding available to graduate students is program-based and many programs continue to accept applications after the recommended Graduate School December 16 funding due date.

If some aspect of the information provided by the applicant is missing (or falls below the following criteria), the student will be notified by Dr. Crais.
Based on the initial review, a select group of students will be encouraged to complete an application for admission and submit the $85 application fee to the Graduate School.
Once applications have been reviewed by late February, a select group of students will be invited to campus for an interview and all applicants will be notified of the program’s decision.
Interviews typically take place in early-to-mid-March on a day selected by the faculty (typically a Friday) and all invited applicants will be notified of the date.

It is the expectation of the program that applicants who desire to complete a Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY), should do so either before or after finishing their doctoral program. It has been our experience that students who attempt to complete a CFY during their doctoral studies not only take longer to finish the program, but also have a difficult time balancing their clinical and research/coursework/teaching responsibilities. In addition, the Licensing Board of North Carolina requires that CFY fellowships be completed with no less than 20 hours/week devoted to clinical activities, making it very difficult for the students to perform their other responsibilities in a timely manner. Therefore, the program strongly discourages students from attempting to complete a CFY during their doctoral program.

Applicants seeking admission click HERE

Copies of thesis, master’s project, or original published work if available.

  • thesis or research papers should be sent to:

Elizabeth Crais, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Doctoral Studies
Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
321 South Columbia Street
Bondurant Hall
CB #7190
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7190

Selection Criteria include:

  • Availability of faculty.
  • Availability of funds to support all or some portion of the student’s doctoral program.
  • The student’s academic record (i.e., institution, grades, GRE scores, recommendation letters).
  • A match between the student’s research interests and the ongoing research programs of faculty in the DSHS.
  • The applicant’s future career plans.
  • The applicant’s leadership potential.

In general, applicant’s with GPAs below 3.0 and/or GRE scores on the verbal, quantitative, and writing sections below the 40%, are less likely to be invited for an interview.

Residency Information

Because UNC-CH is a state-supported institution, tuition rates for students who are residents of North Carolina are lower than those for our-of-state students. A Residency Form must be completed and submitted by every applicant who claims eligibility for in-state tuition rates.


For specific questions not addressed in this website, contact our informaiton line ( or by phone (919-966-1007). In addition, questions can be directed to: Dr. Elizabeth Crais, Coordinator of Doctoral Studies,