Course Requirements

Each student is required to complete a minimum of 48 semester hours in the PhD program. Each student is required to take courses from four areas. These are:

1.   Three statistics courses (9 hours total) to assure competency in designing and conducting independent research. Most students take the Statistics series in Education (EDUC 684, EDUC 784, EDUC 884), however, some do so in the Psychology Department. Discuss these options with your mentor.

2.  Twelve hours of PhD seminars in the DSHS/AHS or their equivalent in another program to assure that each student is exposed to the principles and content embodied in the program goals and objectives, and that he or she develops the skills in research, teaching, communication, and grant preparation necessary for a successful academic career. Currently, these 12 hours include:

  • Three credit hours in AHS Introductory Research Methods Courses:

AHSC 902: Philosophical Foundations of Research (1 credit hour)

AHSC 903: Qualitative Foundations of Research (1 credit hour)

AHSC 904: Quantitative Foundations of Research (1 credit hour)

  • Three credit hours in some combination of other AHS Research Methods Courses, e.g., Designing Mixed Methods Research (1 credit), Single Subject Design (1 or 2 credits), Measurement and Psychometrics (1 credit), Participatory Qualitative Methods: Advanced Applications (1 credit), Fundamentals of Group-Based Intervention Trial Designs (1 or 2 credits), Survey Design and Methods (1 credit), Academic Writing (1 credit).
  • Grant Writing (3 credits, offered alternate fall semesters).
  • Teaching and Professional Development (3 credits, offered alternate spring semesters).

3.   Seven additional courses (21 hours total) related to specialized areas of the student’s program of studies. At least two of these courses must be taken within the DSHS, and at least two must be taken outside of the DSHS. These courses commonly include independent studies that the student develops with a faculty mentor. 

      Courses in the student’s area of specialization taken in the DSHS. Guided by the student’s PAC, a set of courses within the DSHS will be chosen to enhance the student’s professional knowledge related to the chosen area of specialization.

      Related cognate courses taken outside the DSHS. The intent behind the cognate courses is to provide students with maximum flexibility in a related area of study while assuring a consistent level of quality education. Related courses available on the UNC-CH campus are rich in content and number.  The cognate courses should represent a sub-focus or clear direction that is linked with the student’s primary area of specialization, rather than assorted courses that are of interest to the student.

4.  Six hours of dissertation research (6 hours total).

Students who have a master's degree (or equivalent) or a bachelor's degree in a field other than speech and/or hearing sciences:

Applicants with a master's degree (or equivalent) or a bachelor's degree in a field other than speech and/or hearing sciences, in addition to the doctoral curriculum will need to complete the following:

1. 15 hours of prerequisite undergraduate courses targeting normal processes in speech and hearing that are required for a SPHS master'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.

2. Between 12-18 graduate credit hours within speech and/or hearing that target disability areas.

For those applicants with a master’s degree (or equivalent) or a bachelor's degree in a related field, during the interview process the applicant can talk with faculty about the number and type of graduate disorders courses that might be recommended after looking at the applicant’s transcript/s, previous experiences, and future research and career plans. The applicant may then want to begin taking the recommended coursework before entering the doctoral program. Once admitted, the final decision for the number and type of graduate courses will be determined by the faculty mentor and program of studies committee, based on the applicant’s previous coursework and experiences, and future research and career plans. Both the undergraduate prerequisites and the additional graduate disorders coursework, as with the courses required for the doctoral degree, will need to be completed before the student can take comprehensive exams.