Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in CSD

Application Procedures

The Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Wayne State University offers an exceptional program. We provide exciting research opportunities with outstanding access to a variety of clinical populations, including speakers of a wide variety of languages and dialects.

The steps outlined below summarize the process for applying to the Ph.D. program, and include links to a variety of websites that may be of interest to you, as you explore the possibility of earning your doctoral degree.

Step 1.  To initiate your application to the Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders you must complete and submit the Wayne State Graduate Application for Admission. (N.B. The CSD Ph.D. program only admits new students in the Fall semester.)

Your online application should include:

  • Application for Ph.D. Admission.
  • College/University academic transcripts.
  • Application fee of $50 (subject to change). Applications will not be processed without fee.
  • Financial aid application.

For international students, the following additional materials are also required:

Step 2.  Simulatenously with your WSU online graduate application submission, please send the following supplementary materials to the Department.

a) Personal Statement that describes your interest in the program, research interests, and teaching interests.
b) Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
     **Please include your research background, graduate courses, languages spoken or written other than English, employment,        education, audiology or speech-language pathology work (i.e. clinic hours, types of placements, types of clients), and                    volunteer experiences.
c) Writing sample (e.g. research paper or publication).
d) GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores from within the past 5 years.

e) Three letters of reference on te WSU.CSD Ph.D. Reference Form should be submitted directly by your referees.

All supplementary materials need to be sent to:

Communication Sciences and Disorders Ph.D. Program
207 Rackham Bldg., 60 Farnsworth St.
Detroit, MI 48202

**For more information and helpful links, please see detailed instructions below.
Step 3. Please have official copies of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent directly from the institution(s) you attended to the Wayne State University Office of Graduate Admissions. Have a second official copy sent to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Wayne State University Graduate School Admissions
5057 Woodward, Suite 6000 
Detroit, MI 48202
Ph: 313-577-4723; Fax: 313.577.0131
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Attention: Graduate Admissions Officer
207 Rackham Building
Wayne State University
60 Farnsworth 
Detroit, MI 48202 

Step 4. When the department recieves your online application and the above supplementary materials, a department member will contact you and inform you about the PhD's committee's decision regarding your application. If you are selected for an interview, the interview will be in person if you work or reside in the metro Detroit area. Interviews can be conducted via Skype for applicants who work or reside outside of the metro Detroit area.

Important Deadlines

January 15 Deadline for Receipt of All Application Materials if you are interested in financial aid.
April 15Deadline for Receipt of All Application Materials if you are not interested in financial aid.


Detailed Instructions and Helpful Hints

Personal Statement

A personal statement is required. The personal statement should be 5-7 pages long and should include a description of your career and research goals and your qualifications for doctoral study.   Specifically, it should discuss the following:

  • Why are you interested in completing the PhD?
    • What led to your interest in a research degree?
    • Why do you think you are well suited to the PhD program, and Wayne State University's program in particular?
      • What personal qualities do you have that make you a good applicant for a research degree?
  • What are your research interests?
    • What area of research are you currently interested in?  (We understand that this may change during the course of your PhD.)
    • What population(s) are you interested in working with?
    • What kind of contribution do you hope to make to the field?
  • What are your teaching interests?
    • Discuss any experience you have teaching in classroom, clinical, and/or research settings or in public speaking.
    • How would you rate your oral presentation abilities, and why?
  • What skills do you need to acquire or improve in order to successfully complete a PhD?
  • What are your career plans once you finish your degree?


Your Resume/CV should include:

  • Research background
  • Education (major area of Baccalaureate and prior graduate courses)
  • Languages spoken or written other than English
  • Employment history
  • Experience in audiology or speech-language pathology, if applicable, including clinical hours, types of placements, and types of clients.
  • Volunteer experiences
  • References

GRE scores

GRE General Test scores from within the past five years are required. If you have your GRE test scores, please upload the score form into your WSU online application.  

Please note:  

  • You MUST take the GRE prior to February 1 in order for the test scores to reach WSU before the February 15 deadline.To register or find GRE test dates see the GRE page.  
  • Include  Wayne State University's code (1898) on the test form when you take the GRE to request that your test scores be sent directly to WSU.

For information about the GRE click here.  

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. At least two of these letters should be from academic faculty. As part of your WSU online application, please provide the names and contact information of three individuals who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you. The writers of your three letters will then be contacted by the university and can upload their letters online confidentially.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit the online application in enough time to allow the letter writers to submit the letters of recommendation by the application deadline. 

Please note:

  • It is most desirable to receive letters from previous college instructors or from individuals who are knowledgeable regarding the individual’s performance in academic areas.  
  • Letters of recommendation should address the applicant’s knowledge and experience in the discipline, special or unique skills and knowledge, and capability for doctoral study and development as an independent researcher. 
  • The admissions committee is particularly interested in previous research activity, general scholarship, writing abilities, oral communication skills, research/analytical and/or clinical skills, and performance in previous undergraduate and graduate work. 
  • Letter writers must also complete the evaluation form that is provided online.
  • In rare instances that a letter writer is unable to submit their letter of recommendation online, please provide that person with the paper version of the required form (click here for form). Paper format letters must be sent to the department in a sealed envelope with the writer's signature across the seal. Letters should be mailed to the Graduate Admissions Officer at the address above by February 15th.

International Students

International students are also required to submit the following:

  • Financial statement as described by the WSU Office of International Student Services (OISS).
  • Documentation of student visa status as described by the WSU Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS).
  • Offical transcripts of TOEFL test battery scores (only required for international students who are non-native speakers of English). The minimum scores acceptable for admission are:

TOEFL: 260 (paper-based exam equivalent score is 620)

TWE: 5.5; SPEAK/TSE: 60.

Official scores must be sent directly to Wayne State University. All exams must be taken prior to February 1 to ensure receipt of the score report by the February 15 deadline. For test schedules and fees, visit Wayne State University's Testing, Evaluation and Research Services web page. Additional information on the tests is available at

Grade Point Average

In evaluating students for admission to the PhD program, the PhD Admissions Committee considers all of the student's post-secondary academic transcripts. The Wayne State University Graduate School requires a minimum GPA of 2.75 for admission and the department recommends a GPA above 3.0 for serious consideration. 

Tuition Costs

Tuition information can be found at the Records and Registration Office. Graduate sudents from Michigan, select counties of Ohio (Fulton, Lucas, Ottawa and Williams) and the Canadian province of Ontario pay resident tuition rates (Ohio/Ontario Good Neighbor Policy). All other students are required to pay non-resident tuition rate.

Department Graduate Assistantships

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has limited funding available for graduate assistantship support of PhD students. Graduate assistants are required to work 20 hours per week on department assignments. Awards are given on a competitive basis. To apply for a graduate assistantship, complete the one-page application (click here) and email it to the Graduate Admissions Officer at by January 15.

Part-Time Study

Our department accepts applications from students who plan to complete their Ph.D. part-time. However, we strongly encourage part-time students to plan for 1 to 3 semesters of full-time work in order to complete their dissertation.
Note: INS regulations require that forgein students be registered on a full-time basis with at least 8 graduate credits per semester.


Sources of Financial Assistance


Please do not hesitate to contact the department's Ph.D. Coordinator, Dr. Natalia Rakhlin at if you have any further questions, or wish to set up an appointment to discuss the Ph.D. program at WSU.

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