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Instructions for Applying for the PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Applications for the PhD program in Communication Sciences & Disorders must be submitted to the Communication Sciences and Disorders Common Application System (CSDCAS). CSDCAS is a common application that is specific to Communication Sciences and Disorders. All applications will be reviewed only through CSDCAS.

PhD program applications will be accepted throughout the year with review dates of October 1, February 1, and June 1. Applications submitted by February 1 will be considered for funding to begin in the following Fall semester.

The following materials must be included with each application:

Official Transcripts: Applicants must submit proof that they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited college or university. Within CSDCAS you will be prompted to enter information about the schools you have attended. There is a form within CSDCAS to request official transcripts directly from the Registrar's office from each school you attended. Official transcripts should be sent to CSDCAS.

Official GRE Scores: Applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE-General Test). Your scores cannot be more than five (5) years old. Be sure to use the CSDCAS program code 1756 to submit your scores for your application.


  • Enter your experiences and extracurricular activities in the CSDCAS application. Be specific about any research related experiences.

Three Letters of Recommendation: Applicants should request letters of recommendation from 3 reviewers who can speak to the applicant's qualifications and potential for research-intensive PhD study. Reviewers will receive an email with a link from the CSDCAS portal where they can upload their letters of recommendation directly to the application.

Resume/CV: Applicants are required to upload a current resume or CV describing all of their college and university-level educational and work experiences to the CSDCAS portal.

Statement of Personal Goals: Applicants are also required to submit a personal statement that describes their research interests, previous experiences, and professional goals as specifically as possible. The statement should also clearly identify (and articulate a fit with) a faculty member in Communication Sciences and Disorders to serve as a mentor for PhD training. Applicants are strongly encouraged to investigate the research activities of faculty members in the program and to make contact with possible mentors to discuss the possibility of a mentoring relationship before submitting a formal application. The personal statement will be evaluated to help determine the fit between the applicant's interests and expertise of the faculty mentor(s). This statement must be original and written solely by the applicant. It should be uploaded within the section labeled "Supporting Documentation" in the CSDCAS application.

Contact Information: Applicants should submit contact information indicating where they can be reached reliably from the time of application up to the time they may matriculate.

Mentorship: While you are working on your application, it is important that you reach out to potential faculty members who can serve as your mentor. Having an excellent mentor is crucial to optimizing your doctoral program. In addition to your course work a significant amount of learning occurs in interaction within laboratory and research settings with your mentor. This one-on-one interaction is best when the mentor and student have a compatible personality and similar interests. To pick a mentor first look for someone with a similar interest by looking through the faculty profiles; then read their papers. Once you have found someone who looks compatible, call that person and discuss your interest in the Ph.D. program and working as a trainee in their lab. Finally, visit the program so you can get to know them and other faculty members as well as the general program facilities and environment. If you do not have a firm research goal, and many new students do not, talk to several individuals on the faculty and we can help you focus your interest areas.  Joint mentorship is possible if there is compatibility with multiple faculty.  Mentors are important as they will help guide your application through the system.

Additional Application Instructions for International Students

The UoM is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students on the F-1 student visa. We accept only students with the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree—16 years of formal schooling.

International applicants should allow at least four months for necessary documents to be processed by the appropriate degree program and the Graduate Admissions office. All test scores and credential evaluations must be on file in the Graduate Admissions office (FedEx Institute of Technology Building, Suite 201) at least four months before the desired enrollment date. Applicants are urged to apply early to ensure full consideration. Applicants will be selected on a competitive basis and, therefore, admission will not be granted to all applicants even if they meet the minimum requirements.

TOEFL Scores: All applicants who will be attending the UofM on a student visa and who are not native English speakers must supply a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Testing locations and other information can be obtained from TOEFL. All test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the UofM via CSDCAS (institution code C122). Graduate Admissions will accept scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in lieu of the TOEFL. The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 6.5. This requirement can be waived for students who have received a degree from an English-language University. Please note that these TOEFL and IELTS scores reflect the minimum acceptable scores. Students with scores higher than 79 and 6.5, respectively, will have an easier time in the program.

Evaluation of Credentials: Applicants whose highest degree is from a foreign university are required to have their credentials evaluated by any credentialing agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services web site. The evaluation must be submitted through the CSDCAS application portal.

Once admitted, international students are also required to submit a health certificate, show proof of medical insurance and provide an affidavit of support and financial statement. For more information or assistance with completing those parts of the application, please visit the International Student Services.

Students who qualify can request an Application Fee Waiver from CSDCAS at this link.

DO’s and DON’T’s

  • DO
    • DO Visit our website and read the detailed instructions for completing the application process.
    • DO Allow at least 3 to 4 weeks for official transcripts and official GRE scores to be posted in your CSDCAS application. If you are an international applicant, ensure that your WES evaluation is sent as early as possible.
    • DO Include your relevant experiences related to research/work involvement.
    • DO Select your letter writers carefully making sure they can speak to your unique qualities beyond just your academic abilities.
    • DO spend more time writing your personal and analysis essays than preparing your 2-minute video.
    • DO Reach out to a faculty member to serve as a potential mentor for the PhD portion of your program.
    • DO Upload your Fall 2023 grades as soon as they are available.
    • DO Proofread your application carefully.
    • DO Submit your application at least 4 weeks prior to the February 1, 2024 deadline to ensure all materials are received and verified by the deadline.
  • DON’T
    • DON’T Send your transcripts or GRE scores to the University of Memphis; all materials are to be sent and uploaded directly to CSDCAS.
    • DON’T Wait to request transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL scores, or letters of recommendation.
    • DON’T Wait to enter your grades from your transcript.
    • DON’T Assume your grades will be automatically entered into your application if you haven’t paid the fee and e-submitted your application.
    • DON’T Include every experience you have ever had in the experience section; only focus on relevant experiences that are submitted concisely.

For specific questions regarding our PHD program, please contact:

PhD Program Committee, Chair
Jani Johnson, Ph.D.
(e-mail: jajhns10@memphis.edu, telephone: 901.678.5800)

Director of Graduate Studies
Lynda Feenaughty, Ph.D.
(e-mail: lfnughty@memphis.edu, telephone: 901.678.5800)