Speech Language and hearing Sciences Ph.D.

The Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences PhD program (SLHS PhD) at University of Montana provides the opportunity for students to closely study with faculty in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing &Occupational Sciences. Students who have a master’s degree and choose to pursue this additional research-focused PhD, work closely with a primary faculty mentor of a chosen speech, language, and/or hearing specialization to develop related content and research skills. Content specialization experiences and seminars are balanced with opportunities to complete coursework across a wide variety of related content disciplines(e.g., neuroscience, psychology, education) through individualized plans of study. Thus, students benefit from expertise and mentorship in both a traditional apprenticeship PhD model, with a faculty mentor in a chosen expertise, and an interprofessional model, in which students complete coursework and engage in learning with a chosen interprofessional team.

SLHS PhD Program Description:

The program is made up of a combination of 54 credits of coursework and professional products, the preliminary comprehensive competency exam, and a dissertation. Students must pass a preliminary comprehensive competency exam that includes disciplinary knowledge, a critique of a research manuscript, and design of an experimental research study. In addition, students complete professional products in areas critical for the success of faculty or professionals in the speech, language, and hearing sciences that include the following: (1) research, (2) conference presentation, (3) writing for publication, (4) systematic review of research literature, (5) grant writing, (6) college teaching, and/or (7) supervision. Following the successful completion of coursework, the preliminary comprehensive competency exam, and professional products, students complete a directed research dissertation experience that contributes to the advancement of the field of speech, language,and hearing sciences. Full-time students entering with their completed masters’ degree in an area related to speech, language, and hearing sciences can complete the PhD in 3 -4 years.

How to Apply:

Applications for the SLHS PhD Program are accepted at any time during the year and need to be accompanied by letter of support from a chosen doctoral faculty mentor in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences.

Due to the close apprenticeship model of the SLHS PhD program, prospective students who wish to apply for this program need to have a letter of support from a faculty member with a doctoral degree in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing & Occupational Sciences in the area of research in which the student wishes to specialize(see faculty page). Prospective students for the SLHS PhD program should complete the following steps:

  1. Contact a faculty member with a doctoral degree in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences who conducts research in the chosen area of interest and provide a statement of interest (including an attached resume and/or background information). This faculty member can then determine a mentorship fit and discuss whether there is mentored opportunity available to accept a new PhD student in the chosen semester and year.
  2. Prospective students who establish there is a fit and an available opening with an identified doctoral faculty mentor will then secure a letter of support from this faculty member to be included in their application.
  3. Students then submit their full application that meet University of Montana graduate school requirements letters of recommendation through the University of Montana Graduate School website. Applications should include:
    1. Filled out application. On the application form, indicate that you are applying to the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences PhD Program (not the speech-language pathology MS program).
    2. A full resume
    3. A 1-2 page state of interest of why you are interested in pursuing a PhD and why you have chosen to pursue a research degree in a particular area of specialty
    4. Three letters of recommendation: One of the letters of recommendation should be the letter of support from the doctoral faculty mentor of the School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational who has agreed to serve as your primary research mentor in your PhD program
    5. Completed UM graduate school requirements(e.g., GPA, official transcripts, GREs)
  4. In addition to the completed application through the UM Graduate School, send your resume, letter of interest, and three letters of recommendation via email to:
    1. Your chosen doctoral faculty mentor
    2. SLHOS@umontana.edu

Campus Visit

We strongly encourage prospective students to visit and meet with current faculty and PhD students in order to best determine whether this program is a best fit. The campus visit also helps faculty understand the experiences, attitudes, and skills that the prospective student would bring to the program.

For any questions or to schedule a visit, please contact :