Frequently Asked Questions

A Ph.D. typically take approximately 4 years to complete, but may extend to longer depending on research topic, rate of courses taken, etc. Students must complete all requirements for the doctoral degree within six years from the first registration. Under exceptional circumstances, an extension can be granted if approved by Teachers College’s Ph.D. committee.

All admitted candidates receive funding support. This may be a combination of fellowships, research assistance and teaching assistantships.

Entrance requirements include a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders or related field, records of grades, a personal statement and a writing sample. Your personal statement should include 1) Why you would like to pursue a Ph.D.; 2) Your research interests; 3) Why you would like to be at Teachers College and the particular lab you have chosen. Additionally, the writing sample you submit should be academic (not a clinical report).

Applicants also need to have identified and contacted a potential advisor. For instructions on how to apply, please visit: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/admission/how-to-apply/

It is essential that applicants go to the doctoral faculty’s websites and contact the faculty with whom their research interests may align.

We notify students of acceptance in the Spring with the assumption of the Fall start date. However, a Spring start date is possible if it is discussed and agreed upon by the applicant’s advisor.

Not necessarily. Communication Sciences and Disorders is a diverse and interdisciplinary field, and as such, a CSD degree is not required, assuming adequate preparation for doctoral work.

No, you do not need to be a certified SLP in order to apply. Our doctoral candidates’ academic backgrounds and clinical experience are diverse.


No, but please be sure to mention how your clinical experience is informing the research questions you would like to address in the Ph.D. program.


Yes. For specific information for international students, please see http://www.tc.columbia.edu/international/

Yes. Research is central to our doctoral programs. Candidates typically learn how to perform research while working with their faculty advisor and subsequently, with their advisor’s assistance, find their own research direction. A pre-dissertation project ensures that candidates are ready to pursue their dissertation research. We also encourage students to spend time for a semester in a lab other than their advisor’s.


As this is a research-based degree, dissemination of our research is an important component. Most of our doctoral candidates have publications in well-respected journals by the time they complete their Ph.D.s.

Our doctoral program is full-time; however, some candidates do some additional work while pursuing their studies.


After having completed at least 24 credits and your pre-dissertation project you will be eligible for your certification exam.


Faculty advisors mentor candidates in all aspects of their research careers, including finding employment.


Our doctoral graduates typically become faculty members of research and/or teaching institutions. Some combine research with clinical practice.


Teachers College is affiliated with Columbia University. Teachers College has its own administration, Board of Trustees, and budget, but also has access to Columbia University’s resources, such as its health services, libraries. Ph.D.s are conferred through Columbia University.


Specific questions about the CSD doctoral program should be directed to Prof. Erika Levy (Chair, CSD Doctoral Program Committee) (el2248@tc.columbia.edu).

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