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Communication Sciences and Disorders
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Application Timeline

The graduate school application opens to applicants on October 1.

For full consideration of funding, all application materials must be received by December 15.

Final application deadline is February 1.


Application Materials

  1. If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit that website at

    NOTE: If you hold a master's degree from Penn State, or you are currently enrolled in a Penn State master's program, the application process is different due to your status as a Penn State graduate student.  Please contact the graduate program administrative assistant for more information on the application process.

  2. If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at
  3. You will be asked to upload the following documents:
    a. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    b. Statement of purpose/personal statement
    c. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended, both undergraduate and graduate. For those applicants still completing their graduate degree, official transcripts must include their fall semester course work. Notarized copies are not sufficient. International applicants must submit official or attested university records, with certified translations if the records are not in English. 
    NOTE: Students who enter the Ph.D. program in Communication Sciences and Disorders should have already obtained a Master's degree in CSD or another field. Students who hold a Master's degree outside of CSD may choose to seek the Master's degree in CSD along the way to earning a Ph.D., but this is not a requirement.
  4. GRE scores (must have been taken within the past five years) are submitted electronically directly to the Graduate School using code 2660.
    • GRE scores are optional; the inclusion or the non-inclusion of GRE scores will not alter applicants' chance of acceptance into the program. Applicants are encouraged to submit GRE scores to provide evidence of their technical and/or writing skills in the absence of other supporting evidence. It is recommended that applicants have GRE scores greater than the fiftieth percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections and a 4.5 or above on the writing section.
  5. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable, are submitted electronically to the Graduate School using code 2660.

CV and Personal Statement

All applicants must submit a curriculum vitae and personal statement. The personal statement should be a letter of intent documenting the applicant's scholarly interests, career goals, and reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree. Personal statements should be written in narrative form. In 2 single spaced pages (1-inch margins, 11-point font), address the following questions:

  1. Why are you pursuing a doctoral degree?
  2. What are your career goals?
  3. Describe your specific research interests. What research questions do you hope to address? Why are you interested in these questions?
  4. Why do you believe that the Penn State CSD doctoral program best meets your needs? Name the faculty members in CSD with whom you have discussed your research interests.
  5. Discuss any previous research, teaching, or clinical service experience you have.
  6. Talk about a challenge you’ve experienced and how you handled it. Please note what you learned from this experience and how it might impact your future career. If accepted to the Penn State program, what strengths would you bring to our community?
  7. In the Penn State CSD Program, we believe that all children and adults have the right to experience life with functional communication and to experience and participate to their fullest potential in achieving education, vocational, and social goals in a climate that fosters a spirit of respect, optimism, and joyfulness. Describe how your work will further our vision by incorporating issues related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into your research and teaching goals.

Application Decisions

Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. An oral interview with members of the graduate faculty is required of all doctoral applicants either in person or online via Zoom. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions in writing.