Admission and Maintenance: Eligibility and Procedures
The program is open to students who have already completed a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at an accredited university. Applicants must submit a personal statement explaining why they are seeking a doctoral degree, a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation, (two of which must be written by academics who can vouch for their suitability for advanced study), transcripts of their educational history and qualifications, and a curriculum vita with their employment history and publication record. We do not require applicants to take the Graduate Record Exam.
Each application submitted is reviewed by members of the doctoral committee of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. If the committee’s decision is favorable, the applicant is invited to an interview with the doctoral committee and other interested faculty who wish to attend. The interview process, which takes about one hour, is an informal question and answer session during which the faculty assesses the seriousness of purpose of the applicant in light of the academic record that he or she has supplied. The applicant is invited to ask questions of the faculty and the nature of those questions is an important part of the assessment.
Following the interview, the doctoral committee deliberates and reaches a decision about acceptance. The applicant is then informed of the committee’s decision in a letter from the department chair and the coordinator of the doctoral program.
The Ph.D. is a part-time program. Consistent with University policy, students must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within ten years. Requests for an extension will be considered on an individual basis. Students seeking an extension must petition the doctoral committee of the department in writing. No more than two one-year extensions will be granted.
Students are expected to conform to the policies and procedures contained in the Ph.D. Doctoral Program Advisement Manual issued by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Two courses will be offered each semester and, when possible, one course will be offered in a summer session. Students are encouraged to register for all the courses that are offered. Registration for fewer than 4 courses each academic year must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. Registration for SPH (0878) 799 (Continuous Matriculation) is required for every semester during which a student does not register for a course (e.g., after completion of coursework, during a leave of absence). Continuous matriculation is essential to secure student status within the program and maintenance of campus privileges. Failure to maintain continuous registration may result in dismissal from the program.
Students seeking a leave of absence must formally petition the department’s doctoral committee for approval. Leaves of absence will be approved only for substantial cause. The duration of a leave of absence may not exceed one academic year. Students wishing to extend a leave of absence must reapply at the conclusion of its specified term.
Any student receiving a grade of C+ or lower in a course will be dismissed from the program.
Each student must successfully complete a minimum of 54 credits beyond the master’s degree. Of these 54 credits, a maximum of 12 post-master’s credits may be transferred from other educational institutions upon approval of the doctoral faculty. Each student must apply for the first doctoral qualifying examination upon completion of 24-30 credits of course work. Application for the second qualifying exam must occur upon successful completion of between 45-54 credits of course work.
Required and Elective Course Work
Of the 54 credits, 48 are required and 6 are elective. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Courses are offered on a rotating basis at the rate of 4 or 5 per year: two each semester and one, when possible, during a summer session. Petitions requesting substitutions for required or elective courses will be considered by the doctoral committee of the department.
The Ph.D. program will require two qualifying examinations of the doctoral students.
The First Qualifying Examination
The First Qualifying Examination will be a general written test of the students’ knowledge of Speech-Language Science and Disorders. It is designed to probe more deeply into their knowledge base than the master’s degree comprehensive exam. Students will be provided with a list of 5 general areas of Communication Sciences and Disorders, along with a subset of topics in each area. At the examination, they will choose 3 of the 5 areas and answer an essay question in each area selected. There will be a choice of questions in each area. The examination will be taken when a student has completed between 24 and 30 credits towards the Ph.D.
The areas and subtopics are:
1. Speech Science:
- Anatomy/Physiology/Neurology of the speech/language mechanism.
- Instrumentation for speech research.
- Phonetics and Linguistics.
- The perception of speech and language.
2. Language Science
- Theoretical bases of language acquisition and development.
- Language disorders of children.
- Acquired language disorders.
- Bilingualism and second language learning.
3. Assessment of Communication Disorders.
- Tests and measures (both standardized and not standardized).
- Normal speech and language development.
- Use of technology/instrumentation in assessment.
- Authentic assessment (language sampling).
4. Treatment of Communication Disorders.
- Theoretical foundations of communication disorders.
- Specific remedial strategies.
- Early intervention/treatment of communication disorders.
5. Professional Issues.
- Clinical specialization.
- Organization of a clinical program.
- Supervision in a clincial program.
- Evidence-based practice.
Answers will be graded on a pass-fail basis by faculty who are specialists in the general areas and subtopics chosen by the students. Students will be required to write a “passing” essay in each of the areas they have selected. If students write failing essays in any area, they will be required to re-take that/those part(s) of the examination within six months. The questions asked on their second attempt will be different from those asked on their first attempt. A student who does not have a total of three passing answers after re-taking the examination will be dismissed from the program.
The Second Qualifying Examination
A second qualifying examination will be given to admit students to candidacy for the Ph.D. The examination will consist of a set of three research papers, each on a subtopic that is related to the general topic selected by the student and approved by the chair of the second examination committee. Each paper will be prepared under the supervision of one of the members of the student’s examination committee.
The second examination committee will be chaired by a member of the doctoral faculty who has been approached by the student and who agrees to serve in that capacity. The student, and the chair, in consultation, will select two additional members of the committee and solicit their agreement to serve on the committee.. One member of the committee may be either a qualified Adelphi faculty member from outside the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders or a faculty member from some other institution who is uniquely qualified to supervise the preparation of a paper on one of the subtopics chosen by the student.
After the three research papers have been approved by the committee members, they will be distributed to all the members of the department’s doctoral faculty. The student will then be given an oral examination before the members of the doctoral faculty who will determine, by majority vote, if the student has passed or failed. Successful completion of the oral examination will advance the student to candidacy. A student who does not complete the oral examination successfully will be allowed to revise any of the three papers and re-take the examination once. Any student who does not pass the oral examination on the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.
A doctoral dissertation is required, based on substantive research into a specific topic relevant to the discipline of Speech-Language Sciences and Disorders. The dissertation may be descriptive or experimental in nature. The candidate will develop the topic of the dissertation under the guidance of a principal faculty advisor (the chair of the dissertation committee) and will, in consultation with the chair, select two other members of the dissertation committee. One member of the committee may be either a qualified Adelphi faculty member from outside the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders or a faculty member from some other institution who is qualified to supervise the research proposed by the candidate. These three faculty members will constitute the candidate’s dissertation committee. The committee must unanimously approve a written proposal for the dissertation study before the candidate commences work on it. An outside reader, agreed upon by the candidate and the dissertation committee, will be invited to read the completed study. The outside reader may come from another department within Adelphi University or from another university and must be determined by the committee chair to be an expert in the subject matter of the dissertation.
When the members of the student’s dissertation committee have unanimously agreed that the dissertation is ready to be defended, an oral defense will be scheduled. A successful oral defense of the dissertation before the dissertation committee, the outside reader, and the full doctoral faculty is required for the completion of the degree. At the oral defense, the dissertation committee will make a final determination that the dissertation should be accepted as written, accepted with minor revisions (to be approved by the principal advisor only), accepted with major revisions (to be approved by the full dissertation committee), or not accepted. If the dissertation is not accepted, the dissertation committee will afford the candidate the opportunity to re-write the study for re-approval before defending it again. If the dissertation is not accepted after the re-writing and the second defense, the student will be dismissed from the program.