Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to earn a PhD?

Students entering the PhD program with a master’s degree typically require a minimum of 4 years to complete the PhD program.

Is it possible to begin my graduate studies in a quarter other than Fall?

No, Fall start is required.

Is it possible to apply to the PhD Program without a Master’s degree?

Yes, applicants with a Bachelor’s degree may apply.

Can one be admitted to the program without an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders?

Yes, many students entering the PhD program have degrees in cognitive science, education, engineering, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, and related fields.

What is the average grade point average (GPA) for students admitted to the program?

Both undergraduate and graduate GPAs are important in admission decisions for PhD students.  These scores are generally about 3.5 (out of 4) or higher.

What are the average Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for students admitted to the program?

The average of the verbal and quantitative score is generally about the 75th percentile.

Are factors other than GRE scores and GPA important in admissions decisions?

In addition to GRE and GPA scores, previous experience, letters of recommendation and one’s personal statement are considered in making admission decisions.  Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can assess a candidate’s ability to be successful in PhD studies.

Is funding available?

Yes, all students accepted for doctoral study in the program receive tuition support and a stipend, year-round, for at least four years. This is usually some combination of teaching assistants, graduate research assistants and fellowships.

Will I be assigned at Teaching Assistant?

Teaching is an essential element of the education and training experience of PhD students at Northwestern. The Graduate School requires that all PhD students serve in some instructional capacity for at least one academic quarter during their graduate education at Northwestern. This teaching requirement is an integral aspect of professional development. Students are expected to do comparable teaching work to other students within and across programs.

How can I view the admission decision?

Please be sure to check the status of your admission decision via the on-line application.  Once an admission decision regarding your application has been rendered, a link to “View Decision” will appear on the online application “Applicant Status” page.  If no “View Decision” link is present, an admission decision has not yet been rendered on your application.  Students denied admission will not receive a letter from the University.  Students granted admission will receive an admission packet.