Information Sessions

NOTE:  The GRE test score requirement has been permanently eliminated from our admissions application. We no longer require or accept GRE scores as part of our Ph.D. program admissions process.

The University of Washington and SPHSC Department's admission policy provides for a selective admission process with the objective of attracting students who demonstrate the strongest prospects for high quality academic work. This selective admission process shall assure that the University's educational opportunities shall be open to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status. The process of admission shall be mindful of the need for diversity in the student body and for highly-trained individuals from all segments of the population.

Entrance Requirements

Application Requirements

Entrance Requirements

The doctoral degree is by nature and tradition the highest certificate of membership in the academic community. As such, it is meant to indicate the presence of superior qualities of mind and intellectual interests and of high attainment in Speech and Hearing Sciences. It is not conferred merely as a certificate for a prescribed course of study and research, no matter how long or how faithfully pursued.

Prior to submitting an application, students should review the UW Graduate School Admissions Requirements. Candidates for the Ph.D. program must meet the following entrance requirements.

ALERT: We no longer require GRE scores as part of our PhD program admissions process. The GRE test score requirement has been permanently eliminated from our admissions application.

1. Citizenship & Visa Status

The Graduate School and the Department accept applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents (green card holders), immigrants and international applicants. Graduate School admission requirements and application procedures are the same for all applicants regardless of residency, citizenship and visa status.

International students must have a visa status that allows academic study at the UW. This status includes temporary U.S. visas such as F-1 student visas, J-1 exchange visitors, H-1 temporary worker, dependent visas or any other non-immigrant classifications. Students who will study on an F-1 or J-1 visa will be required to complete additional steps after confirming their intention to enroll before the Graduate School can process their visa paperwork. Consult the Graduate School Admissions website to find out more about minimum eligibility requirements and required materials for international applicants.

Please note, in order for students to be considered state residents for tuition purposes, they first must be able to prove that they are U.S. citizens, have U.S. permanent resident cards, or have a qualifying visa (A, E, G, H1, I, K or L). For questions concerning how to establish residency in Washington State, please contact the Residence Classification Office at 206-543-5932, or visit the UW Residency Office Website.

2. Bachelors’ Degree

All applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution.

3. Identified Mentor

Applicants MUST have an identified professorial faculty mentor at the University of Washington with whom they will study in order to apply to the Ph.D. program. Before applying, applicants must contact this proposed mentor(s) directly to discuss their research interests and secure the mentor’s support for their application. Any application submitted without the official support of a faculty mentor will not be reviewed.

Typically the applicant’s mentor has a primary appointment in the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences. If the proposed mentor has a primary appointment in another UW department, the applicant must also identify a faculty member with a primary appointment in Speech & Hearing Sciences who is willing to serve as academic advisor.

The best times to contact faculty about Ph.D. applications and mentorship are Autumn quarter (September – November) and Spring quarter (March – early June) quarters. Most faculty are not available during Summer quarter (mid June – August).

4. National Criminal Background Check

All graduate students in Speech and Hearing Sciences are required to complete and successfully pass a national criminal background check as a condition of admission. Instructions are provided to new students and the background check must be completed within 30 days of accepting the department’s offer of admission. The background check fee is paid directly to the department’s vendor, Verified Credentials. When considering individuals for admission, conviction/criminal history records are reviewed as they relate to the content and nature of the curriculum and the safety and security of clients and the public. Should the background check provide evidence of a positive criminal history or raise any areas of concern related to a student’s participation in a graduate program, he/she will be contacted by a representative of the Speech & Hearing Sciences Department.

5. English Language Proficiency

All applicants to the doctoral program whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. No waivers of this requirement can be granted. The Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences follows the UW Graduate School policies and guidelines for admission of individuals who are nonnative speakers of English.  Applicants should review the UW Graduate School's Understanding the Application Process, which outlines each of the three required minimum admission requirements for Degree, GPA, and English Proficiency. 

To be admitted to the department’s Ph.D. program, all nonnative English speakers are required demonstrate English language proficiency as outlined in UW Graduate School Policy 3.2. Please note, to be admitted the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences requires applicants to meet the UW Graduate School's recommended scores. The department will not admit applicants with scores below the Graduate School’s recommended score requirement, nor will we give approval to provisionally admit students with scores below this score requirement. The score requirements are:

  • TOEFL iBT® test scores of 92 or higher
  • TOEFL MyBest™ (superscores) of 92 of higher
  • IELTS score of 7.0 or higher
  • Duolingo English scores of 120 or higher

In addition, please note that the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences deviates from UW Graduate School Policy 3.2 in that we will not temporarily accept TOEFL ITP Plus China scores to meet the English language proficiency requirement.

Applicants should also review UW Graduate School Policy 5.2  and note that English proficiency requirements for students who work as teaching assistants (TAs) are more extensive than those for admission. Specifically, a score of 26 must be obtained on the TOEFL iBT® "Speaking" subtest or a score of 7.0 on the IELTS "Speaking" subtest. Because the Department has limited options for the support of PhD students, the likelihood that a student will be able to work as a TA is an important factor in the admissions process.

6. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

To be considered for admission, applicants are required to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) during the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credit hours of study.

Application Requirements

The GRE test score requirement has been permanently eliminated from our admissions application. We no longer require or accept GRE scores as part of our Ph.D. program admissions process.


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program conducts a yearly admissions process with entrance in Autumn and Summer quarters only. Most applicants, however, are encouraged to apply for Autumn entry. Applications submitted before or after the deadlines listed below will not be considered.

  • We only accept applications between October 1st and December 1st.
  • All applicants (domestic and international) must submit their application no later than December 1st of the year prior to the year they wish to start (e.g., apply by December 1, 2023 for entry in Summer or Autumn of 2024)
  • Please DO NOT apply before October 1st. Any applications submitted before that date will not be considered.
  • Please note that we do not review applications on an “as received” or rolling basis. All applications are reviewed subsequent to the deadline of December 1st.

As the deadline approaches, the high volume of applications can cause system slowdowns. We strongly encourage you to submit your application early to avoid delays.

Nontraditional Applicants

International Applicants: The deadline for international applicants is December 1st. Once an international applicant has submitted the online UW Graduate School Application and paid the application fee, a detailed checklist of requirements is provided. Visit the Graduate School’s International Student FAQs for more information.

Repeat Applicants: Applicants who previously applied to the program should be aware that applications are held for only one year. Denied applicants from the previous autumn application period must submit all new materials.

Visiting Student Applicants: We do accept visiting student applications to our Doctor of Philosophy program. Please review our Non-Degree Enrollment webpage for further details and instructions.

Transfer Students: We DO NOT accept transfer applications into our Doctor of Philosophy program from another graduate program.

Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM) Applicants: We DO NOT accept graduate non-matriculated applications to our Doctor of Philosophy program.

Application Instructions

Applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program must submit an ONLINE application for admission using the UW Graduate School Application. This online application allows you to jointly submit the required information to both the UW Graduate School (primary application) and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences (supplemental application). All information and materials should be submitted through the online process. Please do not mail paper applications to the Department or Graduate School.

Follow these 3 steps to apply:

1) Identify and communicate with the professorial faculty mentor in the UW Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences with whom you wish to study. Before any application can be submitted, prospective students must contact their desired mentor directly to:

  • discuss their research interests and goals
  • explore the possibility of mentorship and doctoral work with the faculty member
  • secure the mentor’s agreement to support a Ph.D. application to the department

Applicants MAY NOT submit an application to the Ph.D. program unless they have the official support of a faculty member. Applications without prior faculty support will not be reviewed.

Typically Ph.D. mentors have a primary appointment in the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences. However, if a prospective student’s proposed mentor has a primary appointment in another UW department, the applicant must also identify another faculty member with a primary appointment in Speech & Hearing Sciences, who is willing to serve as academic advisor.

It is recommended to contact prospective faculty mentors well in advance of (several months before) the application deadline to ensure that there is adequate time for discussions concerning your interests in the Program. .

2) Complete the online UW Graduate School Application (submitting all required documentation online as well), including the required $90 application fee. Application sections are as follows:

  1. Select the Graduate Program for which you are applying.
  2. Review the application requirements and deadlines
  3. Report all prior schools attended
  4. Submit UNOFFICIAL transcripts
  5. Designate 3 recommenders to submit letters of recommendation. Letters must be submitted online.
  6. Submit a statement of purpose
  7. Submit a personal history statement
  8. Submit a writing sample or paper
  9. Submit a CV or Resume
  10. Complete the SPHSC Department’s Supplemental Application located within the UW Graduate School Application.
  11. Pay the Graduate Application fee and submit your application

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants do not have to submit official transcripts to the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences or the UW Graduate School unless they accept a formal offer of admission to the graduate program. Visit the UW Graduate School Admissions FAQ for instructions on where to send official transcripts if you are accepted.

Other Important Information

Accessing & Updating Your Application: Anyone submitting a new application will be asked to establish a login email address and password. Once an online application is initiated applicants can save their work and return to the application as many times as needed using their login email and password. Keep your login email address and password somewhere secure as you will need it to update your application if you do not complete it in one sitting, to check on the status of your application through February 1st, and to access our final admission decision in March.

Incomplete applications (those not completed with application fee payment) will not be deleted from the application system until 30 days after the start of the requested academic quarter of admission.

Letters of Recommendation: Do not designate your recommenders online until you are ready to have the recommenders contacted. When you designate a recommender, the person you have designated is immediately sent an email to submit a recommendation on your behalf. You can designate recommenders before and after you have submitted your online application, up until the program deadline. If, after designating a recommendation, you learn that the recommender will not submit a recommendation, you may remove the recommendation by selecting the "withdraw" link in the action column of the table below. You cannot withdraw a recommendation once the recommender has submitted it.

Incomplete Applications: It is each applicant’s responsibility to verify that all required materials have been submitted and received in a timely manner by both the Graduate School and the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Once an online application has been submitted students can check the status by logging in to their application status page. Every year applications are not considered due to missing letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc., so please follow-up on missing items accordingly.

Selection Criteria: We consider all information submitted with your application. Our goal is to select an intellectually capable, diverse group of students. High GPA is desirable but not the determining factors in admission.